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Major Greek gods and goddesses

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Goddess of Beauty - Aphrodite

Goddess of Beauty - Aphrodite

Goddess of beauty, love, desire, and pleasure. Although married to Hephaestus she had many lovers, most notably Ares, Adonis, and Anchises. 

  • Her symbols include roses and other flowers, the scallop shell, and the myrtle wreath. 
  • Her sacred animals include doves and sparrows. 
  • Her Roman counterpart is Venus.


God of Knowledge - Apollo

God of Knowledge - Apollo

God of music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague, prophecy, poetry, manly beauty, and archery. 

  • He is the son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis.
  • His attributes include the laurel wreath and lyre. His sacred animals include roe deer, swans, cicadas, hawks, ravens, crows, foxes, mice, and snakes. 
  • His Roman counterpart is also named Apollo.


God of war - Ares

God of war, bloodshed, and violence. 

  • The son of Zeus and Hera, 
  • Ares is known for cuckolding his brother Hephaestus and conducting an affair with Aphrodite. 
  • His sacred animals include vultures, venomous snakes, dogs, and boars. 
  • His Roman counterpart Mars by contrast was regarded as the dignified ancestor of the Roman people.


Goddess of hunt - Artemis

Goddess of hunt - Artemis

Virgin goddess of wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth, and plague. 

  • She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo. 
  • Her attributes include hunting spears, animal pelts, deer and other wild animals. 
  • Her sacred animals include deer, bears, and wild boars. 
  • Her Roman counterpart is Diana.


Goddess of peace - Athena

Goddess of peace - Athena

Goddess of reason, wisdom, intelligence, skill, peace, warfare, battle strategy, and handicrafts. 

  • Her symbol is the olive tree. 
  • She is commonly shown as being accompanied by her sacred animal, the owl. 
  • Her Roman counterpart is Minerva.


Goddess of harvest - Demeter

Goddess of harvest - Demete

Goddess of grain, agriculture, harvest, growth, and nourishment. 

  • Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea, and a sister of Zeus, by whom she bore Persephone. 
  • She is depicted as a mature woman, often crowned and holding sheafs of wheat and a torch. 
  • Her symbols are the cornucopia, wheat-ears, the winged serpent, and the lotus staff. 
  • Her sacred animals include pigs and snakes. Her Roman counterpart is Ceres.


God of ecstasy - Dionysus

God of ecstasy - Dionysus

God of wine, fruitfulness, parties, festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, vegetation, and ecstasy.

  • His attributes include the thyrsus, a drinking cup, the grape vine, and a crown of ivy. 
  • His sacred animals include dolphins, serpents, tigers, and donkeys. 
  • Bacchus was another name for him in Greek, and came into common usage among the Romans.


God of the underworld - Hades

God of the underworld - Hades

God of the underworld and the dead.

  • His attributes are the drinking horn or cornucopia, key, sceptre, and the three-headed dog Cerberus. 
  • His sacred animals include the screech owl. He was one of three sons of Cronus and Rhea. 
  • Pluto ("the Rich") was his preferred name, with Hades referring to the underworld itself. 
  • The Romans translated Plouton as Dis Pater ("the Rich Father") or Pluto.


God of fire - Hephaestus

God of fire - Hephaestus

Goddess of marriage , metalworking, and crafts. 

  • Either the son of Zeus and Hera or Hera alone.
  • He is the smith of the gods and the husband of the adulterous Aphrodite.
  • His sacred animals include the donkey, the guard dog, and the crane. 
  • His Roman counterpart Vulcan was feared for his destructive potential and associated with the volcanic power of the earth.


Queen of the gods - Hera

Queen of the gods - Hera

Goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. 

  • She is the wife and sister of Zeus, and the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.
  • Her sacred animals include the heifer, the peacock, and the cuckoo. 
  • Her Roman counterpart is Juno.


God of language - Hermes

God of language - Hermes

God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, language, and writing. 

  • The son of Zeus and Maia, Hermes.
  • His attributes include the herald's wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler's cap. 
  • His sacred animals include the tortoise. 
  • His Roman counterpart is Mercury.


Goddess of the hearth - Hestia

Goddess of the hearth - Hestia

Virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and chastity. 

  • She is a daughter of Rhea and Cronus, and a sister of Zeus. 
  • Her symbols are the hearth and kettle. 
  • Her Roman counterpart Vesta, however, was a major deity of the Roman state.

God of the sea - Poseidon

God of the sea - Poseidon

God of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, and earthquakes. 

  • He is a son of Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus and Hades. 
  • He rules one of the three realms of the universe, as king of the sea and the waters. 
  • His sacred animals include the horse and the dolphin. 
  • His Roman counterpart is Neptune.


King of the gods Zeus

King of the gods - Zeus

Ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and justice. 

  • He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea.
  • His sacred animals include the eagle and the bull. 
  • His Roman counterpart is Jupiter, also known as Jove.


posted Oct 14, 2016 by Encarnicion Orensanz Laranga

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