Greek Gods & Goddesses
Greek Gods and Goddesses – Classical Greek Mythology
ADDucation’s list of Greek gods and goddesses is compiled from the works of Hesiod’s Theogony (c700 BC) and Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey 760-710 BC) because these authority sources are credited by ancient authors with establishing Greek religious customs. We have also referenced dozens of other sources as indicated. The cool thing about ADDucation lists is you can sort and filter the table to find exactly what you’re looking for quicker than any other table of Greek gods and goddesses we’re aware of. We’ve also included family trees of Greek gods and goddesses organized into the three “dynasties” which ruled the cosmos – just click the titles to expand them.
ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort Greek gods and goddesses. Click the + icon to expand columns on tablets and mobiles. Resize your browser to see more/less columns. Use the Filter table box to easily find anything inside the table. For example to display only table rows which include the word Zeus type Zeus into the filter. Bold text indicates male/maculine entities and bold+Italics indicates female/feminine entities
|Name||Roman Equivalent||Title||Group||Gender||Parents||Siblings||Consort/s||Offspring||Greek Gods and Goddesses Details|
|Achilles||Hero||Male||Peleus (mortal) and nymph Thetis (nymph, minor sea goddess)||(maybe) Patroclus||In order to make Achilles immortal Thetis dipped him in the river Styx holding him by his heel which did not touch the water and his heel remained his mortal weakness (there are other stories). Achilles become a Trojan war95* hero after slaying Hector, the Trojan prince, as revenge for killing his best friend the Trojan prince. Paris, Hector’s brother kills Achilles with an arrow to his “Achilles’ heel”. When Achilles was cremated his ashes were mixed with Patroclus‘ ashes.|
“Achilles’ heel” is a popular idiom based on Greek mythology: Achilles was dipped by his heel into the river Styx to make him immortal but the water did not touch his heel which remained mortal and he was killed by an arrow to his “Achilles’ heel”.
|Actaeon||Pupil of centaur Chiron||Mortal||Male||Aristaeus (a herdsman) and Autonoe||Actaeon accidentally saw Artemis naked while she was bathing in the woods and was captivated by her beauty. Artemis saw him and told him never to speak again or she would change him into a deer. Actaeon heard his hunting dogs, called them, turned into a deer and was killed by his own dogs. There are many variations of this story.|
|Adonis||Adonis||God of desire and beauty, vegetation and rebirth||Minor god||Male||Cinyras and Metharme6* (or Phoenix and Alphesiboea1* or Theias, King of Assyria and his daughter Myrrha/Smyrna23*||Aphrodite, Persephone||Smyrna/Myrrha was punished by Aphrodite to love her father. Smyrna tricked him into sleeping with her. he found out, she fled, was nearly caught but the gods changed her into a tree called smurna. Nine months later Adonis burst from the tree. Aphrodite fell in love with Adonis and entrusted Persephone to raise him who later refused to give Adonis up. Zeus decided Adonis would spend four months each with Aphrodite and Persephone and could choose where to spend the other four months, Adonis chose Aphrodite. Adonis died of a wound from a wild boar, sent by Artemis (or Ares) and descend to the underworld but was allowed to spend six months each year in the upper world with Aphrodite9*|
|Aeneas||Leader of the Trojan Dardanians||Mortal||Male||Prince Anchises and Aphrodite||Lyrus||Aphrodite pretended to be a Phrygian princess and seduced prince Anchises. She later revealed her true identity and that they would have a son, Aeneas. She warned Anchises to keep quiet about their affair but he didn’t and Zeus blinded or killed him with a tunderbolt. There are many variations of this story. Aeneas became the leader of the Trojan Dardanians and, with the protection of Aphrodite, Apollo and Poseidon, was one of only a few Trojans to survive the Trojan war95*. He settled in Italy where Rome was built by his descendants, twins Remus and Romulus.|
|Aether||Ether||God of Light and the upper atmosphere||Primordial||Male||Erebus and Nyx1* or Chronos and Ananke9* or|
|Hemera, Gaia||Aether is one of the elementary substances from which the Universe was formed. Aether is the personification of the upper air only breathed by gods. The air which encircles the mortal world that the rest of us breathe is called Aer (or Chaos).|
|Aeolus/Aiolos||One of the three keepers of the winds||Sky God||Male||Hippotes and Arne||–||Melanippe or Cyane24*||This Aeolus lived on Aeolia, a floating island, visited by Odysseus in the Odyssey and provided a west wind to carry them home.|
There are other mythical Aeolus’ with plenty of confusion between them but this Aeolus is the only deity.
|Necessitas||Goddess of inevitability, compulsion, and necessity||Primordial Orphic9*||Female||Chronos (or Hydrus and Gaia9*)||Chronos (husband)||According to the Orphic cosmogony9*|
Ananke is one of the Protogenoi from which the cosmos began. She is the most powerful dictator of fate, with some influence/control over the Moirai (Fates).
|Anchiale||Goddess of the warming heat of fire||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Iapetus and unknown mother||Prometheus||Hecaterus (wife)||The Dactyls||Probably founder of the town of Anchiale, Cilicia, South Anatolia.|
|Antaeus||Half-giant||Male||Poseiden and Gaia||Tinjis||Alceis or Barce||Antaeus was an invincible wrestler so long as he remained in contact with his mother earth (Gaia). He challenged passers-by and used their skulls to build a temple to Poseidon. Heracles beat Antaeus, en-route to 11 of 12 labours, by lifting him in a bearhug and crushing him off the ground.|
|Anteros||God of requited love||Minor God||Male||Ares and Aphrodite (or nymphs)||Eros||Anteros used a golden club or arrows of lead to punish those uninterested in love or those who didn’t return the love of other people|
|Apate||Fraus (fraud)||Personification of deceit, deception, guile, fraud||Spirit/Daimona||Female||Erebus and Nyx3* or Nyx1* alone by parthenogenesis99*|
|When Pandora’s box was opened, Apate was one of the evil spirits that emerged. Apate’s male equivalent is Dolos (Trickery) and Apate’s opposite is Aletheia (Truth)|
(Cytherea and Cypris)
|Venus||Goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure, Procreation||Olympian||Female||Zeus and Dione2*or the sea foam where Uranus’1* castrated genitals fell||Divine consorts:|
With unknown fathers:
|.Because Aphrodite was beautiful Zeus married her to ugly Hephaestus to avoid rivalry. One of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.|
|Apollo||Apollo||God of Music, Prophecy, Education, Healing and Disease||Olympian||Male||Zeus and Leto||Artemis (twin sister) Half-siblings:||Apollo was the protecter of boys up to marriage age. As god of prophecy Apollo found a place called Pytho to dispense prophecies to mortals. Python, a giant snake lived in Pytho and terrorised all living creatures so Apollo killed the snake, built a temple, and renamed Pytho to Delphi. There are many other Apollo related myths. One of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.|
|Ares||Mars||God of War, Battle, Manliness||Olympian||Male||Zeus and Hera||Least loved of the 12 Olympians. Ares supported the Trojans and spoilt, his cries of pain, reached Mount Olympus. The Aloadae locked Ares in a bronze jar for a lunar year (13 months) later Hermes released him only to learn his fellow Olympians had tricked the twins into killing each other some time ago.|
|Arethusa||Alpheias||Goddess of springs and fountains||Nymph Nereid||Female||Nereus and Demeter|
|Artemis||Diana||Virgin Goddess of Hunting, Wild Animals, Children, Choirs, Disease||Olympian||Female||Zeus and Leto or Demeter11*||Virgin||–||Artemis was the protectress of girls up to marriage age. Artemis loved Orion, her hunting companion, but Apollo was jealous and tricked her into accidentally killing him with a long range arrow shot. In her grief Artemis placed Orion in the stars and formed the constellation of Orion.|
Artemis sided with the Trojans during the Trojan war95* and clashed with Hera who grabbed Artemis’ bow, beat her about the head and sent her fleeing back to Olympus in tears.
|Asclepius (Asklepios)||Aesculapius||God of healing and medicine||Deified Mortal||Male||Apollo and Coronis (Triccaean princess) (or Apollo and Arsinoe)||Epione (goddess of soothing pain)||Coronis was killed, while pregnant, for being unfaithful to Apollo. Before her body was burned Apollo saved Asclepius who was given the centaur Chiron, to be raised. Asclepius was taught medicine and eventually learned to raise the dead. Asclepius resurrected Hippolytus which angered Hades who complained to Zeus who killed Asclepius with a lightning bolt. Asklepios means “to cut open”.|
|Asteria||Goddess of nocturnal oracles and falling stars||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Coeus and Phoebe|
Asteria is a popular name in Greek mythology. This Asteria is:
|Perses||Hecate||Asteria took the form of a quail and threw herself into the Aegean Sea to escape the advances of Zeus and became the “quail island” of Ortygia. This became identified with the island of Delos, the place where Leto, pregnant with Zeus’s children, took refuge when she was pursued by Hera looking for vengeance.|
|Astraeus||God of the dusk, stars, and planets, and the art of astrology||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Crius and Eurybia|
(maybe 1 of the 100 Gigantes born of Tartarus and Gaia3*).
Another Astraeus is one of the elderly Silens10*)
|Pallus, Perses||Eos||Wind deities:|
Possibly Astraea (goddess of innocence and justice)
|Because winds drop or swell at dusk Astraeus is sometimes associated with Aeolus, the keeper of the winds. The joining of Astraeus (Dusk) with Eos (Dawn) resulted in Eosphoros and the other stars and winds.|
|Heroine||Female||Her parentage is uncertain, best guesses are:||With Melanion: Parthenopaeus||King Iasus wanted a son so, when Atalanta was born, he left her in the woods or on a mountain to die. Stories relate Atalanta was suckled by a bear until hunters found and raised her. Atalanta learned to hunt and fight like a bear. Atalanta was later reunited with her father. Atalanta sailed with Jason and the Argonauts.|
|Athena||Minerva||Virgin Goddess of: Warcraft, Heroism, Counsel, Pottery, Weaving, Olives and Oil||Olympian||Female||Zeus and Metis||Virgin||–||Athena was Zeus’ favorite daughter, born fully grown and clad in armor from Zeus’s forehead she was even allowed to use his thunderbolt. She was fierce and brave but only fought to defend her state/home.|
In a contest for Athens against Poseidon he created a salt water spring by striking the ground with his trident. Athena created an Olive tree, symbolizing peace and prosperity and Cecrops, the ruler of Athens accepted the tree and Athena became the patron goddess of Athens. One of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.
|Atlas||Atlas||God of endurance and astronomy||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Iapetus and Clymene (Oceanid ) or Asia||Pleione||After the Titans lost the Titanomachy96*Zeus condemned Atlas to hold up the sky for eternity, shouldering the weight of the heavens. One of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.|
(Atus, Attus, or Attin)
|Attis||God of vegetation||Mortal||Male||Galaos and Nana (Naiad nymph of the River Sangarius)||Cybele||Cybele made Attis castrate himself as punishment for his infidelity.|
|Aura||Aura||Gentle early morning breeze||Titaness 3rd Gen.||Female||Lelantos and Periboa10* or Cybele10*||–||Dionysus10*||maybe Iacchus||Aura was a virgin huntress who in her hubris about her maidenhood dared to compare her body to the goddess Artemis claiming her form was too womanly to be a true virgin.|
Artemis asked Nemesis to punish Aura and she was violated by Dionysos and gave birth to twin sons. Aura swallowed one whole but Iacchus was rescued by Artemis. Aura went mad and became a ruthless, slayer of men. Zeus transformed Aura into a stream or breeze, Associated with the Aurai.
|Bellerophon||Hero||Male||Philonoe (wife, daughter of Iobates)||Bellerophon, born in Corinth, committed a murder as a youth and was sent to King Proetus for justice. The king’s wife Queen Anteia/Stheneboea fancied Bellerophon but when he spurned her attention she told Proetus he had attempted to ravish her.|
Proitos, fearing the wrath of the Erinyes if he killed a guest, sent Bellerophon to his father in law, King Iobates with a sealed message asking him to kill Bellerophon. Before reading the message Iobates feasted with Bellerophon for nine days so when he finally read the message he also feared the wrath of the Erinyes. Instead he sent Bellerophon on an impossible mission to kill the fire-breathing Chimera which was ravaging the land. Along the way Bellerophon met Polyeidos, a famous seer, who told him how to capture and tame a winged horse, called Pegasus, at the town fountain. Bellerophon and Pegasus managed to kill the Chimera only to be sent to subdue the barbarous Solymoi, then the Amazons. When he succeeded he was ambushed by pirate Cheirmarrhus and the palace guards but he killed them all. Finally Iobates relented and allowed Bellerophon to marry his daughter Philonoe and gave him half his kingdom.
Bellerophon’s hubris prompted him to attempt to fly on Pegasus to join the gods on Mount Olympus. This angered Zeus who sent a gadfly to sting Pegasus causing Bellerophon to fall back to earth where he landed in a thorn bush. Blinded and crippled Bellerophon lived out his life in misery as a hermit. Pegasus did make it to Mount Olympus and was used to carry thunderbolts for Zeus.
|Bia||Personification of force and raw energy||Minor god||Male||Pallas and Styx||Bia, along with Nike, Zelus and Cratos were the sentinels of Zeus‘ throne.|
|Boreas||Aquilo||God of the north wind and winter||Sky God > Wind God||Male||Astraeus and Eos||Boreas was a strong and bad-tempered purple-winged old man with a beard and shaggy hair wearing a cloak and holding a conch shell.|
Boreas was said to have fathered twelve colts after taking the form of a stallion. Boreas lived in a cave of mount Haemus in Thrace.
|Castor and Pollux / Polydeuces|
|Castor and Pollux||Gods of sailors, horsemanship and travelers||Deified Mortals||Male||Twin sisters and half sisters:||Castor and Pollux were the twin sons of Leda and known together as the Dioscuri. Kind and generous Pollux was the divine son of Zeus, who seduced Leda in the guise of a swan. After Castor was killed Pollux prayed to Zeus to give Castor immortality so they could remain together. Zeus compromised changing them into the Gemini twins constellation and, to balance the cosmos, every year they had to spend six months on Olympus and the other six months in the Underworld.|
|Goddess of sea monsters and sea dangers||Sea goddess||Female||Gaia and Pontus||Phorcys (her brother)||Giant sea goddess. Not the Oceanid or Nereid of the same name. Ketos is the geneic plural term for sea monsters.|
|Chaos||Aer||Personification of nothingness||Primordial||*||*||Erebos||* The personification of nothingness from whom all of existence sprang. The void, the gap between Heaven and Earth.|
Originally genderless Chaos is described as female in some later accounts.
|Goddess of renown, fame, and infamy||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Oceanus and his sister Tethys||Her sister Asia is also cited as mother to Prometheus, Epimetheus, Atlas and Menoetius in the Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca.|
|Coeus||Polus||Intellect, intelligence and the axis of heaven||Titan||Male||Uranus and Gaia||Phoebe||Coeus and his brothers Oceanus, Hyperion, Crius, Iapetus, Cronus were banished to Tartarus, the lowest level of Hades by Zeus after they were overthrown in the Titanomachy96* against the Olympians. Coeus went mad, tried to escape by was stopped by Cerberus.|
Coeus is one of four pillars which hold heaven and earth apart; Coeus: North pillar, Crius: South pillar, Hyperion: East pillar and Iapetus: West pillar.
|Cratos / Kratos||Divine personification of strength||Minor god||Male||Pallas and Styx||Cratos, along with Nike, Zelus and Bia were the sentinels of Zeus‘ throne.|
|Constellations||Titan (Elder)||Male||Uranus and Gaia|
|Eurybia (wife)||Crius seems to have been added to the Titan hierarchy to match the Twelve Olympians.|
Crius and his brothers Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Iapetus, Cronus were banished to Tartarus, the lowest level of Hades by Zeus after they were overthrown in the Titanomachy96* against the Olympians.
Crius is one of four pillars which hold heaven and earth apart;
(For Cronos, see below)
|God of time||Primordial Orphic9*||Male||Hydrus and Gaia or none (because Chronos one of the protogenoi that emerged at dawn of creation)||Ananke||Chronos was a serpent like god with three heads; man, bull and lion.|
According to the Orphic cosmogony9*Chronos is one of the Protogenoi from which the cosmos began. With Ananke (his daughter and consort) they circled and split open the primal world egg (cosmic egg) which formed the universe including Phanes, the heavens, earth, sea and sky.
The English words; chronology, chronometer, chronic, chronicle, and anachronism are all derived from Chronos, the Greek god of time.
(Kronos, Porus, Poros)
(For Chronos, see above)
|Saturn||God of agriculture||Titan (Elder)||Male||Uranus and Gaia (or Aether and Gaia3* or Uranus and Gaia3*)||Ruler of the Titans. Cronus plotted with Gaia to overthrow Uranus (he cut of his genitals) and become the Titan ruler. He married his sister Rhea and ruled during the first Golden age.|
Cronus swallowed his children as they were born but Rhea concealed her sixth child, Zeus. On reaching adulthood Zeus gave Cronus a drink which disgorged his siblings and together, as the Olympians, they overthrew the Titans in the Titanomachy96*.
Cronus, along with his brothers Coeus, Oceanus, Crius, Hyperion and Iapetus were banished to Tartarus, the lowest level of Hades by Zeus.
|Cybele||Magna Mater||Goddess of the earth||Primordial||Female||Sky god (maybe Zeus) and Earth goddess (maybe Gaia)12*||Attis, Iasion||Phrygian import, equivalent of Gaia. Hermaphrodite. Magna Mater means “Great Mother”.|
(aka Sito, Thesmophoros)
|Ceres||Goddess of Agriculture, Grain and Bread, The Afterlife||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Chronos and Rhea||Demeter’s daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades to be his wife so she cursed the world causing the land to become barren and plants to wither and die. Zeus tried to return Persephone from the underworld but unfortunately Persephone had eaten seeds of a pomegranate, given to her by Hades, so she was bound to the underword for a third of each year. Demeter, grieving being apart from her daughter, withdraws her gifts from the world (Winter) until Persephone‘s return each Spring.|
|Justitia||Goddess of justice||Olympian 2nd Gen.||Female||Zeus and Themis||The Horae (2nd Triad):||Dike is often depicted beating her opposite Adicia (goddess of injustice) with a hammer. Aspects of both Dike and her mother, Themis, were both identified with the Roman goddess Justitia.|
|Dione||Goddess of springs and possibly the bright sky||Titaness Elder||Female||Zeus||Dione was the Oracle of Dodona. Described as beautiful, she was one of the goddesses gathered to witness the birth of Apollo. Dione was an Atlantid nymph, one of 3000 Oceanid water nymphs.|
|Dionysus (Dionysos)||Bacchus, Liber||God of Wine, Drunkenness, Madness, Parties, Vegetation, The Afterlife||Olympian||Male||Zeus and Semele Thyone (Princess) or Zeus and Dione||Ariadne||Priapus, Hymen, Thaos, Staphylus, Oenopion, Comus and Phthonus||Dionysus is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians, the youngest and last god to be accepted into Mount Olympus.|
|Echo||Echo||Goddess of Nature.||Nymph||Female||Unknown but possibly Penaeus or Uranus and a nymph||Pan, Narcissus||Hera cursed Echo so she could only repeat the last words she hears as punishment for distracting her with endless chatter.. Echo loved the youth Narcissus but, after her advances were spurned, she wasted away leaving just her echoing voice.|
|Lucina||Goddess of childbirth||Olympian 2nd Gen.||Female||Zeus and Hera||Eros and Sosipolis||When Alcmene was in labour Hera sent Eileithyia to stop the birth and kill both mother and baby but Galinthias, Alcmene’s handmaiden falsely announched the birth which distracted Eileithyia and Heracles was born. Eileithyia, furious at being outwitted by Galinthias, turned her into a weasel. Hecate took pity on Galinthias and made her an attendant.|
|Eos||Aurora||Goddess of the dawn||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Hyperion and Theia||With Astraeus: Astraea (virgin goddess of innocence and justice), the Anemoi Wind deities:|
Five planets/Wandering Stars:
With Tithonus: Memnon and Emathion
|Eos had large white feathered wings and wore a tiara and a pink gown woven with flowers.|
Eos consorted with Ares6*which caused Aphrodite to curse her with insatiable sexual desire and she abducted a series of young men including Cephalus, Cleitus, Orion and Tithonus.
|Epimetheus||Epimitheas||God of afterthought and the father of excuses||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Iapetus and Clymene||Pandora||Pyrrha||Epimetheus received Pandora as a gift from the gods. Epimetheus, along with his twin brother Prometheus were given the task to assign traits to animals. Epimetheus had to give a positive trait but, lacking foresight, the didn’t save one for mankind.|
|Erebus||God of darkness and shadow||Primordial||Male||Chaos||Nyx||Aether, Hemera||Darkness (Erebus) and Night (Nyx) appeared out of Chaos|
(aka Discord, Strife)
|Discordia||Goddess and personified spirit /daimona of Strife, Discord and chaos||Olympian 2nd Gen.||Female||Zeus and Hera or Erebus and Nyx3* or Nyx1* alone by parthenogenesis99*|| |
|Eris by 99*Parthenogenesis (alone):||Eris tried to gatecrash the wedding of Peleus and Thetis but was turned away so she tossed a golden apple of discord inscribed “To The Fairest” into the wedding guests. Hera, Aphrodite and Athena squabbled over the apple, Zeus appointed mortal Paris to resolve the dispute which led to the Trojan war95*. Eris’ opposite is Harmonia.|
|Eros||Cupid||Winged god of love, procreation, sexual desire and attraction||Primordial||Male||Ares and Aphrodite (or Nyx)||Psyche (wife)||Hedone (Roman Voluptas) goddess of pleasure, enjoyment, and delight||Eros uses arrows to generate love in others. One of the Erotes winged love gods. One of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.|
|Europa||Goddess of the night||Female||Agenor and Telephassa (or Agenor and Agriope)||Zeus||Europa was a Phoenician princess who became the first queen of Crete.|
Zeus fell in love with Europa after being shot with an arrow from Eros. Zeus metamorphosed into a tame white bull, approached Europa and her handmaidens, who were afraid. To show her handmaidens the bull was tame she mounted the bull and Zeus promptly ran off and swam to Crete where he revealed his form to Europa then seduced/ravished her.
|Eurybia||Goddess of mastery of the seas||Titan 2nd Gen.||Female||Gaia and Pontus||Nereus, Thaumas||Crius||Eurybia was a minor sea goddess part of Poseidon’s retinae.|
(1 of 2)
|Titaness of water meadows and pastures OR||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Oceanus and Tethys||Zeus (third wife)||With Zeus: the Elder Charities (Graces):||Eurynome caught Hephaestus after Hera threw him from Mount Olympus because he was crippled. She gave him refuge and, together with Thetis, helped raise him. He stayed in a cave by the sea for nine years making artifacts.|
(2 of 2)
|Goddess of All Things||Primordial||Female||Chaos||Orphin (First king of the Titans)||Orphin (in serpent form)||In some accounts8&39*Eurynome was a primordial deity who ruled the Earth with Ophion.|
In the Greek Pelasgian creation myth recreated by Robert Graves in his book: The Greek Myths Eurynome is the primordial “Goddess of All Things” which arises out of Chaos to part sea and sky and dance on the primordial waters. Eurynome creates Orphin in the form of a serpent and they mate. Eurynome, in the form of a dove, lays a “World egg” (Orphic egg, cosmic egg) on the waves and bids Ophion to hatch it by entwining around the egg seven times until it splits into two halves and hatches the world.
Ophion and Eurynome ruled the earth8* before they were overthrown by Cronus and Rhea (in wrestling matches) and cast down to Tartarus or Oceanus.
|Tellus, Terra||Mother of gods. Personification of the Earth (Mother Earth). Mother of the Titans||Primordial||Female||Chaos (or Aether and Hemera)||Nyx, Tartarus and Erebos||Gaia’s offspring were born in batches and with different species. First the elder Cylops, followed by the Hekatonkheires then the Titans. Uranus locked the elder Cylopes away in her womb and cast the Hekatonkheires into Tartarus so they could not overthrow him. Angry, Gaia, made a sickle from the hardest flint and plotted with Cronos to kill Uranus. Gaia told Cronus that Uranus had prophesied he would be overthrown by a son so, to prevent this, Cronus swallowed his children whole as they were born. Gaia perseuded Rhea to conceal the birth of baby Zeus. After growing up Zeus returned, forced his father to throw up his siblings, and become the first Olympian fuler. Zeus imprisoned the Titans which made Gaia mad. Gaia sent her last giant son Typhon, by Tartarus, to overthrow Zeus but Typhon was killed, after an epic battle, by Zeus with a thunderbolt.|
|Ganymede||Catamitus||God of rain||Divine Hero||Male||Tros of Dardania and Callirrhoe||Zeus||Zeus’ male lover. Ganymede was granted eternal youth and immortality and the office of cupbearer to the gods.|
|Geras||Senectus||Personification of Old Age||Spirit/Daimon||Male|
|–||–||Geras was depicted as a small, skinny, and wrinkled old man. His opposite was Hebe, the goddess of youth.|
(Plouton and Ploutos)
|Pluto, Di||King of the Underworld. God of the Dead, Death||Primardial||Male||Cronus and Rhea||Persephone||After the Olympians defeated the Titans they drew lots to share out the spoils, Hades received the underworld. Hades was never a titled Olympian and did not join feasts in Heaven. Hades was not death itself (that’s Thanatos) but he was greedy and wanted more people to die so he would rule more subjects and become wealther. Hades had a helmet/cap of invisibility (a gift from the Cyclopes) and a pitchfork to cause earthquakes. Hades abducted Persephone to be his wife in the Underworld.|
|Hebe||Juventas||Goddess of youth||Olympian 2nd Gen.||Female||Zeus and Hera||Heracles||Alexiares and Anicetus||Hebe (from the Greek word for youth) is the keeper of the Fountain of Youth which has the power to restore youth. Heracles asked Hebe to make Iolaus,his aging charioteer, young for one day so he could challenge Eurystheus, king of the Tiryns. Themis, goddess of justice, said it was fair so Hebe made Iolaus young and Iolaus emerged victorious. As cupbearer Hebe served nectar and ambrosia to the Olympian gods but Apollo fired her when she tripped and her dress came undone exposing her breasts. Hebe was replaced by Ganymede, Zeus’ protege and male lover.|
|Trivia, Hecata||Goddess of wilderness, childbirth, magic and witchcraft||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Perses and Asteria||Hecate was honoured by Zeus above all others. Hecate is associated with the spiritual world and the dead so shrines were placed in households to protect them from evil spirits.|
Hecate helped Demeter search for her daughter Persephone after she was abducted by Hades. After it was decided Persephone would spend a third of a year in the underworld and the rest on earth Hecate would accompany Persephone to/from the underworld.
|Helen of Troy||Queen of Laconia||Demigod||Female||Zeus and Leda (or Zeus and Nemesis3&6*)||With King Menelaus: Hermione||Helen of Troy was considered the most beautiful woman in the world. She was married to King Menelaus but she was abducted by (or eloped with) Paris, Prince of Troy. King Menelaus was outraged and, together with his brother Agamemnon and other kings, they eventually attacked the walled city of Troy starting the Trojan war95* between Greece and the Trojans. After the Trojan Horse ruse helped end the war Helen of Troy was returned to Sparta and King Menelaus who, although he felt betrayed by Helen of Troy, found her beauty helped him forgive her.|
|Helios||Sol||Titan of the Sun. Personification of the Sun, guardian of oaths. Charioteer of the sun||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Hyperion and Theia||Helios took the side of the Olympians in the Titanmarchy. After Apollo was born Helios passed his duties as ruler of the sun to Apollo but remained the personification of the sun.|
Every day Helios bought daylight riding his chariot of the sun, drawn by four stallions (Pyrois, Aeos, Aethon and Phlegon) from East to West.
|Hemera||Dies||Goddess of Daytime||Primordial||Female||Erebus and Nyx (or Chaos alone3* or Chronos and Nyx22*)||Aether (brother)||Out of Chaos darkness (Erebus) and night (Nyx) appeared. Erebus and Nyx bore day (Hemera) and light (Aether).|
Day (and night) were imagined as real substances and separate from the sun in ancient Greek cosmogony. Although the Sun ruled the day it was not the source of light. Every day Hemera left Tartarus just as Nyx entered and vice versa1*
Hemera was associated with Eos, the goddess of the dawn and Hera, the queen of heavens.
|Vulcan||God of Metalworking, Fire, Building, Fine Arts, Volcanism||Olympian||Male||Hera alone (or Zeus and Hera6* or Talos12*)|| ||Hephaestus is depicted as a bearded man holding a hammer and tongs, sometimes riding a donkey. In one story Hephaestus was Hera’s child by 99*Parthenogenesis. Hephaestus was rejected by Hera because of his deformaties and cast from Mount Olympus to Earth.|
|Hera||Juno||Queen of Heaven. Goddess of the Sky, Women, Marriage, Impregnation||Olympian||Female||Cronus and Rhea||Zeus (his sister)||As wife and sister of Zeus, Hera was the supreme goddess and patron of childbirth and marriage. Zeus courted Hera but she rejected his advances so he took the form of wet bedraggled cuckoo. Hera took the cuckoo to her bosom and Zeus changed back to his normal form and ravished her after which she marred him to cover her shame. Their wedding night lasted 300 years! Unsurprisingly their marriage was tempestuous and there are many stories about Hera dealing with her jealousy and plotting revenge for Zeus’s infidelities.|
|Hercules||God of physical strength. Divine protector of mankind. Gatekeeper of Olympus||Demigod/God||Male||Zeus and Alcmene. Amphitryon (foster father)||Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Aphrodite, Athena, Dionysus, Hebe, Hermes, Helen of Troy, Hephaestus, Iphicles, Perseus, Minos, the Muses, the Graces|
|Heracles, driven temporarily mad by Hera, killed his children and (maybe) wife Megara. As penance Heracles had to serve his cruel uncle Eurystheus, king of Tiryns, and perform “the twelve labours of Heracles“:|
After completing the labours Heracles may have sailed with the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece.
|Mercury||God of Animal husbandry, Travel, Trade, Athletics, Language, Thievery, Good Luck, Guide of the Dead. Herald of the Gods||Olympian||Male||Zeus and Maia nymph (or Dionysus and Aphrodite9*)||Hermes could move freely between the mortal and divine worlds – ideal for passing messages and conducting souls into the afterlife.|
Hermes rescued Io from the primordial hundred eyed giant Argos Panoptes.
Hermes helped create Pandora (the first human woman) and deliver her as a gift to Epimetheus. Hermes helped Perseus in his quest to slay the monster Medusa. Hermes guided Heracles to the underworld in his mission to fetch the Cerberos.
|Hestia||Vesta||Virgin Goddess of: Home, Hearth, Family, Meals, Sacrificial offerings||Olympian||Female||Cronus and Rhea||Virgin||None||Hestia is the eldest of the 12 Olympian gods, known for her kindness.|
|Primordial waters||Primordial Orphic9*||–||Chronos and Ananke9*||Gaia||With Gaia9*:||In the Orphic cosmogony (Orphism9*) Hydrus was the protogenos of the primordial waters and emerged alongside Creation (Thesis) and mud. The primordial mud solidified into Gaia (Earth) and with Hydrus created Chronos (time) and Ananke (compulsion). Chronos and Ananke circled and split open the primal world egg (cosmic egg) to form the god Phanes (creator of life) and the four elements of Heaven (fire), Earth, Air and Sea (water).|
The Orphic Rhapsodies later dropped Chronos and Ananke and Phanes was born directly from Hydrus and Gaia.
|Hyperion||Light, wisdom and watchfulness||Titan||Male||Uranus and Gaia||Theia (sister)||Hyperion and his brothers Coeus, Oceanus, Crius, Iapetus, Cronus were banished to Tartarus, the lowest level of Hades by Zeus after they were overthrown in the Titanomachy96* against the Olympians.|
Hyperion is one of four pillars which hold heaven and earth apart; Coeus: North pillar, Crius: South pillar, Hyperion: East pillar and Iapetus: West pillar.
|Somnus||Personification of Sleep||Spirit/Daimon||Male||Erebus and Nyx3* or Nyx1* alone by parthenogenesis99*||Pasithea||Hypnos lived in a cave, next to his twin brother Thanatos, in the underworld. The river Lethe (Forgetfulness) runs through the cave and outside there are poppies and other sleep-inducing plants.|
Hypnos tricked Zeus twice at the request of Hera. The first time Hypnos put Zeus to sleep while Hera caused a storm to send Heracles, Zeus’ son, off course when sailing home from Troy. Zeus tried to find Hypnos but he hid with his mother Nyx.
The second time Hera offered Pasithea for this wife. Hypnos put Zeus to sleep at the moment Zeus embraced Hera, because Hera enchanted him using a charm from Aphrodite. Hynos immediately told Poseidon he could now help the Greeks and they won the Trojan war95*. Zeus didn’t find out he had been tricked again.
|Iapetus||God of mortality. The Piercer||Titan||Male||Uranus and Gaia||Asia or Clymene||Iapetus and his brothers Coeus, Oceanus, Crius, Hyperion, Cronus were banished to Tartarus, the lowest level of Hades by Zeus after they were overthrown in the Titanomachy96* against the Olympians.|
Each of his children suffered moral faults which contributed to their downfall.
Iapetus is one of four pillars which hold heaven and earth apart; Coeus: North pillar, Crius: South pillar, Hyperion: East pillar and Iapetus: West pillar.
|Iris||Arcus||Goddess of the rainbow. Messenger of the Gods||Sky Goddess||Female||Thaumas (Wondrous) and Electra (Amber, a cloud nymph)||Zephyrus (West wind)||Pothos10*(one of Aphrodite’s Erotes representing longing or yearning)||Iris travelled on a rainbow to carry divine messages to mortals. Iris was a cup-bearer of the gods. Iris is depicted as a beautiful young woman with golden wings often carrying a pitcher of water from the River Styx. In the Titanomachy96*Iris fought with the Olympians as a messenger while Iris’ twin sister Arce sided with the Titans.|
(Iason, Jason and the Argonauts)
|Leader of the Argonauts||Mortal||Male||Promachus|
Jason, son of King Aeson of Iolcus, returns to regain the throne stolen from his father by his wicked uncle Pelias. King Pelias agrees to step down if Jason brings him the Golden Fleece from Colchis and the quest is on. Jason assembles a crew of heroes (including Heracles, Hylas, Zetes and Calais, Orpheus, twins Castor and Polydeuces, Peleus, Achilles’ father, Telamon and Atalanta a ferocious huntress and others) and they set off aboard the Argo.
Jason and the Argonauts have many adventures on the way to Colchis. They leave Lemnos, an island full of women where they stayed for some time and created the Minyans, they battled giants near the Doilones, lose Hylas and leave Heracles behind on Cius. At Bosporus Zetes and Calais drive the Harpies away from King Phineus, a seer, who tells the Argonauts how to get through the deadly Sympleglades (“Clashing Rocks”). They sail past some legendary islands and rescue the sons of Phrixus as their ship is sinking who tell the Argonauts the Golden Fleece is guarded by a dragon.
Luckily Hera on Mount Olympus has been following their journey. Hera likes Jason and hates Pelias so she sends Eros to make Medea, King Pelias’ daughter, fall in love with Jason and Medea helps Jason complete the three tasks. Medea gives Jason flameproof skin cream so he can plough the field, tells Jason how to outwit the not-so-clever warriors and gives Jason a sleeping potion which he sprays into the mouth of the dragon as it way about to swallow him. Jason grabs the Golden Fleece and they run for the Argo and set off with King Aeetes ship in pursuit. Medea and/or Jason kill her brother Apsyrtus and throws him overboard knowing King Aeete will stop to give him a proper burial and they make good their escape. Zeus, not impressed with this tactic, blows the Argo off course to the island of Aeaea, where Circe, a sorceress nymph, cleanses them of the murder of Medea’s brother. Jason and Medae are married by Queen Arete. Thanks to Orpheus playing a beautiful song on the lyre they manage to sail past the Sirens, without being lured onto the rocks. As they sail past Crete, Talos, a giant bronze man, hurls boulders at the ship. Medea saves the day by casting a spell on him while she removes a nail from his ankle holding in his ichor (divine blood) causing him to bleed to death. They finally sail on to Greece where Jason and the Argonauts march into Iolcus with the Golden Fleece to take his throne. Pelias refused to give up his throne so Medea devised a plan to get Pelias’s own daughters to kill him. Medea said she could restore youth and demonstrated on Jason’s elderly father Aeson (or an elderly ram) and promised to do the same for Pelias so his daughters killed him and she ignored them. Medea and Jason were banished from Iolcus as murderers by Pelias’s eldest son Acastus, who took the throne.
Despite his vows to Medea, raising children and living happily together for ten years Jason abandoned Medea and became engaged to Creusa/Glauce, daughter of Creon, King of Corinth. After all the help Medea had given him she was angry but Jason replied he should thank Aphrodite, not Medea, because she made Medea fall in love with him. Medea took her revenge by giving Creusa a wedding gift which stuck to her body and burned her, and her father Creon, to death when she put it on. Medea killed her children, so they could not be murdered or enslaved as a result of her actions, and fled to Athens. Jason lost favor with Hera because he broke his vow to love Medea forever. Jason died lonely and unhappy while sleeping under the stern of the rotting Argo which fell on him, killing him instantly. Jason’s son Thessalus eventually became king of Iolcus.
|Lelantos||Lelantus||God of the unseen, air, hunter’s skill of stalking prey||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Coeus and Phoebe||Periboa||Aura||The literal meaning of the Greek words for his name mans “to escape notice” and “go unobserved”. The male counterpart to Leto.|
|Leto||Latona||Goddess of womanly demure and motherhood||Titan 2nd Gen.||Female||Coeus and Phoebe||Zeus||Twins (the Letoides):||Zeus loved Leto which made Hera jealous so she hunted Leto and forbade her to give birth on “terra firma” (land). Leto found Delos, an island not attached to the ocean floor, where she gave birth and her twins grew quickly and protected her.|
|Lyssa||Ira, Furor, Rabies||Personifcation of Rage, fury, crazed frenzy and (in animals) rabies||Spirit/daimona||Female||–||–||–||Lyssa features twice in Athenian tragedy. In Aeschylus: Lyssa, is sent by Dionysos to drive the Minyades (Alcathoe/Alcithoe, Leucippe/Leuconoe and Arsippe/Aristippa/Arsinoë) mad. In Euripides: Lyssa is sent by Hera to inflict Heracles with madness. In a Greek vase painting Lyssa is shown standing beside Actaeon as he is torn apart by his own crazed hounds. Lyssa is crowned with a dog’s head cap representing rabies. Lyssa is closley related to the Maniae spirits, which personify madness, insanity and crazed frenzy, and with the Erinyes.|
|Maia||Maia||Goddess of nursing mothers||Nymph, the Pleiades / Atlantides||Female||Atlas and Pleione||Zeus||Hermes||Maia lived alone in a cave near the peaks of Mount Cyllene)in Arcadia where she secretly gave birth to her son Hermes by Zeus. She also raised Arcas in her cave, whose mother Callisto had been transformed into a bear.|
|Menoetius||Menoitios||God of violent anger, rash action, and human mortality||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Menoetius was self important and conceited. Zeus killed Menoetius with a flash of lightning during the Titanomachy96* and he was banished to Tartarus.|
|Metis||Goddess of wisdom, good counsel, advice, prudence, planning, cunning, craftiness and deep thought||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Oceanus and Tethys||Zeus (first wife)||Athena||Metis was one of the elder Oceanids. A prophecy that Metis would bear two children and that the second one would overthrow him caused Zeus to trick Metis into turning herself into a fly then he swallowed her whole. Metis was already pregnant with Athena who continued to grew inside his stomach. Zeus, in pain, asked Hephaestus to hit him on the forehead with an axe and out popped Athena fully grown and clad in armour.|
|Midas||Midas||King of Phrygia||Mortal||Male||Gordius and Cybele||–||–||Possible offspring with unknown mothers||Dionysus granted Midas a reward and he asked that everything he touched turned to gold, which became a curse when his food also turned to gold. Dionysus told Midas to reverse the reward he should wash in the river Pactolus, which he did, and the river sands turned into gold. One of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.|
|Minos||First king of Crete. Judge of the dead in the underworld||Deified Mortal||Male||Zeus and Europa (or Lycastus and Ide)||Minos was given the kingdom of Crete from the gods. Every nine years, Minos made King Aegeus choose seven young boys and seven young girls to be sent to the labyrinth to be eaten by the Minotaur.|
Minos died chasing a fugitive in Sicily. Zeus appointed Minos to be one of the judges of the dead in Hades.
|Mnemosyne||Moneta||Goddess of memory and remembrance||Titaness Elder||Female||Uranus and Gaia||Zeus||The word mnemonic was derived from her. Oracular goddess of the underground oracle of Trophonios, Boeotia.|
|Momus||Querella||God of mockery and censure, ridicule, scorn, complaint and harsh criticism||Olympian||Male||Erebus and Nyx3* or Nyx1* alone by parthenogenesis99*||–||–||Momus found fault with everything. In one Aesop’s Fable (Perry index 455), the only thing he could find wrong with the goddess Aphrodite was that her sandals squeaked. Momus was blamed for stirring stirring up the Trojan war95* to reduce the human population and was expelled from Mount Olympus. Often depicted as lifting a mask from his face.|
|Fatum||Doom, fate||Primordial||Male||–||–||Moros was omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent and drives mortals to their deadly fate. Momus was feared by all the gods who feared what he would do to them and because once a decree had been made it was destiny and could not be changed. Prometheus is credited with saving mankind by taking foresight of his own doom away and replacing it with false hope21* (elpis) from Pandora’s jar/box.|
|Morpheus||Morpheus||God of dreams||Minor god||Male||Hypnos||Morpheus had a thousand siblings4* including the other Oneiroi, Phobetor and Phantasos||–||–||Morpheus was leader of the Oneiroi. The drug morphine is derived from the word Morpheus.|
|Narcissus||Narcissus||–||Mortal||Male||–||–||–||Narcissus was very handsome but incapable of love. Ameinias/Aminias was distraught when Narcissus cruelly spurned him. He killed himself praying for Nemesis to avenge him. Nemesis answered his prayer causing Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection. Narcissus died of love and turned into the flower named after him.|
|Nemesis||Invidia||Goddess of Vengeance and Retribution, indignation, for evil and undeserved good fortune. Personification of resentment||Spirit/daimona||Female|
|Nemesis bought sorrow to mortals who succumbed to hubris (arrogance before the gods) including Narcissus, a beautiful but arrogant hunter who disdained the ones who loved him. Nemesis lured him to a pool where Narcissus saw his own reflection and fell in love with it, unable to leave he eventually died.|
|Nereus||Nereus||God of rich bounty of fish||God||Male||Pontus and Gaia||Doris||Nereus was the gentle and trustworthy “old man of the sea” who lived with his wife Doris and the Nereids in the Aegean Sea. Like many sea gods Nereus was a shapeshifter and could predict the future.|
|Nike||Victoria||Personification and Goddess of victory||Olympian and Spirit/daimona||Female||Pallas and Styx||–||–||Nike was a winged goddess of victory in war and games and a divine charioteer. Nike flew over battlefields giving glory to the victors. Nike, along with Zelus, Cratos and Bia were the sentinels of Zeus’ throne.|
|Nyx||Nox||Night||Primordial||Female||Chaos1&10*, Phanes9*||Erebus, Gaia, Tartarus||Erebus (her brother)||Out of Chaos darkness (Erebus) and night (Nyx) appeared.|
Night (and day) were imagined as real substances and separate from the sun in ancient Greek cosmogony. Every day Nyx (night) left Tartarus just as Hemera (day) entered and vice versa1*
|Oceanus||Oceanus||God of the river||Titan||Male||Titan of the all-encircling river Oceans around the Earth. Source of all Earth’s fresh-water.|
Oceanus and his brothers Coeus, Hyperion, Crius, Iapetus and Cronus were banished to Tartarus, the lowest level of Hades by Zeus after they were overthrown in the Titanomachy96* against the Olympians.
|Odysseus||Ulysses||King of Ithaca||Mortal||Male|
|Odysseus was brilliant, versatile and cunning and most famous for “The Odyssey” an epic poem written by Greek poet Homer. According to the poem Odysseus’s journey kept him away from his home and family for another ten years after the end of the decade-long Trojan War. Here’s the ADDucation Odyssey plot summary:|
While Odysseus is battling mystical creatures and interference from gods, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus are left to fend off over 100 suitors after Penelope’s hand and Ithaca’s throne desperately hoping Odysseus will return. Telemachus is coming of age and the suitors, angry about the delay, plot to ambush and kill him. King Menelaus reports Odysseus is alive and is being held captive by beautiful Calypso, who wants to marry Odysseus and grant him immortality.
Athena persuades the gods to free Odysseus but Poseidon takes revenge on Odysseus for blinding his son Cyclops and shipwrecks them on Phaeacia, ruled by King Alcinous where he relates his story.
After the Trojan War, Odysseus, and his men, sail for home and are hit by a storm which blows them to the land of the Lotus-eaters where eating the lotus plant removes ambition and memory. They succomb but eventually get away and their next stop is the land of the Cyclops, home to cannibalistic one-eyed giants. Polyphemus (known simply as Cyclops) traps Odysseus who blinds him to make good his escape. Their next host is Aeolus, the wind god, who collects all the adverse weather in a bag as a parting gift for Odysseus and they sail within sight of Ithaca. While Odysseus is sleeping his greedy crew open the bag, expecting treasure, and release winds which blow them back to Aeolus, who speculates they are cursed by the gods and won’t help them again. They sail to the cannibalistic Laestrygonians, who sink eleven of their twelve ships and eat most of the men leaving just Odysseus and his crew to sail on to Aeaea where enchantress Circe turns some of the crew into pigs. Taking advice from Hermes, Odysseus outwits Circe and becomes her lover and she eventually lifts the spell from his men. They set sail a year later, on Cicres’s advice, for the Land of the Dead where Odysseus receives various Greek heroes, a visit from his mother and an important prophecy from seer Tiresias. They resume their journey, barely surviving the Sirens’ song, an attack by Scylla, a six-headed monster, and arrive at the island of Helios the sun god. Odysseus warns the men not to eat the cattle but they do anyway, which outrages Zeus, who destroys their ship as it departs killing everyone, apart from Odysseus, who washes up on Calypso’s island.
The Phaeacians, grateful for the story and being good hosts, sail Odysseus to Ithaca. Meanwhile, Athena helped Telemachus avoid the suitors’ ambush, and set up a meeting where Odysseus and Telemachus are reunited and, with the help of his faithful swineherd Eumaeus, Odysseus returns to his palace disguised as a beggar.
Odysseus takes insults and assaults from the suitors and Penelope suspects he could be her husband, which is confirmed by his childhood nurse Eurycleia, who noticed an old scar on his leg when she bathed him.
Penelope announces a contest for her hand to any man who can string the great bow of Odysseus and shoot an arrow through a dozen axes. Odysseus wins and helped by Athena, Telemachus and two faithful herdsmen they kill all the suitors. Odysseus, Penelope and his elderly father Laertes are reunited and they manage to make peace with the suitors’ families, avoiding a civil war.
|Oedipus||Oedipus||King of Thebes||Mortal||Male||King Laius and Queen Jocasta||–||Jocasta (wife, in an unknowingly incestuous relationship)||Polynices, Eteocles, Antigone and Ismene||Oedipus is a tragic hero in Greek mythology because he accidentally fulfilled a prophecy that he would kill his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta. Upon realizing she had married her own son and her husband’s murderer Jocasta hanged herself. Oedipus then blinded himself with pins from her dress bringing disaster to the city and his family.|
Oedipus’ story is told in three plays by Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone.
|Oizys||Miseria||Personified spirit/daimon of Misery, woe, distress and suffering||Spirit/Daimona||Female|
|Nyx (alone)||–||Oizys was evil-minded and spiteful.|
|Ophion||Ophioneus||Ruler of Earth8*||Titan (or Primordial God)||Male||Eurynome||Ophion was the first Titan king of heaven until he was overthrown in a wrestling match by Cronus. Eurynome, Ophion’s wife, was also beaten by Rhea and they were both cast into Oceanus or Tartarus.|
In the Greek Pelasgian creation myth recreated by Robert Graves in his book: The Greek Myths Eurynome is the primordial “Goddess of All Things” which arises out of Chaos to part sea and sky and dance on the primordial waters. Eurynome creates Orphin in the form of a serpent and they mate. Eurynome, in the form of a dove, lays a “World egg” (Orphic egg, cosmic egg) on the waves and bids Ophion to hatch it by entwining around the egg seven times until it splits into two halves and hatches the world.
Ophion and Eurynome ruled the earth8* before being overthrown by Cronus and Rhea and cast down to Tartarus or Oceanus.
|Orpheus||Mortal||Male||Eurydice||Musaeus of Athens24* (or his father was Eumolpus)||Orpheus was a muse (musician, poet and prophet). Orpheus fell in love with nymph Eurydice/Euridice/Argiope and they got married but she was killed by a viper. Grief stricken Orpheus played such mournful songs that even the gods wept. Orpheus travelled to the underworld and Hades and Persephone agreed to allow Eurydice to return to the upper world so long as he walked in front of her and didn’t look back until they had both reached the upper world. Sadly when he reached the upper world Orpheus looked back before Eurydice had reached the upper world and she vanished forever.|
Orpheus joined Jason and the Argonauts on their epic voyage and, as the seer Chiron had foretold to Orpheus, when the Argo approached the Sirens, Orpheus played music on his lyre that was louder and more beautiful to drown out the Sirens’ bewitching songs. According to Phanokles, Orpheus loved Calais, son of Boreas, with all his heart and sang about it shady groves.
There are various myths about Orpheus’s death. He may have been killed by Ciconian women, spurned by Orpheus for taking only male lovers, who tore him to pieces during a frenzied Bacchic orgy. Orpheus’s head was thrown into the River Hebrus and never stopped singing as the river, waves and winds carried it to Lesbos where his head was buried and a shrine and oracle prophesied in a cave in Antissa, Lesbos until it was silenced by Apollo. Orpheus’s lyre and body fragments were carried to heaven by the Muses and Apollo placed the lyre in the night sky as the constellation, Lyra. The Muses buried his body fragments at Leibethra below Mount Olympus, where nightingales sang over his grave. After the river Sys flooded Leibethra, the Macedonians took Orpheus’s bones to Dion and his soul returned to the underworld where Orpheus was reunited with Eurydice.
|Pallas||God of warcraft and of the springtime campaign season||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Crius and Eurybia||Styx||Pallus was killed by Athena during the Titanomachy96*|
|Pan (aka Aegipan)||Faunus||God of fields, groves, wooded glens, the wild, forest, pasture, shepherds, flocks, goats, hunting and rustic music (pan-pipes), theatrical criticism and associated to fertility, Spring and male sexuality||Male||Pan’s parentage is uncertain, so uncertain it’s possible there is more than one Pan. Pan lived in rustic Arcadia and had the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat.|
Pan tried to seduce Syrinx, a beautiful nymph, but she managed to escape to her sisters who turned her into a reed which, as the air blew through, produced a sad mournful melody. Unsure which reed she had becom Pan took 7 (or 9) reeds, cut them into various lengths, and fashioned them into the first Syrinx (pan-pipes) and he was seldom seen without it.
The word “panic” is derived from his name and he claimed credit for the Athenians victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon (490 BC) because his angry shout/screech caused panic amongst his enemies.
|Pandora||Pandora||First Woman||Female||Pandora was created from clay by Hephaestus on Zeus’ orders and she was the first woman. Each Olympian god gave a gift to make her complete||Epimetheus||Pandora was given to Epimetheus as a bride by the gods to punish his father Prometheus who had tricked Zeus and helped the humans.|
Zeus gave Pandora a storage jar (Pandora’s box is a popular idiom based on Greek mythology) as a wedding gift which she opened when she was received in Epimetheus’s house and unleashed evil spirits into the world to plague mankind. Pandora closed the jar (box) leaving just Elpis (hope) inside.
|Pasithea||Female||Pasithea is one of the Graces/Charities|
|Pegasus||Pegasus||Immortal creature||Horse||Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa||Chrysaor (married to Callirrhoe, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys) father to the triple-headed Geryon||Immortal, winged horse that sprung from the Gorgon Medusa when she was beheaded – a product of intercourse with Poseidon. Flown to Mount Olympus by hero Bellerophon, and adopted by Zeus to carry lightning bolts.|
|Persephone||Proserpina||Queen of the Underworld. Goddess of the Afterlife, Spring Growth, Grain||Female||Zeus and Demeter||Persephone was abducted by Hades to be his wife and Queen of the underworld. Demeter cursed the world causing the land to become barren and plants to wither and die. Zeus tried to return Persephone from the underworld but unfortunately Persephone had eaten seeds of a pomegranate, given to her by Hades, so she was bound to the underword for a third of each year (Winter). Demeter, withdraws her gifts from the world until Persephone‘s return each Spring.|
|Perses||God of destruction||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Crius and Eurybia||Asteria (his cousin)||Hecate||Hesiod describes Perses as “preeminent among all men in wisdom” without further explantion.|
|Perseus||Hero||Male||Zeus and Danaë, Acrisius(stepfather)||Andromeda||Famous Greek hero who beh.eaded the Gorgon Medusa, saved Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus, founder of Mycenae and the Perseid Danaans dynasty (with Bellerophon and Cadmus)|
|Phanes||God of procreation and the generation of new life||Primordial Orphic9*||Male Female||Nyx9*||In the Orphic cosmogony (Orphism9*) Phanes was hatched from the world egg (cosmic egg) entwined with a serpent. Phanes had a helmet and golden wings.and gives birth to the universe.|
In the Orphic cosmogony (Orphism9*) Hydrus was the protogenos of the primordial waters and emerged alongside Creation (Thesis) and mud. The primordial mud solidified into Gaia (Earth) and with Hydrus created Chronos (time) and Ananke (compulsion). Chronos and Ananke circled and split open the primal world egg (cosmic egg) to form the god Phanes (creator of life) and the four elements of Heaven (fire), Earth, Air and Sea (water).
The Orphic Rhapsodies later dropped Chronos and Ananke and Phanes was born directly from Hydrus and Gaia.
|Philotes||Personification of friendship and affection||Spirit/daimona||Female||–||–||Philotês means in Greek so Philotes may have been the spirit of sexual intercourse. Philotes opposite were the Neikea (Arguments).|
|Goddess of prophecy and oracular intellect||Titaness Elder||Male||Uranus and Gaia||Coeus||According to some accounts Phoebe (after Daphnis and Themis) was the third preistess or “Pythia”, commonly known as the “Oracle of Delphi”, to serve as the oracle at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Phoebe eventually passed her seat to Apollo, her grandson, who was the last to hold it.|
Associated with the moon and the Endymion myth.
(Eosphorus and Hesperus)
|Lucifer||The bringer of light (from Venus – the morning star)||Male||Astraeus and Eos||Phosphorous (the planet Venus) was originally called Eosphorus (Dawn bringer) in the morning sky and Hesperus (Evening) in the evening sky.|
|Pontus||God of the sea, father of the fish and other sea creatures||Primordial||Male||Thalassa||As the primordial god of the sea Pontus was the sea itself from the moment of creation, not merely its current deity.|
|Poseidon||Neptune||King of the Seas. God of Rivers, Earthquakes, Horses||Olympian||Male||Cronus and Rhea||Divine consorts:|
Poseidon’s offspring from unknown consorts:
|According to some accounts Poseidon, like Zeus, was also hidden by Rhea at birth and entrusted to Caphira (an Oceanid) and the Telchines to raise but others say he was swallowed whole by Cronus at birth just as Hestia, Hera, Hades and Demeter were.|
Following the Olympians victory over the Titans Poseidon was given the Sea and received a trident from the Cyclopes. Poseiden built a fence with bronze gates around Tartarus to imprison the Titans.
Poseiden had various land disputes with Helios over Corinth, Hera over Argos, Athena over Troezen and Attica and also with Zeus over Thetis. Themis (or the Morae or Proteus) prophesied the son born of Thetis would be mightier than his father so they both backed off. Zeus told his grandson Peleus to marry Thetis and they gave birth to Achilles who did turn out to be mightier than his father.
When Poseidon decided to marry Amphitrite (an Oceanid, nymph) she fled to Atlas because she wanted to remain a virgin. Amphitrite was eventually found by Delphin (sea god and leader of the dolphins) who persuaded her to marry Poseidon and organized the wedding. Poseidon rewarded Delphin by placing the constellation Delphinus in the sky.
Poseidon and Apollo were punished by Zeus for participating in one of Hera’s rebellious schemes. They were stripped of divine authority and sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy who made them build the walls of Troy for reward but when he refused to pay Poseidon sent a sea monster to destroy Troy which was slayed by Heracles.
Poseiden sent a sea monster against the Teucrians because Hierax was devoted to Demeter and would not honour him. When Queen Cassiopea boasted she was better than the Nereids he sent a flood and sea-monster to invade the land.
Poseiden and Atlas were also connected to the legend of Atlantis where the first ten kings of Atlantis (five pairs of twins) were all sons of Poseidon and Cleito. Atlas was born first and appointed king over the rest and the island was named after him. Poseiden is one of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.
|Prometheus||Promitheas||God of forethought||Titan 2nd Gen.||Male||Iapetus and Clymene||Prometheus protected and looked after mankind. At Mecone he tricked Zeus into claiming the inedible parts of sacrifical animals leaving the nourishing parts for eternity to mankind. Zeus was furious and hid fire from mortals but Prometheus stole it back which caused Zeus to ask Hephaestus to create Pandora, the first woman, to bring troubles to mankind and condemed Prometheus to eternal punishment, from which he was saved by Hercules.|
|Rhea||Ops||Mother of gods. Goddess of fertility, motherhood and the mountain wilds||Titaness Elder||Female||Uranus and Gaia||Cronus (brother)||Rhea hid Zeus from Cronus in a cave in Crete guarded by the Curetes.|
Rhea was skilled in wrestling and cast Queen Eurynome into the Underworld.
|Selene||Luna||Goddess of the moon||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Hyperion and Theia||Selene was associated with Artemis and Hecate – all three regarded as lunar goddesses. Selene drove a chariot across the heavens like Helios the Sun god.|
|Styx||Goddess of the River Styx||Titaness 2nd Gen.||Female||Pallus||Styx was the first to side with Zeus and the Olympians in the Titanomachy96* against the Titans. After victory she was honoured by Zeus who added Styx to the binding oath sworn by the gods.|
The River Styx forms the boundary between the underworld and earth. Achilles was immersed in the River Styx by, his mother Thetis, to make him immortal. Holding him by the heel left his Achilles’ heel vulnerable.
|Tartarus||God of the underworld||Primordial||Male||Aether and Gaia||Gaia||Typhon, a monstrous giant||The Tartarean pit is the deepest, darkest part of the underworld. It’s borh a name and a place.|
|Tethys||Goddess of fresh-water, mother of the rivers, springs, streams, fountains and clouds||Titaness Elder||Female||Uranus and Gaia||Oceanus (brother)||Tethys was mother of the Rivers and Springs.|
|Thanatos||Mors||Personification of Non-violent death||Spirit/Daimon||Male|
|–||–||Thanatos was the twin brother of Hypnos.|
|Thalassa||Personification of the sea||Primordial||Female||Aether and Hemera3*||Pontus||Thalassa spawned the tribes of fish with Pontus. Thalassadefends herself in Aesop’s fable “The Farmer and the Sea”.|
They were later replaced by other marine couples Oceanus and Tethys and Poseidon and Amphitrite.
|Thaumas||Personification of the the wonders of the sea||Sea god||Male||Pontus and Gaia||Electra (Amber tingd clouds, an Oceanid)||Thaumas means “Miracle” or “Wonder” in Greek.|
|Theia||Mother of the Sun||Titaness Elder||Female||Uranus and Gaia||Hyperion (brother)||in Pindar’s Fifth Isthmian ode he says “Theia of many names” which could include Euryphaessa and sun related goddesses Leto and Phoebe and Leto or mother figures Rhea and Cybele.|
|Themis||Themis||Personification of divine law and order, natural law and custom||Titaness Elder||Female||Zeus||Themis established the rules of conduct for the gods and was a trusted advisor for Zeus. As the divine voice and oracle, including Delphi, Themis also laid down the laws of justice and morality for mankind. Themis was closely associated with Demeter.|
|Goddess of Creation||Primordial Orphic9*||Female||–||Phanes||Associated as mother of all figures with Metis and Tethys.|
|Tyche||Fortuna||Goddess of fortune, chance and luck||Olympian||Female||Oceanus and Tethys||maybe Plutus|
|Caelus||God of the heavens. Father of the Titans||Primordial||Male||Gaia||Eldest son of Gaia. Introduced maleness to the world.|
|Zagreus||Minor god||Male||Zeus (in serpent form9*) and Persephone and then Semele||Often combined with Dionysus but separate to followers of the prophet Orpheus, Orphism and the Orphic cosmogony. Zeus intended Zagreus to be his heir but Hera asked the Titans to kill him. Zagreus evaded them by turning into various animal forms before they finally killed and ate him as a bull. Zeus took revenge, killing the Titans with a thunderbolt. From the combined ashes of the good Zagreus and the evil Titans humans made from both good and evil arose. Persephone (or Athena, Rhea, or Hermes) found Zagreus‘ beating heart and Zeus placed it into the mortal body of Semele who gave birth to Zagreus again.|
|Zelus / Zelos||Zelus is the personification of zeal, dedication, emulation, keen rivalry, envy and jealousy.||Minor god||Male||Pallas and Styx||Zelus, along with Nike, Cratos and Bia were the sentinels of Zeus‘ throne. The English word “zeal” is derived from Zelus‘ name.|
|Zeus||Jupiter, Jove||King of Heaven. God of Sky, Weather, Fate, Kingship||Olympian||Male||Cronos and Rhea||Divine offspring:|
|Zeus, and his brothers, overthrew his Titan father Cronus to become the Olympian supreme ruler of cosmos, the gods, the spiritual world, and all mortals. Using Aegis, his shield, Zeus could summon storms, tempests, darkness, thunder and lightning, rain and sunshine. Zeus was god of regulated time, as marked by night and day and the changing seasons rather than eternity. Zeus took a paternal interest in the actions of mortals including their affairs of state, duties, disputes, misdeeds and punishments. On the one hand Zeus rewarded truth, fairness and charity and on the other he punished cruelty and perjury.|
Zeus was never faithful to Hera and had love affairs and offspring with goddesses, nymphs, and mortals much to her chagrin.
One of the most famous of all Greek gods and goddesses.
* Notes about Greek gods and goddesses:
- This list is primarily compiled from the works of Hesiod (Theogony c700 BC) and Homer (Iliad and Odyssey 760-710 BC) because these authority sources are credited by ancient authors with establishing Greek religious customs. We have also referenced other sources, including later Roman sources, as indicated: 1*Hesiod, Theogony. 2*Homer, Iliad. 3*Hyginus. 4*Roman poet Ovid, Metamorphoses. 5*Plato, Republic. 6*Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca. 7*Cicero. 8*Pherecydes of Syros (6th century BCE). 9*Orphic cosmogony. 10*Nonnus, Dionysiaca. 11*Pausanias and Varro. 12*Pausanias, Guide to Greece. 13*Strabo, Geography. 14*Athenaeus. 15*Fulgentius. 16*The Theoi Project. 17*Herodotus. 18* Cicero. 19*Pindar. 20*the Suda. 21*Aeschylus. 22*Bacchylides. 23*Greek poet Panyasis. 24*Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historian. 25*Plato, Apology 41a. 26*Euripides. 27*Tzetzes. 28*Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius. 29*Aelian, Historical Miscellany. 30*Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica. 31*Scholia on Homer Iliad. 32*Scholia on Theocritus. 33*Roman poet Ovid, Heroides. 34*Stephanus Byzantinus. 35*Conon. 36*Virgil, Aeneid. 37*Plutarch. 38*Scholia on Euripides, Phoenician Women. 38*Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History. 39*Robert Graves, The Greek Myths. 95*The Trojan war: Decade long war between the Achaeans (Greeks) and the Trojans (North West Anatolia, Turkey). The Trojans lost. 96*Titanomachy: Decade long war between Titan and Olympian gods. The Olympians won. AKA War of the Titans. 97*Gigantomachy: A later battle between the Gigantes and the Olympian gods. The Olympians won. 98*Protogenoi: First born, primordial deities. 99*Parthenogenesis: asexual reproduction.
- ADDucation’s list of Greek Gods and Goddesses also includes some semi-divine (demi-gods) and mortals for clarity and completeness.
- Latin spellings have been used throughout instead of the original Greek or Transliteration spellings, although some have been included for clarity.
- In Greek mythology gods often desired mortal women and got what they wanted one way or another. Sometimes by seduction, sometimes in disguise and sometimes by rape/forced sex against their will. In many cases the myths are ambiguous.
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