Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Olmpian Gods

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The Olympian Gods

Greek mythology is thought to have formed around 100 BCE. In ancient Greece the people worshipped Olympian gods. These Olympians consisted of twelve gods who received their name from Mount Olympus, their dwelling place. These gods ruled after the overthrow of the Titans. The Olympian gods remind me a lot of an aristocratic family of mortals. They had some of the same struggles as human beings do. In some way they were all related to Zeus.

Zeus was the supreme ruler of all the gods, much like a father who rules over his family. He was also the older brother. Zeus was god of the rain, and also the cloud gatherer. His primary weapon was a thunderbolt, which he launched at those that upset him. Zeus was known for his numerous affairs, yet his wife, Hera, protector of marriage remained loyal to him. [In legend, she also spent a good deal of time trying to keep an eye on her philandering husband (Sporre 61).] I think it is ironic as Hera seemed unable to protect her own marriage from the infidelity of her husband.

Zeus' closest brother was Poseidon, the lord of the sea, and many sea men looked to him for luck. His weapon was a trident, and it was so powerful it could shake the earth and shatter any object. He had a marvelous palace under the sea that was made of gold. He was also drawn by a chariot pulled by dolphins and seahorses. He had a wife named Amphitrite, a Nereid, which means she was a lesser god. Her father was a Titan, and other than that, there is little else known about her.

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Zeus had another brother named Hades. He was the evil god, and much like the black sheep of the family. He ruled the under world and was in charge of all the spirits. He was the king of the dead, always trying to initiate more deaths. Hades was also the god of wealth because all precious metals are extracted from the earth and generally associated with evil. He wore a helmet which made him invisible any time he came to the surface, yet he didn't leave the underworld very often.

Zeus' favorite sister was named Hestia, the goddess of the hearth. She was also known as the virgin goddess. Because of her, each city had a symbol of the hearth where an everlasting fire burned. I believe Hestia compares to Mary in the Catholic religion, as she is worshiped as the mother. Both Hestia and Mary were virgins. They also are both worshipped in the form of symbols or sculptures.

Zeus and Hera were quite displeased with their son Ares. Like his Uncle Hades, he too was a black sheep of the family. Ares was the god of war, yet most believed he was a coward. He committed adultery with Aphrodite, which caused him to be publicly ridiculed by his own brother who was Aphrodite's husband, Hephaestus.

Hephaestus was also the son of Zeus and Hera, but many believe him to have been born solely of Hera. Although kind and loving, Hephaestus was known as the physically ugly and lame of the gods. He was the god of forge and fire. Using a volcano as his forge, Hephaestus was the armor smith for the gods.

[ Zeus had twin children, Apollo and Artemis (ART-uhm-ihs), who symbolized the sun and the moon, respectively. Apollo represented the intellect and reason, while Artemis was patroness of childbirth and wild creatures (Sporre 61).] Playing a golden lyre, Apollo was the god of the music. He was also the god of the archer, the god of light and the god of truth. Apollo was thought to be the god that taught man medicine, because he had the healing powers. Artemis was the goddess of chastity, also a virgin goddess. She protected the young and presided over childbirth.

[Another son of Zeus, Hermes (HUHR-meez), served as the god's messenger and patron of merchants and thieves (Sporre 61).] Hermes was the product of Zeus's affair with Maia, a lesser god. He was the fastest of all the gods. His hat and sandals had wings attached and he carried a magic wand around. He was the god of commerce and thieves. When people died, he guided them to the underworld. [He invented the lyre, the pipes, the musical scale, astronomy, weights and measures, boxing, gymnastics, and the care of olive trees (MythNET).]

The daughter of Zeus that sprang from his forehead was Athena. She was full grown and suited up in armor when she was born. [She was fierce and brave in battle but, only fights to protect the state and home from outside enemies. She was the goddess of the city, handicrafts, and agriculture (MythNET).] Being Zeus' favorite child, Athena was allowed to use any one of Zeus's weapons. She was also a virgin goddess.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty and desire had many natural talents. She had the power to make people desire her by using a magical girdle. [There were two accounts of her birth. One says she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. The other went back to the time when Cronus castrated Uranus and tossed his severed genitals into the sea. Aphrodite then arose from the sea foam on a giant scallop and walked to shore in Cyprus (MythNET).] Her husband Hephaestus and she made an odd couple. She was very beautiful and many desired her, and he was a dreadful and hideous sight to look at.

In conclusion I think that the Olympian gods are very interesting, they seem to have influenced the religion of our day. The gods were extreme. They varied between the good and evil, and the ugly and beautiful. Zeus' family was no different than that of a modern day aristocratic family. They had power, influence, and wealth and yet they also had promiscuous relationships, strife and public ridicule. To me the mythology of the gods also compares to that of contemporary fairy tales. The stories of their gods let me know that ancient Greeks had very profound imaginations. I am very glad that today I know the truth through the Word of God.

Word Count 105

Works Cited

Sporre, Dennis J. The Creative Impulse An Introduction To The Arts. Upper Saddle River Prentice, 00

"The Olympian Gods" (17). MythNET. Online. Internet Explorer. (Aug. 0, 00). http//

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