The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon, were the principal deities of the Greek pantheon, residing atop a mythical version of Mount Olympus. The Olympians gained their supremacy in a war between gods in which Zeus led his siblings to victory over the Titans. Despite being considered nothing but mythical figures today, in ancient Greece (and later Rome) their role and significance could be found in all aspects of everyday life. Their legacy and influence can even be found in the names of the planets in our solar system (in their Roman forms) and the Olympic Games, which started as an athletic event in honor of Zeus. Needless to say, the Greek gods have had a huge impact on many aspects of current and historical life. Dive in a little deeper into the mythos of the Greek gods with These 25 Fascinating Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Greek Gods.
Last Updated on
Athena served as a guardian of Athens, where the famous Parthenon served as her temple. The Greek capital is named after her.
Despite Demeter being the goddess of the harvest and the fertility of the earth she only had one daughter, Persephone. After Hades abducted Persephone, Demeter grieved and subjected the world to famine. Zeus finally intervened so Demeter and Persephone could be reunited. Demeter was granted four months each year with her daughter, who would remain with Hades for the other eight.
According to some versions of Greek mythology Hephaestus, aka the god of fire, was the son of Hera alone, who conceived him in order to get back at Zeus for bringing forth Athena from his head. As a result of Hera’s desperate attempt to get back at Zeus, Hephaestus was born deformed and was the only ugly god among the Olympians.
As if Hephaestus wasn’t unfortunate enough already, his wife Aphrodite was unfaithful to him and had an affair with Ares. She even gave birth to two children by Ares: Eros (Cupid), and Harmonia (Harmony).
Prostitutes considered Aphrodite their patron. This happened mainly because prostitutes in ancient Greece had to be extraordinarily beautiful and desirable and so they believed the goddess of beauty was their protector. For this reason Corinth was the center of Aphrodite’s worship since it was the city with the most beautiful and desired prostitutes of antiquity known as Laides.
Zeus’s humble servants were named Force and Violence. With servants like these you can only imagine what kind of a beast the boss was.
Apollo was known for having many love affairs with both mortals and goddesses, that’s why you might often hear some men with a big ego refer to themselves as Apollo. The real Apollo, however, justified his fame and name by dating all nine Muses at once. The Muses were gorgeous goddesses known for their beauty and inspired art and music.
Despite being one of the most famous and popular Greek gods today mainly because of Hollywood films and pop culture, Ares was never really popular in ancient Greece, where his worship was not substantial or widespread.
As if that's not bad enough, Ares was often characterized as a coward in spite of his connection to war since he responded to even the slightest injury with outrage. Also, according to Homer, his parents, Zeus and Hera, hated him because of his constant bickering.
Poseidon and Athena were rivals and competed hard for possession of Athens. To sway the people in his favor, Poseidon made a beautiful fountain of water at the Acropolis. Athena, on the other hand, gave them the olive tree, which enabled her to win the contest