Greek Mythology The 12 Gods of Olympus The Olympians are a group of 12 gods who ruled after the overthrow of the Titans. All the Olympians are related in some way. They are named from their dwelling, Mount Olympus. Click to continue
Mount Olympus ( Greek : Όλυμπος ; also transliterated as Ólympos , and on Greek maps, Óros Ólimbos ) is the highest mountain in Greece at 2,919 meters high (9,570 feet ). Since its base is located at sea level, it is one of the highest mountains in Europe in terms of topographic prominence, the relative altitude from base to top. It is situated at 40 ο 05’Ν - 22 ο 21’Ε, in mainland Greece. It is located about 100 km away from Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city. Mount Olympus is noted for its very rich flora with several endemic species. The highest peak on Mount Olympus is Mitikas at 2,919 metres high (9,570 feet), which in Greek means "nose" (an alternative transliterated spelling of this name is "Mytikas"). Mitikas is the highest peak in Greece, the second highest being Skolio (2912 m). Any climb to Mount Olympus starts from the town of Litochoro, which took the name City of Gods because of its location on the roots of the mountain. Mount Olympus & Litochoro Mitikas, the highest peak
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The 12 Gods of Olympus represented a single concept: nature, in all i t ’ s phases and each god or goddess was associated with one or more of the p owers of nature. Their role was not so much that of creating the world as of maintaining order and harmony in it. To the Greek mind, the gods were immortal and magnificent. They could control all mortal beings in every sphere of their lives, determining their fortunes, their relationships, and when they came into the world and left it. The gods were not inaccessible beings. Man could approach them easily, seeing them, hearing them and even touching them. As contradictory and mutually complimentary beings, they constituted the incarnation of the perfect human, but a human who was free of the deprivations and prohibitions of life, who could take pleasure in whatever presented itself to him, who could injure himself without suffering pain or death, could fall in love without being subject to the barriers applicable to mankind, who could experience anger or jealousy without having to suppress his feelings, who could carouse and get drunk, who could live and enjoy himself with his creatures as if he were both creator and creation. The ancient Greeks assigned to their gods all the properties that they themselves would have liked to possess, but which their human nature prevented them from obtaining. This is the light in which we have to view the anthropomorphism of the ancient Greek gods. The twelve gods of Olympus , formed a special category of their own. Six male and six female, were divided in accordance with their properties and activities into six couples united by bonds of friendship or kinship.
Zeus overthrew his Father Cronus and then drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the gods. He is lord of the sky, and the rain. His weapon is a thunderbolt, which he hurls at those who displease him. He is married to Hera but is famous for his many affairs. He is also known as the god that punishes those that lie or break oaths. Zeus & Ganymedes Olympia Museum , Greece Zeus Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain Zeus (Dias)
Hera is Zeus wife and sister. She is the protector of marriage and takes special care of married women. Hera's marriage was founded in strife with Zeus and continued in strife. Zeus courted her unsuccessfully. Then he changed himself into dishevelled cuckoo. Hera feeling sorry for the bird held it to her breast to warm it. Zeus then transformed in his normal form and took advantage of the opportunity he gained, and raped her. Then she married him to cover her shame. Her sacred animals are the cow and the peacock. Her favourite city is Argos. Musee du Louvre, Paris, France Hera Hera & Zeus
Poseidon is the brother of Zeus. After the overthrow of their Father Cronus he drew lots with Zeus and Hades, another brother, to share the power of the world. His prize was to become lord of the sea. He was widely worshipped by seamen. He married Amphitrite, a granddaughter of the Titan Oceanus. He desired Demeter, who asked him to make the most beautiful animal that the world had ever seen, just to put him off. So, Poseidon created the first horse. I n some accounts, his first attempts were unsuccessful, he created a variety of animals in his quest and then created the first horse. His weapon is a trident, which can shake the earth, and shatter any object. He is the most powerful Olympian god, after Zeus. N ational Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece Sculpture Copenhagen Port Poseidon – Milos
Athena is the daughter of Zeus. She is fierce and brave in battle but only fights to protect the state and home from outside enemies. She is the goddess of the city, handicrafts, and agriculture. She has invented the bridle, which permits man to tame horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot. She is the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity. She is Zeus's favourite child and she is allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt. Her favourite city is Athens. Her tree is the olive and the owl is her bird. She is a virgin goddess. Varvakeion Athena Parthenos , National Archaelogical Museum, Athens, Greece Athena
Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto. His twin sister is Artemis. He is the god of music, playing a golden lyre, of light and truth, who can not tell a lie. One of Apollo's more important daily tasks is to harness his chariot with four horses and drive the sun across the sky. He is famous for his oracle at Delphi and people use to travel to it from all over the Greek world to divine the future. His tree is the laurel, his bird is the crow and his animal is the dolphin. Temple of Apollo at Delphi Fokidos, Greece Apollo - west pediment of Zeus‘ temple at Olympia , Greece, British Museum, London, UK
Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and Leto. Her twin brother is Apollo. She is the lady of the wild things. She is the huntsman of the gods. She is the protector of the young. Like Apollo she hunts with silver arrows. She is a virgin goddess, and the goddess of chastity. She also presides over childbirth, which may seem odd for a virgin, but goes back to cause Leto no pain when she was born. She became associated with Hecate. The cypress is her tree. All wild animals are scared to her and especially the deer. Musee Du Louvre, Paris , France Artemis – Face Artemis - Draw
Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia. He is Zeus’s messenger. He is the fastest of the gods. He wears winged sandals, a winged hat, and carries a magic wand. He is the god of thieves and commerce. He is the guide for the dead to go to the underworld. He invented the lyre, the pipes, the musical scale, astronomy, weights and measures, boxing, gymnastics, and the care of olive trees. Hermes of Praxitelis Archaeological Museum of Olympia, Greece Hermes of Lysippos Hermes - statue
Demeter is t he Greek earth goddess par excellence , who brings forth the fruits of the earth, particularly the various grains. She taught mankind the art of sowing and ploughing so they could end their nomadic existence. As such, Demeter was also the goddess of planned society. She was very popular with the rural population. I n systematized theology, Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus by whom she became the mother of Persephone. When Persephone was abducted by Hades , lord of the underworld, Demeter wandered the earth in search of her lost child. During this time the earth brought forth no grain. Finally Zeus sent Hermes to the underworld, ordering Hades to restore Persephone to her mother. However, before she left, Hades gave her a pomegranate (a common fertility symbol). When she ate from it, she was bound to spend a third of the year with her husband in the infernal regions. Only when her daughter is with her, Demeter lets things grow (summer). The dying and blossoming of nature was thus connected with Demeter. Museo Pio-Clementino, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City , Italy Demeter,Persephone,Triptolemus Demeter
Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera. Both parents disliked him. He is the god of war and he is considered murderous and bloodstained but, also a coward. When he was caught in an act of adultery with Aphrodite, her husband Hephaestus publicly ridiculed him. His bird is the vulture. His animal is the dog. Palazzo Altemps, Museo Romano Nazionale, Rome,Italy Head of Ares, copy ca. 150–160 CE, after a votive statue of Alcamenes in the temple of Ares in Athens
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, desire and beauty. In addition to her natural gifts she has a magical girdle that compels anyone she wishes to desire her. There are two accounts of her birth. One says she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. The other goes back to 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. She is the wife of Hephaestus. The myrtle is her tree, the dove, the swan, and the sparrow are her birds. Aphrodite, Eros & Pan N ational Archaelogical Museum,Athens,Greece Aphrodite by Boticelli Aphrodite of Milos Musee du Louvre, Paris, France
Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. Sometimes it is said that Hera alone produced him and that he has no father. He is the only god who is physically ugly and lame. A ccounts as how he became lame vary. Some say that Hera, upset by having an ugly child, flung him from Mount Olympus into the sea, breaking his legs. Others that he took Hera's side in an argument with Zeus and Zeus flung him off Mount Olympus. H e is the god of fire and the forge. He is the smith and armourer of the gods. He uses a volcano as his forge. He is the patron god of both smiths and weavers. He is kind and peace loving. His wife is Aphrodite. Sometimes his wife is identified as Aglaia. Hephaestus, God of fire and the forge Hephaestus - draw
Hestia is Zeus sister. She is a virgin goddess. She does not have a distinct personality. She plays no part in myths. She is the Goddess of the Hearth, the symbol of the house around which a newborn child is carried before it is received into the family. Each city had a public hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was never allowed to go out. Athenian red-figure clay vase 525-475 BC, Characterized as the most gentle, peace-loving, and charitable of the Olympian gods. Hestia, Goddess of hearth and home, remains guardian of the threshold of personal security and happiness. Hestia State Hermitage Museum, St.Petersburg,Russia
The Temple of Zeus at Olympia, which housed the magnificent gold and ivory statue of Zeus by Phidias , one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, Attica, Greece. The temple is of Doric style and was built in the 5th Century BC, supposedly on the location of an even older temple.
The Temple of Hepha i st o s in central ancient Athens-Greece , is the best-preserved ancient Greek temple in the world, but is far less well-known than its illustrious neighbour, the Parthenon. The temple is also known as the Hepha i steum or Hepha i steion. It is sometimes called the Theseion , due to a belief current in Byzantine times that the bones of the legendary Greek hero Theseus were buried there; in fact the bones alleged to be those of Theseus were buried in the 5th century BC at another site nearer to the Acropolis Temple of Apollo at Delphi Fokidos, Greece. Central among the number of imposing ruins that are interspersed on the Southern slopes of Parnassos mountain is the temple of Apollo. It is an imposing temple of the Doric order whose existence was woven through the turbulent history of the site, and endured numerous incarnations before it settled to the ruinous state we find it today, and which dates back to the 4th c. B.C.
The Temple of Athena Nike ("Victorius Athena") in Athens, Greece, was the earliest Ionic building to be built on the Acropolis. The temple was begun around 427 BC and completed during the unrest of the Peloponnesian war. The temple of Hera , at Olympia, is one of the oldest monumental temples in Greece, stands in the north-west corner of the sacred precinct of the Altis, on the south slopes of Kronios hill, protected by a powerful terrace wall.
The site of the temple of Artemis Agrotera (the Huntress) is one of the most important historical and archeological sites that have survived in the center of Athens. It is situated on Ardittou St, (Mets area) a few meters from the Panathenian Stadium and the hill of Ardittos, facing the Acropolis, the temple of Olympian Zeus and the Lycabetos. The building of the Temple of Olympian Zeus actually began in the 6th Century by Peisistratos but work was stopped either because of a lack of money or because Pisistratus's son, Hippias, was overthrown in 510 BC. The temple was not finished until the Emperor Hadrian completed in 131 AD, seven hundred years later.
The recently restored Temple of Demeter in Naxos, Greece . Until recently, the 6th-century BC Temple of Demeter was in a state of complete ruin. It had been partially dismantled in the 6th century AD to build a chapel on the site, and what was left was plundered repeatedly over the years. The Temple of Ares stood in the northern part of the Agora in Athens; originally built on another site around 440 B.C., it was moved to its present position in the Augustan period. Although only scanty remains have survived, there is sufficient evidence to establish that this temple resembled the Temple of Hephaistos and was probably built by the same architect. At the outside of the temple is the altar.
Samos - Temple of Hermes and Aphrodite was built in the beginning of the 7 th century. Temple of Aphrodite at Rhodes , Greece is situated opposite the Gate of Freedom ; This temple was built in the beginning of the 3rd century BC, and is one of the few ancient remains to be found in the Old Town of Rhodes
Thank you ! And here, at the end of this presentation, please allow me to put the etymology of the word ΘΕΟΣ (THEOS) - God . First of all the Greek word for God is ΘΕΟΣ (THEOS). The God (with article) is Ο ΘΕΟΣ (O THEOS). ΘΕΟΣ (THEOS) = 1 ) an immortal being and 2 ) he who holds supernatural powers. The word ΘΕΟΣ (THEOS) comes from the verb ΘΕΩ (THEO) and means: 1) I am running fast, 2) I am fighting, 3) I am flying 4) I extend beyond big dimensions, 5) I am shinning, 6) I am blazing. When ancient Greeks were talking about God they didn't call it as God, but as: 1) TO ΘΕΙΟΝ (TO THION - the Divine) and 2) TO EN (TO EN - The ONE). The famous 12 Gods, and God as Divine or the ONE, were two totally different things... Your vote for Mount Olympus at http://www.new7wonders.com/ will be highly appreciated.