The Olympian Gods and Goddesses

It is important to note that the Greek gods of Olympus is by no means an all-inclusive list of the ancient Greek gods. Please see the Greek gods family tree for a more comprehensive list.

Zeus-
Zeus was brother to Hades and Poseidon and was the supreme god of the ancient Greeks.  He was a lord of justice and punished those that lied or broke oaths. He was responsible for the weather of the sky (thunder, rain, and lightning) and wielded a lightning bolt as his weapon. He was also quite the ladies’ man, often coming down to Earth in mortal form and siring many demi-god children.

Poseidon –
Poseidon was the Greek god of the ocean (and ocean life) as well as earthquakes. His weapon of choice, the trident, was so powerful that it could shake the earth. He is kind of a recluse, primarily living under the ocean in his palace rather than on top of Mount Olympus with his siblings.

Hades-
The last of the “big 3” brothers. Hades was the Greek god of the dead. He ruled the Underworld. He, like his brother Poseidon, was a recluse, almost never leaving the Underworld. He had two helpers, Charos, the angel of the dead whose job it was to take the souls of the dead on a boat across the river Acheron to the Underworld and Cerberus, Hades personal three headed dog.

Aphrodite-
Aphrodite was the most attractive goddess. She was the goddess of love, beauty and eternal youth, arousing desire to gods and humans. She was one of the goddesses that caused the start of the famous Trojan War Homer wrote about in the Iliad and made more famous by the movie ‘Troy’ starring Brad Pitt.

Apollo-
Apollo was the god of sun, the light, the music and the prophecy. Along with being the master of the sun, he was also a patron of the ancient city of Delphi, where the first oracle of Ancient Greece was located.

Ares-
Ares was the god of war and often shown with a spear and shield.

Artemis-
Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt and the moon and protector of expectant women and the young. He was usually depicted as hunting animals with a bow and arrow.

Athena-
Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom, skill, and war. She taught humans many skills, including weaving, sewing, and metallurgy. The goddess of war protected heroes as they fought. She is typically shown with a spear and aegis (a goat-like shield, to which the head of Medusa on it). Olive trees and owls (an animal of wisdom) are associated with Athena. If you don’t know this already, Athens, Greece is named specifically after the goddess Athena. She, with Aphrodite and Hera, was one of the goddesses who caused the start of the Trojan War.

Demeter-
Demeter was the Greek goddess of agriculture and vegetation. She was a peaceful deity and didn’t get involved in any real wars or fights of the gods.

Dionysus-
Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, joy, and theatre. Most festivities were held in his honor and men toasted in his name while they enjoyed their alcoholic beverages.

Hephaestus-
Most people don’t know about this Olympian, but he is important. Hephaestus was the Greek god of fire and metallurgy. He was a unique god as he was the only god that was handicapped. There are two myths about how he became handicapped, one is that when he was born, his mother, Hera, thought he was so ugly she through him down from Mount Olympus into the see, injuring him so bad he became handicapped.

In another account of how he became handicapped. Hephaestus, being the good son that he is, got in the middle of an argument between his parents, Zeus and Hera. Zeus, being so mad that his son would intervene on behalf of his mother, threw him from Mount Olympus and into the ocean, crippling him.

As a master craftsman and forger, he created many of the weapons of the gods, including Hermes’ winged helmet and sandals, the Aegis breastplate, Aphrodite’s famed girdle, Agamemnon’s staff of office, and Achilles’ armor.

Hera-
Hera was the goddess of marriage and family and the protector of married women. Although Hera was pretty, Zeus’ infidelity with mortal woman caused her no end of heartache and jealousy. Since she couldn’t hurt Zeus himself, being invincible, she exacted her revenge on the human woman he slept with. She was also one of the goddesses who caused the start of the Trojan War.

Hermes-
Hermes was the Greek god of the trade, eloquence, and a luck-bringing. He was a messenger god, wearing wings on his sandals to make him the fastest of all gods. He was the conductor of souls to the Underworld. Hermes was the only Olympian god who could go and come freely between Heaven, Earth, and the Underworld.

Hestia-
Hestia was the goddess of the hearth, home and family. She was kind and forgiving. She never left the sacred mountain of Olympus and never participated in any disputes or wars. All Olympian gods respected and loved her.