Greek gods, List of Greek gods, Ancient Greek gods Names

Greek gods

The rapes of women or male youths, the committing of adulteries, fornications and incests, the murders, patricides and infanticides, are all common themes in Greek mythology. In the ancient writing "Recognitions of Clement", the writer states that the fables or myths about the pagan Roman and Greek gods and goddesses gave the pagans a false justification for living wicked lives (Recognitions of Clement, Book 10, Chapter 23).

Introduction

Polytheism is the belief that there are many gods. Breaking the word down, "poly" comes from the Greek word for "many," and "theism" from the Greek word for "God." Polytheism has perhaps been the dominant theistic view in human history. The best-known example of polytheism in ancient times is Greek/Roman mythology (Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, Poseidon, etc.). The clearest modern example of polytheism is Hinduism, which has over 300 million gods. Although Hinduism is, in essence, pantheistic, it does hold to beliefs in many gods. It is interesting to note that even in polytheistic religions, one god usually reigns supreme over the other gods, e.g., Zeus in Greek/Roman mythology and Brahman in Hinduism.

Some argue that the Bible teaches polytheism in the Old Testament. Admittedly, several passages refer to "gods" in the plural (Exodus 20:3; Deuteronomy 10:17; 13:2; Psalm 82:6; Daniel 2:47). Ancient Israel fully understood that there was only one true God, but they often did not live as if they believed that to be true, continually falling into idolatry and the worship of foreign gods. So what are we to make of these and other passages that speak of multiple gods? It is important to note that the Hebrew word elohim was used to refer to the one true God and to false gods/idols. It functioned almost identically to the English word "God."

Describing something as a "god" does not mean you believe it to be a divine being. The vast majority of Old Testament Scriptures which speak of gods are speaking of false gods, those who claim to be gods but are not. This concept is summarized in 2 Kings 19:18: "They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by men's hands." Notice Psalm 82:6; "I said, 'You are "gods" you are all sons of the Most High.' But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler."

The Bible clearly teaches against polytheism. Deuteronomy 6:4 tells us, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." Psalm 96:5 declares, "For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens." James 2:19 says, "You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." There is only one God. There are false gods and those who pretend to be gods, but there is only one God.

List of Greek gods and goddesses and their Powers

Greek gods and goddesses and their Powers: Primordials

The first generation of Greek gods and goddesses include the 'Primordials' or 'Protogenoi', or the first gods. The term Protogenoi in fact means primeval or first born ones. The Primordial were the originators of the lineage of gods and ultimately, according to legends, the parents of mankind. In Greek mythology, these deities are descendants of 'Chaos'.

Sr No.

Name of god

Notes/Powers

1.

Chaos

The vast nothingness and dark void from which everything else appeared is termed to be chaos. This god is often considered genderless, and is a neutral immortal, who hosts the other protogenoi. The family tree of Greek gods begins with Chaos. In some cases, Chaos is depicted to be a woman as she mothered all the protogenoi, other gods, and thus humanity. The feminine literary context for Chaos is used in poetry.

2.

Gaia

Mother Earth or Gaia, was the most important of all other protogenoi, especially for us humans, as she mothered mankind and nature. Though Chaos had several other offspring, Gaia was the most important, as she is the mother of several Titians and Olympians, grandmother to Zeus, and is also a pantheon, who is often considered to be Mother Titian or the Great Titan. Her powers include strength, stability, and an orderly and safe foundation.

3.

Uranus

The parentage of Uranus is of course of considerable debate, and several claims state that he was not an offspring of Chaos. Hesiod in Theogony, claims that he was mothered by Gaia, who was also his consort. Uranus is the god of Sky and Atmosphere. Uranus was the father to several children, many of whom were Titians and Olympians. As per the Argive genealogy by Homer, 4 most significant children of Uranus and Gaia include Cronus, Rhea, Oceanus and Tethys. Other children of Uranus include Aphrodite, Theia, Mnemosyne, the Gigantes, Hyperion, Crius, Iapetus, Coeüs, Phoebe, The Cyclopes, Meliae, and the Furies.

4.

Tartarus

The next significant god is Tartarus, a deep and dark abyss and pit, where souls are judged after death. Tartarus is said to be the originator of light and cosmos. Just like Chaos, Tartarus has an unbound and infinite existence. In Greek mythology, Tartarus is often a symbol for justice, punishment, prison, and a wrath against evil.

5.

Eros

The details regarding Eros are shrouded with some controversy. He was the primordial god of Sexuality, Lust, Love and Ever Flowing Nature. In short, Eros represents all that is associated with human emotion. It is said that Eros was born to Chaos, along with Gaia and Tartarus. He is also said to be the 'first light'. Eros has the ability to fly with the wings attached to his back. Apart from these powers, Eros also signifies fertility and reproduction, in some cases. Strangely, Eros is said to be the son of Aphrodite, who was born an entire generation later.

6.

Erebus

Erebus (Erebos) was the son of Chaos, who represents the darkness between the earth and the underworld. Erebus is represented by shadows and darkness. This deity is said to have filled the nooks and crannies of the world. His power is of darkness. Erebus is the husband of Nyx or Night, and is the father of Aether (outer atmosphere) and Hemera (Day).

7.

Nyx

Nyx is the goddess of Night, and was the daughter of Chaos and wife of Erebus. She is simply the goddess of Night and Darkness, and is the mother of Aether (Outer Atmosphere) and Hemera (Day), as mentioned above.

8.

Hemera

Among the primordials, the children of Nyx and Erebus are considered to be important as they represented very powerful forces of universe. Hemera was the goddess of Daylight, and in some cases, was also considered to be the goddess of the Sun, one of the most powerful sources of life on earth.

9.

Aether

Aether was the god of Light and Upper Sky (atmosphere). He was repented by the blue sky of the day and the dark blue sky of the night. He was the son of Nyx and Erebus.

10.

Zephyr

Some Greek mythologies also mention another primordial god, Zephyr, the god of the West Wind.

Greek gods and goddesses and their Powers: Titans

Now, the aforementioned was the first generation of the Greek gods and goddesses. The second generation has a majority of Titans, some of whom waged a war against their father Uranus. Here's a list of the 12 Titans. Note that this list is not exhaustive, but consists of the most prominent Titans. These titians are specifically the descendants of Gaia and Uranus, who ruled during the Golden Age.

Sr No.

Name of god

Notes/Powers

1.

Coeus

Son of Gaia and Uranus, Coeus represents the celestial axis around which the earth, heavens and hell revolves. Coeus is supposed to be a giant, externally intelligent and pillar of north, probably the North pole. Sometimes, also known as the inquirer, this god of intelligence is the father of Leto and Asteria, husband and brother of Phoebe (Shining one), and also the grandfather of Artemis and Apollo, through Leto.

2.

Phoebe

Phoebe is known as the shining one or the bright one, due to her high intelligence. She was the possessor of Delphic oracle.

3.

Cronus

Cronus was the leader of the Titians, who is famous or in some cases infamous for his rebellion against his father, Uranus. He used a sickle as his weapon, and is the patron of harvest, and was also the god of Time and Ages, infamously known for his destructive and devouring nature. He was the father to Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Chiron, the Olympians. He was also brother and husband to Rhea.

4.

Rhea

Rhea was the mother of the Olympians, and was the goddess of Fertility, Motherhood, and Generation. She also represents almost all motherly and feminine qualities, such as love, affection, patine and even fierceness. She is flanked by lions and is known to 'bless' the eternal flow of time and generations.

5.

Hyperion

Hyperion is the god of Light, and is regarded to be the pillar of the east. With his wife Theia, he fathered 3 children, who were also gods of light, Eos the Dawn, Helios the Sun, and Selene the Moon. Hyperion signifies the term 'the one from above'.

6.

Theia

Theia is the goddess of Sight, and Shining Light. She is also commented to be the goddess of Gold, Silver and Gems.

7.

Krios

Krios, Crius is the pillar of south, that is the south pole, and is often symbolized by a ram. He is the father of Astraios and Pallas, and husband to Eurybia.

8.

Lapetus

Lapetus was the Titian with mortal life, and notably grandfather of mankind, as his son Prometheus 'created' mankind. His other sons, Atlas, Epimetheus, and Menoetius, who were fathered through Clymene or Asia, are also associated with the creation of humanity.

9.

Mnemosyne

Mnemosyne was the goddess of Memory, and the consort of Zeus in later stages. She mothered the 9 'muses'.

10.

Tethys

Tethys is the goddess of the Sources of the Freshwater Sources. She was the consort of Oceanus, god of Oceans, and mothered all the river and sea gods, including the spring nymphs, the Okeanids.

11.

Okeanos

Okeanos was the god of Oceans and Seas.

12.

Themis

Themis was the goddess of Traditional Rules, Justice and Conduct. She established decorum and laws, and was a prophetic Titan. She was the wife of Zeus with whom she mothered 6 children, who also governed some or the other factions of the universe by laying down laws and rules.

Greek gods and goddesses and their Powers: Olympians

The following is a brief table of the 14 Olympians. Note that many of the Olympians are the children of Rhea and Cronus.

Sr no

Name of god or goddess

god of...

Parentage

Children

Consorts and Lovers

Symbols

1.

Aphrodite

Love and Beauty

Uranus

Anteros, Eros, Phobos, Deimos, Harmonia, Aeneas, Hermaphroditos, Himeros, Rhode, Eryx, Peitho, Tyche, Priapus, Eunomia, Graces, and Pothos

Hephaestus and Ares

dove, apple and rose

2.

Apollo

god of Music, Healing, Plague, Prophecies, Poetry, and Archery, Apollo is most notably known as the Sun god.

Zeus and Leto

Asclepius, Troilus, Orpheus and Aristaeus

...

laurel wreath, lyre, raven, python, bow and arrows

3.

Ares

Ares is most famously known as the god of War, Bloodlust, Violence, Manly Courage, and Civil Order

Zeus and Hera

Eros, Anteros, Deimos, Phobos, Harmonia, Phlegyas and Adrestia

Aphrodite

spear, helmet, dog, chariot, boar

4.

Artemis

goddess of the Hunt, Wilderness, Wild Animals, Childbirth and Plague.

Zeus and Leto

...

...

moon, bow, arrows, dog and stags

5.

Athena

Athena was the goddess of Wisdom, Warfare, Strategy, Heroic Endeavor, Handicrafts and Reason

Zeus and Metis

...

...

olive tree

6.

Demeter

goddess of Fertility, Agriculture, Horticulture, Grain and Harvest

Cronus and Rhea

Persephone

Zeus

Cornucopia (horn of plenty)

7.

Dionysus

god of Wine, Parties and Festivals, Madness, Civilization, Drunkenness and Pleasure.

Zeus and Semele

Ariadne

...

thyrsus and grapevine

8.

Hades

Hades was the King of the Underworld and the god of Death, the Dead, and the Hidden Wealth of the Earth

Cronus and Rhea

Persephone

Persephone Macaria, Melinoe, Plutus and Zagreus

3 headed dog

9.

Hephaestus

Hephaestus was the god of Fire, Metalworking, Stonemasonry, Sculpture and Volcanism.

Hera

Aphrodite

Eucleia, Thalia, Eupheme, and Philophrosyne

tongs and anvil

10.

Hera

Queen of Marriage, Women, Childbirth, Heirs, Kings and Empires

Cronus and Rhea

Zeus

Eris, Ares, Hebe, Enyo, Eileithyia and Hephaestus

Peacock feather and pomogreneate

11.

Hermes

Hermes was the god of Travel, Messengers, Trade, Thievery, Cunning Wiles, Language, Writing, Diplomacy, Athletics, and Animal Husbandry

Zeus and Maia

Merope, Peitho, Dryope and Aphrodite

...

Caduceus and Talaria

12.

Hestia

goddess of the Hearth, Home and Cooking

Rhea and Cronus

...

...

Hearth and Fire

13.

Poseidon

god of the Sea, Rivers, Floods, Droughts, Storms, Earthquakes and Horses.

Cronus and Rhea

Amphitrite

Polyphemus Theseus and Triton

Trident

14.

Zeus

King of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the Sky, Weather, Thunder, Law, Order and Fate.

Cronus and Rhea

Hera

Several including Ares and Hercules

Thunderbolt

Wicked, Evil and Immoral Greek gods and goddesses

Fictional pagan Greek gods encouraging adultery, incest, murder and abortion

The rapes of women or male youths, the lies and deceptions, jealousies and revenges, the committing of adulteries, fornications and incests, the murders, patricides and infanticides, are all common themes in Greek mythology. In the ancient writing "Recognitions of Clement", the writer states that the fables or myths about the pagan Roman and Greek gods and goddesses gave the pagans a false justification for living wicked lives ("Recognitions of Clement", Book 10, Chapter 23).

Zeus
Among the rapes or abductions committed by Zeus, the supreme deity of the Greek pantheon, are Europa and Ganymede. Zeus is infamous for his many lovers, adulteries and fornications. He was married to Hera, but he did have multiple affairs. That's how many of the lesser gods/heroes came to be, including Athena, Apollo and Artemis, Hermes, Persephone (by Demeter), Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses (by Mnemosyne); by Hera, he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus.

Poseidon
One day, Poseidon, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus, and from their union were born the heroes Pelias and Neleus, twin boys. Poseidon also had an affair with Alope, his granddaughter through Cercyon, his son and King of Eleusis, begetting the Attic hero Hippothoon. Cercyon had his daughter buried alive but Poseidon turned her into the spring, Alope, near Eleusis.

Poseidon rescued Amymone from a lecherous satyr and then fathered a child, Nauplius, by her.

After having raped Caeneus, Poseidon fulfilled her request and changed her into a male warrior.

Not all of Poseidon's children were human. In an archaic myth, Poseidon once pursued Demeter. She spurned his advances, turning herself into a mare so that she could hide in a herd of horses; he saw through the deception and became a stallion and captured her. Their child was a horse, Arion, which was capable of human speech. Poseidon also had sexual intercourse with Medusa on the floor of a temple to Athena. Medusa was then changed into a monster by Athena. When she was later beheaded by the hero Perseus, Chrysaor and Pegasus emerged from her neck. There is also Triton (the merman), Polyphemus (the cyclops) and, finally, Alebion and Bergion and Otos and Ephialtae (the giants).

Jupiter
In the ancient writing "Recognitions of Clement", this writing first lists Jupiter or Zeus' incestual relationships with his sisters:

“Chap. XX. – Doings of Jupiter. But enough of the old wife’s fables and genealogy of the Gentiles; for it were endless if I should set forth all the generations of those whom they call gods, and their wicked doings. But by way of example, omitting the rest, I shall detail the wicked deeds of him only whom they hold to be the greatest and the chief, and whom they call Jupiter. For they say that he possesses heaven, as being superior to the rest; and he, as soon as he grew up, married his own sister, whom they call Juno, in which truly he at once becomes like a beast. Juno bears Vulcan; but, as they relate, Jupiter was not his father. However, by Jupiter himself she became mother of Medea; and Jupiter having received a response that one who should be born of her should be more powerful than himself, and should expel him from his kingdom, took her and devoured her. Again Jupiter produced Minerva from his brain, and Bacchus from his thigh. After this, when he had fallen in love with Thetis, they say that Prometheus informed him that, if he lay with her, he who should be born of her should be more powerful than his father; and for fear of this, he gave her in marriage to one Peleus. Subsequently he had intercourse with Persephone, who was his own daughter by Ceres: and by her he begot Dionysius, who was torn in pieces by the Titans. But calling to mind, it is said, that perhaps his own father Saturn might beget another son, who might be more powerful than himself, and might expel him from the kingdom, he went to war with his father, along with his brothers the Titans; and having beaten them, he at last threw his father into prison, and cut off his genitals, and threw them into the sea. But the blood which flowed from the wound, being mixed with the waves, and turned into foam by the constant churning, produced her whom they call Aphrodite, and whom with us they call Venus. From his intercourse with her who was thus his own sister, they say that this same Jupiter begot Cypris who, they say, was the mother of Cupid.”

Chapter 21 "A Black Catologue" in "The Recognitions of Clement" then records 33 examples of Jupiter or Zeus, the so-called father of the gods committing adultery with goddesses who were the wives of other gods and 2 examples of Jupiter committing adultery with female nymphs. "The Recognitions of Clement" record that some of the children produced from Jupiter's adulteries were the gods Mercury and Apollo and the goddess Diana.

The same writing then records about Jupiter:

“Chap.XXII. – Vile Transformation of Jupiter

There are also innumerable adulteries of his of which no offspring was the result, which it were tedious to enumerate. But amongst those whom we have mentioned, he violated some being transformed, like a magician. In short, he seduced Antiope, the daughter of Nycteus, when turned into a satyr, and of her were born Amphion and Zethus; Alcmene, when changed into her husband Amphitryon, and of her was born Hercules…

Chap. XXIII. – Why A God?

He also committed adultery with Europa, the wife of his own uncle Oceanus, and with her sister Eurynome, and punished their father; and he committed adultery with Plute, the daughter of his own son Atlas, and condemned Tantalus, whom she bore to him. Of Larisse, the daughter of Orchomenus, he begot Tityon, whom also he consigned to punishment. He carried off Dia, the wife of his own son Ixion, and subjected him to perpetual punishment; and almost all the sons who sprang from his adulteries he put to violent deaths; and indeed the sepulchers of almost all of them are well known. Yea, the sepulcher of this parricide himself, who destroyed his uncles and defiled their wives, who committed whoredom with his sisters, this magician of many transformations, is shown among the Cretans, who, although they know and acknowledge his horrid and incestuous deeds, and tell them to all, yet are not ashamed to confess him to be a god. Whence it seems to me to be wonderful, yea, exceeding wonderful, how he who exceeds all men in wickedness and crimes, has received that holy and good name which is above every name, being called the father of gods and men; unless perhaps he who rejoices in the evils of men has persuaded unhappy souls to confer honour above all others upon him whom, he saw to excel all others in crimes, in order that he might allure all to the imitation of his evil deeds.”

Saturn
The following quote from "The Recognitions of Clement" shows the pagans taught foolish fables about their god Saturn involving him murdering his own children:

“Chap. XVIII. – Family of Saturn.

But of these six males, the one who is called Saturn received in marriage Rhea, and having been warned by a certain oracle that he who should be born of her should be more powerful than himself, and should drive him from his kingdom, he determined to devour all the sons that should be born to him. First, then, there is born to him a son called Aides, who amongst us is called Orcus; and him, for the reason we have just stated, he took and devoured. After him he begot a second son, called Neptune; and him he devoured in like manner. Last of all, he begot him whom they call Jupiter; but him his mother Rhea pitying, by stratagem withdrew from his father when he was about to devour him. And first, indeed, that the crying of the child might not be noticed, she made certain Corybantes strike cymbals and drums, that by the deafening sound the crying of the infant might not be heard.”

Fables like the above were used by the pagans in ancient Greece and Rome to justify abortion and parents exposing their newborn unwanted infants to death on mountainsides and similar bush areas.

Clement on the sexual practices of the Greek gods, goddesses and heroes

In his "Exhortation to the Heathen", Clement of Alexandria wrote about the paedophilea and other sexual practices of the pagan Greek gods, goddesses and heroes:

Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Heathen, Chapter 2: “Call me Poseidon, and the troop of damsels deflowered by him, Amphitrite Amymone, Alope, Melanippe, Alcyone, Hippothoe, Chione, and myriads of others; with whom, though so many, the passions of your Poseidon were not satiated.

Call me Apollo; this is Phoebus, both a holy prophet and a good advisor. But Sterope will not say that, nor Æthousa nor Arsinoe, nor Zeuxippe, nor Prothoe, nor Marpissa, nor Hypsipyle. For Daphne alone escaped the prophet and seduction.

And, above all, let the father of gods and men, according to you, himself come, who was so given to sexual pleasure, as to lust after all, and indulge his lust on all, like the goats of the Thinuitae. Hercules, the son of Zeus – a true son of Zeus – was the offspring of that long night, who with hard toil accomplished the twelve labours in a long time, but in one night deflowered the fifty daughters of Thestius, and thus was at once the debaucher and the bridegroom of so many virgins…It is not, then, without reason that the poets call him a cruel wretch and a nefarious scoundrel. It were tedious to recount his adulteries of all sorts, and debauching of boys. For your gods did not even abstain from boys, one having loved Hylas, another Hyacinthus, another Pelops, another Chrysippus, and another Ganymede.

But it is only the male deities, perhaps, that are impetuous in sexual indulgence. ‘The female deities stayed each in the house, for shame’, says Homer; the goddesses blushing, for modesty’s sake, to look on Aphrodite when she had been guilty of adultery. But these are more passionately licentious, bound in the chains of adultery; Eos having disgraced herself with Tithonus, Selene with Endymion, Nereis with Æacus, Thetis with Peleus, Demeter with Jason, Persephatta with Adonis. And Aphrodite having disgraced herself with Ares, crossed over to Cinyra and married Anchises, and laid snares for Phaethon, and loved Adonis. She contended with the ox-eyed Juno; and the goddesses unrobed for the sake of the apple, and presented themselves naked before the shepherd that he might decide which was the fairest.”

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