List of Greek Gods Goddesses

By: Robert Thomson


Dionysus

The god of wine and the grapevine predates the Greeks with an origin covering Thrace, Asia Minor, Syria, and even as far as Egypt. Firstly an agricultural god, this “deity of Mt. Nysa” was an early supreme being whose wild and riotous worship was famous all over the eastern sphere of the Mediterranean, the most notable form was the Thracian.

Apollo

Orignally a Thracian and Trojan deity whose power and authority surpassed that of Zeus. Apollo stood for a multitude of classifications as: the god of prophecy; the beneficial god and protector from evil; the god of punishment and vengeance; the god of song and music; the god of flocks and cattle; the god of politics; the god of the Sun; and the god of the nether world.

Artemis (Diana)

The Greek goddess of the hunt hailed from the warlike regions of Asia Minor and in different versions depending on the locality she was worshipped. There was an Ephesian Artemis, the one identified in the Bible to Diana; a Taurian that received strangers thrown on the coast of Tauris as sacrifice; an Arcadian that hunted in the mountains with her nymphs; and the Trojan, as Apollo’s twin sister.

Zeus (Jupiter)

The Greek father of gods and men was originally not Greek but a Cretan import. According to legend, he was said to have been raced away to Crete as an infant by his mother Rhea to escape being devoured by his father Cronos. Since his pre-Hellenic times, bulls and goats were offered to him in sacrifice.

Rhea

Like Zeus, she was a Minoan import. Later “Mother Goddess” cults entering Greece from Asia Minor, including one named Cybel, became identified with Rhean worship. In Greek mythology, she fled to Crete to give birth to Zeus for fear of the child being devoured by Cronos. Upon returning, to appease her hungry husband, she gave to him a stone inconspicuously wrapped up like the infant Zeus.

Poseidon

The second most powerful Greek god, ruler of the waters and earthquakes, was also not Greek. He was a principal Trojan deity who was said to have built the impregnable walls of Troy. The horses that naturally inhabited Troy gained him the Grecian impression as the god of horses.

Aphrodite

Her worship came from that of the Phoenician sea goddess Astarte, known in the Bible as Ashtoreth. She was the wife of Ares, another alien god, with whom she bore the Amazons.

Ares

One of the most hated of the Greeks, Ares was a Thracian import. And like most Thracian import, he was savage and sanguinary: a character inherited by his descendants, the Amazons.

Cronos

He is the only pre-Hellenic deity that received human sacrifices. In analogy to his name, he was known to eat his own children: a characteristic of time that destroys whatever it has created. He was deposed by Zeus, prompting him to flee to Italy as Saturn where he begins an agricultural golden age.

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