Gods and Goddesses
Poseidon was the god of…
Mosaic of Poseidon, Oceanos, and Tethys
Poseidon’s Family Tree/
Position in Divine Hierarchy
• Son of Cronus and Rhea
• Brother of Zeus, Hades, Hestia,
Demeter, and Hera
• Consort was Amphitrite
• Father to many with different
women. Perseus, Triton, etc.
Position in divine hierarchy:
• Overruled by Zeus
Poseidon was god to the
• Magna Graecia
What is was prone to doing?
What was his motivation?
He was prone to:
• Create new islands and calms seas
• Cause unruly springs,
earthquakes, drownings and
• Cause mental disturbances like
What he was motivated by:
• He did harmful things as revenge
when he was ignored or offended
• Poseidon holds a trident,
a three-pronged spear
that he uses to stir up
the sea or cause earth
• He often rides a chariot
that is drawn by horses
• In works of art,
Poseidon may be easily
recognized by his
connection to his trident,
horses, dolphins, chariot.
Mosaic of Poseidon on his chariot
Drawing of a vase of Poseidon on a horse
Image of vase of Poseidon sitting
• In many scenes, he was depicted as an angry,
violent God who causes disaster at sea. In
The Odyssey, he sent a gigantic wave to
shatter Odysseus’ raft (5.366). He despised
Odysseus for blinding his one-eyed son
• Bulls are normally sacrificed for him. For
example, in The Odyssey, the Phaeacians
wanted Poseidon to stop threatening them by
sacrificing twelve bulls (13.149-52).
• Sailors refer to him frequently and fear him,
but Poseidon can also protect them so they
want to stay on his good side.
• Referred to as the Earth Shaker, Rain-God,
Cloud-Gatherer, and Neptune in Roman
Statue of Poseidon, Florence, Italy
• He had many lovers and loved
seducing and raping women.
• Poseidon also tried to seduce
Medusa and made love in the
temple of Athena. The virgin
goddess Athena, who was furious,
turned Medusa into a hideous
monster with snakes as hair.
• Most infamous Poseidon rape was
with his sister, Demeter. She tried to
escape Poseidon’s love by turning
herself into a mare to hide inside a
herd of horses. Poseidon
transformed himself into a stallion
and mounted her.
• He had a male lover named Pelops,
who was a prince of Lydia and later
Kind of Pisa in Elis.
Statue of Neptune, Virginia Beach