The Twelve Olympians, in Greek mythology, were the principal
gods of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus dining on
ambrosia and drinking nectar. There was, at various times, fourteen
different gods recognized as Olympians, though never more than twelve at
one time. Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite,
Athena, Apollo, and Artemis are always considered Olympians. Hestia,
Demeter, Dionysus, and Hades are the variable gods among the Twelve.
Hestia gave up her position as an Olympian to Dionysus in order to live
among mankind (eventually she was assigned the role of tending the fire
on Mount Olympus). Persephone spent six months of the year in the
underworld (causing winter), and was allowed to return to Mount
Olympus for the other six months in order to be with her mother,
Demeter. And, although Hades was always one of the principal Greek
gods, his home in the underworld of the dead made his connection to the
Olympians more tenuous. The Olympians gained their supremacy in the
world of gods after Zeus led his siblings to victory in war with the Titans;
Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, and Hades were siblings; all
other Olympians (with the exception of foam-born Aphrodite) are usually
considered the children of Zeus by various mothers, except for Athena,
who in some versions of the myth was born of Zeus alone. Additionally,
some versions of the myth state that Hephaestus was born of Hera alone as
Hera's revenge for Zeus' solo birth of Athena. Note that The Greek
religion was a natural religion compared to modern revealed religions.
These religions often explained the causes of natural events volcanic
eruptions, earthquakes and lightning. The gods of the ancients were also
imperfect, Zeus had affairs, Artemis a temper, Hera was jealous and
Hephaestus was ugly and crippled. Compare this to modern deities who
are perfect without flaw
Zeus was the Supreme God in Ancient Greece, father of the
Olympian gods and ruler of mankind.
The Roman name of Zeus is "Jupiter"
Genealogy of Zeus
Zeus, the Almighty King of the Gods.
Zeus his wife was Hera, the goddess of marriage and monogamy.
However, Zeus gave Hera plenty of reasons to be jealous, since Zeus was
had numerous love affairs with other women including mortals.
Zeus had his golden throne on the highest summit of Mount Olympus and
was respected and awed by all Gods and mortals. He was the "Lord of
Justice", punishing anyone who lied or broke an oath, but was fair and
always striving to keep a balance of all things.
Furthermore, Zeus was responsible for the weather and was shaping it
according to his temper. When in high spirits, Zeus was blessing the world
with fine weather; in case of bad mood; however, he would throw rain,
winds, lightings and thunderbolts, causing disaster to the mortals.
Main symbols and weapons of Zeus
The symbols of Zeus were the eagle, the oak tree and the thunderbolt,
Human like weaknesses: ill tempered and had many affairs
Hera was the goddess of marriage and family and protector of
The Roman name of Hera is "Juno"
Genealogy of Hera
She was the wife of Zeus .Together, they had 4 children: Eilithya, the
goddess who was protecting the childbirth, Ares, the Olympian god of war,
Hebe, the goddess of youth and Hephaestus, the Olympian god of
metallurgy. Some say Hephaestus was born without the intervention of
Although Hera was one of the fairest goddesses in Mount Olympus, Zeus
was giving Hera plenty of reason to be suspicious and jealous, so Hera was
used to stay in high places in order to keep an eye on her husbands' doings.
Many times she was also interfering, causing harm to Zeus' mistresses,
since Zeus himself was invincible. Most of all, Hera was in conflict with
the semi-god and hero Heracles, since he happened to be the son of her
husband Zeus and a mortal woman.
Main symbols and weapons of Hera
The peacock and the pomegranate
Human like weaknesses: extremely jealous
Apollo was the Olympian God of the Sun, the truth, the
Music, the Poetry and the Prophecy
Genealogy of Apollo
Apollo was born by Zeus and Leto in the Greek, divine island of Delos as
the younger twin of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt.
Apollo was a very attractive and youthful god and beloved by all deities
with his enchanting music. (He was the most beautiful of all the gods)He
therefore quickly made his way up to Mount Olympus and everything
divine was singing and rejoicing upon his arrival.
Apollo was the god of the music. He invented the lute but most popular he
was for his playing the lyre that was invented by Hermes, the messenger of
the gods. Apollo excelled in important music contests, competing against
Greek god Hermes and Pan as well as other deities. Apollo also owned the
precious gift of prophecy, given to him by his father Zeus in his infancy,
and was the patron of the ancient city of Delphi, was the first oracle in
Ancient Greece was located.
Main symbols and weapons of Apollo
The lyre, the tripod, the laurel tree and the dolphin
Artemis was the Greek goddess of the hunt, the childbirth
and protector of the young.
The Roman name of Artemis is "Diana"
Genealogy of Artemis
Greek goddess Artemis was born in Mount Cynthus at the island of Delos
in Greece as a daughter of Zeus, the Ruler of the Greek gods and the
Her twin brother was Apollo, the god of the sun, whereas Artemis' cult
was connected with the moon. Artemis had been born before Apollo and
had helped her mother Leto to bring Apollo to the world.
Artemis had absolute sovereignty over nature and was said to bring
fertility to all places that worshipped her. She was the “Lady of the wild”
women who died swift painless deaths were said to have been killed by her
Main symbols and weapons of Artemis
The bow, arrows, the snake, deer and the moon
Hecate, a divinity of the Underworld and companion of Persephone, is
called the queen of night and the goddess of the cross-roads; her three
faces are turned towards as many directions.
She was Persephone's attendant, with the power to conjure up dreams,
phantoms, and the spirits of the dead. Her attendant and animal
representation is of a she-dog, and the most common form of offering was
to leave meat at a crossroads. In the upper world she haunted graveyards
and crossroads and was invisible to all eyes except those of the hounds
who attended her.
In Argonautica, Jason placates Hecate in a ritual prescribed by Medea, her
priestess: bathed at midnight in a stream of flowing water, and dressed in
dark robes, Jason is to dig a pit and offer a libation of honey and blood
from the throat of a sheep, which was set on a pyre by the pit and wholly
consumed as a holocaust, then retreat from the site without looking back
Symbols Torch, dark moon, crossroads, three-headed animals or statues,
Dionysus was the Greek God of Wine, Joy and Theatre and a
Lover of Peace
The Roman name of Dionysus is "Bacchus"
Genealogy of Dionysus
Dionysus was the son of the Zeus , the King of the Gods and the beautiful
mortal Semele, daughter of Cadmus and Armonia (Harmony).
Dionysus was one of the Olympian Gods who actually did not live in
Mount Olympus but was constantly traveling around the world in order to
discover the secrets of winemaking.
Dionysus was known for his lightheartness and always offered his help to
anyone in need. He was therefore very popular among gods and mortals
and many feasts were being held every year in his honor.
Symbols are grapes, grape vines, grape leaves.
Human like weaknesses: He is not all knowing some secrets are
hidden from him
Ares was the Olympian God of War and the figure behind all
kind of violence
The Roman name of Ares is "Mars"
Genealogy of Ares
Ares, the Greek god of war, was the son of Zeus and Hera. The half-sister
of Ares was Athena, the goddess of wisdom and skill. Athena also was a
goddess of war but approached war solely for the purposes of justice.
Ares had his residence on Mount Olympus and his throne was upholstered
with human skin. Usually he was accompanied by Eris, the goddess of
discord. Just like his mother Hera, Ares had a very difficult character to
deal with and was therefore rather unpopular among the other deities and
mankind. For this reason, no Greek city wanted to have him as its patron.
Ares' secret mate was Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty and their
union resulted to the birth of Armonia (Harmony), which was seen as a
blend of two opposing powers. Ares often had conflicts and fights with
Artemis, the goddess of the hunt and also with his sister Athena, especially
during the Trojan War.
Main symbols and weapons of Ares
The spear, the vulture and the dog
Human like weaknesses: He was defeated in battle by Hercules and
was actually held prisoner for over one year by a giant. He was even
wounded by Diomedes during a fight
Hestia was the goddess of the hearth, home and family.
The Roman name of Hestia is "Vesta"
Genealogy of Hestia
Greek goddess Hestia was the eldest daughter of the titans Cronus and
Rhea and the most ancient Olympian goddess. Sister of Zeus
Hestia personified the fire that was burning in the hearth of every home.
All families were pouring sweet wine in her name and the fire was not
allowed to go out by any family unless it was ritually extinguished. Hestia
herself was never leaving her residence, the sacred mountain of Olympus.
All Olympian deities respected and loved Hestia because of her kind,
forgiving soul and her discrete character, since Hestia never participated in
any disputes or wars. Hestia may not have had a public cult, but she was
always worshipped in any temple, regardless of the god it was dedicated to
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of Love, Beauty and
The Roman name of Aphrodite is "Venus"
Genealogy of Aphrodite
As her name implies, Aphrodite (aphro="foam"+dite="arised"), was
born from the sea foam of the crystal waters off the coast of Paphos,
Aphrodite was the most attractive goddess of Mount Olympus. She was
the goddess of Love, Beauty and Eternal Youth and was connected with
the death/rebirth of nature and human beings.
Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the smith of the Heaven and God
of the Iron, but her heart was devoted to Ares, the God of War, with
whom she had an affair. According to a myth, Aphrodite gave birth to
Eros, the winged cupid of love and was often accompanied by him. Other
children of Aphrodite were Himeros, Pothos, Phobos, Demos, Harmonia
Main symbols and weapons of Aphrodite
Nudity, the seashell, the mirror and the dove
Human like weaknesses: soft weak not feared by mortals
Hermes was the Greek god of the trade and messenger of the
The Roman name of Hermes is "Mercury"
Genealogy of Hermes
Hermes was born on Mount Kyllene in Arcadia as the son Zeus and the
mountain Nymph Maea.
Hermes was having wings on his sandals and therefore was the speediest of
all Greek gods. Because of his speed, Hermes received the role of the
messenger and conductor of souls to the underworld. He was also the God
of commerce and the marketplace.
Hermes he was the only Olympian God who was authorized to visit
Heaven, Earth and also the Underworld and enjoyed this way popularity
among all the Greek gods.
Symbols Winged hat, winged sandals and a Caduceus (shaft with two
serpents intertwined in a figure eight shape)
Human like weaknesses: He was a master thief
Athena/Pallas Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom,
skill and war
The Roman name of Athena is "Minerva"
Genealogy of Athena
Athena was born during the battle of the Giants by Zeus and Metis, Zeus'
first wife, who was keeping inside herself the entire world's wisdom. She
is a fierce battle goddess.
Athena was the goddess who taught mankind various skills such as weaving
and sewing to the women and agriculture and metallurgy to men and was
always giving precious advice and stood by on any danger.
After competing against the Greek god Poseidon, Athena officially became
the patron deity of the city of ancient Athens and the Parthenon was built
for her. She was known as "Athena Nike" (Athena the victorious), as she
was believed to have given the Athenians the victory during the Persian
Main symbols and weapons of Athena
The owl, the olive tree
Hades was the ruler of the Underworld
The Roman name of Hades is "Pluto"
Genealogy of Hades
Greek god Hades was a son of the titans Cronus and Rhea. Hades wife was
Persephone whom he abducted from her divine mother Demeter and took
with him down to the Underworld.
Hades was the Greek god of the Dead and ruler of the Underworld.
Almost never was Hades leaving his gloomy kingdom but was residing
there instead, surrounded by darkness and silence. He was also the god of
wealth and often called ”Dis” or rich.
Hades' helper was Charon the angel of dead. Charon had the duty to
transfer the dead people 's souls with a boat over the River Acheron from
the world of the living to the world of the dead. Furthermore, Hades had a
dog with three heads which was named Cerberus. Another helper was
Thanatos was the Greek Grim Reaper.
Symbols The two pronged spear and the three headed dog Cerberus
Demeter was the Greek goddess of agriculture and
The Roman name of Demeter is "Ceres"
Genealogy of Demeter
After Hestia, the goddess of the hearth, Demeter was the second daughter
of the titans Rhea and Cronus
Demeter was a peace-loving deity and the source of all growth and life;
she was the goddess who provided all nutrition on the earth and taught
mortals how to cultivate the earth and ease life. Demeter was most
appreciated for introducing wheat to mankind, making man different from
Main symbols and weapons of Demeter
The ear of wheat and the grains
Hephaestus was the Greek God of Metallurgy and the Forge
The Roman name of Hephaestus is "Vulcan"
Genealogy of Hephaestus
Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera and some consider that he had
been conceived prenuptially. Hephaestus was married to Aphrodite, the
Greek goddess of Beauty, although Aphrodite never devoted herself
entirely to Hephaestus.
Hephaestus was a very kind and loveable god, but was the only deity who
was physically ugly and lame. When his mother Hera saw him for the first
time, she was so frustrated that she took her son and threw him from
Mount Olympus to the depths of the seas, causing a deformation to his
leg. Hephaestus was finally rescued by two Nereids, Thetis and
Eurynome, who raised him for nine years inside a cave, far away and
hidden from his mother.
Hephaestus had his working place in the volcano of Etna in Italy and was
working together closely with the one-eyed Cyclops to create strong
thunderbolts for his master Zeus. Hephaestus was also famous for having
created the first woman of the ancient world, Pandora. His hammering
could result in volcanic eruptions.
Main symbols and weapons of Hephaestus
Fire, the axe, the pincers and the hammer
Human like weaknesses: Ugly and lame
Poseidon was the God of the Seas, the horses and the
The Roman name of Poseidon is "Neptune"
Genealogy of Poseidon
Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas, was born by the major Titans Cronus
Poseidon was considered to be the bad-tempered, moody and greedy god
among the Olympians. He possessed two palaces, the one was up in
Mount Olympus and the other was located in the depths of the seas and
was bejeweled with gold and gems. Usually Poseidon preferred to stay
with his wife Amphitrite beneath the ocean.
Poseidon was the Greek god responsible for all natural and supernatural
events, mainly the ones associated to the sea world. He possessed a trident
which was so powerful that it could shake the earth. Poseidon could cause
tempests and earthquakes, drown lands, shatter rocks and had the ability
to finally bring back peacefulness.
Main symbols and weapons of Poseidon
Poseidon's symbols were the trident and the horse
Human like weaknesses: greedy, ill tempered
Erinyes were three goddesses of revenge and retribution
The Erinyes (also known as Furies) were cruel earth goddesses who
symbolized the divine vengeance. The Furies were created from the
blood of the Titan Uranus, when his son Cronus injured him to take
vengeance for the loss of his siblings.
According to another legend, the Furies were the daughters of Nyx,
who was the symbolization of the night and daughter of Chaos.
The Erinyes were dreadful creatures with appalling features. They had a
burning breath and poisonous blood was dripping from their eyes. Their
heads were wreathed with serpents.
The Erinyes were persecuting crimes such as disrespect, injustice,
perjury or arrogance and-first and foremost- murder, especially the
murder inside a family. Their lust of punishment knew no bounds, for
they kept punishing a sinner even after his death, until he finally would
The Erinyes were 3 sisters in Greek mythology: Alecto("the angry"),
Megaera("the grudging") and Tisiphone("the avenger").
The Roman name of Erinyes is "Furies"
Graces (Charities) were three lovely goddesses of Joy,
Charm and Beauty
According to a myth, the Charities were daughters of King Zeus and the
There were 3 Charities in Greek Mythology: Aglaia, the Grace that
symbolized beauty, Euphrosyne, the Grace of Delight and Thalia, the
Grace of Blossom. According to Greek poet Pindar, these enchanting
goddesses were created to fill the world with pleasant moments and
Usually the Graces were attending the goddess of Beauty Aphrodite and
her companion Eros and loved dancing around in a circle to Apollo's
divine music, together with the nymphs and the muses.
The Roman name of Charities is "Graces"
Fates(Moirae) were the spinners of the thread of life and
personification of destiny
The Fates (Moirae) were the personifications of destiny, the spinners of
the thread of life, determining the span of human life of every mortal
and immortal from birth to death. No other god had the right or the
means to alter their decisions.
The Fates were among the eldest goddesses in ancient Greek
mythology. According to the Greek writer Hesiod, the Fates were
daughters of Zeus, the Lord of the gods, and Themis, the goddess of
There were three Fates in Greek mythology: Clotho, Lachesis, and
Atropos. Clotho, the spinner, was the youngest of the three Fates; she
spun the thread of destiny with a distaff, determining the time of birth
of an individual; Lachesis measured the thread length to determine the
length of life; finally, cruel Atropos cut the thread of life, determining
this way the time of death.
Nymphs, were young goddesses of Nature-the sea, the land
and the woods
The Nymphs were the daughters of the King of the gods Zeus. They
dwelled near springs, in mountains through which rivers flowed and in
woods. There were Sea Nymphs, Land Nymphs and Wood
Nymphs in Greek mythology.
Because of their close connection to water, a fertilizing element, the
nymphs were worshipped as daemons of fertility and vegetation. The
nymphs protected the plants and animals and were also playing the role
of nurses who occasionally raised human beings.
The Nymphs were joining the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo and also
Acheloos, the river god, and were playing with them. However, most
of all, the Nymphs enjoyed playing with Hermes, the messenger of the
gods and Hermes' son, the Satyr Pan.
Centaurs were half- horse creatures of ancient Greece and
the spirits of the storm
The Centaurs were the offspring of Ixion, the king of Lapithae
(Thessaly), and the rain cloud Nephele. Their head, arms and torso had
the human shape and their lower part was that of a horse. Their diet was
adjusted according to their physical shape.
The Centaurs were mainly living on the Mount Pelion in Thessaly.
With only few exceptions, such as Cheiron, the Centaurs were lawless,
aggressive creatures and were usually drunk.
The Centaurs were involved in a struggle with the Lapiths, known as
"Centauromachy", when trying to intrude and cause trouble during the
wedding feast of the Lapiths' King Peritheios with Ippodameia. The
centauromachy caused the Centaurs' expelling from Thessaly.
Satyrs were divine, half-men and half-goat creatures of
The Satyrs were mythological creatures with the upper part of their
body of a man and the lower half of a goat. The leader of the Satyrs was
Usually the Satyrs resided in woods and mountains or were
accompanying the Greek god of wine Dionysus on his journeys, dancing
around joyfully with the Nymphs and drinking.
The Satyrs also gave their name to a specific type of theatrical play, the
satiric drama, that parodies popular myths of Greek gods and heroes.
The Roman name of Satyrs is "faun"