26 of the most popular Ancient Greek Gods
For Kids and Teachers
A Short Paragraph about 26 of the Most Popular Greek Gods
is the king of gods. Zeus is the ruler of Mount Olympus and the God
of the sky, whether, thunder, lightning, law, order and fate. He
became king by throwing over Cronus. He is depicted as an older man
with a beard. He carries a royal scepter and a lightning bolt. He is
the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea.
2. Demeter is the goddess of agriculture, harvest, growth, grain and nourishment. She is the daughter of Cronus and Rhea and the sister of Zeus. She is the mother of Persephone. She has power over the lifecycle of plants. She is depicted as an older woman with a crown. Her symbol is the cornucopia and a winged serpent. She is the goddess who deals with the passage of the human soul through life and into the afterlife after death.
3. Hades is the king of the underworld and the dead. He is also the God of the Earth's hidden wealth including agricultural produce and precious metals. His lover is Persephone. He carries a drinking horn, a cornucopia, a key, a scepter and has a three headed dog named Cerberus. He is the son of Cronus and Rhea. He has sovereign over one of the three realms of the universe, the underworld.
4. Poseidon is the God of the sea, rivers, droughts, floods, earthquakes and the creator of forces. He is known as the Earth Shaker. He is the son of Cronus and Rhea. He is the brother to Zeus and Hades. He rules one of the three realms of the universe as king of the sea and the water. He is depicted as an older man and with a large build and he holds a Trident. His Roman counterpart was Neptune.
is the goddess of intelligence, warfare, battle strategy,
handicrafts and wisdom. She was born from Zeusís head. When she
was born she was dressed in armor. She is depicted as wearing a
crown, wearing an aegis over a dress and holding a spear. She is a
patron of heroes. The city of Athens Greece was named after her.
is the goddess of love, beauty, and desire and pleasure. She was
married to Hephaestus
although she had many lovers. Some of her lovers included
most notably Ares, Adonis, and Anchises. She was depicted as a beautiful woman and of
all the goddesses most likely to appear nude or seminude. Poets
praise the radiance of her smile and her laughter. She was
considered the ideal beauty.
is the God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery,
trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, and athletics.
He is the son
of Zeus and Maia, Hermes is the messenger of the gods. He also
led the souls of the dead into the afterlife. He was depicted either
as a handsome and athletic beardless youth, or as an older bearded
man. He was often depicted as carrying the herald's wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler's cap.
is the God of war, bloodshed and violence. He is the
son of Zeus and Hera. He was depicted as a beardless youth, either
nude with a helmet and spear or sword, or as an armed warrior. He
was sometimes portrayed as moody and unreliable. He often represents
the chaos of war. His sacred animals are venomous snakes and boars.
was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. Persephone was abducted by Hades who had come for her in a chariot. Hades took her down to his
kingdom and tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds. Because she
ate the pomegranate seeds she had to spend part of her life with
Hades. She is sometimes called the Queen of the Underworld. Because
she is so sad during her time with Hades the earth experiences
winter. When she leaves Hades the earth has its spring. She is often
called Kore, the maiden.
is a Titan and a culture hero. He is a trickster who created man
from clay. He stole fire in defiance to the gods and gave it to
humanity. When he gave fire to man it enabled them to progress and
become a civilization. He is known for his intelligence and as a
champion of mankind. Prometheus was punished by Zeus for stealing
fire. He was bound to a rock and an eagle ate his liver every day
and it would grow back every day so the eagle would come the next
day and eat it all over again as his punishment.
11. Icarus is best known for his attempt to escape from Crete by wearing wings his father made for him from feathers and wax. He flew too close to the sun and the melting wax caused him to fall into the sea where he drowned. The sea where he fell is named after him, the Icarian Sea. This is taken as a tragic example of failed ambition. He is seen as a mythical pioneer in Greece's attempt to conquer the sky. The Hellenic Air Force Academy is named after him.
12. Heracles is often called Hercules. He is the son of Zeus and Alcmena. Hercules has many adventures and mythological stories. The labors of Hercules are tasks that the Oracle of Delphi sent him on. They include, killing the Nemean Lion, a monstrous feline, killing the multi headed hydra, bringing back a ravaging deer, catching a boar, cleaning out the massive stables of Augeas, scaring off and killing the metal feathered Stymphalian birds, capturing the Cretan bull and moving then releasing the man eating Mares of Diomedes. Still today when someone is very strong we call them Hercules.
is the crippled God of fire, metal working and crafts. He is the son
of Hera. He is the husband of Aphrodite. Aphrodite cheated on him
all the time. He was usually depicted as a bearded man with a hammer
and an anvil. Among his creations was the armor of Achilles. Hephaestus used the fire of the forge as a
14. Cronus envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Uranus. His mother was Gaia. His mother gave him a sickle and he castrated his father with it. After he did this he became the ruling Titan. His wife was Rhea. Their children were the first of the Olympians. Cronus ate his children when they were born. Rhea tricked him into swallowing a rock instead of Zeus. When Zeus grew up he defeated him and banish them to the underworld.
15. Gaea or Mother Earth was the great goddess of the early Greeks. She represented the earth and was worshipped as the univeral mother. Mother Earth made the starry heavens in the form of the sky god Uranus. She created the mountains, plains, seas and rivers that make up the earth. She is the oldest of the gods of the early Greeks. She presided over marriages and oaths.
is the queen of the heavens
and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and
empires. She is the wife of Zeus and daughter of Cronus and Rhea.
She was usually depicted as a regal woman in the prime of her life.
She was often shown wearing a diadem and veil. She was also shown
holding a lotus-tipped staff. Although she was the goddess of
marriage Zeus made her mad by cheating on her. Zeus drove her to
become vengeful and jealous. In Rome she was known as Juno.
is the Virgin goddess of the hearth, home and chastity. She is
a daughter of Rhea and Cronus. She is the sister of Zeus. She was often depicted as a
modestly veiled woman. Her symbols are the hearth and kettle. She
gave up her seat as one of the 12
Her counterpart Vesta,
however, was a major deity of the Roman state.
was also known as Daedalos,
meaning "clever worker". He was a skillful craftsman and
artesian. He is first mentioned by Homer as the creator of a wide
dancing ground for Ariadne. He created the labyrinth on Crete where
the Minotaur was kept. Today when objects are finely crafted they
are called daidala after him.
is the God of light, music, arts, knowledge, healing,
plague and darkness, prophecy, poetry, purity, athleticism, manly
beauty, and enlightenment. He is the son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis. As brother and sister, they were identified
with the sun and moon; both use a bow and arrow. Apollo was depicted
as a very handsome, beardless young man with long hair and an ideal
physique. As the embodiment of perfectionism, he could be cruel and
destructive, and his love affairs were rarely happy. His attributes
include the laurel wreath and lyre. He often appears in the company of the Muses.
is the Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals,
young girls, childbirth and plague. In later times she became
associated with the moon. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo. She was often depicted as a young woman
dressed in a short knee-length chiton. She was depicted holding a hunting bow and a
quiver of arrows. She can often be seen with hunting spears, animal
pelts surrounded by wild animals.
means sky or heaven. Uranus was often referred to as Father Sky.
Uranus was the son and the husband of Gaia. Gaia was mother Earth.
Some myths say that his father is actually Aether. Uranus and Gaia
were the parents of the first generation of Titans. The Titans were
the ancestors of most of the Greek gods. In Roman mythology he was
was the son of Iapetus. His brothers were Prometheus and Epimetheus. Atlas fought with the other Titans supporting Cronus against Zeus. Cronus's was very old so Atlas lead the Titan's
in battle. Zeus was so mad at him that he punished him by making him
carry the entire world on his back. He is the titan of astronomy and
navigation. Atlas was the son of the Titan Iapetus. The Atlas
Mountains in Africa were named after him.
is the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus.
She is known as the mother of the gods. The Greeks saw her as the
mother of the Olympian goddesses and the gods in her own right. The
Romans identified her with Magna Mater.
is the maiden, she is also known as Persephone. She is described in
Minotaur was a
bullheaded monster. He was the child of Queen Pasiphae of
Krete after she had been with a bull. The Minotaur lives in a
labyrinth, a twisted maze. He was offered regular sacrifices of
young people which he ate. He
was eventually destroyed by the hero Theseus. The Minotauros' proper
name Asterion, "the starry one," suggests he was
associated with the constellation Tauros.
credit god/goddess/or hero
was a king of Crete. He was the son of Zeus and Europa. Every nine years, he made King Aegeus pick seven
young boys and seven young girls to be sent to the labyrinth,
to be eaten by the Minotaur.
After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in the underworld.
The Minoan civilization of Crete has been named after him. Minos wanted to be the king of Krete. He said that
the gods had chosen him and to prove it he would show them that
whatever he prayed for would come true. He prayed for a ball to
appear from the sea and he promised to kill it when it appeared.
Poseidon did send to him a bull and he was a ruler because of it.
Poseidon was angry that the bull was not killed and turned
the bull wild. Poseidon tricked his wife Pasiphae to have sex with
the bull and she gave birth to a half bull named Minotaur. Minos hid
the Minotaur in a labyrinth.