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Poseidon

Tales beyond belief

Poseidon for kids
Discover the legends and myths and religious beliefs surrounding Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea, tempests, storms and earthquakes. He was commonly called the 'Earth-Shaker'. He was also revered as the father of rivers and fountains. In Greek mythology the god Poseidon breathed life into the first horse on earth.

Although Poseidon was one of the gods of Mount Olympus, he spent most of his time in his domains and realms that encompassed all water.

Who was Poseidon?
Poseidon, Zeus and Hades were brothers together achieving victory in the in the War with the Titans. They divided all of the dominions and threw lots to determine who would rule each realm. Zeus became ruler of the  heavens, Hades  became ruler of the Underworld and Poseidon was given dominion over all water, both fresh and salt.

Poseidon (Roman Counterpart was Neptune)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Poseidon, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Poseidon was Neptune.

Facts about Poseidon
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Poseidon:

  • Personality: Greedy, bad-tempered, moody and vengeful

  • Appearance: Powerful, strong, imposing, bearded with long, blue hair

  • Role & Function: The function of Poseidon is described as being the god of the sea, earthquakes and horses.

  • Status: Major God and one of the Twelve Olympians

  • Symbols: Trident, horse, dolphin and bull

  • Alternative Names: Lord of the Seas

  • Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this god was Neptune

  • Name of Wife: The sea nymph or Nereid called Amphitrite

  • Name of Father: Cronus

  • Name of Mother: Rhea

  • Names of Children: The merman Triton, Proteus and the sea Nymphs Rhode and Benthesicyme

The Family of Poseidon
According to Greek legends and myths the family of Poseidon were as follows:

  • Father:  Cronus
  • Mother:  Rhea
  • Brothers:  Hades and Zeus
  • Sisters:  Hestia, Hera, and Demeter
  • Wife:  Amphitrite
  • The names of the sons of Poseidon were:  Triton and Proteus
  • The names of the daughters of Poseidon were:  Rhode and Benthesicyme

Poseidon and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods, that included Poseidon, were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes.

Poseidon Symbols
In the sculptures, vases, mosaics and paintings of Greek Art the Olympian god Poseidon was often illustrated with images representing his symbols. Poseidon is often seen seated on his sea-shell chariot drawn by mythical creatures called Hippocamps which were the horses of the sea and depicted as 'hybrid animals' with the head and fore-parts of a horse and the tail of a fish. The symbols of Poseidon were:

  • The Trident
    • The symbol of the trident of power represents his ability to control water. The trident were made by the Cyclopes before the war between the Olympians and Titans.
    • The trident resembled the arrow-headed pronged fork, used by the fishermen of the Mediterranean Sea in the eel-fishery
  • The Horse
    • The symbol of the horse is because Poseidon was believed to have created the first horse. The horses that pulled his sea shell chariot were called Hippocamps
  • The Dolphin
    • The symbol of the dolphin was sacred to Poseidon, dolphins have the ability to move in and out of water
  • The Bull
    • The symbol of the bull is associated with the god due to the mythology of the Cretan Bull that he sent to King Minos.

Amphitrite and Poseidon in Greek Mythology
The Greek god of the sea, married the sea-nymph Amphitrite. She was the daughter of Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, who was known to drive his chariot through the waves, dominating the sea.

Poseidon in Greek Mythology
The Greek god of the sea, featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology, including the legend of the Minotaur. The legend and myth tells of King Minos of Crete who called upon Poseidon to send a bull from the sea that he could sacrifice to the god as a sign of support. A beautiful white bull was sent to King Minos who liked it too much to sacrifice, it was then referred to as the the Cretan Bull. The god was furious and asked Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love) to cast a spell on Pasiphae, the wife of King Minos. The spell caused Pasiphae to fall in love with the bull. The result of their union was the monstrous Minotaur, a man-eating monster with the head of a bull on the body of a man who was kept in an enormous labyrinth. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.

Facts about Poseidon in Greek Mythology
Discover interesting information and facts about Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea.

  • He was father of the hero Theseus, although the mortal Aegeus also claimed that he was his father. Theseus accepted both of them

  • He rescued Amymone from a lecherous satyr and then had a child named Nauplius with her.

  • In the story of the Odyssey by Homer, Poseidon is notable for his hatred of the hero Odysseus who blinded the god's son, the monstrous cyclops Polyphemus. He delayed return of Odysseus from the Trojan War by causing his boat to be ship wrecked

  • The sea god ravished Medusa, a beautiful priestess in a temple to the goddess Athena. The poor priestess was then changed into the mythical creature called a Gorgon by Athena. The name of the Gorgon was Medusa

  • He vied with Athena to be patron deity of Athens

  • The Aloadae were giant sons of Poseidon called Otus and Ephialtes who attempted to scale Olympus and dethrone Zeus. The were sentenced to never ending torment in Tartarus

  • As god of the sea he lived in a beautiful palace on the ocean floor, made of coral and precious gems

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods and Goddesses
Zeus and Poseidon

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