Greek gods and goddesses. Names of Greek Gods
Culture and religion in Athens were closely intertwined from time immemorial. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are so many attractions in the country that are dedicated to the idols and gods of antiquity. Probably nowhere is there anything like it. Still, the most complete reflection of the most ancient civilization was Greek mythology. Gods and titans, kings and heroes from legends - all these are parts of the life and existence of ancient Greece.
Of course, their deities and idols existed among many tribes and people. They personified the forces of nature, incomprehensible and frightening ancient man. However, the ancient Greek gods were not only symbols of nature, they were considered the creators of all moral goods and custodians of the beautiful and great forces of the ancient people.
Generations of the gods of ancient Greece
At various times there were also various Greek gods. The list of one ancient author was different from the other, but still, general periods can be distinguished.
So, at the time of the Pelasgas, when the cult of worshiping the forces of nature flourished, the first generation of Greek gods appeared. It was believed that in the world rules of Mist, from which emerged the first supreme deity - Chaos, and their children - Nikta (Night), Eros (Love) and Erebus (Darkness). There was a complete mess on earth.
The names of the second and third generation Greek gods are already known to the whole world. These are the children of Nikta and Eber: the god of air, Ether and the goddess of the day, Gemer, Nemesis (Retribution), Ata (Falsehood), Mom (Foolishness), Kera (Disaster), Erinia (Revenge), Moira (Destiny), Eris (Dissension). As well as the twin brothers Thanatos (herald of death) and Hypnos (Sleep). The children of the goddess of the land of Hera are Pont (the Inner Sea), Tartarus (the Abyss), Nerey (the calm sea) and others. As well as the first generation of powerful and destructive titans and giants.
The Greek gods that existed among the pelagests were overthrown by the titans and a number of universal catastrophes, the legends of which are preserved in myths and legends. After them a new generation appeared - Olympians. These are the human-looking gods of Greek mythology. Their list is huge, and in this article we will discuss the most significant and famous personas.
The first supreme god of ancient Greece
Kronos or Khronov is a god and keeper of time. He was the youngest of the sons of the goddess of the earth Hera and the god of heaven Uranus. Mother loved him, cherished and indulged in everything. However, Kronos grew very ambitious and violent. One day, Hera heard a prediction that his son would be killed by Kronos. But she decided to keep it a secret.
Meanwhile, Kronos killed his father and gained supreme power. He settled on Mount Olympus, which went straight to heaven. Hence the name of the Greek gods, Olympians. When Kronos decided to marry, his mother told him about the prophecy. And he found a way out - he began to swallow all his born children. His poor wife Rhea was horrified, but she could not convince her husband of the opposite. Then she hid her third son (little Zeus) from Kronos on the island of Crete under the supervision of the forest nymphs. It was Zeus and became the death of Kronos. When he grew up, he went to Olympus and overthrew his father, at the same time forcing him to burp off all his brothers.
Zeus and Hera
So, the new human-like Greek gods from Olympus became the rulers of the world. The god of gods became the father of God Zeus.He is a collector of clouds and the master of lightning, creating all living things, as well as establishing order and justice on earth. The Greeks considered Zeus a source of goodness and nobility. The Thunderer is the father of the goddesses of Ohr, the ladies of time and yearlong changes, as well as the Muses, who give people inspiration and joy.
The wife of Zeus was Hera. She was depicted as the grumpy goddess of the atmosphere, as well as the keeper of the hearth. Hera patronized all women who remained faithful to their husbands. And also, together with her daughter, Ilitia facilitated the process of childbirth. According to myths, Zeus was very loving, and after three hundred years of married life, he was bored. He began to visit mortal women in a variety of guises. So, to beautiful Europe appeared in the form of a huge bull with golden horns, and to Danae - in the form of star rain.
Poseidon - the god of the seas and oceans. He always remained in the shadow of his more powerful brother Zeus. The Greeks believed that Poseidon was never brutal. And all the troubles and punishments that he sent to people were deserved.
Poseidon is the patron saint of fishermen and sailors.Always, before they set sail, people prayed first to him, not to Zeus. In honor of the lord of the seas, altars were smoked for several days. According to legends, Poseidon could be seen during a storm on the high seas. He came out of the foam in a golden chariot drawn by dashing horses, which his brother Hades gave him.
The wife of Poseidon was the goddess of the roaring sea of Amphitrite. The symbol is the trident who bestowed full power over the deep sea. Poseidon had a soft, non-conflict nature. He always sought to avoid quarrels and conflicts, and was unconditionally devoted to Zeus, unlike Hades.
Hades and Persephone
The Greek gods of the underworld are, first of all, gloomy Hades and his wife Persephone. Hades - the god of death, lord of the kingdom of the dead. He was feared even more than the thunderer himself. No one could descend into the underworld without the permission of Aida, and moreover, to return. As Greek mythology says, the gods of Olympus shared power among themselves. And Hades, who inherited the underworld, was displeased. He harbored a grudge against Zeus.
Despite the fact that he never spoke directly and openly, there are many examples in the legends when the death god tried in every way to spoil the life of his crowned brother.So, once Hades kidnapped the beautiful daughter of Zeus and the fertility goddess Demeter Persephone. He forcibly made her his queen. Zeus was not in power over the realm of the dead, and chose not to mess with his embittered brother, because he refused to upset Demeter to save his daughter. And only when the goddess of fertility in grief forgot about her duties, and drought and famine began on earth, Zeus decided to talk with Hades. They concluded a contract according to which Persephone will spend two thirds of the year on earth with her mother, and all the rest of the time in the realm of the dead.
Hades was portrayed as a grim man sitting on a throne. On the ground, he traveled in a chariot drawn by hellish horses with eyes burning with flame. And at that time people were afraid and prayed that he would not take them to his kingdom. Aida's pet was the three-headed dog Cerberus, who constantly guarded the entrance to the world of the dead.
The beloved Greek goddess Athena was the daughter of the thunderer Zeus. According to myths, she was born from his head. At first it was thought that Athena was the goddess of the clear sky, who with her spear dispersed all the black clouds. She was also a symbol of victorious energy.The Greeks portrayed Athena as a powerful warrior with a shield and a spear. She always traveled with the goddess Nika, personifying the victory.
In ancient Greece, Athena was considered the protector of fortresses and cities. She bestowed on people a fair and proper state order. The goddess personified wisdom, tranquility and insightful mind.
Hephaestus and Prometheus
Hephaestus - the god of fire and blacksmithing. His activity was manifested by volcanic eruptions, which greatly frightened people. Initially, he was considered only the god of heavenly fire. Since on earth people lived and died in the eternal cold. Hephaestus, like Zeus, and other Olympian gods was cruel to the world of people, and was not going to give them fire.
Prometheus changed everything. He was the last of the titans who managed to survive. He lived on Olympus and was the right hand of Zeus. Prometheus could not watch people suffer, and, having stolen the sacred fire from the temple, brought it to the ground. For which he was punished by the thunderer and doomed to eternal torment. But the titan was able to negotiate with Zeus: he gave him freedom in exchange for the secret of the preservation of power. Prometheus could see the future. And in the future of Zeus, he saw his death at the hands of his son.Thanks to titan, the father of all the gods did not marry the one who could give birth to his murderous son, and thereby secured his power forever.
The Greek gods Athena, Hephaestus and Prometheus became symbols of the ancient festival of running with lit torches. The progenitor of the Olympic Games.
The Greek sun god Apollo was the son of Zeus. He was identified with Helios. According to Greek mythology, Apollo in the winter lives in the far reaches of the Hyperboreans, and returns to Hellas in the spring and re-infuses life into a faded nature. Apollo was also the god of music and singing, as along with the revival of nature he gave people the desire to sing and create. He was called the patron saint of art. Music and poetry in ancient Greece were considered the gift of Apollo.
Thanks to his regenerating ability, he was also considered the god of healing. According to the legends, Apollo, by its sunshine, banished all blackness from the patient. The ancient Greeks depicted the god as a fair-haired young man with a harp in his hands.
Apollo's sister Artemis was the goddess of the moon and the hunt. It was believed that at night she wandered through the forests with her companions naiads and irrigated the land with dew. She was also called the patroness of animals.At the same time, Artemis has a lot of legends associated with it, where she cruelly stoked the navigators. In order to appease her, people were sacrificed.
At one time, the Greeks called Artemis the patroness of brides. The girls performed ceremonies and brought offerings to the goddess in the hope of a strong marriage. Artemis Ephesus even became a symbol of fertility and childbirth. The Greeks portrayed a goddess with a multitude of breasts on her breast, which symbolized her generosity as the breadwinner of people.
The names of the Greek gods Apollo and Artemis are closely associated with Helios and Selena. Gradually, brother and sister lost their physical value. Therefore, in Greek mythology, the separate sun god Helios and the moon goddess Selena appeared. Apollo remained the patron of music and the arts, and Artemis - the hunt.
Originally, Ares was considered the god of a stormy sky. He was the son of Zeus and Hera. But the ancient Greek poets, he received the status of the god of war. He was always portrayed as a fierce warrior armed with a sword or spear. Ares loved the noise of battle and bloodshed. Therefore, he always feuded with the clear-sky goddess Athena. She was for prudence and honest conduct of the battle, he - violent clashes and countless bloodshed.
Ares is also considered the creator of the tribunal’s trial of murderers.The trial took place on a sacred hill, which was named in honor of God - the Areopagus.
Aphrodite and Eros
Beautiful Aphrodite was the patroness of all lovers. She - a favorite muse for all poets, sculptors and artists of the time. The goddess was portrayed as a beautiful woman, emerging naked from the sea foam. Aphrodite's soul was always full of pure and immaculate love. At the time of the Phoenicians, Aphrodite contained two beginnings - Asheru and Astarte. She was Ashera when she enjoyed the singing of nature and the love of the young man Adonis. And Astarta - when she was revered, as the “goddess of the heights” - a stern warrior who imposed a vow of chastity on her novices and protected marital morality. The ancient Greeks combined these two principles in their goddess and created an image of ideal femininity and beauty.
Eros or Eros is the Greek god of love. He was the son of beautiful Aphrodite, her messenger and loyal assistant. Eros united the fates of all lovers. He was portrayed as a little plump boy with wings.
Demeter and Dionysus
Greek gods, patrons of agriculture and winemaking. Demeter personified nature, which ripens and bears fruit under sunshine and torrential rains. She was portrayed as a "fair-haired" goddess, who bestowed on people a crop, deserved by work and then.It is to Demeter that people owe a science to arable farming and sowing. The goddess was also called the "mother earth". Her daughter Persephone was the link between the world of the living and the realm of the dead, she belonged to both worlds.
Dionysus - the god of wine. As well as fraternity and joy. Dionysus gives people inspiration and fun. He taught people to cultivate the vine, as well as wild and wild songs, which then served as the basis for ancient Greek drama. God was depicted as a young, cheerful young man, a vine twined around his body, and in his hands was a jug of wine. Wine and vine are the main symbols of Dionysus.