ANCIENT GREEK RELIGION

The Greeks had many gods and godesses, they were polytheistic. All the stories concerning their gods, goddesses and heroes are included in Greek mythology. Greeks made temples as the home of their gods and goddesses. There was a statue of the God or Goddess in the temple and they performed ceremonies built temples and offered sacrifices to their major gods and goddesses.

The Olympians

The twelve Olympian gods were the major gods of the Greeks and lived on Mount Olympus. They were:

  • Zeus  was the leader of the Olympians and god of the sky and lightning. whose symbol is the lighting bolt. He is married to his sister, Hera.
  • Hera – Queen of the gods and married to Zeus. She is the goddess of marriage and family. Her symbols are the peacock, pomegranate, lion, and cow.

  • Poseidon was the God of the ocean, earthquakes, and horses and his symbol is the trident. He is Zeus’ and Hades brother.
  • Dionysus  is the Lord of  wine and celebrations as well as the patron of the theatre and art. His main symbol is the grapevine. He is the son of Zeus.
  • Apollo is the  god of archery, music, light, and prophecy. Among his symbols are the sun, the bow and arrow, and the lyre. His twin sister is Artemis.

  • Artemis , twin sister of Apollo and Goddess of the hunt, archery, and animals. Her symbols are the moon, the bow and arrow, and the deer.

  • Hermes is the God of commerce and thieves. Hermes is also the messenger of the gods. His main symbol is the winged sandals.
  • Athena was the goddess of wisdom, defense, and war and her symbols are the owl and the olive branch. She is the patron god of Athens.

  • Ares was the God of war so his symbols are the spear and shield. He is the son of Zeus and Hera.
  • Aphrodite was the Goddess of love and beauty. Her symbols included the dove, swan, and rose. She is married to Hephaestus.

  • Hephaestus – God of fire and blacksmith and craftsman for the gods. His symbols are the fire, the hammer, the anvil, and the donkey. He is married to Aphrodite.
  • Demeter  is the Goddess of agriculture and the seasons. Her main symbols are the wheat and the pig.
  • HadesGod of the Underworld where he lived.

Greek Heroes

Greek heroes were brave and strong men who had the favours the gods. They experienced lots of adventures.  Heores were mortals but also related to the gods. The main heroes were:

  • Hercules – Son of Zeus and the greatest hero in Greek Mythology, Hercules had many labors to perform. He was very strong and fought many monsters.
  • Achilles – was the hero of the Trojan war and he was invulnerable except for his heel. He is the central character in Homer’s Iliad.
  • Odysseus was the hero of the Odyssey, was brave and strong, but mostly he overcomes all the challenges using his intelligence.

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