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The Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon, were the principal deities of the

Greek pantheon, said to reside atop Mount Olympus. The Olympians gained their supremacy in a
ten-year-long war of gods in which Zeus led his siblings to victory over their predecessor gods,
the Titans.
The concept of the "Twelve Gods" is older than any extant Greek or Roman sources.[5] The gods
meet in council in the Homeric epics, but the first ancient reference to religious ceremonies for the
Olympians collectively is found in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes. The Greek cult of the Twelve
Olympians can be traced to 6th-century BC Athens and probably has no precedent in the Mycenaean
period. The Altar of the Twelve Gods at Athens is usually dated to the archonship of the
younger Pesistratos, in 522/521 BC.
In ancient Greek religion, the "Olympian Gods" and the "Cults of Twelve Gods" were often relatively
distinct concepts.

Zeus
-

God of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice


ruled as king of the gods of Mount Olympus
His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter.
child of Cronus and Rhea
married to Hera
respected as an allfather who was chief of the gods
symbols: thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak

Hera
-

Goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, and family


the wife and one of three sisters of Zeus
Counterpart: Juno
cow, lion and the peacock were considered sacred to her
mother is Rhea and her father Cronus
bear a pomegranate in her hand, emblem of fertile blood and death and a
substitute for the narcotic capsule of the opium poppy

Poseidon
-

God of the sea, earthquakes, storms, and horses


"Earth-Shaker"
due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the "tamer of
horses"

Demeter
-

Goddess of agriculture, fertility, and the harvest


presided over grains and the fertility of the earth
Sito: "She of the Grain" - as the giver of food or grain
Themophoros: "Law-Bringer" - as a mark of the civilized
existence of agricultural society
presided also over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and
death
"two mistresses and the king": Persephone and Poseidon
Roman equivalent is Ceres

Athena
-

Goddess of Wisdom and War


often given the epithet Pallas
goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice,
mathematics, strength, war strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill
known for her calm temperament
noted to have only fought for just reasons, and would not fight without a
purpose
the virgin patroness of Athens

Apollo
-

God of music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light
and knowledge
god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague,
poetry, and more
oracular godthe prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle
kouros
son of Zeus and Leto
twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis
patron of Delphi
medicine and healing

Artemis
-

Goddess of the Hunt, Forests and Hills, the Moon, Archery


roman equivalent is Diana
"Artemis of the wildland, Mistress of Animals"
Arcadians believed she was the daughter of Demeter
Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild
animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and protector of young girls,
bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a
huntress carrying a bow and arrows
Sacred: dear and the cypress

Ares
-

God of War
son
represents
contrast to his

of Zeus and Hera


the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in
sister the armored Athena
"Overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-

slaughtering."
Counterpart:

Mars

Aphrodite
-

Goddess of love, beauty and sexuality

Hephaestus
-

God of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges, the art of sculpture,


and blacksmiths.

Hermes
-

Messenger of
athletes, border

the gods, god of trade, thieves, travelers, sports,


crossings, guide to the Underworld

Hestia
-

Goddess of the hearth, home, domesticity, family, and the state