The Greek God Poseidon

Poseidon, the God of the Sea

Poseidon is the god of the sea and the ruler of all bodies of water. He is one of the 12 Olympians and was particularly important to Greek sailors and fisherman. He was also a major protagonist in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey and features as Odysseus's nemesis.

A Powerful Deity

He was considered to be a very powerful deity and a very ill-tempered person. He often had disputes with other gods, especially Athena and Odysseus.

The Origin of His Name

His name comes from a Greek word that means "to be the master of." He was originally a god of Libya. However, he was eventually brought to Greece where he was worshipped as the god of the ocean.

Depictions of Poseidon

In Greece, he was often represented as a strong and handsome figure with a three-pronged spear called a trident. He was usually depicted with curly hair and a beard and sometimes he was shown riding a chariot drawn by fish-tailed horses. He was often crowned with a wreath of wild celery or a simple headband and was clothed in either a robe or a billowing cloak. He had a throne and was believed to have the ability to command all of the other gods and their followers.

Sacred Animals and Symbols

Sacred animals for Poseidon included the bull, horse, and dolphin. They were often paired with a pine tree and wild celery which may have been a symbol for the impetuosity of his nature.

Power over Storms and Earthquakes

A lot of his power was associated with storms and earthquakes. He was known to call down lightning or cause a tidal wave to sweep over a city. He is a very violent god and was feared for this reason. His actions are often seen as a result of his anger and jealousy.

Poseidon's Grudge Against Odysseus

Poseidon had a grudge against Odysseus and went to great lengths to inconvenience him. In revenge for a mistake that Poseidon made when he blinded his son Polyphemus, he arranged to have Odysseus wander the sea for ten years. This grudge is one of the reasons that he was not a very popular god with most of the Greek people. He was a very ill-tempered and dangerous god who often had conflicts with other gods.

Poseidon's Ego and Cruelty

Another problem with Poseidon is that he had a huge ego and was very jealous of Zeus. He would often try to get his way by trying to convince other gods that he was the superior one. In addition to these problems, he was also a very cruel god. In Greek mythology, he is known to have kidnapped and raped women. He is also known to have caused epilepsy and mental fears in some people.

Family and Significance

His wife was the Nereid Amphitrite but she was not always easy to get along with. She even fled to the Atlas mountains but she was later persuaded by her dolphin friend Delphinus to return and marry him. Despite these terrible stories, the god of the sea was a very important god in Greek mythology. He was a major protagonist in the Trojan War and was also the focus of the Panhellenic Isthmian games which were held near Corinth every two years.

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