The major Olympians
|Greek name||Roman name||Image||Functions and attributes|
|Zeus||Jupiter||King of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus; god of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice. Youngest child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Symbols include the thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, scepter, and scales. Brother and husband of Hera, although he had many lovers, also brother of Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, and Hestia.|
|Hera||Juno||Queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage and family. Symbols include the peacock, cuckoo, and cow. Youngest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Wife and sister of Zeus. Being the goddess of marriage, she frequently tried to get revenge on Zeus' lovers and their children.|
|Poseidon||Neptune||God of the seas, earthquakes, and tidal wave. Symbols include the horse, bull, dolphin, and trident. Middle son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother of Zeus and Hades. Married to the Nereid Amphitrite, although, like most male Greek Gods, he had many lovers.|
|Demeter||Ceres||Goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature, and the seasons. Symbols include the poppy, wheat, torch, cornucopia, and pig. Middle daughter of Cronus and Rhea.|
|Athena||Minerva||Goddess of wisdom, reason, intelligent activity, literature, handicrafts and science, defense and strategic warfare. Symbols include the owl and the olive tree. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Metis, she rose from her father's head fully grown and in full battle armor.|
|Apollo[A]||Apollo[A]||God of light, prophecy, inspiration, poetry, music and arts, medicine and healing. Son of Zeus and Leto. Symbols include the sun, lyre, swan, and mouse. Twin brother of Artemis.|
|Artemis||Diana||Goddess of the hunt, virginity, archery, the moon, and all animals. Symbols include the moon, deer, hound, she-bear, snake, cypress tree, and bow and arrow. Daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister of Apollo.|
|Ares||Mars||God of war, violence, and bloodshed. Symbols include the boar, serpent, dog, vulture, spear, and shield. Son of Zeus and Hera, all the other gods (except Aphrodite) despised him. His Latin name, Mars, gave us the word "martial."|
|Aphrodite||Venus||Goddess of love, beauty, and desire. Symbols include the dove, bird, apple, bee, swan, myrtle, and rose. Daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Dione, or perhaps born from the sea foam after Uranus' semen dripped into the sea after being castrated by his youngest son, Cronus, who then threw his father's genitals into the sea. Married to Hephaestus, although she had many adulterous affairs, most notably with Ares. Her name gave us the word "aphrodisiac", while her Latin name, Venus, gave us the word "venereal".[B]|
|Hephaestus||Vulcan||Master blacksmith and craftsman of the gods; god of fire and the forge. Symbols include fire, anvil, axe, donkey, hammer, tongs, and quail. Son of Hera, either by Zeus or alone. Married to Aphrodite, though unlike most divine husbands, he was rarely ever licentious. His Latin name, Vulcan, gave us the word "volcano."|
|Hermes||Mercury||Messenger of the gods; god of commerce, thieves, eloquence and streets. Symbols include the caduceus (staff entwined with two snakes), winged sandals and cap, stork, and tortoise (whose shell he used to invent the lyre). Son of Zeus and the nymph Maia. The second-youngest Olympian, just older than Dionysus.|
|Hestia||Vesta||Goddess of the hearth and of the right ordering of domesticity and the family; she was born into the first Olympian generation and was one of the original twelve Olympians. Some lists of the Twelve Olympians omit her in favor of Dionysus, but the speculation that she gave her throne to him in order to keep the peace seems to be modern invention. She is the first child of Cronus and Rhea, eldest sister of Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus.|
|Bacchus||God of wine, celebrations, and ecstasy. Patron god of the art of theatre. Symbols include the grapevine, ivy, cup, tiger, panther, leopard, dolphin, goat, and pinecone. Son of Zeus and the mortal Theban princess Semele. Married to the Cretan princessAriadne. The youngest Olympian god, as well as the only one to have a mortal mother.|
- ^ Romans also associated Phoebus with Helios and the sun itself, however, they also used the Greek name Apollon in a Latinized form Apollo.
- ^ According to an alternate version of her birth, Aphrodite was born of Uranus, Zeus' grandfather, after Cronus threw his castrated genitals into the sea. This supports the etymology of her name, "foam-born". As such, Aphrodite would belong to the same generation as Cronus, Zeus' father, and would be Zeus' aunt. See the birth of Aphrodite
|Greek name||Roman names||Image||Functions and Attributes|
|God of the Underworld, dead and the riches under the Earth; he was born into the first Olympian generation, the elder brother of Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, and Demeter, and younger brother of Hestia, but as he lives in the Underworld rather than on Mount Olympus, he is typically not included amongst the twelve Olympians.|
|Heracles||Hercules||A divine hero, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson (and half-brother) of Perseus (Περσεύς). He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters.|
|Persephone(or Kore)||Proserpina||Queen of the Underworld and a daughter of Demeter and Zeus. Also goddess of spring time. She became the consort of Hades, the god of the underworld, when he kidnapped her. Demeter, driven to distraction by the disappearance of her daughter, neglected all of the earth so that nothing would grow. Zeus eventually ordered Hades to allow Persephone to leave the underworld and rejoin her mother. Hades did this, but because Persephone had eaten six of the twelve pomegranate seeds in the underworld when Hades first kidnapped her, she had to spend six months in the underworld each year. This created the seasons when for six months everything grows and flourishes then for the other six months everything wilts and dies. Her symbols include the pomegranate, willow tree, waterfalls, rivers and springs.|
|Asclepius||Vejovis||The god of medicine and healing. He represents the healing aspect of the medical arts; his daughters are Hygieia ("Health"), Iaso ("Medicine"), Aceso ("Healing"), Aglæa/Ægle ("Healthy Glow"), and Panacea ("Universal Remedy"). He is the son of Apollo and Coronis.|
|Eros||Cupid (or Amor)||The god of sexual love and beauty. He was also worshipped as a fertility deity, son of Aphrodite and Ares. He was depicted often as carrying a lyre or bow and arrow. He is often accompanied by dolphins, roses, and torches.|
|Hebe||Juventas||She is the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Hebe was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia, until she was married to Heracles. She is the goddess of youth.|
Minor residents of Mount Olympus
- Aeolus – King of the winds, keeper of the Anemoi, master of the seasonal winds.
- Amphitrite – Queen of the Sea, mother of Triton and wife of Poseidon.
- Anemoi – The personifications of the four wind directions (North, South, East and West).
- Aura – Goddess of cool breezes and fresh air.
- Bia – Personification of force.
- Circe – minor goddess of magic, not to be confused with Hecate.
- Deimos – God of terror, son of Ares and brother of Phobos.
- Dione – Oceanid; Mother of Aphrodite by Zeus in Homer's version.
- Eileithyia – Goddess of childbirth; daughter of Hera and Zeus.
- Enyo – A goddess of warfare, companion of Ares. She was also the sister of Ares in some cases. In those cases, her parents are Zeus and Hera.
- Eos – Personification of dawn.
- Eris – Goddess of discord and strife.
- Ganymede – Cupbearer of the gods' palace at Olympus.
- Graces – Goddesses of beauty and attendants of Aphrodite and Hera.
- Harmonia – Goddess of concord and harmony, opposite of Eris, daughter of Aphrodite.
- Hecate – Goddess associated with magic, witches and crossroads.
- Helios – Titan; personification of the sun.
- Horae – Wardens of Olympus.
- Hypnos – God of sleep, father of Morpheus and son of Nyx.
- Iris – Personification of the Rainbow, also the messenger of Olympus along with Hermes.
- Kratos – Personification of power.
- Leto – Titaness of the unseen; the mother of Apollo and Artemis.
- Moirai – The 'Fates'. Clotho (the spinner), Lachesis (the allotter) and Atropos (the unturnable).
- Momus – God of satire, mockery, satires, and poets.
- Morpheus – God of dreams.
- Muses – Nine goddesses of science and arts. Their names are Calliope, Urania, Clio, Polyhymnia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Thalia, Euterpe, and Erato.
- Nemesis – Greek goddess of retribution and revenge, daughter of Nyx.
- Nike – Goddess of victory.
- Nyx – Goddess of night.
- Paean – Physician of the gods.
- Perseus – Son of Zeus and Danae, slayer of Medusa, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty.
- Phantasos - God of surreal dreams.
- Phobos – God of fear, son of Ares and brother of Deimos.
- Selene – Titaness; personification of the moon.
- Styx – Goddess of the River Styx, the river where gods swear oaths on.
- Thanatos – God of Death, sometimes a personification of Death.
- Theseus – Son of Poseidon, first Hero of Athens and slayer of the Minotaur.
- Triton – Messenger of the Seas, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. He holds a twisted conch shell.
- Tyche – Goddess of Luck.
- Zelus – Personification of Emulation.
|[hide]Olympians' family tree |