Alright it’s another week. Hope everyone is doing well. As well as one can be during this pandemic that is. Continuing our Journey this week we decided to start things off with the most famous mythology ever; Greek Mythology. Thus in today’s edition of Mythology and Legends we feature the ultra powerful, super hot, megalomaniac “Gods” of the ancient Greek civilisation, “The Olympians”. Before we get to the Gods themselves let’s rewind a little and see how they actually came into existence. At the very beginning Ouranus was the God of the Sky. His son “Kronos’’ (Titan of time and youngest of Ouranus’s children) ended up killing Ouranos and ascended to the throne. Together with his mother Gaia and his brothers they killed Ouranus by cutting off his genitals and tossing them to the sea (OUCH!). Anyway, while dying, Ouranus prophesied that a son of Kronos would kill him the way he killed Ouranus.
Kronos then became the king of the Titans and ruled over the “Golden Age”. He avoided marriage for a long time so as to avoid having any children but eventually fell in love with his sister Rhea and married her (Marrying his own sister? Now that’s Gross!). He ended up having 6 kids with Rhea and fearing his father’s prophecy, he literally ate 5 of his kids so as to prevent it. The kids that got eaten were Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseiden necessarily in that order. You would think Rhea would have the sense not to have anymore kids with him after he swallowed the first few but apparently not. However she did manage to hide her youngest son Zeus and trick Kronos to eat a stone instead of baby Zeus. Years went by and Zeus became a full fledged God. He soon freed his siblings with the help of Rhea, by making Kronos throw them up, waged war on the Titans and cut Kronos into pieces with the same scythe that he used to kill Ouranus. (Phew...that’s one deranged family.) And so the “Gods” thus came into power. Since their base was the mighty Mount Olympus they would henceforth be known as “The Olympians”.
The brothers Zeus, Poseidon and Hades decided to draw lots to decide who would rule what. You may wonder why the three older goddesses didn’t get a say in this. Gender Equality wasn’t a thing back then. Zeus ended up being God of the Sky and King of the Gods, Poseiden - God the Sea and Hades - God of the Underworld. Known as the Big 3 they will be the main focus of our article this week.
Zeus was king of the Gods and ruler of the Cosmos. Among other things He was also the God of law and Order, Lighting, Thunder and Rain. His Symbol of power and weapon of choice was a Lightning Bolt. His Immortal wife was his sister Hera (the Gods clearly were no better than the titans) but that did not stop him from having affairs with many other immortal and mortal women. He sired many powerful demigod children out of whom the most famous are Perseus and Hercules. He also had many godly children like Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes and Dionyses who all ended up as Olympian Gods with only Ares and Hephaestus being his sons through Hera. He was quick to anger and punish anyone who dared defy him and once went so far as to destroy the whole world. Ever heard of Noah and the great flood. Well it was a similar situation except that the people that survived were called Deucalion and Pyrrah. And no they didn’t save two animals of every kind, just themselves. But more on Zeus and his temper later. Let’s move onto the untamable God of the Sea; Poseidon.
Poseiden was quite temperamental and his moods were as unpredictable as the Sea itself. His weapon and symbol of power was the Trident. His immortal wife was Amphrite, the most beautiful of the 50 Nereids (sea nymphs) but that didn’t really stop him from being with any other woman who he thought was beautiful (which is probably like half of Greece considering the number of children had). Theseus and Bellerophon the demigods, Polyphemus the cyclops, “Pegasus” the Pegasus and Triton the Merman were some of his most famous children. Poseidon was also extremely power hungry and at one point tried to usurp his brother Zeus with the help of Hera and become the ruler of Olympus. Well that plan failed miserably and Poseidon was stripped of his powers and forced to work as a slave for a mortal King Leomedon of Troy for a period of time. On that note we move on from Poseidon to take a look at Hades, the god of the underworld.
Zeus ended up being God of the Sky and King of the Gods, Poseiden - God the Sea and Hades - God of the Underworld
Hades was the only one of the big three to not have a throne on Olympus. So technically he isn’t counted as an Olympian. But he made the list anyway as he’s one of the Big 3. His presence was known to terrify even the other gods and his ominous presence wasn’t too welcome on Olympus. His weapon and symbol of power was his Helm of Darkness which could make him invisible as well as instill terror in his enemies. His immortal wife was Persephone (Daughter of Demeter. Yup, his niece) whom he abducted. Although it was decreed by Zeus that she should spend one third of the year in the underworld because she ate an underworld pomegranate she eventually did end up falling in love with Hades. And Hades for the most part was a faithful husband as well (note that I said “for the most part”). He was feared by the Greeks and he nor his children appear in many of the popular myths as the people at the time were afraid to even mention his name. However from what we do know about him he was quite terrifying but a just ruler by most accounts.
So there you have it. The Big 3 of Greek Mythology. Stay tuned for fun facts about the other Olympian Gods in our next week’s continuation of “The Olympians”.