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Ancient Greek Gods

 

The main Greek Gods were:

Zeus

(Roman name Jupiter) Married to Hera. Zeus is lord of the sky, the rain god. His weapon is a thunderbolt which he hurls at those who displease him.
Symbol or Attribute: Thunderbolt
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Poseidon

Brother of Zeus. The God of the sea and worshiped by seamen. He married Amphitrite. His weapon is a trident, which can shake the earth, and shatter any object. He is second most powerful god.
Symbol or Attribute: Three-pronged trident
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Hades

Brother of Zeus. God of the underworld, ruling over the dead. He is also the god of wealth, due to the precious metals mined from the earth. Hades has a helmet that makes him invisible. Hades springs out of the earth and captures Persephone, dragging her off to be his queen in the Underworld. Her mother Demeter searches for her and stops all foods from growing until Persephone is returned. Finally, a deal is worked out where Persephone stays one-third of the year with Hades, one-third of the year serving as a handmaiden to Zeus at Mount Olympus, and one-third with her mother.
Symbol or Attribute: Scepter or horn of plenty.

Aphrodite

Wife of Hephaestus. Goddess of love, desire and beauty. Aphrodite rises from the foam of the waves of the sea, enchanting anyone who sees her and inciting feelings of love where ever she goes.
The myrtle is her tree. The dove, the swan, and the sparrow her birds.
Symbol or Attribute: Her Girdle, which has magical powers to compel love.
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Hestia

Sister of Zeus. Goddess of the Home. Each city had a public hearth sacred to Hestia, where the fire was never allowed to go out.
Symbol or Attribute: The hearth (fire place)

Hera

Married to Zeus and is his sister too. Hera is the goddess of marriage and childbirth. Her sacred animals are the cow and the peacock.
Symbol or Attribute: The peacock
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Ares

Son of Zeus and Hera. God of war. His bird is the vulture. His animal is the dog.
Symbol or Attribute: The spear. He is also associated with vultures and dogs.
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Apollo

Son of Zeus and Leto. Zeus's wife Hera was outraged and convinced the earth to refuse to allow Leto to give birth anywhere on its surface. But the island of Delos allowed Leto to take refuge there and give birth to Apollo and his twin sister, Artemis.

Apollo is the god of music, playing a golden lyre. The Archer, far shooting with a silver bow. The god of healing who taught man medicine. The god of light. The god of truth, who can not speak a lie. His tree was the laurel. The crow his bird. The dolphin his animal.
Symbol or Attribute: The Sun itself, the lyre (a type of musical instrument), the bow, and the chariot he drives across the sky daily.
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Artemis

Daughter of Zeus and Leto. Her twin brother is Apollo . Artemis is the huntsman of the gods. She is the protector of the young. Like Apollo she hunts with silver arrows.
Symbol or Attribute: Her bow, which she uses to hunt, and her hounds. She often wears the lunar crescent on her brow.
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Athena

Daughter of Zeus. She sprang full grown in armor from his forehead, thus has no mother. Goddess of the city, handicrafts, and agriculture. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot. Her tree is the olive. The owl is her bird.
Symbol or Attribute: Owl, signifying watchfulness and wisdom.
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Hermes

Son of Zeus and Maia. He is the messenger of the gods. He is the fastest of the gods. He wears winged sandals, a winged hat, and carries a magic wand. Hermes is the god of thieves and god of commerce. He is the guide for the dead to go to the underworld.
Symbol or Attribute: His staff, called kerykerion in Greek, caduceus in Latin.
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Hephaestus

Son of Zeus and Hera. His wife is Aphrodite. He is the only god to be physically ugly. He is also lame. Accounts as to how he became lame vary. Some say that Hera, upset by having an ugly child, flung him from Mount Olympus into the sea, breaking his legs. Others that he took Hera's side in an argument with Zeus and Zeus flung him off Mount Olympus. Hephaestus is the god of fire and the forge. He uses a volcano as his forge. He is the patron god of both smiths and weavers.
Symbol or Attribute: The forge and fire.
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