Ancient history


Poseidon is the Greek god of the seas and oceans. He is also considered the god of earthquakes and navigators. It corresponds to the Roman Neptune, which is later.


He is the son of Cronos and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus and Hades. At birth, he is devoured by Cronus along with his siblings, but later brought to life through a ruse by Zeus. Another tradition reported by Diodorus of Sicily reports that Rhea manages to hide his birth from Cronos and secretly entrusts him to the Oceanid Capheira, daughter of Ocean, and to the Telchines of the island of Rhodes, who watch over his divine childhood. Be that as it may, after having helped Zeus to fight the Titans, he receives, during the division of the world, sovereignty over the aquatic world, with the only exception, however, of the ancient domain of his uncle Ocean, whose wife he marries. however the daughter or granddaughter Amphitrite.

He is usually represented with his trident or his chariot, with which he flies over the surface of the waters, escorted by sea monsters. He normally resides in the sea, but occasionally travels to Olympus, for the assembly of the gods.

He is legitimately married to Amphitrite with whom he has three children, Triton, Benthésicymé, Rhodé (certain traditions reported by Diodore, on the other hand, give birth to the latter from his union with Halia, the sister of the Telchines). He also has many children of other deities or mortals.

He is credited with being the author of:

Rhodos, wife of Helios and Herophilus by Aphrodite;
Despoena and the oracular horse Arion by Demeter, raped during her quest for Persephone;
Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor by Medusa;
the Giant Antaeus and the sea monster Charybdis as well as the giant Orion or the Telchines by his own grandmother Gaia;
Polyphemus the Cyclops by the nymph Thoosa;
Gadir and Atlas, the founder of Atlantis by the nymph Clito;
Nauplios, founder and first king of Nauplia, in the Peloponnese by the Danaide Amymone[ref. required];
Pelias, tyrant of Iolcos, by the mortal Tyro
The Molionides by the mortal Molioné;
Chrysomallos, the ram with the golden fleece, by Theophaneus;
Eumolpos, priest of Poseidon and Erginos, by Chione;
the Aloades, by Iphimedia;
Lycos by the Pléiade Célaéno
Delphos, by Melantho;
Bélos and Agénor, through deadly Libya

He is also attributed the paternity of various secondary sea demons, such as Glaucos by the nymph Naïs or by the pleiad Alcyone, Proteus by the nereid Phenice, etc. . Hesiod also makes him the father of the nymph Cymopolée whom he marries to the Hécatonchire Briarée as a reward for his intervention alongside the gods in the Titanomachy [8], but at no time indicates the name of the mother of this last.

He is finally the erastes of the young Pelops, whom he kidnaps and brings to Olympus, just as Zeus did before with Ganymede.

He appears in a number of captions:

Poseidon is punished along with Apollo for conspiring against Zeus, and condemned to serve Laomedon, king of Troy. He builds gigantic walls for the city. But when the walls are completed, Laomedon refuses the gods their payment. Furious, Poseidon sends a sea monster against the city which ravages the coasts before being killed by Heracles.
Poseidon and Athena dispute the possession of Attica. Poseidon strikes the Acropolis with his trident, out of which comes a spring of salt water (or the horse Skyphios, according to tradition). Athena offers the city an olive tree. Cecrops, king of Attica, judges the present of the goddess more useful, and consecrates the city to her.
In The Odyssey, he pursues Odysseus with his revenge, because the hero gouged out his son's eye , the Cyclops Polyphemus. He thus prevents him from returning to Ithaca quickly.
He is reputed to have created the horse either in Athens (see above) or Thessaly. He also teaches men to ride horses using a bridle.
He brings out of the sea, at the request of Minos, a gigantic bull. But, as the king of Crete refuses to sacrifice the animal to him, he instills in Pasiphae, his wife, a guilty love for the bull. From their union will be born the Minotaur.

Epithets, Attributes &Shrine
Sculpture of Poseidon on the port of Copenhagen
Sculpture of Poseidon on the port of Copenhagen

His Homeric epithets :

  • “ground shaker”
  • "horse master"
  • "master of the earth"
  • "with azure horsehair"
  • "Old Man of the Sea"

Her attributes :

  • the trident and the fish;

His favorite animals :

  • the horse; the bull; the dolphin

Shrines :

  • Eleusis, Cape Sounion, Delos, Island of Tinos.

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