Poseidon (Ποσειδων) is the Greek god of the sea, earthquakes, droughts, floods, water, aquatic creatures, marine weather and horses. He held sway over the seas and waters, and is particularly known for causing tempests. Poseidon is also the patron of seafaring. One of his cult titles, Enosichthon, means "Earth Shaker," referring to his role in causing earthquakes. His symbols are the trident, with which he raises the waves and causes tides, and the bull, which is as aggressive as him. He is also called the "tamer of horses," as he created the first horse from the crests of the waves. His Roman counterpart is Neptune.
Poseidon was the child of Kronos and Rhea, and brother to Zeus and Hades. According to some folklore, he was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which was devoured by Kronos.
As the god of the oceans, Poseidon was one of the three most powerful Greek gods, alongside his brothers, Zeus and Hades. Like his brothers, Poseidon can control the earth. Poseidon was a dreaded god among the Greeks, and rarely interacted with mortals. The Greeks depended on the sea to carry out trade and earn their livelihood out of fishing, and prayed to Poseidon. The powerful god was also one of the many deities who could make lands fertile.
If Poseidon was pleased, he would bless sailors with a safe voyage in the sea, make the agricultural lands fertile, provide abundant supply of freshwater or would allow trade to flourish. But if someone (like Odysseus) offended Poseidon, the god's vengeance knew no bounds. He would send powerful storms, winds and floods to kill thousands of people, wreck entire ships on islands or sink them beneath the sea; raze entire cities with devastating earthquakes or send terrible sea monsters to maraud cities. Poseidon was also known to cause mental illnesses from time to time, to punish people. When King Alcinous offended Poseidon, he cut off the Phaeacian's access to the sea, and trapped them in between steep mountains he had caused to rise.
Poseidon lived in an underwater palace and as such, ruled over the denizens of his watery world. He controlled every aspect of the oceans and aquatic regions. Poseidon was more powerful than other sea deities combined and the latter were his subordinates. Poseidon posted one of them, Proteus to the icy regions in the north, to rule over these lands.
He is also the creator of horses. Before the horse, Poseidon created the hippo, the camel, the giraffe and the zebra, then refined the shape to create the first horses, out of sea waves.
He fought for the patronship of many cities, mainly Athens. But when the people chose Athena, Poseidon unleashed a powerful flood. Since then, Athenians gave equal worship to Poseidon. The god once again lost control of Argos against Hera, when she won by one vote. Poseidon retaliated by massacring the local river gods, flooding the entire city and subjecting to drought. Since then, the Greeks stripped women of their right to vote. Poseidon was a patron god to majority of the Greek cities and ports, and thus earned the title of "Protector of Greece".
Unlike other gods, Poseidon enjoyed a greater level of autonomy and Zeus rarely exercised control over him. Poseidon, however, did not possess the tremendous authority over the lesser Olympians, gods and humans unlike Zeus (ex: controlling their powers, taking and granting immortality, punishing them etc.), and in that respect, remained inferior to him.
- Although Poseidon is the Lord of the Oceans, his name means the Lord of the Earth.
- Horses, Bulls, Rams and all marine life are Poseidon's sacred animals. Ash trees and White Pine trees are his sacred trees.
- Poseidon once convinced the other gods to overthrow Zeus and almost succeeded because the hecatonchire Briareus saved him.
- Poseidon was the god who had the most amount of lovers.
- Poseidon holds the record for most kids among the Olympians
Poseidon in the Gigatomachy Gallery
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