The Gods and Goddesses of Greece, and the Greek Creation Saga Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein 2 - The Greek Pantheon Gods and goddesses to remember are included in the following list. The first name is the Greek; the second name is Roman; many of these names are used for the planets of our solar system, etc. Zeus/Jupiter —first among the new race of gods because he rose up against Chronos/Saturn and overcame him in battle. Hera/Juno (cf. the month of June)—wife of Zeus and patron of marriage and of women giving birth. (There is also another god who is sometimes mentioned as being the patron of marriage, especially of wedding ceremonies, and that is Hymen; hence, wedding ceremonies are known as hymeneals.) There may be a connection between Hera and some of the earlier animal-headed goddesses, as she is referred to as "cow-faced Hera" in some places; this epithet would also connect her to the cattle sacred to the ancient Mother Goddesses. Interestingly, Hera was the sister of Zeus, and was gobbled up by her father Chronos upon her birth; when Zeus overcame Chronos, he slit his belly, and Hera and the rest of the siblings sprang forth. So Hera, though originally born of a female, didn’t draw breath until she had come out of the belly of her father, and thus was also born of a male. Poseidon/Neptune—god of the sea. See also the Titans Ocean, Triton, the trumpeter of the gods, and Proteus, whose name is associated with "shape-shifting" or being able to magically change shape at will into any other animal, human, or thing. Hades/Pluto—god of the underworld, which was itself also sometimes referred to as Hades (although among most ancient peoples it was nothing like the Hell of later Christian times). Pallas Athena/Minerva (patroness of Athens)—goddess of wisdom. Supposedly she was born, fully armed, from the brain of Zeus, who had originally had as his consort Metis, an ancient goddess of Mind, Measure, and Order. He coveted Metis’s power, and so he devoured her whole, not knowing she was pregnant with Athena. When he began to get terrible headaches, Hermes applied a wedge to his head and whacked it, and out popped Athena, fully grown. So she was actually born of a male rather than a from a female. Artemis/Diana—goddess of the hunt and of the moon. Other names for this same goddess are Cynthia (because she was born on Mount Cynthus), Selene, and Hecate (who, because she was the goddess of the dark of the moon was by Shakespeare’s time considered to be the goddess of witchcraft—hence, the invocation by the three witches in Macbeth to Hecate). In early times she was matched with the sun god Apollo, considered to be her brother. Both Artemis and Apollo were the children of Zeus and Leto. Phoebus Apollo—(his name did not change among the Romans)—god of the sun, and of reason and logic. He was well-liked by men, though not particularly worshipped by women. His Oracle at Delphi was the Pythian priestess, who supposedly went into trance and gave messages channeled from Apollo (e.g., the messages that govern the outcome of the life of Oedipus). Aphrodite/Venus—goddess of love and beauty, she was born from the sea, not from a female’s uterus. When Kronos slew Ouranos, he castrated him and flung the genitals into the ocean.  Ouranos’s sperm and blood mingled with the sea water, and the resulting coalescence was Aphrodite.  So the goddess of love, too, was born of men, without the benefit of a female placenta. Ares/Mars—god of war.  He is represented as being a bit stupid among the Greeks; among the Romans he was far more revered and lost this attribute.  Perhaps the Greeks had less reverence for war than did the Romans, who were more into conquest than were the Greeks. Hestia/Vesta—goddess of the hearth and home.  (You may have heard of Vestal Virgins; these were women in Rome who served in the Temple of Vesta, rather like modern nuns.) Hermes/Mercury—messenger of the gods.  Associated with the Egyptian god Thoth, and also with the figure of Hermes Trismegistus, the scribe of the gods. By Roman times, he was also the god of the home, a kind of male counterpart to Vesta. Haephastus/Vulcan—god of fire, he was also a smith who made the armor and swords of the gods.  In some stories he was married to Venus; in others his wife was one of the graces.  He was lame because Zeus had gotten angry with him and thrown him out of Olympus, and he had injured his leg. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily