Most of the descriptions below were gained by speaking to the Gods themselves (with much of the information on an individual's wrongdoings told to me by their compatriots). Comments in italics are my own ... I've been told I've got immunity from any of them taking vengeance but if this information suddenly changes you'll know why !)
Ruler of the Gods. Zeus is also the God of the sky and weather - the Cloud Gatherer.
One of the sons of the Titans Cronus and Rhea.
He is married to Hera, his sister.
Zeus overthrew his father Cronus to become the ruler of the Gods.
For a weapon he uses the mighty thunderbolts made for him by Hephaestus.
He had a 'minister of his will' of a large eagle and his page was the boy Ganymede, who was so beautiful Zeus arranged to have him taken from Mount Ida so he could make him an immortal.
Though he is married to Hera he is infamous for his many adulterous affairs and the inventive ways by which he seduces the women who take his fancy (the Swan and the Shower of Gold are two that spring readily to mind). However, he hates liars and has been known to punish them severely. (Do as I say, not as I do ...)
To the Romans he is known as both Jupiter and Jove.
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, desire, sexuality and beauty.
There are two accounts of Aphrodite's birth:
The first says she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
The other states that when Cronus castrated Uranus and threw his severed genitals into the sea Aphrodite arose from the sea foam on a giant scallop ('Venus on a Half Shell' is a famous painting of this) and walked to the Cyprus shore.
I tried to ask Zeus about which of these two is true but he isn't saying !
She is the wife of Hephaestus.
In addition to her natural gifts (which believe me are considerable) she possesses a magical girdle that compels anyone she wishes to desire her.
She is also known as Cytherea, Cypris, and Venus (Roman).
Apollo is the god of many things, principally music, prophecy, health and
He is also the God of light and truth and is known as a God who cannot tell a lie (though I've heard him get close)
Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto and he has a twin sister, Artemis.
He is famous for his oracle at Delphi. People travelled to it from all over the Greek world so they could divine the future. These people included Hercules, who went their to find out the penance he should pay for having killed his children when driven to madness by Hera, resulting in the Labours of Hercules.
As the God of music he plays a golden lyre, as the god of archery, he uses a
As the God of healing he taught man medicine.
Apollo daily harnesses his chariot with four horses to drive the Sun across the sky.
He is also known as Phoebus Apollo and the Pythian. He is also called the Far Shooter with reference to his archery. (His Roman name is also Apollo.)
Ares is the God of war and combat.
Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera but is disliked by both parents.
He is considered murderous and barbaric but is also a coward (I wouldn't
tell him this to his face though).
He was once caught in 'an act of adultery' with Aphrodite after which her husband Hephaestus publicly ridiculed him.
To the Romans he is known as Mars.
Artemis is the best known as the Goddess of the hunt and animals. She also has responsibility for childbirth (so now you know who to pray to !) and protection of the young.
Artemis is the son of Zeus and Leto and he has a twin brother, Apollo.
She hunts with silver arrows, as does Apollo and is associated with the
Strangely for a Goddess who is responsible for childbirth she is a virgin goddess. The connection with childbirth comes from the tale giving no pain to her mother, Leto, during her birth.
The Roman's know her as Diana.
Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and skill in battle. She is also responsible for women's crafts and agriculture.
Athena has no mother because she sprung, already adult and in full armour no less, from the head of her father, Zeus.
She invented many items useful to her subjects including the bridle, allowing
the taming of horses, along with the chariot for them to draw. Musically she
was responsible for the trumpet and the flute, and for agriculture and the home
she invented the pot, the rake, the plough and the yoke. To top it all she also
invented the ship.
The is the embodiment of wisdom and purity (she is a virgin goddess).
In battle she is a fierce warrior but she only fights against outside attacks.
As Zeus' favourite child she has been permitted to use his weapons,
including thunderbolts, on occasion.
She is the patron Goddess of the city Athens, named after her, and in return she favours this city above all others.
Athena (sometimes spelt Athene) is known to others as Tritogeneia and to the Romans as Minerva. She is sometimes referred to by her 'full' name, Pallas Athena.
Demeter is the Goddess of the harvest and is often called the Giver of Grain.
Demeter is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and therefore a sister of Zeus.
Demeter seems to lead quite a quiet life but I'll get some gen on her somehow !
She is sometimes called Deo and the Romans refer to her as Ceres.
Dionysus is the God of wine and all that goes with it, such as intoxication and ecstasy.
Nobody seems willing to say ...
He's been too drunk to talk to recently !
He is also known as Bacchus (Bakchos), and Liber by the Romans.
Hades is the God of the Underworld (but not the God of death) and of wealth.
Hades is one of Zeus' brothers, a son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He is married to Persephone, daughter of Demeter and Zeus, who he abducted.
Hades rarely leaves the Underworld, which he rules over with an iron hand (no,
not literally, that's a golem). Anyone who increases the number of his
subjects is looked upon favourably as he is always trying to increase the number
in his domain ... and he very rarely allows anyone to leave once they are there
! I believed he looked up the word 'pity' in a dictionary once but I'm not
sure he got the meaning.
The Erinyes are welcomed as guests by him.
The reason for him being God of wealth is because of all the precious metals and mineral found in the earth.
He has a helmet that allows him to become invisible (handy)
Note that Thantos is the God of Death, not Hades.
He is also known as Pluto, Plouton, Aidoneus and in Rome he is called Dis.
Hephaestus is the Craftsman of the Gods - God of fire and the forge, and is the patron God of all smiths and weavers.
Though he is the son of Zeus and Hera, some say that Hera alone was responsible
for his birth (and what with Zeus being off gallivanting all the time who
could blame her).
He is married to Aphrodite.
Hephaestus is the only God that is physically unattractive, in addition to
which he is lame due to a club foot.
He is a kind and peace-loving God (well there had to be one ...)
He makes all the weapons and armour for the Gods, including Zeus' thunderbolts, in his volcano forge.
Some references say that his wife is Aglaia (though I didn't think it wise to delve to deeply into how this rumour came about)
Sometimes caller Mulciber, in Rome he is known as Vulcan
Hera is the Goddess of marriage (and yet she has all these problems with her own ...)
Hera is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, but was raised by the
Oceanus and Tethys, also Titans.
Hera is the wife of Zeus, and also his sister.
As the Goddess of marriage she takes special care of married women.
Most tales of Hera's exploits involve her spying on Zeus as he carries out his infidelities and then taking revenge on those who are connected with them.
Argos is the city most favoured by her.
To the Romans she is known as Juno.
Hermes is the Messenger of the Gods. He is also the God of commerce and that of thievery (well I think it makes sense)
Hermes is the son of Zeus and Maia.
The fastest of all the Gods he wears winged sandals and cap (petassos) and
carries a magic staff (the caduceus or kerykeion).
He guides the dead down to Hades in the Underworld.
He is one of the Gods that does a lot of inventing. For musicians he invented the lyre, the pipes, the musical scale and for the scientists he invented the astronomy, weights and measurement. He is also quite sporty and invented boxing and gymnastics.
Sometimes known as Argeiphontes (Slayer of Argos) he is called Mercury by the Romans.
Hestia is the Goddess of the hearth.
Hestia is a daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea and so is one of Zeus' sisters.
The hearth the symbol of the home. A new born child is carried around this
hearth before it is received into its family. All cities had a public hearth,
where the fire was never allowed to go out, which was sacred to Hestia.
Hestia is a virgin goddess.
To the Romans she is known as Vesta (so now you know where 'Vestal Virgins' comes from).
Poseidon is the God of the sea.
Poseidon is a son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and therefore a brother of
He is married to Amphitrite, who is a granddaughter of the Titan Oceanus.
His power amongst the Gods is second only to his brother, Zeus.
He lives under the oceans in a huge golden palace which is magnificently decorated with coral and beautiful sea plants. Other plants provided the glow by which the palace is lit.
He has a magical trident which could destroy any object and cause great earthquakes.
When he travels he does so in a chariot pulled by dolphins and sea horses.
As the God of the sea, he is often prayed to by sailors to keep them safe from harm (and sometimes it works !)
Sometimes called the Earth Shaker he is known as Neptune by the Romans.
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