Fast Facts: Poseidon
- Pronunciation: pos-EYE-don
- Origin: Greek
- Role: God
- Symbols: (Adoptive) Trident
- Wife: Amphitrite
- Siblings: Hades, Zeus
- Other Names: Neptune
Who Is Poseidon?
Poseidon, the god who reigns over the sea, was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. His Roman equivalent is Neptune. Its power seems to extend not only to the sea but to running waters and lakes.
Poseidon was protector of seafarers, and of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In Homer’s Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War.
He was the son of Cronos and Rhea. According to tradition, he is considered sometimes as the eldest and sometimes as the youngest of his brother Zeus. The oldest legend, that in which Zeus , arrived at the age of man, forces his father Cronos to restore the children he had devoured, implies that Zeus is the youngest of the lineage, as Cronos himself had dethroned his father Ouranos , was the youngest son of it.
Its attributes are:
– the trident,
– the dolphin,
– the bull,
– the horse that he would have created or domesticated.
- Poseidon was the second son of titans Cronus and Rhea. In most accounts he is swallowed by Cronus at birth but later saved, with his other brothers and sisters, by Zeus.
- Poseidon and Apollo, having offended Zeus by their rebellion in Hera’s scheme, were temporarily stripped of their divine authority and sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy.
- In the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon’s fury by blinding his son the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, the complete loss of his ship and companions, and a ten-year delay.
In Greek art, Poseidon rides a chariot that was pulled by a hippocampus or by horses that could ride on the sea. He was associated with dolphins and three-pronged fish spears (tridents). He lived in a palace on the ocean floor, made of coral and gems.
Poseidon was said to have had many lovers of both sexes (see expandable list below). His consort was Amphitrite, a nymph and ancient sea-goddess, daughter of Nereus and Doris. Together they had a son named Triton, a merman.
Poseidon was the father of many heroes. He is thought to have fathered the famed Theseus. But while the children of Zeus were beneficent heroes, the children of Poseidon , like those of Ares, were often evil and violent giants.