Mythman's Major Olympian Gods



Poseidon by Alayana





Poseidon, sometimes spelled Posidon, is a major Olympian god and the brother of mighty Zeus and fearsome Hades. The revered god of the sea's domain is mainly the ocean and the seas, and he features in many cool myths.

After Zeus defeated the Titans and dethroned their father Cronus, with the assistance of his brothers and sisters, the three brothers - Zeus, Poseidon and Hades - drew lots to see which of the three realms each would rule.

Zeus got the heavens and thus became supreme ruler, while Hades received the Underworld and Poseidon inherited the sea. The Earth and Mount Olympus belonged to all three.

The gods were fine with their choices, even though Poseidon always wanted more and once even conspired to dethrone his brother Zeus. More on that later.

Poseidon's fearsome weapon was the Trident, a three-pronged spear crafted by the inventive Cyclopes, who were gigantic one-eyed brutes. The Cyclops were liberated by the Olympians when the Titans were defeated.

In addition to the Trident of Poseidon, the Cyclopes also crafted and gave Zeus the Thunderbolts and Hades the Helmet of Invisibility in gratitude for being set free. The Cyclops were great craftsmen.

Even though Poseidon is adored for giving humans the first horse, his primary importance was as Lord of the Sea.

Winds rose at his command and the most violent of storms would ensue, yet when he drove his golden chariot over the water, the storms would subside and calmness followed his wheels.

Poseidon is a very powerful and intimidating deity, second only to Zeus himself in influence. The early importance of Poseidon is evident in the ancient poet Homer's epic poem called the Odyssey, wherein Poseidon, rather than Zeus, is the major mover of events.

Even though Poseidon had a magnificent palace on the ocean floor made of coral and gems, still he spent a considerable amount of his time participating in the daily intrigues, and partying at Olympus, home of the ancient gods. He liked to stay in the loop, so to speak.

Titan Cronus, father to many Olympians and the ruler of the universe, had been warned by the oracles that one of his children would grow up and violently overthrow him, so to prevent this, he would swallow his babies as Rhea birthed them.

It is said that when Poseidon was born his mother declared to Cronus that she had given birth to a horse, giving him a foal to swallow rather than the child. She concealed Poseidon among a flock of lambs to hide him from his father's evil reach.

Later she would pull the same stunt when Zeus was born, in his place giving Cronus a stone wrapped in baby clothes to swallow.

Other writers claim that Poseidon was swallowed by his father along with siblings Hestia, Hera, Hades and Demeter, and that Zeus alone escaped that horrible fate.

Poseidon's nurse while young was Arne, who was born as a foal because her mother had been transformed into a horse as a disguise. She was returned to human form and cared for the hidden god. Arne displayed great fortitude when, at great peril to herself, she denied knowing where Poseidon was when Cronus came looking him, saving the baby from his father's evil intent.

In images, Poseidon has been portrayed as an older man with a beard and long curly hair. His wife is the beautiful Amphitrite, granddaughter of the Titan Oceanus, who was the original god of the sea prior to Poseidon.

Poseidon once took part in a plot by the rest of the Olympians to overthrow their leader Zeus. Along with Hera, Athena and others, they stole Zeus' thunderbolts and rendered him immobile with chains.

The Oceanid Thetis freed him with the assistance of the giant Hecatoncheire (one-hundred-handed) called Briareus, and needless to say, Zeus was not happy with his fellow gods.

As punishment, Zeus stripped the gods of their divinity and banished Poseidon and Apollo to earth, where they were tasked with fortifying the huge walls of mighty Troy.

The two gods took the likeness of men and performed the task, but upon completion the Trojan King Laomedon refused to pay their wages. Bad move, King!

The enraged Apollo unleashed a pestilence upon the city, while Poseidon sent a sea monster to snatch away the people of the plain. The oracles foretold deliverance from these evils if King Laomedon would sacrifice his daughter called Hesione, to be devoured by the sea monster.

The King exposed her by fastening Hesione to the rocks near the sea, but luckily the great hero Heracles (Hercules) happened to pass by and rescued the helpless maiden. Happy ending.


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