Ancient Greek Gods III (Poseidon, Hermes, and Ares)
We have stated in the first of this series, Ancient Greek Gods, that the ancient Greeks had a certain set of beliefs that helped them understand themselves and the world around them, and therefore they believed in various gods and goddesses. Each Greek god and goddess represents something, and the ancient Greeks worshiped certain gods for different reasons. In this content, we will focus on the Ancient Greek Gods Poseidon, Hermes, and Ares.
It was believed that the family of Greek gods lived in a cloud palace above Mount Olympus (the highest mountain in Greece). These gods were thought to have special powers, and each had control over a different aspect of life. Many of them also appear in the tales of Greek mythology.
Poseidon, Hermes, and Ares
Brother of Zeus: Poseidon
The name Poseidon means either ‘husband of the earth’ or ‘lord of the earth.’ The interesting story of Poseidon, one of Zeus’ older brothers, begins when he is swallowed by his paranoid father, Kronos. Kronos then vomited Poseidon out. Poseidon fought on the side of his brother Zeus against the Titans. After the victory of Zeus, he was given the rule of the seas.
Poseidon rules his kingdom from his fork and chariot pulled by seahorses and dolphins that ride on the waves. The fact that Poseidon is the god of the seas does not mean that his influence is limited to the seas. Poseidon was also believed to be the god of horses, earthquakes, and spring waters.
Like his brother Zeus, Poseidon is depicted as solidly built and bearded. Poseidon’s most similarity with the sea was that he had a wave of almost unpredictable anger, just like the sea.
Sailors and fishermen prayed to him for the health of their souls and a safe voyage. On the other hand, wealthy sailors took this one step further and sacrificed horses to Poseidon for a safe voyage.
According to the tablets found in Pylos, it is claimed Poseidon was a more prestigious god than Zeus during the Mycenaean period. However, when we came to the classical period, things changed, Poseidon lost his reputation for some reason and fell behind Zeus.
Homer called Poseidon the earthshaker. This may be a very understandable name for geography like Greece where earthquakes are experienced a lot.
He has a grudge against Odysseus, who blinded his son, Cyclops Polyphemus. He made the port of Phaiakia, which helped Odysseus, unusable with giant rocks.
He struggled with Athena to win the love of the Athenians, but it remained a futile effort. Despite this effort, Poseidon could not reach any result, leaving almost half of Attica underwater as punishment. This vengeance is proof that Poseidon is a vengeful god.
And his love life, unlike many Greek gods, was in excellent shape. Nereis, the sea nymph, became the husband of Amphitrite. It is believed that he saw Amphitrite, who had left him, dancing in Naxos with her sisters and sent a persuasion team made up of dolphins to convince her to return. Amphitrite, who could not remain indifferent to this act, became Poseidon’s wife in the seas and wandered with the god in the chariot pulled by dolphins. Nereids, Tritons, and other sailors accompanied this couple.
Poseidon rescued Amymone, one of the 50 daughters of Danaus, king of Argos, from a satyr who was after her. The Isthmus games, one of the most important events in the Greek calendar, were held in honor of Poseidon.
One of the twelve Olympian gods, Hermes was one of the sons of Zeus. Hermes functioned as the emissary and messenger of the gods.
In Praxiteles’ well-known depictions, Hermes is depicted as young, attractive, and rapid.
In a cave in Arkadia, Hermes, who was born to the nymph Maia, was a baby for a few hours when he stole a cattle belonging to Apollo, his half-brother. He had achieved this difficult task thanks to his winged sandals. His invented lyre and lithe wit allowed him to get rid of the evil of Apollo.
His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster, the tortoise, satchel or pouch, talaria (winged sandals), and winged helmet or simple petasos, as well as the palm tree, goat, the number four, several kinds of fish, and incense.
Hermes’ superior intellect led him to be seen as the inventor of many things. Some of these inventions include the alphabet, numbers, weights, and units of measure. Thanks to his outstanding eloquence, he was known as the protector of merchants and thieves.
As a messenger god, Hermes constantly carried messages from Olympos to the world and underground. As Psychopompus, he took the souls of the dead to Charon, the boatman of Hades. Square stone pillars were placed at the gates and along the roadsides in his honor as the protector of travelers. As Agonies, he oversaw the games. The Roman god Mercurius inherited many features of Hermes.
The planet Mercury got its name from this god. The name given to this planet is due to the speed of the god. Because Mercury is the fastest-rotating planet around itself.
Ares (Courage and War) (Mars)
Even his parents Zeus and Hera disliked Ares. Even the Olympians generally tried to stay away from this angry and red-haired war god.
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Ares, along with his sons Phobos (terror and dread) and Deimos (fear), enters the battlefield in his chariot, wanders around the field, and is believed to have killed for pleasure. He seldom left with a victory in battles. He was defeated by heroes like Athena or Heracles.
They were sons of the war-god Ares who accompanied their father into battle, driving his chariot and spreading fear in his wake. As sons of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, the twins also represented the fear of loss.
Ares wasn’t too lucky in love, either. There was one notable exception to this situation, and that was Aphrodite. Aphrodite fell in love with Ares. Reluctantly marrying the blacksmith god Hephaestus, Aphrodite was hopelessly in love with the brave god of war. However, this love was short-lived. Hephaestus, the blacksmith god, weaved an iron net and threw it over the sleeping lovers.
According to rumors, Ares was of Thrace origin. Despite the fact that the Greeks often fought and the Areopagus hill overlooking the Acropolis in Athens was named after him, the cult of Ares remained insignificant in places other than Thebes.
However, those who believed in Ares often made sacrifices for Ares on the battlefields.
-Would you like to read the continuation of this series, Ancient Greek Gods IV (Aphrodite and Hephaestus)?
- https://www.friendz10.com/mitoloji/hermes-mercuius-497 (The Hermes Image)
- https://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ares (The Ares Image)
- https://ozhanozturk.com/2019/09/01/on-iki-olimposlu-12-olimpos-tanrisi/ (Featured Image)