god of war

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GREEK GODS AND GODDESSES
Greek Religion
The Greeks believed that in the beginning of the earth
there was a huge void called Chaos. From this void,
eventually, came the Titans led by Chronos. Zeus, the son
of Chronos, was the leader of the next race of gods – the
Olympians. These were the gods and goddesses
worshiped by the ancient Greeks. The home of the gods
was Mount Olympus, a real mountain in Greece.
The Olympian gods were human in form. They
were not the half beast, half human gods of the
Egyptians. They acted like humans, but did not
age and die. They were greater, more powerful
and more beautiful than mortal man.
Every city-state honored a god or goddess, who
was thought to give its people special protection.
The Greeks prayed to these Olympians for divine
help and favors. They offered libations of milk,
wine, cake, vegetables or fruit. They also offered
sacrifices of bulls, goats, rams or pigs.
The Greeks believed that each god or goddess
had power over a particular area of life. To honor
them, they held religious festivals in every part of
Greece. Athens’ great festival, the Panathenaea,
is such an example.
There were also shrines and statues to the gods in every
part of Greece. The magnificent Parthenon of Athens
honored the goddess Athena. The Greeks placed a
colossal (huge) statue of her inside the Parthenon.
Another famous temple was the Temple of Apollo in the
city of Delphi. People would visit the temple to ask Apollo
for advice. A priestess, called the oracle of Delphi, would
answer their questions by going into a trance. The words
spoken by the priestess were thought to come from
Apollo.
But the Greeks religion lacked scriptures or
beliefs. Since they had not strict theology, they
were able to question literally everything in the
pursuit of truth. And question they did!
THE TWELVE OLYMPIAN GODS
Zeus
Athena
Hera
Apollo
Poseidon
Artemis
Hestia
Hephaestus
Hades
Aphrodite
Ares
Hermes
ZEUS
Zeus was the supreme
ruler over all gods. He
was the cloud-gatherer,
lord of the sky and the
rain god. He also
wielded the terrible
thunderbolt.
HERA
Hera was Zeus’s wife
and sister. She was the
goddess of marriage,
married women and the
home.
POSEIDON
Poseidon was Zeus’s
brother and the god of
the sea. He was also
god of earthquakes
and horses.
HADES
Hades was brother to Zeus
and Poseidon. He was god
of the underworld and the
dead. (The Greeks, unlike
the Egyptians, had a
negative concept of the
afterlife. Therefore, Hades
was not widely worshiped.)
ATHENA
Athena was the daughter
of Zeus alone. She had no
mother. She is the
goddess of wisdom and
war. Later she is seen as
the goddess of reason and
purity.
APOLLO
Apollo was the son of Zeus. He was the healer,
the archer god, sun god, god of light and
master musician.
ARTEMIS
Artemis was Apollo’s
twin sister and
daughter of Zeus. She
was the lady of wild
things, the goddess of
the moon and the hunt.
APHRODITE
Aphrodite was the
goddess of love and
beauty. She was
“foam-born,” meaning
born from the sea. In
most tales she is the
wife of Hephaestus .
HERMES
Hermes was the son of
Zeus and messenger
of the gods and god of
travel. He was also the
god of commerce and
god of thieves and
mischief-makers.
ARES
Ares was the god of war
and son of Zeus and
Hera. He was a strong
warrior and always
carried weapons. He
was often illustrated as
a cruel and bloodthirsty
god.
HEPHAESTUS
Hephaestus was the
god of fire and
artisans. He made
weapons and armor
for other gods. He
was also the
protector of
blacksmiths.
HESTIA
Hestia was the
sister of Zeus.
She was goddess
of the hearth (the
family fire).

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