Good morning all! This post about The Twelve Olympians in Greek Mythology is the first in my “Learn with me” series. If you haven’t read about this/want to know a little more, be sure to check out my Learn with me page here.
This weeks post is a look at The “Twelve” Olympians. Why Twelve is in speech marks will become apparent!
Read on and learn about the Olympian Gods and Goddesses with me:
Table of Contents
As you can read and see, there are 14 Gods and Goddesses mentioned.
This is due to different ancient texts mentioning different Gods and Goddesses depending on what you’re reading.
Below you will find a brief overview of The Twelve Olympians. In future posts I may cover each of them for a whole post or similar. Let me know in the comments!
Apollo is one of the most well known Gods. As suggested, Apollo is the God of archery, sun, light, knowledge, music, art, poetry, oracles, medicine, and prophecy.
- Family: Apollos parents are Zeus and Leta.
- Spouse: Apollos female partners are plenty; Daphne, Leucothea, Kyrene, Marpesia, Kastalia, Hekuba, Kassandra, Coronis, Thalia, Kalliope. He also had 2 male partners; Hyacinth and Cyparissus
- Weapon of choice: Silver Bow and Silver Arrows, Golden Sword.
Athena is another very well known Goddess. She is one of the 3 virgin Goddesses (the others being Artemis and Hestia)
Being the female counterpart of Ares, Athena is the Goddess of war, wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill
- Family: Athenas father was Zeus, for sure. I’ve read differing documents on who her mother was. Some say Hera, some say Metis, but most say she was born from a “massive headache” Zeus had.
- Spouse: None. As above, Athena is part of the 3 virgin Goddesses.
- Weapon of choice: Zeus’s thunderbolt and a shield that had the head of Medusa on it. Athena also had an owl.
Ares is the male counterpart of Athena, known commonly as the God of War. He is also known as the Spirit of Battle.
- Family: Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera. According to Homer and this website, Ares was hated by both parents.
- Spouse: Aphrodite and various others. Of course, not every spouse or relationship is recorded so I’m sure lots will go amiss!
- Weapon of choice: Helmet, a shield and either a sword or a spear
Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love, Fertility, Eternal Youth and Beauty. To me, Aphrodite is the most well known goddess. We all remember being taught about here in Y6, right??
Family: It is believed Aphrodite was born from the foam in the waters of Paphos, on the island of Cyprus. Said to have emerged after the Titan Cronus killed his father, Uranus, and threw his genitals into the sea, (Family love, eh) Although, from other sources it was also said that Aphrodite was fathered by Zeus (can you spot a pattern here?) and Dione (a Titan Goddess)
Spouse: Aphrodite had 6 known consorts; Ares; Poseidon; Dionysus; Hermes; Adonis; Hephaestus she actually married.
Weapon of Choice: Magical Girdle
Dionysus is most well known as the God of the Vine. He was the last God to enter Olympus. As the God of the Vine, Dionysus was also known as the God of wine-making, grape cultivation, fertility, ritual madness, theatre, and religious ecstasy.
Family: Spot the pattern again, Dionysus is the son of Zeus, but was mothered by a mortal princess Semele.
Spouse: Ariadne, a Cretan princess.
Weapon of Choice: Sword or spear
Artemis is well know as the Goddess of Hunt, Forests and Hills, the Moon, Archery. Her twin brother is Apollo. Artemis was also known as the protector of young children and was known to bring and relieve disease in women. A true feminist.
Family: Artemis is the daughter of Zeus and the Titan goddess Leto.
Spouse: Artemis was a virgin but eventually fell in love with her hunting partner, Orion.
Weapon of choice: In true hunter style, a bow and arrow.
Hades is most well known as the God of the Dead and ruler of the Underworld. He is also the God of Wealth/Riches. There’s an amazing Webtoon Comic about Hades & Persephone that I LOOOOOVE called Lore Olympus. Highly recommend, 10/10.
Family: Hades was the son of Cronus and Rhea.
Spouse: Persephone (read Lore Olympics on Webtoon)
Weapon of choice: Bident
Demeter is the Goddess of Agriculture, Fertility, Sacred Law and the Harvest. She is the mother of Persephone (again, read Lore Olympus)
Family: Demeter was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea.
Spouse: Demeter took several consorts, including; Iasion, Zeus, Oceanus, Karmanor and Triptolemus
Weapon of choice: Demeter did not carry any weapons.
Hephaestus (spell that without looking, it is NOT easy) was the God of Fire, Stone Masonry, Forges, The art of Sculpture and Metalworking. From several sources I’ve read, he’s also known as the only “ugly” god.Think that’s a bit harsh, personally…
Family: Hera and Zeus. (Pre-nuptually)
Spouse: Aphrodite. They were forced to marry by Zeus because of his ugly appearance, to stop other potential suitors from fighting for her hand. Being the Goddess of beauty will make men do that!
Weapon of Choice: Hephaestus isn’t known for wielding any weapons as such, but is depicted as carrying several smith tools such as hammers.
Hermes is well known as the trickster of Greek lore, if you’ve read Circe by Madeline Miller then I believe he lives up to that name in this book. Also, the delivery company Hermes definitely live up to the trickster name. He was also known as the God of Trade, Eloquence and Messenger of the Gods.
Family: Zeus and Maia. Zeus sure gets around.
Consorts: Merope, Aphrodite, Dryope, Peitho
Weapon of Choice: Caduceus
Hera is the Goddess of Marriage and Queen of Olympus. Several sources claim she was very jealous of the consorts of Zeus, her husband, which is also depicted in Lore Olympus. (I promise this isn’t an ad, I just love Lore Olympus)
Family: Cronus and Rhea
Spouse: Zeus, Supreme ruler of the Olympians
Weapon of Choice: Heras weapon of choice is her intelligence. Ladies, your intelligence will get you everywhere in life!
Poseidon is the God of the sea, earthquakes, storms, and horses. Poseidon is known as an unforgiving, greedy god.
Family: Cronus and Rhea
Spouse: Amphitrite (The Goddess of the Sea, and granddaughter of Oceanus)
Weapon of Choice: Trident
Tyche (or Tykhe) was the Goddess of Chance, Fate and Fortune.
Family: She was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys while others thought that Zeus was her father. With Zeus’ reputation, the latter is definitely possible.
Spouse: I can’t find any mention of a consort or husband, presumably as she couldn’t be seen to favouring one God with her powers of Fortune?
Weapon of Choice: Sceptre
Zeus is the most well known God, being the Supreme ruler of all, the God of the Sky and the King of Mount Olympus. A lot of people will know Zeus as Hercules father!
Family: Cronus and Rhea
Spouse: Hera (His sister) but had many consorts. Among them are including Aegina, Alcmena, Calliope, Cassiopea, Demeter, Dione, Europa, Io, Leda, Leto, Mnemosyne, Niobe, Persephone (his brother, Hades, wife) and Semele
Weapon of Choice: As the ruler of the sky, Zeus chose thunderbolts as his weapons.
So that is it for the overview of The Twelve Olympians! I have learnt so much, most strikingly that Zeus got around a lot and married his sister…
Now we move onto a short quiz. I think quizzes are great fun honestly, and perfect for locking in information we’ve just learnt! Drop your score for The Twelve Olympians quiz in the comments!