Although they seem to be things of the past, reminders of ancient Greek deities are all around us. When you read the following names, more than a few will look familiar.
Ancient Greek Deities
The Greek Pantheon was a polytheistic system of thought and religion that assumed its Greek deities existed independently and individually. Their roll was to rule diverse aspects of the mortals every day life. Myth and culture is gathered in the Pantheon from where the deities leave toward their corresponding realm.
Due to the Hellenic polytheist beliefs in ancient times, deities formed relationships with each other on a more human scale. Compared to one-deity approaches in many modern religions, Greek deities had a surprising number of human limitations and weaknesses. Contrary to other religions, none of the ancient Greek deities was omniscient or omnipotent, although their power was beyond the mortals’ limit.
All Greek deities had the same origin as minor deities ruled by the Titans. They later overthrew the Titans in an epic battle. Some of the most renowned are:
Aether – God of the upper air
Aphrodite – Goddess of love and beauty
Apollo – God of the light, music, prophecy, poetry, and healing
Ares – God of war, primarily violent war and bloodshed
Artemis – Goddess of the moon and the hunt
Athena – Goddess of war, wisdom, strategy
Chaos – Non-gendered deity of the nothingness
Chronos – God of eternal time
Demeter – Goddess of agriculture
Erebus – God of darkness
Eros – God of love
Gaia – Titan Goddess of the Earth
Hades – God of the underworld, the death and the earth wealth, his realm receives his name.
Hemera – Goddess of daylight
Hephaestus – God of fire and the forge
Hera – Goddess of marriage and the family, sister and wife of Zeus
Hermes – God of commerce, travel, and thieves. Messenger of the gods
Hestia – Goddess of the hearth and domestic life that gave her place in the Mount Olympus to Dionysus
Nyx – Goddess of night
Pontus – Titan God of the sea
Poseidon – God of the sea
Tartarus – Titan God of the depths of the underworld
Uranus – Titan God of the heavens
Zeus – King of the Gods and God of thunder and lightning
As you can see, the long list of Greek deities is rather amazing when compared to one-deity religions such as Christianity and Islam. Regardless of the religious connotations, the names of these figures are often found in modern civilization although Roman translations are often used. For instance, Ares has been translated in Roman to Mars, the God of War and name of the 4th planet from our sun.
Greek deities represent a unique view of religion held by ancient Greeks. If the opportunity presents itself, you should read the Greek classics to gain an understanding of the rather emotional actions of the deities.