POSEIDON: THE GREEK GOD OF THE SEA, EARTHQUAKES, AND HORSES

BY MICHELLE SILVER AND ERIKA VAN AKEN

ist2_3135449_poseidon_neptune.jpg
www.istockphoto.com

Table of Contents

  1. Background Information
  2. Personality
  3. Family History
  4. Anecdotes
  5. Fun Facts
  6. YouTube Video Clip
  7. Sources

Background Information

Most people associate Poseidon with his two brothers, Hades and Zeus. This is because the three of them are rulers of the universe. At the time of the fall of their father, Cronus, the three gods drew 'lots' from a helmet dividing rulership over the universe. Zues rules the sky, Hades rules the underworld, and Poseidon is the god of the sea along with earthquakes and horses. As god of horses, he often adopted the shape of a steed. He would occasionally grant his shape shifting powers to others. His symbols consist of the bull and the trident. Poseidon is known in the Roman world as Neptune. Although he is one of the main gods of Mount Olympus, he lives in the ocean floor in a palace composed of corals and gems.

Personality

Poseidon is very moody and you would not want to make him angry. Most of the time, his temper results in violence and revenge. Poseidon often found himself in many disagreements. When in a bad mood he will strike the ground with his almighty trident causing earthquakes, ship wrecks, and drowning. He also will use the power of his horses for revenge. On the contrary, when Poseidon is in a good mood he will create new lands in the oceans and keep the sea calm. Poseidon is very masculine and has a great interest in woman: he is known for his many love affairs.

Family History

Poseidon is the son of Cronus and Rhea. Although he is most famously known as the brother of Hades and Zues, he also has 3 other siblings consisting of Demeter, Hera, and Hestia. Poseidon has had many children with many different women. He married a Nereid named Amphritrite and together they had Triton who is half fish, half human. Pegasus, the famous flying horse, and Chrysaor are also children of Poseidon- They are the offsrping of Poseidon and Medusa. Poseidon also raped Aethra and together they had Theseus. Other offspring of Poseidon include Eumolpus, Polyphemus, Orion, King Amycus, Proteus, Agenor, Belus, Pelias, and Busiris.

Anecdotes

"Poseidon vs Athena"
Poseidon and Athena (the godess of war) were competing with one another for the ownership/control of Athens. Both of these powerful gods strived to win control of this land. To win over the Athenians, Poseidon threw his spear at the ground and produced the spring at the Acropolis. Poseidon was sure that providing the Athenians with this spring would win them over. Poseidon's donation to the Athenians was good, but Athena's was better. She won over the Athenians and reigned victorious after her ingenious contribution of the olive tree. Poseidon was so angry at his loss that he flooded the Attic Plain. Eventually, the two gods came over their differences and worked together to combine their powers for the greater good. For example, Athena built the first ship which was used to sail upon the sea belonging to Poseidon.

''The Great Flood''
When evil first came among mankind Zeus was determined to destroy the race of men. All of the other gods agreed that destroying mankind was the best way to resolve the problem of evil. Poseidon, in his attempt to destroy mankind, ''smote the earth with his trident.'' In result, the seas rushed up causing The Great Flood. The Great Flood caused many tradgedies: animals struggled to keep afloat and eventually drowned along with the death of nearly all humans. In the end, no one was left but an old man, Deucalion, and his wife, Pyrrha. These two people lived in truth and justice unlike the rest of mankind. Because of this, they were able to survive the flood as they had been warned about it and had time to build a boat. After floating for nine days, Zeus finally took pity on them. When the waters finally fell the land was covered in mud and slime. This greatly depressed Deucalion and Pyrrha leaving them feeling lonley being the only humans left. Out of the temple at the top of Mount Parnussus came a voice telling them to cast stones behind them. Each time Deucalion cast stones a man appeared, and when Pyrrha cast stones a women would appear: The Earth was finally rembersed with people. This was Poseidons way of teaching mankind to not be evil.

Fun Facts

- Because Poseidon is the god of the sea, sailors depended on him for safe voyages.
- In order to keep Poseidons' temper down/to keep him content, people would drown their horses as a sacrifice to him

Video Clip



Sources

- Coolidge, Olivia. Greek Myths. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977
- Hamilton, Edith. Mythology Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. New York: Warner Books, Inc, 1969
- Sellers, Paige. "Poseidon." November 25, 2003. Encyclopedia Mythica. October 22, 2007. www.pantheon.org/articles/p/poseidon.html
- Web Page. Poseidon www.mythweb.com/poseidon October 22, 2007
- The Gorgons. www.messagenet.com/gorgon October 22, 2007
- Gallery of the Gods: Poseidon. www.youtube.com October 22, 2007