Ancient Greeks related many aspects of life to gods and goddesses. The society learned that the immortals controlled life in many ways. The gods have affected the environment and nature. Mount Olympus was their home.
Zeus King of the gods and goddesses
He commanded and imposed authority. Being the first god, he was known as the father of gods and men. His symbol was the eagle, thunderbolt and oak tree.Zeus was a god of the sky. He was in charge of lightning and thunder. Often he used lightning as his weapon.
He lived on Mount Olympus among the other gods. From there he imposed his will on the Greek gods and humanity. He ruled the world from his home.Zeus was the last child of titans Cronus and Rhea. He had escaped being swallowed by his father. He was married to his sister Hera. Hera was the goddess of marriage and monogamy. Zeus however, mated with many goddesses and humanity.
He was known as the Lord of justice. His responsibility was to bring peace where there was war. He was in charge of hospitality given to strangers. He would avenge any wrong done to them. He would mediate between the other immortals when they argued.
He was in charge of oaths. Zeus would punish anyone who did not keep their pledge. It would happen at the sanctuary of Olympia.
He was also in charge of honesty in business. Any trader caught with fraudulent trading would be punished by Zeus. The society attained honesty as a virtue.
He was called the earth worker or farmer. He was in charge of crops in Athens. He influenced the harvest as well.
Zeus’ nature and appearance
Zeus was free spirited and laughed out loud. Zeus was known to be merciful, full of wisdom and acted justly. He was one whose decisions were hard to foretell.
He was quick to anger. He is responsible for some earth wrecks after throwing lightning bolts in the land. He has caused violent storms.
Hera Queen of the gods
Hera was a wife and sister of Zeus, the king of gods. She was the goddess of marriage and depicted the ideal woman. She was beautiful and wore a crown and held a scepter. Her symbols were the cow, peacock and a wedding ring.Her marriage to Zeus was out of a clever trick Zeus played on her. He turned himself to a small wounded bird. Hera began nursing the bird on her bosom. Zeus at that moment returned to his usual form. He tried to seduce Hera who resisted. When he promised her marriage, she gave in. Zeus loved her more and gave her a honeymoon of 300 years.
After a while, Zeus went back to his playboy habits. Hera did not direct her revenge to him but to the women who Zeus engaged intimately. She several times separated from her husband but he always reached out to her. He felt that a part of him was missing any time she was away. Her many battles over her husband’s infidelity made her punish offending mates. She was a source of protection for women. She presided over their marriages and births. She had a sister known as Ilithyia who would assist women in childbirth.
Her name interprets as Great Lady. She was renowned as the goddess who nurtured the world. The milk from her breasts was valued. The milk was the source of the Milky Way in the galaxy. Any drops that fell on earth would result to lilies springing up.
She was believed to accompany the woman in every phase of life. She blessed and watched over their marriages, children, fertility and financial stability.
Even though she was known for revenge and jealous, she had great attributes. She would graciously reward the heroes. She reminded society that life has its dark and bright sides. She helped society understand that joy and pain are part of the path of life. She was a representation of the fullness of life. She assured people that they could use their wisdom to attain any goals in life.Hera was the goddess of Roman Juno. The month of June was a dedication to her. Many weddings fell in this month.
Other Greek gods and goddesses
There were twelve Greek immortals. Some goddesses were for love, beauty, and desire. Others commanded music, art, and knowledge. Some were responsible for healing, manly beauty, plague, poetry, and prophecy.
Some gods were responsible for war and violence. Others were in charge of the rivers, seas, and floods. There was nothing in Greece not associated with a god or goddess. They put up sanctuaries for them and honored them.