The Greek Gods

The home of the Greek Gods was the top of Mount Olympus, and among the better-known Gods and Goddesses in the Greek pantheon were Zeus, Poseidon and Aphrodite.

Gaze at the highest mountain in Greece, Mount Olympus, which rises dramatically from close to the Aegean Sea, and it is easy to understand how it was regarded as the home of the Greek Gods. The full stories of the Greek Gods have inspired many books, one of the standard works being The Greek Myths by English poet and scholar Robert Graves (1895-1985).

The Greek Gods in BattleThe Greek Gods in Battle

The stories of the Gods were originally oral tales, passed on in the way that the Homeric legends of The Iliad and The Odyssey were, by a skilled story-teller to a rapt audience. They were not written down until about the 6th century BC, and subsequently we have been able to compare similarities in the tales of the Greek Gods with tales of Gods from other countries.

In Greece the Gods are not part of the nation’s modern religious beliefs, which are Christian, but they are bound up in the folk tales and legends of the country’s pre-history, in dramatic fashion.

Where the stories came from is uncertain, but it is likely that many different strands were involved. One such was Hesiod, an 8th century BC Greek poet who, at the same time that Homer was relating/creating his own two epic verses, was responsible for Theogeny, a poetic work which tells ‘the origin of the Gods’. This would have been influenced by tales from other cultures which made their way to Greece, particularly from the Near East, and by tales handed down by the Mycenean civilisation which was dominant in Greece in the 2nd Millennium BC.

Zeus

Zeus

The Father of the Gods is Zeus, who ruled over all the Gods from Mount Olympus. Zeus was the youngest son of two of the Titans, Kronos and Rhea, the Titans being the 12 children of Uranus and Gaea, the Heaven and the Earth. It was Zeus who seized control of the universe and became the God of the Sky, the Rain God, and Father of all later Gods and mortals.

Poseidon

Poseidon

One of Zeus’s brothers was Poseidon, who became the God of the Sea and was the father of the winged horse, Pegasus. Poseidon fathered many children, susceptible as he was to the charms of the numerous water nymphs that existed. Another of Zeus’s brothers was Hades, the God of the Underworld, so between them these three brothers took command of the sky, the sea and the land of the dead.

Zeus’s son Apollo was the God of Music, of Agriculture, of Healing and of Prophecy, amongst many other things, while Dionysos is another familiar name in Greece – the God of Wine. To the Romans he was Bacchus, and the Roman Hercules is the Greek Herakles, whose Twelve Labours are among the best-remembered of Greek myths. Finally, amongst these best-known of the Gods, is Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty, who to the Romans was known as Venus.

Our Pick of the Guides to Greece

Rough-Guide-Greece-2022.png

Other General Greece pages

  • Greece Travel Secrets Greek Ferry Guide page uses an extract from the Aferry Greece website with advice on island-hopping, buying tickets online and timetables.

    Greek Ferry Guide

    Greece Travel Secrets Greek Ferry Guide page uses an extract from the Aferry Greece website with advice on island-hopping, buying tickets online and timetables.

  • A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

    A History of Athens

    A History of Athens from the first people to live on the Acropolis through the Golden Age of Pericles and Alexander the Great to the military junta.

  • The nomads of Greece are the Vlachs, nomadic shepherds whose capital is Metsovo in the Pindus Mountains, and the Sarakatsani, shepherds in Macedonia and Thrace.

    The Nomads of Greece

    The nomads of Greece are the Vlachs, nomadic shepherds whose capital is Metsovo in the Pindus Mountains, and the Sarakatsani, shepherds in Macedonia and Thrace.

  • Weddings in Greece and the Greek islands can be luxury or cheap, are easy to arrange from the UK or USA in Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes.

    Weddings in Greece

    Weddings in Greece and the Greek islands can be luxury or cheap, are easy to arrange from the UK or USA in Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes.

  • The Top Ten Biggest Greek Islands, the largest in size, are listed by Greece Travel Secrets and include Crete, Evia, Lesbos and Rhodes.

    Top Ten Biggest Greek Islands

    The Top Ten Biggest Greek Islands, the largest in size, are listed by Greece Travel Secrets and include Crete, Evia, Lesbos and Rhodes.

  • Greece Travel Secrets lists four of the best destinations if you want to go sailing in the Greek islands.

    Sailing in the Greek Islands

    Greece Travel Secrets lists four of the best destinations if you want to go sailing in the Greek islands.

  • How to choose which Greek island from six of the most popular, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Kefalonia and Zakynthos.

    Which Greek Island?

    How to choose which Greek island from six of the most popular, Crete, Corfu, Rhodes, Kos, Kefalonia and Zakynthos.

  • Sir Arthur Evans is the archaeologist famous for the excavations he made at the royal palace of Knossos on Crete.

    Sir Arthur Evans, archaeologist at Knossos on Crete

    Sir Arthur Evans is the archaeologist famous for the excavations he made at the royal palace of Knossos on Crete.

  • The Greece Travel Secrets guide to tipping in Greece from two Greece travel experts, including when to tip, what to tip and when not to tip.

    Tipping in Greece

    The Greece Travel Secrets guide to tipping in Greece from two Greece travel experts, including when to tip, what to tip and when not to tip.

  • Greece at a glance is a potted guide to the Greek currency, language, weather, health requirements and other information to help you plan a trip to Greece.

    Greece At A Glance: Currency, Weather and Other Useful Information

    Greece at a glance is a potted guide to the Greek currency, language, weather, health requirements and other information to help you plan a trip to Greece.

  • Did Homer write The Odyssey and The Iliad, and what is known about the life of this famous Greek writer, when did he live, where was he born, and was he blind?

    Homer and the Odyssey

    Did Homer write The Odyssey and The Iliad, and what is known about the life of this famous Greek writer, when did he live, where was he born, and was he blind?

  • Greece for beginners is an introduction to Greece and the Greek islands by way of a memoir by travel writer Mike Gerrard about discovering Greek kindness.

    Greece for Beginners

    Greece for beginners is an introduction to Greece and the Greek islands by way of a memoir by travel writer Mike Gerrard about discovering Greek kindness.

  • Practical information on travelling around Greece by plane, by ferry, by bus, by train and by driving, including car rental, parking and other driving advice.

    Travelling Around Greece

    Practical information on travelling around Greece by plane, by ferry, by bus, by train and by driving, including car rental, parking and other driving advice.

  • The ten biggest cities in Greece start with Athens and Thessaloniki, followed by Patras and several suburbs of Athens which are Greek cities in their own right.

    Ten Biggest Cities in Greece

    The ten biggest cities in Greece start with Athens and Thessaloniki, followed by Patras and several suburbs of Athens which are Greek cities in their own right.

  •  Alexander the Great was the son of Philip II of Macedonia and gave Greece the greatest empire it has ever known.

    Alexander the Great

    Alexander the Great was the son of Philip II of Macedonia and gave Greece the greatest empire it has ever known.

  • Luxury Weddings in Greece, including venues such as a boutique hotel with deluxe spa on Santorini, can be booked through Ionian Weddings.

    Luxury Weddings in Greece

    Luxury Weddings in Greece, including venues such as a boutique hotel with deluxe spa on Santorini, can be booked through Ionian Weddings.

  • Greek music is the sound of the bouzouki and tunes like Zorba the Greek and Never on Sunday are heard everywhere, while rembetika is called the blues of Greece.

    Greek Music

    Greek music is the sound of the bouzouki and tunes like Zorba the Greek and Never on Sunday are heard everywhere, while rembetika is called the blues of Greece.

  • Heinrich Schliemann was a German archaeologist who explored sites connected with Homer, including Troy, Mycenae, and Ithaca, and made some extraordinary finds

    Heinrich Schliemann

    Heinrich Schliemann was a German archaeologist who explored sites connected with Homer, including Troy, Mycenae, and Ithaca, and made some extraordinary finds

  • This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

    Greek Architecture

    This beginner's guide to Greek architecture explains how to tell your Ionic from your Doric columns, and what to look for in temples and Byzantine churches.

  • This quick guide to Greece gives advice on choosing the best Greek destination for your holiday, whether in the Greek islands or the mainland.

    Quick Guide to Greece: How to Choose the Best Destination for You

    This quick guide to Greece gives advice on choosing the best Greek destination for your holiday, whether in the Greek islands or the mainland.

  • The ten best places to visit in Greece include Athens, Thessaloniki, the Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos and Santorini, and sites like Epidavros and Delphi.

    Ten Best Places to Visit in Greece

    The ten best places to visit in Greece include Athens, Thessaloniki, the Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos and Santorini, and sites like Epidavros and Delphi.

  • The archaeological site of Vergina in Macedonia is famous for the royal tombs which were the burial place of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.

    The Royal Tombs and Archaeological Site of Vergina in Macedonia

    The archaeological site of Vergina in Macedonia is famous for the royal tombs which were the burial place of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great.

  • The Battle of Crete during World War 2 inspired several books and took place with an airborne invasion over Maleme on the north coast of the island.

    Battle of Crete

    The Battle of Crete during World War 2 inspired several books and took place with an airborne invasion over Maleme on the north coast of the island.

  • Top Ten Things to Do in Greece include seeing the Acropolis and Parthenon, visiting the National Archaeological Museum and ancient sites like Knossos on Crete.

    Top Ten Things to Do in Greece

    Top Ten Things to Do in Greece include seeing the Acropolis and Parthenon, visiting the National Archaeological Museum and ancient sites like Knossos on Crete.

  • Greece Travel Secrets chooses six of the best beaches in Greece including beaches on Corfu, Santorini, Crete, Lefkas, Kefalonia and on the Peloponnese.

    Six of the Best Beaches in Greece

    Greece Travel Secrets chooses six of the best beaches in Greece including beaches on Corfu, Santorini, Crete, Lefkas, Kefalonia and on the Peloponnese.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.

Latest Posts

  1. Greece Bans Sunbeds, Umbrellas, Bars on 198 Beaches

    Sunbeds, umbrellas, and all sorts of constructions have been banned on 198 beaches across Greece according to a joint ministerial decision signed this week by Economy & Finance Minister Kostis Hatzida…

    Read More

  2. 4 Guesthouses in Zagori that Are Worth Visiting

    Amidst the mountains and spectacular scenery, these four traditional guesthouses in the heart of Zagori, Epirus, offer the very best in Greek hospitality.

    Read More

  3. Greece’s 10 Highest Mountains

    From myth-laden peaks to rugged alpine trails, we explore ten of Greece's highest mountains, where untamed beauty and boundless adventure meet.

    Read More

  4. Paris 2024 Olympic Flame Lit at Ancient Olympia, Countdown to Games Begins

    The Olympic flame that will be burning for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games this summer was lit in Ancient Olympia on Tuesday, April 16. Located in western Peloponnese, Ancient Olympia is one of the most…

    Read More

  5. April 17 Greece National Strike to Affect Public Transport, Ferry Travel

    Public transportation in Athens as well as ferry travel in Greece will be disrupted on Wednesday, April 17, due to a 24-hour strike called by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the cou…

    Read More

  6. The Ikaria Way

    the-ikaria-way-front-and-back-cover-900.webp
    Greece Travel Secrets reviews the Greek cookbook, The Ikaria Way by Diane Kochilas, containing 100 delicious plant-based recipes.

    Read More

  7. Greece Announces Steep Fines for Beach Access Violations

    The Greek Finance Ministry announced this week that it would taking strict measures including fines of up to 60,000 euros to ensure that Greece’s beaches are always accessible to the public. Fines ran…

    Read More

  8. Cyprus-Greece Ferry Connection to Start on May 29

    For a third year in a row, the ferry service linking Cyprus with Greece is scheduled to resume operations on May 29. The Cypriot-flagged Daleela, which can transport 400 passengers and 200 vehicles, w…

    Read More

  9. Greece Aiming to Include Knossos on UNESCO’s World Heritage List

    The Region of Crete announced this week that all actions had been taken to include the world-famous archaeological site of Knossos on Crete on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

    Read More

  10. Two Top Floors of Athens Hotel Blocking Acropolis View Shut Down

    The Greek Tourism Ministry announced this week that it had sealed off the two top floors and the rooftop bar of a hotel in the center of Athens which were blocking views to the Acropolis.

    Read More