Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Monday, July 15, 2013

List of Greek and Roman Gods

 Greek and Roman Gods: A Quick Cheat-Sheet

Whacky_godlist.pdf (application/pdf Object)

 Zeus (Roman Jupiter): Father and ruler of the gods on Mount Olympus, he is the god of the sky and lightning. He once led the young Olympian gods in a rebellion against the older Titans, and he married his sister, Hera (Roman Juno). Unfortunately, sexual fidelity has never been his strong point, and Zeus
fathered many demigods by seducing a string of humans, nymphs, and other beings while wearing shape-changing disguises.

Hera (Roman Juno): Queen of the gods, Hera, is a goddess responsible for happy and loyal marriage.
Ironically, her husband Zeus isn't a very good husband himself. She is a rather vengeful and spiteful deity
in some ways, and she spends much of her time tormenting Zeus' many lovers and his illegitimate
children. Nobody can hold a grudge like Hera.

The Nine Muses: Nine spirits responsible for creativity and inspiration. When someone has a sudden
burst of insight or feels especially creative, that person might say, "A Muse has visited me." Traditionally,
epic poems begin with a prayer to one of the muses.

Poseidon (Roman Neptune): The chaotic god of the sea, the oceans, and earthquakes, Poseidon is one of
Zeus's younger brothers. He is very good at creating sea-monsters, but not very good at making land
animals. (Camels and elephants, for instance, are attributed to his making; the only land animal he made
that turned out okay was the horse.) He is also prone to dangerous mood swings and temper tantrums that
manifested as sea storms. His children are shapeshifters and giants that plague sailors and coastlines.

Hades (Roman Pluto or Dis Pater): The gloomy god of death and the underworld, he runs around with a
helmet that turns him invisible. (This makes a great deal of sense; nobody can ever see death coming....)
The very name Hades is often used as a synonym for hell and death. Hades is married to a young goddess
he abducted, Persephone. He is often equated with Plutus, the god of wealth, in later mythology.

Persephone (Roman Proserpine): She is the goddess of plant-life and fertility. Hades fell in love with
her and abducted her, but her mother Demeter's grief caused all plant-life on earth to die. To save the
world, Zeus worked out a deal with Hades. The deal is that Persephone spends six miserable months of
the year (fall and winter) in the earth with her cold husband, Hades. The other six happy months of the
year, Persephone is free to roam around the earth creating new life in the spring and summer.

Aphrodite (Roman Venus): Aphrodite is the goddess of sexuality and desire. Note that in Greek and

Roman mythology, the goddess of sexual desire is a completely separate entity from Hera, the goddess of
marriage. Aphrodite is married to Hephaestus (Roman Vulcan), the god of the forge and fire, but she has
an ongoing affair with Ares, the god of war. (That makes perfect sense, since love and conflict are often
intermixed!) Sometimes Aphrodite is referred to as the Cytherean, because she was born in the sea-foam
off Cyprus when Zeus threw the severed testicles of the Titan Chronos into the ocean. These testicles
spontaneously impregnated the sea, and Aphrodite sprang from the ocean full-grown and naked. In other
versions, Aphrodite is one of Zeus's daughters.

Athena (Roman Minerva): Often we think of Athena as the goddess of wisdom, but more technically she
is the goddess of intelligence and anything that requires skill or cleverness--including both military
strategy and weaving cloth. Like Aphrodite, she had an unusual birth. She sprang full-grown and armored
from Zeus' skull after he had a splitting headache. (After all, where else should wisdom originate if not in
the head of a ruler?) She is described as having grey eyes, and her sacred bird is the owl. In Greek
mythology, she rewards those she favors with good ideas.

Dionysus (Roman Bacchus): Dionysus is the god of wine, inebriation, and ecstatic loss of the self in wild
frenzies. His preferred sacrifice is a libation of wine. Dionysus is not, however, a bright and happy deity.
He is also the god of tragedy. The oldest Greek tragedies were originally performed as religious rituals in
his honor, and the plays may have begun with the sacrifice of a goat on stage.
Hephaestus (Roman Mulciber or Vulcan): Hephaestus is the god of fire, craftsmanship, and the forge.
He is a crippled being whose legs were broken after Zeus flung him from the heavens to the earth in a
rage. Assisted by a trio of cyclopean assistants, he forges magical weapons and armor for the gods--
including Zeus' javelins of lightning--and knick-knacks like walking chairs and animated mechanical

Demeter (Roman Ceres): The goddess of grain harvests, she is a rather plain and nondescript deity with
an important job economically speaking. Her daughter Persephone was kidnapped by Hades.

Ares (Roman Mars): The god of war, Ares is usually depicted as something of a coward and a braggart
bully in Greek mythology. In Roman mythology, his equivalent Mars is something much more fierce, and
along with Venus, Mars serves as one of the two great patrons of Rome.

Nike: Winged victory, she is a goddess presiding over military triumphs and accompanying Athena.

Hyperion / Helios (Roman Apollo or Phoebus Apollo): The god of the sun, of light, of sacred music,
and healing. Apollo would send prophecies through Oracles at sacred shrines. He is very possessive,
however, of his sacred golden cows, as Odysseus's crewmen learn to their detriment.

Cupid (Roman Eros): Cupid, or Desire, is the son of Aphrodite. He was a rather sadistic god who carried
a bow of arrows--gold tipped ones that made people fall in love or lead-tipped ones that dulled passion.
He also frequently carried a torch, which he would shove against people's hearts or genitals to burn them
with arousal. All in all, he was something of a sadistic child. He later settles down and marries Psyche.

Aurora (The Dawn): Commonly called "rose-fingered," this colorful goddess lives on the Isle of Aeaea.
Her hobby is to paint the morning sky beautiful colors, apparently, and the traces linger on her hands.

Artemis (Roman Diana): A tomboy goddess of the moon, the hunt, and virginity, she is Zeus's favorite
daughter. She made Zeus swear never to make her marry and let her spend her nights in the forest
hunting. She likes skinny-dipping, but if men spy her bathing, she tends to turn them into stags.

Hermes (Roman Mercury): Light-footed, slender, and clever, Hermes is the god of travelers,
messengers, thieves, tricksters, and gamblers--basically the god of anybody who must move quickly or
make fast getaways. He wears sandals with wings on the heel-straps that let him fly with arrow-like speed
wherever he willed, and he carries a caduceus to identify himself to spirits of the dead, whom he guides
into Hades' realm where Charon carries them across the river Styx. Hermes was quite the delinquent in
his youth, stealing the sacred cows of Helios.

The Winds: The Winds were minor spirits that spent much of their time imprisoned by the gods.
Occasionally, Hera or other deities would bribe their jailor to let the winds loose to cause disaster. These
spirits included Boreas (south wind), Notus, (north wind), Zephyr (west wind), Volturnus (southwest
wind), Eurus (east wind), and Aeolus (northeast wind).

Circe: Technically a sorceress rather than a goddess, the distinction is insignificant given her greatpowers. She was eternally young and beautiful through her magic, and she had the power to turn men who displeased her into pigs.


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 This page is a resource for  students in composition and literature at Carson-Newman College.

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