Greek Olympians Calendar By Carlson Hui January-Zeus January is the start of the year therefore the god who represents it will be the most important. Zeus is the ruler of the Olympian gods and the ruler of the sky. He has two brothers, Poseidon and Hades. His wife is Hera but is was also famous for his many affairs. He punishes those who lie or break oaths. As the king of gods, Zeus has supreme authority on earth and on Mount Olympus. MYTH: It is believed that Zeus has shamed Hera into marrying him by disguising himself as a rain-soaked cuckoo. When Hera saw the poor bird she kindly brought him near her breast to provide warmth and to dry him. Zeus then turned into his true form and raped her. February-Poseidon Poseidon is the brother of Zeus. He is also the god of the sea and water. He is still widely worshipped by Greek seamen nowadays. He married Amphitrite, a granddaughter of the Titan Oceanus. He is the second most powerful Olympian god. It is believed that he is greedy. He often had disputes with other gods when he tried to take over their cities. MYTH: Poseidon once cursed the wife of King Minos by making her to give birth to the monstrous Minotaur. Minos had proved his divine right to rule Crete by calling Poseidon to send a bull from the ocean and to sacrifice it. However Minos liked it too much and he refused to sacrefice it later. So Poseidon make Mino's queen to fall in love with the bull and give birth th the half-man, half-bull Minotaur. March-Hades Hades is also the brother of Zeus. He overthrow his father with Zeus and Poseidon for shares of the world. Unfortunately, his share was the worst. He became the god of the underworld. He duty was to rule the dead. He is a greedy god who is greatly concerned with increasing his subjects. He favours in more deaths. Also, he never let any of his subjects to leave the underworld. In addition, he is also the god of wealth due to the precious metals mined from the earth. MYTH: Hades's wife was Persephone. However she was actually abducted by Hades into the underworld. At first, after Hades fall in love of Persephone, Zeus told him that Persephone's mother will never agree. Therefore, Hades opened up the earth when Persephone was reaching for a fragrant blossom and grabbed her to the underworld. In the underworld, Hades gave Persephone a piece of fruit to eat. Persephone ate the fruit without realizing that anyone who ate anything in the underworld shall never leave there. April- Hestia Hestia is Zeus's sister. She is the Goddess of virgin and the Hearth. She is also the symbol of the house around which a newborn baby is carried before it was received by the family. MYTH: Heista was considered as the first and the last god and goddesses to be born. She was Cronus and Rhea's first child. Therefore she was the first one to get swallowed. However, she was also the last one to be disgorged after Rhea and Zeus tricked Cronus into swallowing a rock wrapped in swaddling instead of the infant Zeus. Therefore Hestia was often called as “Hestia, First and Last”. May- Hera Hera is Zeus wife and also his sister. She was raised by the Titans Ocean and Tethys. She is also the supreme goddess, the goddess of marriage and childbirth. She takes special care of married women. Her sacred animals are the cow and the peacock. MYTH: Hera was the only one ever to convinced the other gods to join a revolt against Zeus. They bound the sleeping Zeus to a couch and tie him up. After tieing him up, the god and the goddesses started to argue. Briareus, overheard the argument and slipped in to release Zeus. After Zeus found out it is Hera who started everything he hung her from the sky and made her promise to never rebel again. June- Ares Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera but he was disliked by both of them. He is the god of war since he is considered murderous and bloodstained. He was also a coward at the same time. His bird is vulture and his animal is the dog. MYTH: Ares fought in a human war with the Trojans. This disobeyed Zeus law so Zeus gave permission to Athena to drive Are away from the battlefield. Therefore Athena encouraged Diomedes to attack Ares. Ares was then wounded by Diomedes's spear. After Ares fled to Mount Olympus, forcing the Trojans to fall back. After this, Ares always wanted avenge for his precious injury on Athena. But he was never successful. July- Athena Athena is the Greek virgin goddess because of her intelligent activity, arts and literature. She is the daughter of Zeus. She sprang full grown in armour after she was born. She is also the symbol of bravery. Athena is Zeus's favourite child and among all the gods and goddesses, she was the only one who was allowed to use Zeus's thunderbolt. Her bird is the owl and The Olive is her tree. MYTH: Both Athena and Poseidon wanted to be patron deity for Athens once. To prove her power, Athena caused an olive tree to spring up on the citadel of Athens, the Acropolis. On the other hand, Poseidon striked the ground with his trident and caused a spring of water to rush out. But since he was the god of sea, the water was seawater therefore it is salty. Athenians considered Athena's gift to be more useful so she became the city's patron deity eventually. August- Apollo He is the son of Zeus and Leto. He has a twin sister, Artemis. He is also the god of music, healing , light and truth. His is famous for his daily tasks. To dive the sun across the sky with his chariot and four horses. His tree is the laurel. Crow is his bird and dolphin is his animal. MYTH: Apollo was considered as a great warrior when he was young. Four days after he was born, he killed the chthonic dragon Python in order to protect his mother using a bow and arrows gifted by Hephaestus. September- Aphrodite Aphrodite is the goddess of love, desire and beauty.She is also Hephaestus's wife. The myrtle is her tree. The dove, the swan, and the sparrow are her birds. She represents sex, affection and attraction that binds people together. MYTH: Although Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, she had a lot of romantic affairs. Her lover includes Ares, Hermes, Poseidon and Dionysus. Knowing this, Hephaestus created a metal mesh to catch the lovers in bed. He caught Ares and her wife in bed and called the other gods to see the guilty pair. She is also the god in this calendar's background. October- Hermes Hermes was the cleverest among all of the Olympian gods. His duty was to carry messages to all the other gods. Since he is the fastest. He wears winged sandals, a winged hat and carries a magic wand. He is the god of thieves and commerce. Other then carrying messages, his duty also includes leading the dead to the underworld. Moreover, he is the inventor of musical scale and astronomy. MYTH: Hermes was famous for his helpfulness to mankind. When Perseus set out to face Medusa, Hermes helped him by lending him his own winged sandals. Which granted Perseus the ability to fly. November- Artemis Artemis was goddess of virginity, chastity, the hunt, the moon and the natural environment. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto. She is also the hunter of the gods. Just like her twin brother Apollo, Artemis hunts with silver arrows. The cypress is her tree and all wild animals are scared to her, especially the deer. MYTH: Niobe, the Thebes queen once boasted that she was better than Artemis's mother Leto because she had many children while Leto had only two. Artemis and her twin brother Apollo took revenge by killing most of the queen's children with their arrows. Nioble was later transformed into a stone. December- Hephaestus Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. He is a ugly god. He is also lame. He is the god of fire and the forge and his duty is to blacksmith the gods and goddess’s armour and weapon using the volcano as his forge. He is also kind and peace loving. His wife is Aphrodite. MYTH: After Hera gave birth to Hephaetus, she was so upset that Hephaestus was so ugly that she flung him from Mount Olympus into the sea, breaking both of his legs. This is why Hephaestus was lame. Artworks and photographs Credits Botticelli, Sandro. Nascita Di Venere. 1483. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Burnett, Grand M. Zeus Statue. N.d. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Canova, Praxitèle. Aphrodite Syracuse. 11757. National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Coustou, Guillaume. Vulcan Coustou Louvre. 1742. Louvre Museum, Paris. Estatua De Poseidón. 2006. National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Athena. By Ricardo André Frantz. The Giustiniani Hestia. 1894. Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, Torlonia. Hades with Cerberus. 2008. Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete Island. Hera Campana. 2006. Louvre Museum, Paris. Leochares. Apollo Belvedere. 140AD. Museo Pio Clementino, Cortile Ottagono. Leochares. Diane De Versailles. 120CE. Louvre Museum, Paris. Machmer, Eric. Statue of Ares. 2004. Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli. Mattei Athena. 2006. Louvre Museum, Paris. Nguyen, Marie Lan. Hermes Ingenui. 2005. Vatican Museums, Vatican City. Nikoxenos, Maler. God Council in Olympus: Hermes with His Mother Maia. 500BC. State Collections of Antiques, Kunstareal. Rubens, Peter Paul. Vulcan. 1635. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Statue of Hestia. 2008. Aviad Bublil, Crete Island. Works cited Gill, N. S. "The Greek Gods You Should Know." Ancient / Classical History. About.com, 5 Sept. 2009. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. Gods and Goddesses" World Eras. Vol. 6: Classical Greek Civilization, 800-323 B.C.E. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. 278-82. World History in Context. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. "The Greek Gods." YouTube. YouTube, 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 16 Apr. 2014. "Greek Mythology." UXL Encyclopedia of World Mythology. Vol. 3. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 454-64. World History in Context. Web. 13 Apr. 2014. Stewart, Michael. "Origins of Greek Mythology." * Essays * Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant. Messagenet Communications Research, 26 June 2009. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.