The Olympians - Darcy Krasne

The Olympians
The First Generation
The Children of Kronos & Rhea
Zeus (Latin: Jupiter, Jove)
Poseidon (Latin: Neptune)
Hades (Latin: Pluto)
Hera (Latin: Juno)
Demeter (Latin: Ceres)
Hestia (Latin: Vesta)
Zeus’ Childhood
• Amaltheia
– Goat
– Nursed Zeus
• Sacrificed => made into aegis
• Aegis produces:
– Thunder
– Fear
• Often used by Athena
Zeus’ Power
• Artistic representations:
– Lightning
– Scepter
– Throne
– Eagle
British Museum,
Zeus as Supreme Ruler
• “Kings come from Zeus.” (Hesiod,
Theogony line 97)
• Zeus + Themis (“Divinely Right”)
– Eunomia (“Good Law”)
– Dike (“Justice”)
– Eirene (“Peace”)
• The transgression of order = injustice
Zeus as Supreme Begetter
“Father of gods and men”
Zeus’ wives (according to Hesiod):
1. Metis (“Intelligence”)
2. Themis
the Seasons (Eunomia,
Dike, and Eirene) & the
3. Eurynome
the Graces
4. Demeter
5. Mnemosyne
the Muses
6. Leto
Apollo and Artemis
7. Hera
Ares, Hebe (Youth),
Eileithyia (Childbirth)
• “Intelligence”
• Daughter of Okeanos
• Destined to bear next the successor to
cosmic power
– Zeus swallows Metis: suppression
– Metis bears Athena, equal to Zeus in power
(but female)
• Cannot now conceive a second child
– Metis is now a part of Zeus
Zeus: Large and in Charge
• Most powerful
• Defeats Kronos (and Typhoeus)
• Most powerful because... he is oldest(?!?!)
– His siblings only “existed” after he released
them from Kronos
Tripartite Division
“Since we are three brothers born by Rheia to Kronos,
Zeus, and I, and the third is Hades, lord of the dead men.
All was divided among us three ways, each given his domain.
I when the lots were shaken drew the grey sea to live in
forever; Hades drew the lots of the mists and the darkness,
and Zeus was allotted the wide sky, in the cloud and the bright air.
But earth and high Olympos are common to all three.”
(Homer, Iliad 15.187–93, transl. Lattimore)
• Oracle of Zeus
– Answers from:
• Rustling of oak leaves?
• Doves?
• Cauldrons and tripods?
• Oak trees and leaves are
another symbol of Zeus
Zeus Keraunios
(discovered at Dodona)
Athens, National Museum
X 16546
Photo: Kim Shelton
• Artistic representations:
– Trident
– Sea creatures
• Amphitrite
• Monstrous sons
• Uncontrollable
– Horses
– Earthquakes
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 01.8070
Poseidon’s Horse: the Hippocamp
British Museum, Vase B428
Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
 Artistic depictions:
 Scepter
 Cornucopia
 Rooster
British Museum, Vase E82
British Museum,
Vase E82
• Goddess of marriage
• hieros gamos
“So speaking, the son of Kronos caught his wife in his arms. There
underneath them the divine earth broke into young, fresh
grass, and into dewy clover, crocus and hyacinth
so thick and soft it held the hard ground deep away from them.
There they lay down together and drew about them a golden
wonderful cloud, and from it the glimmering dew descended.”
(Homer, Iliad 14.345– 51, transl. Lattimore)
Hera and Zeus’ Children
• Ares
– God of war
• Hephaistos
– Lame smith god
– In some accounts, son of Hera alone
• Hebe (Youth)
• Eileithyia
– Goddess of childbirth
Heraion at Argos
Heraion at Samos
Poseidon ~ Demeter ~ Zeus
Despoina Persephone ~ Hades
• Eleusis
• Kourotrophos: “Nurturer of children”
• Pomegranates = Marriage
British Museum, Vase E140
• Goddess of the hearth
• Rarely in Greek myth
• Very important in Rome