• King of the sea
  • God of the sea, storms, earthquakes, and horses
Member of the Twelve Olympians
The Poseidon of Melos, a statue of Poseidon found in Milos in 1877
AbodeMount Olympus, or the sea
SymbolTrident, fish, dolphin, horse, bull
Personal information
ParentsCronus and Rhea
SiblingsHades, Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Zeus
ConsortAmphitrite, various others
ChildrenTheseus, Triton, Rhodos, Benthesikyme, Arion, Despoina, Polyphemus, Orion, Belus, Agenor, Neleus, Atlas, Pegasus, Chrysaor, Kymopoleia, Bellerophon, various others
Roman equivalentNeptune
Poseidon greeting Theseus (on the right). Detail, Attic red-figured calyx-krater by Syriscos Painter, 450-500BC from Agrigento. BnF Museum (Cabinet des médailles), Paris

Poseidon (/pəˈsdən, pɒ-, p-/;[1] Greek: Ποσειδῶν) is one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and mythology, presiding over the sea, storms, earthquakes and horses.[2] He was the protector of seafarers and the guardian of many Hellenic cities and colonies. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, Poseidon was venerated as a chief deity at Pylos and Thebes, with the cult title "earth shaker";[2] in the myths of isolated Arcadia, he is related to Demeter and Persephone and was venerated as a horse, and as a god of the waters.[3] Poseidon maintained both associations among most Greeks: he was regarded as the tamer or father of horses,[2] who, with a strike of his trident, created springs (the terms for horses and springs are related in the Greek language).[4] His Roman equivalent is Neptune.

Homer and Hesiod suggest that Poseidon became lord of the sea when, following the overthrow of his father Cronus, the world was divided by lot among Cronus' three sons; Zeus was given the sky, Hades the underworld, and Poseidon the sea, with the Earth and Mount Olympus belonging to all three.[2][5] In Homer's Iliad, Poseidon supports the Greeks against the Trojans during the Trojan War; in the Odyssey, during the sea-voyage from Troy back home to Ithaca, the Greek hero Odysseus provokes Poseidon's fury by blinding his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, resulting in Poseidon punishing him with storms, causing the complete loss of his ship and companions, and delaying his return by ten years. Poseidon is also the subject of a Homeric hymn. In Plato's Timaeus and Critias, the legendary island of Atlantis was Poseidon's domain.[6][7][8]

Poseidon is famous for his contests with other deities for winning the patronage of the city. According to legend, Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens after a competition with Poseidon, though he remained on the Acropolis in the form of his surrogate, Erechtheus. After the fight, Poseidon sent a monstrous flood to the Attic plain to punish the Athenians for not choosing him.[9] In similar competitions with other deities in different cities, he causes devastating floods when he loses. Poseidon is a horrifying and avenging god and must be honoured even when he is not the patron deity of the city.[10]

Some scholars suggested that Poseidon was probably a Pelasgian god[11] or a god of the Minyans.[12] However it is possible that Poseidon, like Zeus was a common god of all Greeks from the beginning.[13]


The earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is 𐀡𐀮𐀅𐀃 Po-se-da-o or 𐀡𐀮𐀅𐀺𐀚 Po-se-da-wo-ne,[14] which correspond to Ποσειδάων (Poseidaōn) and Ποσειδάϝoνος (Poseidawοnos) in Mycenean Greek; in Homeric Greek it appears as Ποσιδάων (Posidaōn); in Aeolic as Ποτε(ι)δάων (Pote(i)daōn); in Doric as Ποτειδάν (Poteidan) and Ποτειδᾶς (Poteidas); in Arcadic as Ποσoιδᾱν (Posoidan). In inscriptions with Laconic style from Tainaron, Helos and Thuria as Ποhoιδᾱν (Pohoidan), indicating that the Dorians took the name from the older population.[15] The form Ποτειδάϝων (Poteidawōn) appears in Corinth.[16]

The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear and the possible etymologies are contradictive between the scholars. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" (Greek πόσις (posis), from PIE *pótis) and another element meaning "earth" (δᾶ (da), Doric for γῆ ()), producing something like lord or spouse of Da, i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, "Earth-mother".[17] Burkert finds that "the second element δᾶ- remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove".[2] According to Beekes in Etymological Dictionary of Greek, "there is no indication that δᾶ means 'earth'",[18] although the root da appears in the Linear B inscription E-ne-si-da-o-ne, "earth-shaker".[2][19]

Another, theory interprets the second element as related to the (presumed) Doric word *δᾶϝον dâwon, "water", Proto-Indo-European *dah₂- "water" or *dʰenh₂- "to run, flow", Sanskrit दन् dā́-nu- "fluid, drop, dew" and names of rivers such as Danube (< *Danuvius) or Don. This would make *Posei-dawōn into the master of waters.[20][15]

Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two traditional etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond" (ποσίδεσμον), or he "knew many things" (πολλά εἰδότος or πολλά εἰδῶν).[21]

Beekes suggests that the word has probably a Pre-Greek origin.[22] At least a few sources deem Poseidon as a "prehellenic" (i.e. Pelasgian) word, considering an Indo-European etymology improbable.[23][citation needed]

Bronze Age Greece

Linear B (Mycenean Greek) inscriptions

If surviving Linear B clay tablets can be trusted, the names po-se-da-wo-ne and Po-se-da-o ("Poseidon")[14] occurs with greater frequency than does di-u-ja ("Zeus"). A feminine variant, po-se-de-ia, is also found, indicating a lost consort goddess, in effect the precursor of Amphitrite.

Poseidon was the chief god at Pylos. The title wa-na-ka appears in the inscriptions. Poseidon was identified with wanax from the Homeric era to classical Greece. (anax). The title didn't mean only king, but also protector. Wanax had chthonic aspects, and he was closely associated with Poseidon, who had the title "Lord of the Underworld". The chthonic nature of Poseidon is also indicated by his title E-ne-si-da-o-ne (Earth-shaker) in Mycenean Knossos and Pylos. Through Homer the epithet was also used in classical Greece. (ennosigaios, ennosidas).[24]

Po-tini-ja (potnia: lady or mistress) was the chief goddess at Pylos and she was closely associated with Poseidon. She was the Mycenean goddess of nature and Poseidon—Wanax is one from the gods who may be considered her "male paredros". The earth shaker received offerings in the cave of the goddess of childbirth Eileithyia at Amnisos in Crete. Poseidon is allied with Potnia and the divine child.[25]

Wa-na-ssa (anassa:queen or lady) appears in the inscriptions usually in plural. (Wa-na-ssoi). The dual number is common in Indoeuropean grammar (usually for chthonic deities like the Erinyes) and the duality was used for Demeter and Persephone in classical Greece (the double named goddesses).[26][27] Potnia and wanassa refer to identical deities or two aspects of the same deity.[24]

E-ri-nu (Erinys) is attested in the inscriptions.[28] In some ancient cults Erinys is related to Poseidon and her name is an epithet of Demeter.[29]

It is possible that Demeter appears as Da-ma-te in a Linear B inscription (PN EN 609), however the interpretation is still under dispute.[30][31] Si-to Po-tini-ja is probably related with Demeter as goddess of grain.[32]

Tablets from Pylos record sacrificial goods destined for "the Two ladies and the Lord" (or "to the Two Queens and the King": wa-na-soi, wa-na-ka-te). Wa-na-ssoi may be related with Demeter and Persephone, or their precursors, goddesses who were not associated with Poseidon in later periods.[33][27]

Mycenean cult

During the Mycenean period, the ancestral male gods of the Myceneans were probably not represented in human forms, and the information given by the tablets found at Pylos and Knossos is insufficient.[32] Poseidon was the chief deity at Pylos and Thebes. He is identified with Anax and he carried the title "Master of the Underworld". Anax had probably a cult associated with the protection of the palace.[24] In Acrocorinth he was worshipped as Poseidon Anax during the Mycenean age.[34] In the city there was the famous spring Peirene which in a myth is related to the winged horse Pegasus.[35] In Attica there was a cult of Anax heroes who was connected to Poseidon.[34] A cult title of Poseidon was "earth-shaker" and in Knossos he was worshipped together with the goddess Eleithyia who was related to the annual birth of the divine child.[34] Potnia was the Mycenean goddess of nature and she was the consort of Poseidon at Pylos. She is mentioned together with bucrania in decorated jugs and he was associated with the animals and especially to the bull.[24] In Athens Poseidon was an inland god who created the salt-sea Erecthēιs (Ερεχθηίς), "sea of Erechtheus". In Acropolis his cult was superimposed on the cult of the local ancestral figure Erechtheus.[2] In Athens and Asine he was worshipped in the house of the king during the Mycenean period.[35] The bull was the favourite animal for sacrifices and it seems that horses were rarely used during the burial of the Mycenean leaders.[32]

Arcadian myths

Poseidon pursuing a woman, probably by Achilleus painter, 480-450BC. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan NY

In the Arcadian myths, Poseidon is related to Demeter and Despoina (another name of Kore- Persephone) and he was worshipped with the surname Hippios in many Arcadian cities.[10] At Thelpusa and Phigalia there were sister worships which are very important for the study of primitive religions. In these cults Demeter and Poseidon were chthonic divinities of the underworld.[29]

Near Thelpusa the river Ladon descended to the sunctuary of Demeter Erinys (Demeter-Fury). During her wandering in search of her daughter Demeter changed into a mare to avoid Poseidon. Poseidon took the form of a stallion and after their mating she gave birth to a daughter whose name was not allowed to be told to the unitiated and a horse called Arion (very swift). Her daughter obviously had the shape of a mare too. At first Demeter became angry and she was given the surname Erinys (fury) by the Thelpusians.[29][10] The Erinyes were deities of vangeance, and Erinys had a similar function with the goddess Dike (Justice).[36] In the very old myth of Thelpusa Demeter-Erinys and Poseidon are divinities of the underworld in a pre-mythic period. Poseidon appears as a horse. In Greek folklore the horses had chthonic associations and it was believed that they could create springs.[10] In European folklore the water-creatures or water-spirits appear with the shape of a horse or a bull. In Greece the river god Acheloos is represented like a bull or a man-bull.[37] Many people when sacrificed to Demeter should make a premilinary sacrifice to Acheloos [29]

At Phigalia Demeter had a sanctuary in a cavern and she was given the surname Melaina (black). The goddess was related to the black undeworld. In a similar myth Poseidon appears as horse and Demeter gives birth to a daughter whose name was not allowed to be told to the unitiated (At Lycosura her daughter was called Despoina). Demeter angry with Poseidon put on a black dressing and shut herself in the cavern. When the fruits of the earth were perished, Zeus sent the Moirai to Demeter who listened to them and led aside her wrath. In this cult we have traces of a very old cult of Demeter and Poseidon as deities of the underworld.[29]

Statue of Poseidon in Germany by Johann David Räntz and Lorenz Wilhelm Räntz (1760).

In another Arcadian myth when Rhea had given birth to Poseidon, she told Cronus that she had given birth to a horse, and gave him a foal to swallow instead of the child.[10][38] In the Homeric Hymn Demeter puts a dark mourning robe around her shoulders as a sign of her sorrow.[29] Demeter's mare-form was worshipped into historical times. The xoanon of Melaina at Phigalia shows how the local cult interpreted her, as goddess of nature. A Medusa type with a horse's head with snaky hair, holding a dove and a dolphin, probably representing her power over air and water.[39]

Boeotian myths

The myth of Poseidon appearing as a horse and mating with Demeter was not localized in Arcadia. At Haliartos in Boeotia near Thebes Poseidon appears as stallion. He mates with Erinys near the spring of Tilpousa and she gives birth to the faboulous horse Arion.[10] At Tilpusa we have a very old cult of the chthonic deities Erinys and Poseidon. The water-god Poseidon[40] appears as a horse which seems to represent the water-spirit [37] and Erinys is probably the personification of a revenging earth-spirit.[41][36] From earlier times at Delphi Poseidon was joined in a religious union with the earth-goddess Ge. She is represented as a snake which is a form of the earth-spirit.[40]

In the Theogony of Hesiod Poseidon once slept with the monstrous Medousa near the mountain Helikon. She conceived the winged horse Pegasus who sprang out of her body when Perseus cut off her head. Pegasus stuck the ground with his hoof and created the famous spring Hippocrene near Helikon.[10]

Praxidicai were female deities of judicial punishment worshipped in the region of Haliartos in the historical times. Ttheir origin is probably the same with Erinys. Their images depicted only the heads of the goddesses probably a representation of the earth goddess emerging from the ground.[29] Praxidice is and epithet of Persephone in the Orphic Hymn. Persephone is sometimes depicted with her head emerging from the ground.[42][43]


Colossal-type statue of Poseidon-Neptune, probably sculpted in a workshop in Aphrodisias (Asia Minor). It was at Palaemon's sanctuary in Isthmia, where it was described by Pausanias. Prado Museum, Madrid

During the Mycenean period Poseidon was worshipped in several regions in Greece. At Pylos and some other cities he was a god of the underworld (Lord of the Underworld) and his cult was related to the protection of the palace. He carried the title anax, king or protector. His consort potnia, lady or mistress, was the Mycenean goddess of nature. Her main aspects were birth and vegetation.[24] Poseidon had the title "Enesidaon" (earth-shaker) and in Crete he was associated with the goddess of childbirth Eleithyia. Through Homer the Mycenean titles were also used in classical Greece with similar meaning. He was identified with anax and he carried the epithets "Ennosigaios" and "Ennosidas" (earth-shaker). Potnia was a title which accompanied female goddesses.[44] The goddess of nature survived in the Eleusinian cult, where the following words were uttered: "Mighty Potnia bore a strong son".[45] In the heavily sea-dependent Mycenaean culture, there is not sufficient evidence that Poseidon was connected with the sea; it is unclear whether "Posedeia" was a sea-goddess. The Greeks invaders came from far inland and they were not familiarized with the sea.[46]

In the primitive Boeotian and Arcadian myths Poseidon, the god of the underworld, appears as a horse and he is mating with the earth goddess.[40] The earth goddess is called Erinys or Demeter and she gives birth to the fabulous horse Arion and the unnamed daughter Despoina, which is another name of Persephone.[10] The horse represents the divine spirit (numen) and is related to the liquid element and the underworld.[47] In Greek folklore the horse is associated with the underworld and it was believed that it had the ability to create springs.[10] In the European folklore the water-spirit appears with the shape of a horse or a bull. In Greece the river god Acheloos is represented as a bull or a man-bull.[37] Burkert suggests that the Hellenic cult of Poseidon as a horse god may be connected to the introduction of the horse and war-chariot from Anatolia to Greece around 1600 BC.[2]

In the Boeotian myth Poseidon is the water-god and Erinys is a goddess of the underworld.[40] She is probably the personification of a revenging earth spirit[41][48] and it seems that she had a similar function with the goddess Dike (Justice).[36] At the spring "Tilpousa" she gives birth to the fabulous horse Arion. In the Arcadian myth Poseidon Hippios (horse) is mating with the mare-Demeter. At Thelpousa Demeter-Erinys gives birth to the horse Arion and to an unnamable daughter who has the shape of a mare. In some neighbour cults the daughter was called Despoina (mistress), which is another name of Persephone.[10] The theriomorphic form of gods seems to be local in Arcadia in an old religion associated with xoana.[26]

From left to right: Poseidon, Dionysos, Zeus. Black figured neck-amphora, 540 BC. National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen

According to some theories Poseidon was a Pelasgian god or a god of the Minyans. Traditionally the Minyans are considered Pelasgians and they lived in Thessaly and Boeotia. In Thessaly (Pelasgiotis) there was a close relation to the horses. Poseidon created the first horse Skyphios hitting a rock with his trident and managed in the same way to drain the valley of Tempe.[13] The Thessalians were famous charioteers.[49] Some of the oldest Greek myths appear in Boeotia. In ancient cults Poseidon was worshipped as a horse. The mythical horse Arion was a sire of Poseidon-horse with Erinys and the winged horse Pegasus a sire of Poseidon foaled by Medousa.[10] At Onchestos he had an old famous festival which included horseracing.[10] However it is possible that Poseidon like Zeus was a common god of all Greeks from the beginning.[13]

It is possible that the Greeks did not bring with them other gods except Zeus, Eos, and the Dioskouroi.[47] The Pelasgian god probably represented the fertilising power of water, and then he was he was considered god of the sea . As the sea encircles and holds the earth in its position, Poseidon is the god who holds the earth and who has the ability to shake the earth.[50] The primeval water who encircled the earth ( Oceanus) is the origin of all rivers and springs. They are children of Oceanus and Tethys.[35]

Farnell suggested that Poseidon was originally the god of the Minyans who occupied Thessaly and Boeotia. There is a similarity between the Boeotian and Arcadian myths and especially between the myths which represent the god of the waters Poseidon as a horse.[40] The mythical horse Arion appears in both regions. The offspring of Poseidon winged horse Pegasus creates famous springs near Helikon and at Troizen. Some springs of Poseidon have similar names in Boeotia and Peloponnese.[13][12] It is possible that the name of Poseidon Helikonios in Boeotia whose fest included horseracing derives from the mountain Helikon. The Minyans had trade contacts with Mycenean Pylos and the Achaeans adopted the cult of Poseidon Helikonios. The cult spread in Peloponnese and then to Ionia when the Achaeans migrated to Asia Minor.[13][12]

Hermes, Dionysos, Ariadne and Poseidon (Amphitrite is depicted on side B.). Detail from the belly of an Attic red-figure hydria, ca. 510 BC–500 BC. Louvre, Paris

Nilsson suggested that Poseidon was probably a common god of all Greeks from the beginning. The Greeks occupied Thessaly, Boeotia and Peloponnese during the Bronze Age. In all these regions Poseidon was the god of the horses. The origin of his cult was Peloponnese and he was the inland god of the Achaeans, the god of the "horses" and the "earthquakes". When the Achaeans migrated to Ionia there was a transition to regarding Poseidon as the god of the sea because the Ionians were sea-dependent.[35] With no doubt he was originally the god of the waters. The Greeks believed that the cause of the earthquakes was the erosion of the rocks by the waters, by the rivers in Peloponnese which they saw to disappear into the earth and then to burst out again. The god of the waters became the "earth-shaker".[35][51] This is what the natural philosophers Thales Anaximenes and Aristotle believed and could not be different from the folk belief. [52] In the Greek legends Arethusa and the river Alpheus traversed underground under the sea and reappeared at Ortygia.[53][54]

In any case, the early importance of Poseidon can still be glimpsed in Homer's Odyssey, where Poseidon rather than Zeus is the major mover of events. In Homer, Poseidon is the master of the sea.[55] He is described as a majestic scary and avenging monarch of the sea.[46]

Worship of Poseidon

Artemision Bronze, bronze statue probably of Poseidon, Severe style 480-440 BC. The statue was possibly a thank offering to the god after the battle of Artemision (480 BC).[56]National Archaeological Museum Athens.
I begin to sing about Poseidon, the great god,
mover of the earth and fruitless sea
god of the deep who is also lord of Helicon [57] and wide Aegae.
A two-fold office the gods allotted you,
O Shaker of the Earth, to be a tamer of horses
and a saviour of ships!
Hail, Poseidon, Holder of the Earth, dark-haired lord!
O blessed one, be kindly in heart
and help those who voyage in ships!
(Homeric Hymn to Poseidon)[58]

The worship of Poseidon was extended all over Greece and southern Italy, but he was specially honoured in Peloponnese which is called "the residence of Poseidon" and in the Ionic cities.[11] The significance of his cult is indicated by the names of cities like Poteidaia in the Chalkidiki peninsula and Poseidonia (Paestum), a Greek colony in Italy.[2] Poseidion is a frequent Greek placename along coastlines and the name of a Greek colony at the Syrian coast.[59]

In Ionia his cult was introduced by Achaean colonists from Greece in the 11th century BC. Traditionally the colonists came from Pylos where Poseidon was the principal god of the city. The god had a famous temple near the mountain Mycale.[2] The month Poseidaon is the month of the winter-storms. The name of the month was used in Ionic territories, in Athens, in the islands of the Aegean and in the cities of Asia Minor. At Lesbos and Epidauros the month was called Poseidios. During this month Poseidon was worshipped as the "master of the sea" in a bright cult.[13]

Poseidon with trident on hippocamp (sea-horse). Athenian black-figure white-ground pottery lekythos ca. 500-480 BC, by Athena Painter. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Poseidon was a major civic god of several cities: in Athens, he was second only to Athena in importance, while in Corinth and many cities of Ionia and Magna Graecia he was the chief god of the polis.[2] Many fests of Poseidon included athletic competitions and horseracing. In Corinth his cult was related to the Isthmian games.[2] In Arcadia his cult was related to the games "Hippocrateia" and at Sparta he had a temple near an Hippodrome. In Onchestos of Boeotia horseracing was a part of the athletic games in honour of the god.[10][13]

Poseidon was considered a symbol of unity. The Panionia the festival of all Ionians near Mycale were celebrated in honour of Poseidon Helikonios [60] and was the place of meeting of the Ionian League.[61] He was the patron god of the Amphictiony of Kalaureia. At Onchestos of Boeotia he was worshipped as Poseidon Helikonios. His sanctuary became the place of meeting of the second Boeotian league.[13][62] At Helike of Achaea there was the famous temple of Poseidon Helikonios, which was the place of meeting of the Achaean League.[63]

The "master of the sea" creates clouds and storms, but he is also the protector of the sailors. He has the ability to calm the sea for a good voyage and save those who are in danger.[11] He was worshipped with the surname "savior" as the protector of the seafarers and the fishermen.[56] He is the "earthshaker", however he is also the protector against the earthquakes. In some cults he was worshipped as the "bringer of safety" or "protector of the house and the foundations". [13]

The god was considered the creator of the first horse, and it was believed that he taught men the art of taming horses. He was depicted on horseback, or riding in a chariot drawn by two or four horses.[11] He had a lot of temples in Arcadia, with the surname Hippios (of the horse) and he was also transformed into a horse to seduce Demeter .[13]

Poseidon with a trident and a fish. Tondo of an Attic red-figured kylix, 520-510 BC, from Etruria.National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen.

Being the god of waters, Poseidon is related to the primeval water which encircles the earth (Oceanus),[11] who is the father of all rivers and springs. He can create springs with the strike of his trident.[2] He was worshipped as "ruler of the springs" and "leader of the nymphs" [64] In Thessaly it was believed that he drained the area cutting the rocks of Tempe with his trident.[2][65] In Greek folklore the horse can also create springs .[10]

As god of the sea Poseidon was also god of fishing and especially of sea-fishing. Tuna was offered to him by the fishermen during the festal meal for the protection of the nets .[2] Tuna and later dolphin was his attribute. He was worshipped in many islands and cities by the coast. At Corcyra a roaring bull near the sea-shore quaranteed a good fishing.[66] The devastating storm of Poseidon is related to fishermen and they poured drink offerings to Poseidon -savior into the sea.[56] The god of inland waters is very close to vegetation and Poseidon was worshipped in many cities as god of vegetation. Haloa in Athens was a fest of vegetation. The Protrygaia, a wine-fest seem to belong to Dionysus and Poseidon.[66]

In several cities Poseidon was worshipped in relation to the genealogy and the phratry.[2] At Tinos he was worshipped as a healer-god, probably a forerunner of the famous Evangelistria.[66]

The bull is related to Poseidon mainly in Ionia. The sacrifice of a bull offered to Poseidon is mentioned by Homer in an Ionic festival. (Panionia) [67][66] The sacrifices offered to Poseidon consisted of black and white bulls which were killed or thrown into the sea. Boars and rams were also used and in Argolis horses were thrown into a well as a sacrifice to him.[68][11]

Gigantomachy scene: Poseidon fighting Polybotes. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, ca. 475-470 BC. Painter of the Paris Gigantomachy (eponymous vase), circle of the Brygos Painter found in Vulci BnF Museum (Cabinet des médailles), Paris

In his benign aspect, Poseidon was seen as creating new islands and offering calm seas. When offended or ignored, he supposedly struck the ground with his trident and caused chaotic springs, earthquakes, drownings and shipwrecks. Sailors prayed to Poseidon for a safe voyage, sometimes drowning horses as a sacrifice; in this way, according to a fragmentary papyrus, Alexander the Great paused at the Syrian seashore before the climactic battle of Issus, and resorted to prayers, "invoking Poseidon the sea-god, for whom he ordered a four-horse chariot to be cast into the waves".[69]

According to Pausanias, Poseidon was one of the caretakers of the oracle at Delphi before Olympian Apollo took it over. Apollo and Poseidon worked closely in many realms: in colonization, for example, Delphic Apollo provided the authorization to go out and settle, while Poseidon watched over the colonists on their way, and provided the lustral water for the foundation-sacrifice. At one time Delphi belonged to him in common with Ge, but Apollo gave him the psychopompeion Kalaureia as a compensation for it.[11][70]

Xenophon's Anabasis describes a group of Spartan soldiers in 400–399 BC singing to Poseidon a paean—a kind of hymn normally sung for Apollo. Like Dionysus, who inflamed the maenads, Poseidon also caused certain forms of mental disturbance. A Hippocratic text of ca 400 BC, On the Sacred Disease[71] says that he was blamed for certain types of epilepsy.

Poseidon is still worshipped today in modern Hellenic religion, among other Greek gods. The worship of Greek gods has been recognized by the Greek government since 2017.[72][73]

Epithets and attributes

Poseidon Epoptes

Poseidon had a variety of roles, duties and attributes. He is a separate deity from the oldest Greek god of the sea Pontus. In Athens his name is superimposed οn the name of the non-Greek god Erechtheus Ἑρεχθεύς (Poseidon Erechtheus).[74][75] In the Iliad, he is the lord of the sea and his golden palace is built in Aegai, in the depth of the sea.[76] His significance is indicated by his titles Eurykreion (Εὐρυκρείων) "wide-ruling", an epithet also applied to Agamemnon[77][78] and Helikonios anax (Ἑλικώνιος ἂναξ), "lord of Helicon or Helike" [79] In Helike of Achaia he was specially honoured.[80] Anax is identified in Mycenaean Greek (Linear B) as wa-na-ka, a title of Poseidon as king of the underworld. Aeschylus uses also the epithet anax [81] and Pindar the epithet Eurymedon (Εὐρυμέδων) "widely ruling".[82]

See caption
Poseidon- Neptune Detail from the "Mosaic of the Seasons", from the Roman era. Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas, Palermo).

Some of the epithets (or adjectives) applied to him like Enosigaios (Ἐνοσίγαιος), Enosichthon (Ἐνοσίχθων) (Homer) and Ennosidas (Ἐννοσίδας) (Pindar), mean "earth shaker".[83] These epithets indicate his chthonic nature, and have an older evidence of use, as it is identified in Linear B, as 𐀁𐀚𐀯𐀅𐀃𐀚, E-ne-si-da-o-ne.[84] Other epithets that relate him with the earthquakes are Gaieochos (Γαιήοχος) [85] and Seisichthon (Σεισίχθων) [86] The god who causes the earthquakes is also the protector against them, and he had the epithets Themeliouchos (Θεμελιούχος) "upholding the foundations",[87] Asphaleios (Ἀσφάλειος) "securer, protector" [88] with a temple at Tainaron.[89] Pausanias describes a sanctuary of Poseidon near Sparta beside the shrine of Alcon, where he had the surname Domatites (Δωματίτης), "of the house"[90][91]

Poseidon surprises Anymone near a spring. Attic pelike in red figure, circle of the Polygnotus Painter, 440-430 BC. Archaeological Museum of Agrigento

Homer uses for Poseidon the title Kyanochaites (Κυανοχαίτης), "dark-haired, dark blue of the sea".[92][93] Epithets like Pelagios (Πελάγιος) "of the open sea",[94][95] Aegeus (Αἰγαίος), "of the high sea" [96] in the town of Aegae in Euboea, where he had a magnificent temple upon a hill,[97][98][99] Pontomedon (Ποντομέδων),[100]" lord of the sea" (Pindar, Aeschylus) and Kymothales (Κυμοθαλής), "abounding with waves",[101] indicate that Poseidon was regarded as holding sway over the sea.[102] Other epithets that relate him with the sea are, Porthmios (Πόρθμιος), "of strait, narrow sea" at Karpathos,[103] Epactaeus (Ἐπακταῖος) "god worshipped on the coast", in Samos.,[104] Alidoupos, (Ἀλίδουπος) "sea resounding".[105] The master of the sea who can cause devastating storms is also the protector of seafarers and he was given the epithet sōtēr (Σωτήρ), "savior".[56]

His symbol is the trident and he has the epithet Eutriaina (Εὐτρίαινα), "with goodly trident" (Pindar).[106] The god of the sea is also the god of fishing, and tuna was his attribute. At Lampsacus they offered fishes to Poseidon and he had the epithet phytalmios (φυτάλμιος) [107] His epithet Phykios (Φύκιος), "god of seaweeds" at Mykonos,[108] seems to be related with fishing. He had a fest where women were not allowed, with special offers also to Poseidon Temenites (Τεμενίτης) "related to an official domain ".[109] At the same day they made offers to Demeter Chloe therefore Poseidon was the promotor of vegetation. He had the epithet phytalmios (φυτάλμιος) at Myconos, Troizen, Megara and Rhodes, comparable with Ptorthios (Πτόρθιος) at Chalcis.[107][110][111]

Poseidon fighting the Giant Polybotes. Attic black-figure neck amphora by Swing Painter, 540-530 BC, ca. 540 BC–530 BC. Louvre, Paris.

Poseidon had a close association with horses. He is known under the epithet Hippios (Ἳππειος), "of a horse or horses" [112] usually in Arcadia. He had temples at Lycosura, Mantineia, Methydrium, Pheneos, Pallandion.[113]

At Lycosura he is related with the cult of Despoina.[114] The modern sanctuary near Mantineia was built by Emperor Hadrian.[115] In Athens on the hill of horses there was the altar of Poseidon Hippios and Athena Hippia. The temple of Poseidon was destroyed by Antigonus when he attacked Attica.[116] He is usually the tamer of horses (Damaios,Δαμαίος at Corinth),[117] and the tender of horses Hippokourios Ἱπποκούριος) at Sparta, where he had a sanctuary near the sanctuary of Artemis Aiginea.[118][119] In some myths he is the father of horses, either by spilling his seed upon a rock or by mating with a creature who then gave birth to the first horse.[2] In Thessaly he had the title Petraios Πετραἵος, "of the rocks".[120] He hit a rock and the first horse "Skyphios" appeared.[121] He was closely related with the springs, and with the strike of his trident, he created springs. He had the epithets Krenouchos (Κρηνούχος), "ruling over springs",[122] and nymphagetes (Νυμφαγέτης) "leader of the nymphs" [123] On the Acropolis of Athens he created the saltspring Sea of Erechtheus (Ἐρεχθηίς θάλασσα).[124] Many springs like Hippocrene and Aganippe in Helikon are related with the word horse (hippos). (also Glukippe, Hyperippe). He is the father of Pegasus, whose name is derived from πηγή, (pēgē) "spring".[125]

Poseidon carrying a trident. Corinthian plate 550-525 BC, from Pentescouphia, Louvre

Epithets like Genesios Γενέσιος at Lerna[126][127] Genethlios (Γενέθλιος) "of the race or family" [128] Phratrios (Φράτριος) "of the brotherhood",[129] and Patrigenios (Πατριγένειος) [130] indicate his relation with the genealogy trees and the brotherhood.

Other epithets of Poseidon in local cults are Epoptes (Ἐπόπτης), "overseer, watcher" at Megalopolis,[131] Empylios (Ἑμπύλιος), "at the gate " at Thebes.,[132] Kronios (Κρόνιος)[133] (Pindar) and semnos (σεμνός), "august, holy" [134] (Sophocles).

Some of Poseidon's epithets are related to festivals and athletic games including racing. At Corinth the Isthmian games was an athletic and music festival in honour of the god who had the epithet Isthmios (Ἴσθμιος). At Sparta there was the race in Gaiaochō. (ἐν Γαιαόχω) [135][136] Poseidon Gaiēochos (Γαιήοχος) had a temple near the city beside an Hippodrome.[137] At Mantineia and Pallandion in Arcadia the Hippokrateia (Ιπποκράτεια) were athletic games in honour of Poseidon Hippeios (Ιππειος). At Ephesus there was a fest "Tavria" and he had the epithet Tavreios (Tαύρειος), "related with the bull".[138][136]


Poseidon and Nike (victory). Terracotta Attic amphora by the Syracuse Painter, one of the last to decorate an amphora, 470-460 BC. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan, NY

Many festivals all over Greece, in the Ionic cities and in Italy were celebrated in honour of Poseidon.

Libation scene: Poseidon seated on a chair, wearing a chiton and a himation, holding a trident and a phiale.450-440 BC red-figure Attic amphora.Louvre
Sozopol Archaelogical Museum. Poseidon in the middle.

Temples of Poseidon

Archaic Temple of Poseidon at Isthmia, Greece (Assumed reconstruction)

The Corinthians are considered to be the inventors of the Doric order. However Corinth was completely destroyed and rebuilt and there is not sufficient evidence for the existence of earliest Doric Greek temples in the city.[147] A building constructed in early 7th century BC c.690-650 BC at Isthmia near Corinth which was later dedicated to Poseidon, is considered a pioneering building featuring Doric architecture.[148] It seems that the first temple with pure Doric elements was built with the aid of Corinthians at Thermon in Aetolia in the middle of 7th century BC century. c.640-630 BC. It was a peripteral narrow wooden structure dedicated to Apollo,[149] It measured 12.13 X38.23 m at the stylobate and the number of pteron columns was 5X15.[150]

In the earlier temples the peripteral colonnade is treated with a freedom unknown to later Doric architects. This is in part an especially western feature (in Italy) because the hexastyle sceme was adopted [151] as in the temple of Poseidon at Taranto and the second temple of Hera at Paestum (traditionally named temple of Poseidon). In the earlier temples where the number of the columns in the porch is odd, so are the columns of the pteron facade. In such temples the side ptera are approximately the width of one or two intercolumniations.[152] In the hexastyle scheme like the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, there are normally two or four columns in the porch and the side ptera are approximately the width of one intercolumniation.[153] In Doric early work the distance between column and column differs on the fronts and on the flanks [154] and this can be observed in the temple of Poseidon at Kalaureia and in Basilica at Paestum. After the 6th century the rule in Doric is an approximate equality of intercolumniations [154] and it can be observed in the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, where there is a slight difference.

Plan of the second temple of Hera, Paestum (traditionally temple of Poseidon)
Sounionplan-Temple of Poseidon
Architectural Terracotta Sanctuary of Poseidon Kalaureia
Temple of Poseidon, Hermione



Poseidon-Neptune and triumphal chariot with a pair of sea-horses (Hippocamps). Mosaic, 3rd century. Sousse Archaeological Museum, Medina, Tunesia

In the standard version, Poseidon was born to the Titans Cronus and Rhea, the fifth child out of six, born after Hestia, Demeter, Hera and Hades in that order.[167] Because Poseidon's father was afraid that one of his children would overthrow him like he had done to his own father, Cronus devoured each infant as soon as they were born. Poseidon was the last one to suffer this fate before Rhea decided to deceive Cronus and whisk the sixth child, Zeus, away to safety, after offering Cronus a rock wrapped in a blanket to eat.[168] Once Zeus was grown, he gave his father a powerful emetic that made him gorge up the children he had eaten. The five children emerged from their father's belly in reverse order, making Poseidon both the second youngest child and the second oldest at the same time. Armed with a trident forged for him by the Cyclopes, Poseidon with his siblings and other divine allies defeated the Titans and became rulers in their place.[169] According to Homer and Apollodorus, Zeus, Poseidon and the third brother Hades then divided the world between them by drawing lots; Zeus got the sky, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the Underworld.[170]

Andrea Doria as Neptune, by Angelo Bronzino .1540-1530, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

In a rarer - and later- version, Poseidon avoided being devoured by his father as his mother Rhea saved him in the same manner she did Zeus, by offering Cronus a foal instead, claiming she had given birth to a horse instead of a god, while she had actually laid the child in a flock.[171] Rhea entrusted her infant to a spring nymph. When Cronus demanded the child, the nymph Arne[172] denied having him, and her spring thereafter was called Arne (which bears resemblance to the Greek word for 'deny').[173]

In another tale, Rhea gave Poseidon to the Telchines, ancient inhabitants of the island of Rhodes;[174] Capheira, an Oceanid nymph, became the young god's nurse.[175] As Poseidon grew, he fell in love with Halia, the beautiful sister of the Telchines, and fathered six sons and one daughter, Rhodos, on her.[176][175] By that time Aphrodite, the goddess of love, had been born and risen from the sea, and attempted to make a stop at Rhodes on her way to Cyprus. Poseidon and Halia's sons denied her hospitality, so Aphrodite cursed them to fall in love and rape Halia. After they had done so, Poseidon made them sink below the sea.[176]

In Homer's Odyssey, Poseidon has a home in Aegae.[177]

City patronage

Foundation of Athens

Poseidon (right) and Athena (identified with inscriptions). Black-figure vaise painting by Amasis Painter, 540 BC. BnF Museum (Cabinet des médailles), Paris

Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens after a competition with Poseidon. Yet Poseidon remained a numinous presence on the Acropolis in the form of his surrogate, Erechtheus.[2] At the dissolution festival at the end of the year in the Athenian calendar, the Skira, the priests of Athena and the priest of Poseidon would process under canopies to Eleusis.[178] They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and the Athenians would choose whichever gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring sprang up; the water was salty and not very useful, whereas Athena offered them an olive tree.

The Athenians or their king, Cecrops, accepted the olive tree and along with it Athena as their patron, for the olive tree brought wood, oil and food. After the fight, infuriated at his loss, Poseidon sent a monstrous flood to the Attic Plain, to punish the Athenians for not choosing him. The depression made by Poseidon's trident and filled with salt water was surrounded by the northern hall of the Erechtheum, remaining open to the air.

Athena and Poseidon, Faliscan red-figure volute-krater, by Nazzano Painter, 360 BC. Louvre, Paris.

Burkert noted :"In cult, Poseidon was identified with Erechtheus" and "the myth turns this into a temporal-causal sequence: in his anger at losing, Poseidon led his son Eumolpus against Athens and killed Erectheus."[9]

It was also said that Poseidon in his anger over his defeat sent one of his sons, Halirrhothius, to cut down Athena's tree gift. But as Halirrhothius swung his axe, he missed his aim and it fell in himself, killing him instantly. Poseidon in fury accused Ares of murder, and the matter was eventually settled on the Areopagus ("hill of Ares") in favour of Ares, which was thereafter named after the event.[179][180] In other versions, Halirrhothius raped Alcippe, Ares's daughter, so Ares slew him. Poseidon was enraged over the murder of his son, and Ares was thus held in hold, which eventually acquitted him.[181]

The contest of Athena and Poseidon was the subject of the reliefs on the western pediment of the Parthenon, the first sight that greeted the arriving visitor.

This myth is construed by Robert Graves and others as reflecting a clash between the inhabitants during Mycenaean times and newer immigrants. Athens at its height was a significant sea power, at one point defeating the Persian fleet at Salamis Island in a sea battle.


Poseidon and Amymone, fresco in Stabiae, Italy, 1st century AD

The Corinthians had a similar story to the foundations of Athens, about their own city Corinth. According to the myth, Helios and Poseidon clashed, both desiring to make the city their own. Their dispute was brought to one of the Hecatoncheires, Briareos, an elder god, who was thus tasked to settle the fight between the two gods. Briareus decided to award the Acrocorinth to Helios, while to Poseidon he gave the isthmus of Corinth.[182] In this tale, Helios and Poseidon are supposed to represent fire versus water.[183] Helios, as the sun god, received the area that is closest to the sky, while Poseidon, who is the sea god, got the isthmus by the sea.[184]

At another time, Poseidon came to an agreement with another goddess, Leto, that he would give her the island of Delos in exchange for the island of Calauria; he also exchanged Delphi for Taenarum with Apollo. A temple of Poseidon stood at Calauria during ancient times.[185] Poseidon also came to dispute with his sister Hera over the city of Argos. A local king was chosen to settle the matter, Phoroneus, and he decided to award the city to Hera, who then became its patroness.[186] Poseidon was enraged, and sent a drought to plague the city. One day, as an Argive woman named Amymone went out in search of water, came upon a satyr who tried to rape her. Amymone prayed to Poseidon for help, and he scared the satyr away with his trident.[187] After Poseidon rescued Amymone from the lecherous satyr he fathered a child on her, Nauplius.[188]

Walls of Troy

Poseidon and Apollo, having offended Zeus by their rebellion in Hera's scheme, were temporarily stripped of their divine authority and sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy. He had them build huge walls around the city and promised to reward them with his immortal horses, a promise he then refused to fulfill. In vengeance, before the Trojan War, Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack Troy. The monster was later killed by Heracles.[189]


Poseidon and Theseus (on the left). Storage jar 470BC. J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, California

Poseidon fathered the hero Theseus with the Troezenian princess Aethra. Theseus was also said to be the son of Aegeus, the king of Athens, who slept with Aethra on the very same night. Thus Theseus's origins included both the human and the divine element.[190][191]

Meanwhile in Crete, Zeus's son Minos asked for Poseidon's help in order to certify his claim on the throne of Crete. Poseidon offered Minos a splendid white bull, with the understanding that he was to sacrifice the bull to Poseidon later. The Cretans were so impressed with the bull and the divine sign itself that Minos was declared king of Crete.[192][193] But wishing to keep the beautiful animal for himself, Minos instead sacrificed an ordinary bull to the sea-god instead of the agreed upon one.[193]

Poseidon, enraged, caused Minos's wife, Pasiphae, to fall in love with the bull; their coupling produced the Minotaur, a half-bull half-human creature who fed on human flesh.[192][193] Minos concealed him within the labyrinth built by Daedalus, and fed to him Athenian men and women he forced Aegeus to send him over.[168]

Once Theseus was grown up and recognized by his father Aegeus in Athens, he decided to end the bloody tax Athens had to pay to Crete once and for all, and volunteered to set sail to Crete along with the other Athenian youths who had been chosen to be devoured by the Minotaur.[194]

Once he arrived in Crete, Minos insulted Theseus and insisted he was no son of Poseidon; to demonstrate so, he threw his own ring in to the sea, and commanded Theseus to retrieve it, expecting he would not be able to do so.[195] Theseus immediately dove in after it.

Pasiphae seated on a throne receives the wooden cow from Daidalos. Eros plays with the head of the crafted cow. Roman Mosaic, from Zeugma, Commagene. Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Gaziantep, Turkey

Dolphins then came as guides and escorted him to the halls of Poseidon and Amphitrite's palace, where he was warmly welcomed.[196] He received the ring, and in addition a purple wedding cloak and a crown from Amphitrite, to prove his words. Theseus then emerged from the sea and gave the ring to Minos.[197] Theseus killed the Minotaur, and in time succeeded his father Aegeus as king of Athens. By an Amazon he had a son, Hippolytus, while his wife Phaedra (Minos' daughter) gave him two sons.

At some point, Poseidon promised three favours to Theseus, and he called upon Poseidon to fulfill one of those when Phaedra falsely accused Hippolytus of forcing himself on her.[198] Theseus, not knowing the truth, asked his father to destroy Hippolytus; Poseidon granted his son's wish, and as Hippolytus was driving by the sea, Poseidon sent a terrifying sea monster to spook the man's horses, which then dragged him to his death.[198][199]

Consort, lovers, victims and children

Sea thiasos depicting the wedding of Poseidon and Amphitrite, from the Altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus in the Field of Mars, bas-relief, Roman Republic, 2nd century BC

Poseidon was said to have had many lovers of both sexes. His consort was Amphitrite, a nymph and ancient sea-goddess, daughter of Nereus and Doris. In one account, attributed to Eratosthenes, Poseidon wished to wed Amphitrite, but she fled from him and hid with Atlas. Poseidon sent out many to find her, and it was a dolphin who tracked her down. The dolphin persuaded Amphitrite to accept Poseidon as her husband, and eventually took charge of their wedding. Poseidon then put him among the stars as a reward for his good services.[200] Oppian says that the dolphin betrayed Amphitrite's whereabouts to Poseidon, and he carried off Amphitrite against her will to marry her.[201] Together they had a son named Triton, a merman.[202] Poseidon was the father of many heroes. He is thought to have fathered the famed Theseus. Poseidon also had an affair with Alope, his granddaughter through Cercyon, his son and King of Eleusis, begetting the Attic hero Hippothoon. Cercyon had his daughter buried alive but Poseidon turned her into the spring, Alope, near Eleusis.[203]

A mortal woman named Cleito once lived on an isolated island; Poseidon fell in love with the human mortal and created a dwelling sanctuary at the top of a hill near the middle of the island and surrounded the dwelling with rings of water and land to protect her. She gave birth to five sets of twin boys; the firstborn, Atlas, became the first ruler of Atlantis.[6][7][8] Alebion and Bergion and Otos and Ephialtae (the giants).

Poseidon-Neptune and Amphitrite. Roman Mosaic 1st century AD. House of Neptune, Herculanum. Metropolitan City of Naples

Not all of Poseidon's children were human. His other children include Polyphemus (the Cyclops) and, finally, Amycus was the son of Poseidon and the Bithynian nymph Melia.[204] The philosopher Plato was held by his fellow ancient Greeks to have traced his descent to the sea-God Poseidon through his father Ariston and his mythic predecessors the demigod kings Codrus and Melanthus.[205][206]

Poseidon also took the young Nerites, the son of Nereus and Doris (and thus brother to Amphitrite) as a lover. Nerites was also Poseidon's charioteer, and impressed all marine creatures with his speed. But one day the sun god, Helios, turned Nerites into a shellfish. Aelian, who recorded this tale as told by mariners, says it is not clear why Helios did this, but theorizes he might have been offended somehow, or that he and Poseidon were rivals in love, and Helios wanted Nerites to travel among the constellations instead of the sea-monsters. From the love between Poseidon and Nerites was born Anteros, mutual love.[207]

Other male lovers included Pelops and Patroclus.[208]

Rape and assault victims

Bellerehron spears Chimera from underneath, while Pegasus strikes the monster with his hooves. Laconian Black Figure Kylix attributed to Boreads Painter, 570–565 B.C. J. Paul Getty Museum Malibu, California.

A mortal woman named Tyro was married to Cretheus (with whom she had one son, Aeson), but loved Enipeus, a river god. She pursued Enipeus, who refused her advances. One day, Poseidon, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus, and from their union were born the heroes Pelias and Neleus, twin boys.[209]

In an archaic myth, Poseidon once pursued Demeter. She spurned his advances, turning herself into a mare so that she could hide in a herd of horses; he saw through the deception and became a stallion, captured and raped her.[210] Their child was a horse, Arion, which was capable of human speech.[211] According to Hesiod's Theogony, Poseidon "lay down in a soft meadow among spring flowers" with the Gorgon Medusa and two offspring, the winged horse Pegasus and the warrior Chrysaor, were born when the hero Perseus cut off Medusa's head.[212]

Lattanzio Gambara (c. 1530-Brescia 1574) - Poseidon-Neptune and Caenis

Ovid however says that Medusa was originally a very beautiful maiden whom Poseidon raped inside the temple of Athena. Athena, furious over the sacrilege, changed the beautiful girl into a monster.[213] Elsewhere in the Metamorphoses, Ovid says that Poseidon seduced Medusa in the form of a bird.[214]

One day, Poseidon spotted Caenis walking by the seashore, caught her and raped her. Having enjoyed her greatly, he offered her a wish, any wish. Traumatized, Caenis wished to be transformed into a man, so that she would never experience assault again. Poseidon fulfilled her request and changed her into a male warrior, who then took the name Caeneus.[215]

Another time Poseidon once fell in love with a Phocian woman, Corone, the daughter of Coronaeus as she was walking along the shore. He attempted to court her, but she rejected him, and ran away. Poseidon then chased her down with the aim to rape her. Athena, witnessing all that, took pity in the girl and changed her into a crow.[216]

When Zeus fell in love and pursued the goddess Asteria, she transformed into a quail and flung herself into the sea to escape being raped by him. Poseidon then, equally rapacious, picked up the chase where Zeus had left it and chased Asteria with the aim to force himself on her, so Asteria had to transform for a second time to save herself, this time into a small rocky island named Delos.[217]

List of offspring and their mothers

Offspring Mother
Triton Amphitrite [218]
Benthesicyme [219]
Rhodos [220]
Antaeus Gaea [221]
Charybdis [222]
Laistryon [223]
Despoina Demeter [224]
Arion [225]
Rhodos Aphrodite [226]
Herophile [227]
Pegasus Medusa[228]
Ergiscus Aba [229]
Aethusa Alcyone [230]
Hyrieus [231]
Hyperenor [231]
Hyperes [232]
Anthas [233]
Abas Arethusa [234]
Halirrhothius Bathycleia[235] or Euryte[236]
Chrysomallus Bisalpis or Bisaltis or Theophane[237]
Minyas Callirhoe [238]
Lycus Celaeno[239]
Eurypylus (Eurytus)
Asopus (possibly) Kelousa[240] or Pero[241]
Parnassus Cleodora [242]
Eumolpus Chione [243]
Phaeax Corcyra [244]
Rhode (possibly) Halia[245]
six sons
Eirene Melantheia [246]
Amycus Melia[247]
Aspledon Mideia [248]
Astacus Olbia [249]
Cenchrias Peirene[250]
Euadne Pitane[251] or Lena
Phocus Pronoe [252]
Athos Rhodope [253]
Cychreus Salamis [254]
Taras Satyria of Taras [255]
Polyphemus Thoosa [256]
Chios a nymph of Chios [257]
Melas another nymph of Chios[257]
Dictys Agamede[234]
Theseus Aethra [258]
Ogyges Alistra [259]
Hippothoon Alope [260]
Erythras Amphimedusa [261]
Nauplius Amymone [262]
Busiris Anippe[263] or Lysianassa[264]
Idas Arene [265]
Aeolus Antiope[234] or Arne[266] or Melanippe[267]
Boeotus Melanippe [267]
Oeoclus Ascre [268]
Ancaeus Astypalaea [269]
Eurypylus [270]
Peratus Calchinia [271]
Cycnus Calyce[234] or Harpale[272] or Scamandrodice[273] or a Nereid[274]
Hopleus Canace[275]
Celaenus Celaeno [276]
Dictys Cerebia[277]
Byzas Ceroessa [278]
Chryses Chrysogeneia [279]
Minyas [280]
Phaunos Circe [281]
Atlas Cleito[282]
Eumelus (Gadeirus)
Scylla Crataeis [283]
Celaeno Ergea [276]
Euphemus Doris (Oris)[284] or Europa[285] or Mecionice[284] or Macionassa[286]
Orion Euryale [287]
Minyas Euryanassa[288] or Hermippe[289] or Tritogeneia[290]
Eleius Eurycyda[291] or Eurypyle[292]
Bellerophon Eurynome[293] or Eurymede[294]
Almops Helle [295]
Edonus (Paion) [296]
Taphius Hippothoe [297]
The Aloadae (Ephialtes and Otus) Iphimedeia [298]
Sciron [299][300]
Achaeus Larissa [301]
Althepus Leis [302]
Agenor Libya [303]
Belus [303]
Lelex [304]
Delphus Melantho [305]
Dyrrhachius Melissa [306]
Metus Melite [234]
The Molionides (Cteatus, Eurytus) Molione [307]
Myton Mytilene [308]
Megareus Oenope [234]
Sithon Ossa [309]
Nausithous Periboea [310]
Torone Phoenice[311]
Ialysus Rhode[312]
Chthonius Syme [313]
Leucon or Leuconoe Themisto [234]
Pelias Tyro[314]
Cercyon Daughter of Amphictyon [315]
Ialebion no mother mentioned [316]
Bergion [316]
Dicaeus [317]
Syleus [318]
Poltys [247]
Sarpedon of Ainos [319]
Amphimarus [320]
Amyrus [321]
Aon, eponym of Aonia [322]
Astraeus [323]
Alcippe [323]
Augeas [324]
Byzenus [274]
Calaurus [325]
Caucon or Glaucon [326]
Corynetes [327]
Cromus [328]
Cymopoleia [329]
Erginus of Caria [330]
Eryx [331]
Euseirus [332]
Geren [333]
Lamia [334]
Lamus [335]
Messapus [336]
Onchestus [337]
Palaestinus [338]
Paralus [citation needed]
Phineus [339]
Phorbas of Acarnania [340]
Procrustes [327]
Taenarus [341]
Thasus [342]
Thessalus [343]
Ourea (a nymph) [344]
Dorus [345]
Laocoön [346]
Telchines [347]


In literature and art

Poseidon and Amphitryte - Joseph Kuhn-Régnier

In Greek art, Poseidon rides a chariot that was pulled by a hippocampus or by horses that could ride on the sea. He was associated with dolphins and three-pronged fish spears (tridents). He lived in a palace on the ocean floor, made of coral and gems.

In the Iliad, Poseidon favors the Greeks, and on several occasion takes an active part in the battle against the Trojan forces. However, in Book XX he rescues Aeneas after the Trojan prince is laid low by Achilles.

In the Odyssey, Poseidon is notable for his hatred of Odysseus who blinded the god's son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. The enmity of Poseidon prevents Odysseus's return home to Ithaca for many years. Odysseus is even told, notwithstanding his ultimate safe return, that to placate the wrath of Poseidon will require one more voyage on his part.

Neptune and Amphitrite by Jacob de Gheyn II (late 1500s)

In the Aeneid, Neptune is still resentful of the wandering Trojans, but is not as vindictive as Juno, and in Book I he rescues the Trojan fleet from the goddess's attempts to wreck it, although his primary motivation for doing this is his annoyance at Juno's having intruded into his domain.

A hymn to Poseidon included among the Homeric Hymns is a brief invocation, a seven-line introduction that addresses the god as both "mover of the earth and barren sea, god of the deep who is also lord of Mount Helicon and wide Aegae,[354] and specifies his twofold nature as an Olympian: "a tamer of horses and a saviour of ships".

In modern culture

Poseidon as portrayed in the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts

Due to his status as a Greek god, Poseidon has made multiple appearances in modern and popular culture.


Poseidon has appeared in modern literature, most notably in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, in which he plays a role as the titular character's father. Poseidon appears in Gareth Hinds' 2010 version of The Odyssey.[355]


Poseidon appeared in Rachel Smythe's 2018 comic Lore Olympus.[356][357]

Films and television

Poseidon has been very popular especially in god-related films. Poseidon appeared in the 1963 film Jason and the Argonauts.[358]

Poseidon appears in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the two film adaptations of the book series.[359][360] He also appears in the ABC television series Once Upon a Time as a supporting character in the second half of season four, played by Ernie Hudson.[361] In this version, Poseidon is portrayed as the father of the Sea Witch Ursula.

Video games

Poseidon has made multiple appearances in video games, such as in God of War 3 by Sony. In the game, Poseidon appears as a boss for the player to defeat.[362] He also appears in Smite as a playable character.[363] In the video game Hades, he is a character who will grant "boons".[364]


Neptune's fountain in Prešov, Slovakia.

List of all pre-modern retellings of myths relating to Poseidon:




See also


  1. ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach; James Hartmann; Jane Setter (eds.), English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-3-12-539683-8
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Burkert 1985, pp. 136–139.
  3. ^ Seneca quaest. Nat. VI 6 :Nilsson Vol I p.450
  4. ^ Nilsson Vol I p.450
  5. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 456.
  6. ^ a b Plato (1971). Timaeus and Critias. London, England: Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 167. ISBN 9780140442618.
  7. ^ a b Timaeus 24e–25a, R. G. Bury translation (Loeb Classical Library).
  8. ^ a b Also it has been interpreted that Plato or someone before him in the chain of the oral or written tradition of the report accidentally changed the very similar Greek words for "bigger than" ("meson") and "between" ("mezon") – Luce, J.V. (1969). The End of Atlantis – New Light on an Old Legend. London: Thames and Hudson. p. 224.
  9. ^ a b Burkert 1983, pp. 149, 157.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Hard, "Greek mythology", p.100-103 Hard p.100-103
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Smith Poseidon
  12. ^ a b c Farnell Cults IV S.1ff
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t NiLsson, Geschichte, 446-448
  14. ^ a b Minoan.Deaditerranean po-se-da-o
  15. ^ a b Nilsson,Geschichte Vol I, 444-445
  16. ^ Liddell & Scott. "Ποσειδῶν". A Greek-English Lexicon. Archived from the original on 9 October 2012.
  17. ^ Pierre Chantraine Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue grecque Paris 1974–1980 4th s.v.; Lorenzo Rocci Vocabolario Greco-Italiano Milano, Roma, Napoli 1943 (1970) s.v.
  18. ^ Beekes. Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 324
  19. ^ Adams, John Paul, Mycenean divinities – List of handouts for California State University Classics 315. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  20. ^ Michael Janda, pp. 256–258.
  21. ^ Plato, Cratylus, 402d–402e
  22. ^ Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, p. 324.
  23. ^ van der Toorn, Karel; Becking, Bob; van der Horst, Pieter Willem (1999), Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible (second ed.), Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdman's Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8028-2491-9
  24. ^ a b c d e Dietrich 2004, pp. 180–185.
  25. ^ Dietrich 2004, pp. 175–180, 220.
  26. ^ a b A.B. Stallmith in GRBS 18(2008) p.117,119, "The name of Demeter Thesmophoros".p.116
  27. ^ a b Mylonas, "Mycenean age", p.159: "Wa-na-ssoi, wa-na-ka-te, (to the two queens and the king). Wanax is best suited to Poseidon, the special divinity of Pylos. The identity of the two divinities addressed as wanassoi, is uncertain"
  28. ^ Chadwick, p. 98.
  29. ^ a b c d e f g Farnell Cults III, 50-55
  30. ^ Ventris, Michael; Chadwick, John (21 May 2015). Documents in Mycenean Greek. Cambridge University Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-1-107-50341-0.
  31. ^ Dietrich, p. 172 n. 218.
  32. ^ a b c Mylonas, "Mycenean age", p. 159-161.
  33. ^ "In Greek popular religion, the chthonic Potniai (Wanassoi) and the Erinyes are closely related to the Eleusinian Demeter":Dietrich, p.179-180 The origins of Greek religion 189-190
  34. ^ a b c Dietrich 2004, pp. 175–180.
  35. ^ a b c d e Nilsson, "Geschicte", p.449,450
  36. ^ a b c Bowra,"The Greek experience", p.67-121
  37. ^ a b c Nilsson, "Geschichte" Vol I, 450 and 450A4: J.Grimm, "Deutsche Mythology": Horse and springs, horse as a water-spirit
  38. ^ Pausanias 8.8.2
  39. ^ L. H. Jeffery (1976). Archaic Greece: The Greek city states c.800-500 B.C (Ernest Benn Limited) p 23 ISBN 0-510-03271-0
  40. ^ a b c d e Farnell CultsIII,53 Farnell CultsIII, 53
  41. ^ a b Nilsson "Geschichte", Vol I, p.100-101
  42. ^ Burkert, "Greek religion", p.42
  43. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte" Vol I, p.472: "Anodos of Pherephata", Tables 39,1 and 39,2
  44. ^ Dietrich 2004, pp. 175–185.
  45. ^ Dietrich 2004, p. 167.
  46. ^ a b Hard,"Greek mythology", p. 99 p.99
  47. ^ a b F.Schachermeyer: Poseidon und die Entstehung des Griechischen Gotter glaubens :Nilsson p 444
  48. ^ Chadwick, p. 98
  49. ^ Jeffery, "The city states", p.72:"The proud title dikaios (the Just) in Thessaly was borne by a good brood-mare of Pharsalus, whose foals all resembled their sires."
  50. ^ "gaiaochos ennosigaios": holder of the earth earthshaker: Smith Poseidon
  51. ^ Iliad 13.43: "Poseidawn gaiaochos ennosigaios " (carrying the earth, earthshaker) Iliad 13.43
  52. ^ Nilsson ,"Geschicte", Vol I, p.450 : a)Thales: Plutarch, plac.phil. p. 896 C, b)Anaximenes-Aristotle:Aristotle, Meteorogica 27 p. 365 . All Inform. by Seneca quest. nat. VI 6;10;20
  53. ^ Pindar, Pyth, II v,7:Nilsson, "Geschichte", Vol I, p.492.
  54. ^ Pausanias 5.7.3
  55. ^ "Poseidon – God of the Sea". www.crystalinks.com. Archived from the original on 11 November 2017. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  56. ^ a b c d "In 480 BC a great storm at Magnesia and then at Artemision heavily damaged the Persian fleet. After the war the Greeks gave to Poseidon the epithet soter (savior). The agalma found near Artemision was probably a thank offering dedicated to Poseidon-Soter (saviοr)" : Burkert, "Greek religion" p.137
  57. ^ Helikonios, (Ελικώνιος): The word may mean, "god of the eddying waves" :Nilsson, Geschichte. p.447 A6
  58. ^ The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.Homeric Hymn to Poseidon
  59. ^ Diodorus 19.79.1
  60. ^ a b "The form is the same with Helikon. Traditionally the adjective derives from the town Helike of Achaea . However it is possible that it derives from "helix" (twisted, spiral) and Poseidon would be the "god of the eddying waves"":Nilsson, "Geschichte, p.447 A6
  61. ^ a b Jeffery, The city states, p.208
  62. ^ a b Iliad 2.506
  63. ^ a b Katsonopoulou, Dora (2002). "Helike and her Territory in Historical Times". Pallα as. 58: 175–182. ISSN 0031-0387.
  64. ^ Nilsson, "Geschichte" p.450 A4.
  65. ^ πετραῖος
  66. ^ a b c d e f g h i Nilsson, Geschichte, 449-452
  67. ^ Iliad 20.404
  68. ^ Pausanias 8.7.2
  69. ^ Karl Wilhelm Ludwig Müller's ed. Papyrus Oxyrrhincus Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum 148, 44, col. 2; quoted by Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great (1973) 1986:168 and note. Alexander also invoked other sea deities: Thetis, mother of his hero Achilles, Nereus and the Nereids
  70. ^ Pausanias 2.33.2
  71. ^ "(Hippocrates), On the Sacred Disease, Francis Adams, tr". Archived from the original on 24 May 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2007.
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  74. ^ Walter Burkert (Peter Bing, tr.) Homo Necans 1983, p. 149 gives references for this observation
  75. ^ "Ἑρεχθεύς".
  76. ^ Iliad 13.21 Nilsson Vol I p.446
  77. ^ "Iliad 10.751".
  78. ^ "Εὐρυκρείων".
  79. ^ Iliad 20.404.
  80. ^ "Ἑλικώνιος".
  81. ^ "Seven against Thebes 131".
  82. ^ "εὐρυμέδων".
  83. ^ Diedrich p. 185 n. 305
  84. ^ Adams, John Paul. "Mycenaean Divinities". List of Handouts for Classics 315. Archived from the original on 1 October 2018. Retrieved 2 September 2006.
  85. ^ "Γαιήοχος".
  86. ^ σεισίχθων
  87. ^ "θεμελιούχος".
  88. ^ "ἀσφάλειος".
  89. ^ "Suda, tau, 206".
  90. ^ "δωματίτης".
  91. ^ Pausanias, doc=Paus.+3.14.7&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0160:book=:chapter=&highlight=Poseidon3.14.7 3.14.7
  92. ^ Κυανοχαίτης
  93. ^ "Iliad 20.144".
  94. ^ πελάγιος
  95. ^ Nilsson Vol I p.449
  96. ^ "Aἰγαίος".
  97. ^ Strabo, ix. p. 405
  98. ^ Virgil, Aeneid iii. 74, where Servius erroneously derives the name from the Aegean Sea
  99. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Aegaeus". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. p. 24.
  100. ^ ποντομέδων
  101. ^ "κυμοθαλής".
  102. ^ Smith, >Steven D. (2019), Maria Kanellou; Ivana Petrovic; Chris Carey (eds.), "Art, Nature, Power: Garden Epigrams from Nero to Heraclius", Greek Epigram from the Hellenistic to the Early Byzantine Era, Oxford University Press, p. 348, ISBN 978-0-192-57379-7
  103. ^ "πόρθμιος".
  104. ^ Public Domain Leonhard Schmitz (1870). "Epactaeus". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
  105. ^ "Ἀλίδουπος".
  106. ^ "εὐτρίαινα".
  107. ^ a b Nilsson Vol I p.451,452
  108. ^ φύκιος
  109. ^ "Τεμενίτης".
  110. ^ φυτάλμιος
  111. ^ πτόρθιος.
  112. ^ "ἲππειος".
  113. ^ Nilsson Vol I p.448
  114. ^ Pausanias 8.37.9–10
  115. ^ "Pausanias 8.10.3".
  116. ^ "Pausanias 1.30.4".
  117. ^ "Δαμαῖος".
  118. ^ "Pausanias 3.14.2".
  119. ^ "Ἱπποκούριος".
  120. ^ "Πετραῖος".
  121. ^ Nilsson Vol I p. 447
  122. ^ "κρηνούχος".
  123. ^ " Oceanus is the primeval water, the origin of all springs and rivers" : Nilsson Vol I p.450
  124. ^ "Apollodorus 3.14.1".
  125. ^ Nilsson Vol I p.450-451
  126. ^ γενέσιος
  127. ^ "Pausanias 2.38.4".
  128. ^ γενέθλιος
  129. ^ "φράτριος".
  130. ^ Nilsson Vol I p.452
  131. ^ "ἐπόπτης".
  132. ^ "ἐμπύλιος".
  133. ^ "Κρόνιος".
  134. ^ "σεμνός".
  135. ^ Pausanias 3.21.8.
  136. ^ a b Nilsson Vol I p.446- 448
  137. ^ contest at Sparta : Γαάοχοι
  138. ^ ταύρειος
  139. ^ Jeffery, The city states, p.152
  140. ^ Thomas Kelly, "The Calaurian Amphictiony" American Journal of Archaeology 70.2 (April 1966:113–121).
  141. ^ Ταιναρον
  142. ^ a b Temple of Poseidon Tainaron
  143. ^ Iliad 2.575
  144. ^ Iliad 2.533
  145. ^ ιππειος
  146. ^ Strabo 10.5.11
  147. ^ N.Spivey (1997), Greek art, Phaidon Press Limited, p. 61.
  148. ^ a b Gebhard, Elizabeth R. and Hemans, Frederick P. University of Chicago Excavations at Isthmia, 1989: I. Hesperia, Volume 61, Number 1 (January 1992), pp. 1–77, page 25.
  149. ^ N.Spivey, p.111-112
  150. ^ Robertson (1945), Greek and Roman architecture, pp. 66,324
  151. ^ Robertson, p.73
  152. ^ Thermon: one column in the porch, five columns on the facade. "Basilica" (Paestum): three columns on the potch, nine columns in the pteron facade :Robertson, p.73
  153. ^ Paestum, second temple of Hera: two columns in the porch. Sounion: two columns in the porch.
  154. ^ a b Robertson, p.75
  155. ^ Salmon, J. B. 1984. Wealthy Corinth: A History of the City to 338 BC. Oxford: Clarendon Press, page 61.
  156. ^ Gebhard, Elizabeth on ‘The Evolution of a Pan-Hellenic Sanctuary: From Archaeology towards History at Isthmia.’ pp. 154–177 in: Marinatos, Nanno (ed.) and Hägg, Robin (ed.). 1993. Greek Sanctuaries: New Approaches. London: Routledge, page 160.
  157. ^ Robertson pp.75-76,325
  158. ^ ""The early temple of Hera, known as the 'Basilica'"". Archived from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  159. ^ Robertson, pp. 136,327
  160. ^ a b Robertson, p. 327
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  163. ^ "KalaureiaKalaureia, Poros (1894 and 1997– ongoing) - Kalaureia, Poros (1894 and 1997– ongoing)". Swedish Institute at Athens. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  164. ^ Pausanias 2.34.10
  165. ^ Swedish Institute p.446
  166. ^ Temple of Poseidon Tinos
  167. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 453-455; Hard, p. 67.
  168. ^ a b Hard 2004, p. 68.
  169. ^ Grimal 1987, s.v. Cronus.
  170. ^ Homer, Iliad 15.184-93 Archived 11 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine)
  171. ^ In the 2nd century AD, a well with the name of Arne, the "lamb's well", in the neighbourhood of Mantineia in Arcadia, where old traditions lingered, was shown to Pausanias. (Pausanias, 8.8.2)
  172. ^ Tzetzes ad Lycophron 644
  173. ^ Kerenyi 1951, p. 182.
  174. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 5.55
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  176. ^ a b Kerenyi 1951, pp. 183-184.
  177. ^ Homer, Odyssey 5.380
  178. ^ Burkert 1983, pp. 143–149.
  179. ^ Servius On Virgil's Georgics 1.18; scholia on Aristophanes's Clouds 1005
  180. ^ Wunder 1855, p. note on verse 703.
  181. ^ Apollodorus, 3.14.2
  182. ^ Fowler 1988, p. 98 n. 5; Pausanias, 2.1.6 & 2.4.6
  183. ^ Dio Chrysostom, Discourses 37.11–12
  184. ^ Grummond and Ridgway, p. 69, "Helios' higher position would correspond to the sun's location in the sky versus Poseidon's lower venue in the sea, opposite Demeter on land."
  185. ^ Strabo, Geographica 8.6.14
  186. ^ O'Brien 1993, p. 144.
  187. ^ Grimal 1987, p. 40.
  188. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 169.
  189. ^ Ogden, Daniel (2021). The Oxford Handbook of Heracles. Oxford University Press. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-19-065098-8.
  190. ^ Grimal 1987, p. 446.
  191. ^ Walker 1995, p. 85.
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  193. ^ a b c Hard 2004, p. 67.
  194. ^ Rose 1974, p. 82.
  195. ^ Ogden 2017, p. 41.
  196. ^ Williams & Clare 2022, pp. 160-161.
  197. ^ Williams & Clare 2022, p. 162.
  198. ^ a b Williams & Clare 2022, p. 139.
  199. ^ Walker 1995, p. 114.
  200. ^ Hyginus, Astronomica 2.17.1
  201. ^ Oppian, Halieutica 1.38
  202. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 930–933
  203. ^ Hard, p. 344
  204. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, 2.1 ff. & 2.94 ff. with scholia
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  206. ^ Diogenes Laertius Plato 1
  207. ^ "Aelian : On Animals, 14". www.attalus.org. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
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  209. ^ Smith, s.v. Tyro
  210. ^ Pausanias, 8.25.5
  211. ^ Pausanias, 8.25.7
  212. ^ Theogony 270–281 (Most, pp. 24, 25), where Poseidon is referred to as the "dark-haired one".
  213. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.794–803
  214. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.134
  215. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 12.195-199; Apollodorus, Epitome.1.22
  216. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.569-88
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  219. ^ Apollodorus, 3.15.4
  220. ^ Pindar, Olympian Odes 7.14
  221. ^ Apollodorus, 2.5.11
  222. ^ Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid 3.420
  223. ^ Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 40a as cited in Oxyrhynchus Papyri 1358 fr. 2
  224. ^ Pausanias, 8.25.7 & 8.42.1
  225. ^ Apollodorus, 3.6.8; Pausanias, 8.25.5 & 8.25.7
  226. ^ Herodorus, fr. 62 Fowler (Fowler 2000, p. 253), apud schol. Pindar, Olympian Odes 7.24–5; Fowler 2013, p. 591
  227. ^ Giovanni Boccaccio's Famous Women translated by Virginia Brown 2001; Cambridge and London, Harvard University Press; ISBN 0-674-01130-9; p. 42
  228. ^ Apollodorus, 2.4.2
  229. ^ Suida, s.v. Ergiske
  230. ^ Apollodorus, 3.10.3.
  231. ^ a b Apollodorus, 3.10.1.
  232. ^ Pausanias, 2.30.7
  233. ^ Pausanias, 9.22.5
  234. ^ a b c d e f g Hyginus, Fabulae 157
  235. ^ Scholia on Pindar, Olympian Ode 10.83 quoted in Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 64
  236. ^ Apollodorus, 3.14.2
  237. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 188
  238. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 875
  239. ^ also said to be the daughter of Ergeus
  240. ^ Pausanias, 2.12.4
  241. ^ Apollodorus, 3.12.6
  242. ^ Pausanias, 10.6.13
  243. ^ Apollodorus, 3.15.4
  244. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 4.72.3
  245. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 5.55
  246. ^ Plutarch, Quaestiones Graecae 19
  247. ^ a b Apollodorus, 2.5.9
  248. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Aspledon
  249. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Astakos, with a reference to Arrian
  250. ^ Pausanias, 2.2.2
  251. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 175
  252. ^ Scholia on Homer, Iliad 2.517
  253. ^ Scholia on Theocritus, Idylls 7.76
  254. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 4.72.1–5
  255. ^ Probus on Virgil's Georgics 2.197
  256. ^ Homer, Odyssey 1.70–73
  257. ^ a b Pausanias, 7.4.8
  258. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 14
  259. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 1206
  260. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 187
  261. ^ Scholia on Homer, Iliad 2.499
  262. ^ Apollodorus, 2.1.5, 2.7.4; Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 1.133–139; Hyginus, Fabulae 14, 169.
  263. ^ Plutarch, Parallela minora 38
  264. ^ Apollodorus, 2.5.11.
  265. ^ Apollodorus, 3.10.3.
  266. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.67.3–4
  267. ^ a b Hyginus, Fabulae 186
  268. ^ Pausanias, 9.29.1
  269. ^ Pausanias, 7.4.1
  270. ^ Apollodorus, 2.7.1.
  271. ^ Pausanias, 2.5.7
  272. ^ Scholia on Pindar, Olympian Ode 2.147
  273. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 232
  274. ^ a b Murray, John (1833). A Classical Manual, being a Mythological, Historical and Geographical Commentary on Pope's Homer, and Dryden's Aeneid of Virgil with a Copious Index. Albemarle Street, London. p. 78.
  275. ^ Apollodorus, 1.7.4
  276. ^ a b Strabo, Geographica 12.8.18
  277. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 838
  278. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Byzantion
  279. ^ Pausanias, 9.36.4
  280. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3.1094
  281. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13.328 ff.
  282. ^ Plato, Critias 113d-144c
  283. ^ Eustathius on Homer, p. 1714
  284. ^ a b Tzetzes, Chiliades 2.43
  285. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 14; Pindar, Pythian Ode 4.45
  286. ^ John Lempière, Argonautae
  287. ^ Apollodorus, 1.4.3.
  288. ^ Scholia on Homer, Odyssey 11.326 = Hesiod, fr. 62 (Loeb edition, 1914)
  289. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.230-3b
  290. ^ Scholia on Pindar, Pythian Odes 4.122
  291. ^ Pausanias, 5.1.8
  292. ^ Conon, Narrations 14
  293. ^ Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 7
  294. ^ Apollodorus, 1.9.3
  295. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Almopia
  296. ^ Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catasterismi 19; Hyginus, Poeticon astronomicon 2.20
  297. ^ Apollodorus, 2.4.5
  298. ^ Homer, Odyssey 11.305–8
  299. ^ Apollodorus, Epitome 1.2
  300. ^ Tripp, Edward. The Meridian Handbook of Classical Mythology. Meridian, 1970, p. 522.
  301. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Antiquitates Romanae 1.17.3
  302. ^ Pausanias, 2.30.5
  303. ^ a b Apollodorus, 2.1.4.
  304. ^ Pausanias, 1.44.3
  305. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 208
  306. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Dyrrhakhion
  307. ^ Apollodorus, 2.7.2
  308. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Mytilene
  309. ^ Conon, Narrations 10
  310. ^ Homer, Odyssey 7.56–57
  311. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Torōnē
  312. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 923
  313. ^ Diodorus Siculus, 5.53.1
  314. ^ Apollodorus, 4.68.3
  315. ^ Pausanias, 1.14.3
  316. ^ a b Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 2.5.10.
  317. ^ eponym of Dicaea, a city in Thrace as cited in Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Dikaia
  318. ^ Conon, Narrations 17
  319. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.216
  320. ^ Pausanias, 9.29.5
  321. ^ eponym of a river in Thessaly as cited in Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.596
  322. ^ Scholia on Statius, Thebaid 1.34
  323. ^ a b Pseudo-Plutarch, De fluviis 21.1
  324. ^ Apollodorus, 2.88
  325. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Kalaureia
  326. ^ Aelian, Varia Historia 1.24
  327. ^ a b Hyginus, Fabulae, 38.
  328. ^ Pausanias, 2.1.3
  329. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 817–819
  330. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.185 & 2.896
  331. ^ Apollodorus, 2.5.10
  332. ^ Antoninus Liberalis, 22 Archived 2 October 2018 at the Wayback Machine
  333. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Gerēn
  334. ^ Pausanias, 10.12.1
  335. ^ Eustathius ad Homer, Odyssey p. 1649
  336. ^ Virgil, Aeneid 7.691
  337. ^ Pausanias, 9.26.5
  338. ^ Pseudo-Plutarch, De fluviis 11.1
  339. ^ Apollodorus, 1.9.21
  340. ^ Suda, s.v. Phorbanteion
  341. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.179
  342. ^ Apollodorus, 3.1.1
  343. ^ Scholia on Pindar, Olympian Odes 14.5
  344. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 161
  345. ^ Servius ad Virgil, Aeneid 2.27
  346. ^ Tzetzes ad Lycophron, 347
  347. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14.36 ff
  348. ^ This chart is based upon Hesiod's Theogony, unless otherwise noted.
  349. ^ According to Homer, Iliad 1.570–579, 14.338, Odyssey 8.312, Hephaestus was apparently the son of Hera and Zeus, see Gantz, p. 74.
  350. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 927–929 Archived 5 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Hephaestus was produced by Hera alone, with no father, see Gantz, p. 74.
  351. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 886–890 Archived 5 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine, of Zeus' children by his seven wives, Athena was the first to be conceived, but the last to be born; Zeus impregnated Metis then swallowed her, later Zeus himself gave birth to Athena "from his head", see Gantz, pp. 51–52, 83–84.
  352. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 183–200 Archived 5 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Aphrodite was born from Uranus' severed genitals, see Gantz, pp. 99–100.
  353. ^ According to Homer, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus (Iliad 3.374, 20.105 Archived 2 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine; Odyssey 8.308 Archived 2 November 2018 at the Wayback Machine, 320) and Dione (Iliad 5.370–71), see Gantz, pp. 99–100.
  354. ^ The ancient palace-city that was replaced by Vergina
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