Greek Mythology

Family of the Gods (From Hesoid's Theogony, as translated by H. G. Evelyn-White)*

*Some scenes may take some poetic licensing. The original poem was third-person objective, and some emotions and thoughts will be inferred and written here.

The Golden Age

The Daemons, children of the Night

In the beginning, there was only the Void, Chaos. Chaos was a dark churning entity, the first of the protogenoi, or first-born. From the yawning gap of Chaos arose the Earth Gaea, the dark pit (anti-sky) Tartarus, and the primordial deity of desire, Eros. Chaos then created more children, Nyx and Erebus, or Night and Darkness. Together they created Aether and Hemera, Light and Day, who had Thalassa, the calm ocean. Nyx then, on her own, spawned an entire host of dark deities known as daemons: Hypnos (Sleep), Thanatos (Death), Eris (Discord), Geras (Old Age), Charon (Ferryman of the Dead), Momos (Blame), Moros (Doom), the Keres (Spirits of Violent Death), and the Arai (Spirits of Curses), to name but a few. Eris, following in her mother's footsteps, bore the manslaughters, the murders, toil, forgetfulness, battles, fights, sorrows, famine, among others, but most importantly Orcus, god of oaths.

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The Major Children of Gaea and the Fall of Ouranos

Meanwhile, The young and lonely Gaea created partners, the arching blue dome of the sky, Ouranos, and the boiling seas, Pontus. Meanwhile, Gaea and Ouranos had given birth to the Titans (Kronos, Iapetus, Hyperion, Coeus, Krios, Oceanus, Tethys, Mnemosyne, Themis, Rhea, Theia, and Pheobe). These Titans were gigantic humanoids, and they immediately set out to find their own domains. Ouranos frowned upon his children, and with Gaea, created a new batch of children, the Cyclopes (Orb-Eyed), terrible deities of thunder and lightning, Brontes, Steropes, and Arges, who had only one eye in the center of their foreheads. They were great blacksmiths, and created three mighty weapons of power. Meanwhile, Gaea gave birth to the Hekatonkheires (Hundred-Handed), who had fifty heads and a hundred arms. Their names were Cottos, Briarieos, and Gyges, and they were deities of violent storms.

However, Ouranos hated his children, and hurled the Cyclopes and the Hekatonkheires into the dark maw of Tartarus. But Gaea loved all her children equally, and so she gathered her remaining children, and forged a dark sickle of adamantine. And so she asked: "Who will take this blade and remove their father from his seat as king of the heavens?" At this, most of the Titans conversed in fear, but Kronos, power-hungry, stepped forward and took the sickle.
That night, Ouranos descended to Gaea, seeking conversation. Now, Iapetus, Hyperion, Coeus, and Krios lept up and seized him, as Kronos swung the blade, removing the essence of Eros from his father. This essence of Eros landed in the ocean, Thalassa, and swirled, bubbling, churning. His blood splattered across Gaea, and from it rose three races--the Erinyes, who flew up into the sky, crying for vengeance; the Gigantes, who were dragon legged giants, and the Meliae nymphs, who scattered into their mother's forests. Ouranos no longer had authority, and retreated to his arching dome, now nothing but a shadow of a god.

The Sea-Gods

Meanwhile, Pontus and Gaea created Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, and then Thaumas (Wonders of the Sea); Phorcys (Dangers of the Sea) and Ceto, goddess of sea monsters; Eurybia (Mastery of the Sea). Nereus and his wife Doris, an Oceanid (daughter of Oceanus), gave birth to the fifty Nereids, Amphitrite being the most important of them. Thaumas and Elektra (Amber-tinged Clouds) created Iris (Rainbows), messenger of the gods and the original Harpies, deities of violent winds, who were women with bodies of birds (Aello and Ocypetes). Phorcys and Ceto created an entire host of monsters, such as Ladon, the hundred-headed dragon; the Graeae, gray sisters with the body of swans, who shared between them one eye and one tooth; the Gorgons, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, who we'll talk about more extensively later; and dark Echnida, Mother of All Monsters.

Major Monsters, Children of Echnida

Echnida was half a beautiful nymph with fair hair and green, darting eyes, and half a monstrous serpent that was a verdant green, speckled with dark olive spots. She resided within a house within a subterranean cavern in Arima, spending her immortal life chewing raw flesh and tending her children. Typhon (Typhaeon, Typhoeus) the storm giant, child of Tartarus and Gaea, the Olympians' final plague, joined with her and spawned Orthrus, two-headed hound of Geryon; Cerberus, variously described as having three or fifty heads, with the tail of a serpent and poisonous drool; the Lernean Hydra, who had six heads that split when cut off and a seventh, immortal head; the Chimaera, the fire-breathing beast with heads of a lion, a goat, and a dragon; the Sphinx, with the head of a beautiful woman and the body of a winged lion; and the Nemean Lion, whose hide was to tough for any weapon to pierce.

The Second-Generation Titans*

Now Kronos was King of the Heavens, and took Rhea as his queen. Oceanus and Tethys together created the river-gods, potamoi, and sea nymphs, the three thousand Oceanides, Styx being the chief of them. Theia and Hyperion bore Helios the Sun, Selene the Moon, and Eos the Rosy-Fingered Dawn. Eos and Astraeus bore the four winds, the anemoi*, Boreas, the chilling North Wind of winter; Notus, the arid South Wind of summer; Zephyrus, the fragrant West Wind of spring; and Eurus, the unlucky East Wind of autumn. Their atttendants, the anemoi theullai, or minor winds, were Caecius, the Northeast wind; Apeliotes, the Southeast wind; Skeiron, the Northwest wind; and Lips, the Southwest wind. There were many other wind deities, but they did not play a prominent role in mythology. Styx, the Oceanid, together with Pallas bore Zelus (Dedication), Nike (Victory), Kratos (Strength), and Bia (Force). These were the Stykides, and were the constant winged attendants of Zeus, enforcing his command. Finally, Pheobe and Coeus joined and bore Leto.
The only major Titan left to note is Hecate, although she is not always considered a Titan, for she is third-generation. Hecate is the godess of magic and crossroads, and her symbol is an inverted torch.
*abridged to include only the major Titans
*The anemoi are not considered Titans, as they are third-generat

The Titanomachy and the Fall of Kronos

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Now Kronos, reigning high in the heavens, did not see fit to free his brothers, the Cyclopes and the Hekatonkheires, and so Gaea turned vengeously on him, and prophesied that as he had removed his father from power, his own child would do the same to him. Kronos was now fearful, and when his first child, Hestia was born, swallowed her whole. And so followed for Hades, Hera, Poseidon, and Demeter. However, Rhea, anguished at this atrocity, followed in her mother's footsteps and turned against her husband. When her final child was to be born, she fled to Crete and hid him in a cave, with the she-goat Almathea nursing him, the nymphs as his attendants, and the Kouretes, bronze-clad soldiers, to guard him. Whenever Zeus cried, the Kouretes banged their shields to drown out the sounds. Meanwhile, Rhea submitted a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to Kronos and watched carefully. If the Lord of Time noticed that there seemed to be a lump in his throat, he gave no notice. When Zeus grew, Gaea sprouted a blossom, that would be made into a drink for Kronos. When Zeus, in disguise, fed the concotion to his father, the Titan threw up his siblings. They, as Olympians had the chief characteristic of being able to transform at will, and fled in various forms.
Zeus now declared full-on war with his father, and led his siblings into battle with him. However, Kronos summoned his brothers, Iapetus, Krios, Coeus, and Hyperion to fight with him, and their children would fight too. The Titanesses and Oceanus avoided the conflict, retreating to the depths of Pontus and Gaea. A long battle raged on, and the two sides had come to a stalemate. However, dark Gaea whispered to Zeus a way to win--free his uncles. However, Kronos had appointed a monstrous drakon, Kampe, to guard the entrance to Tartarus. Kampe was a creature with a beautiful nymph's upper-half, a ring of the heads of wild beasts in her middle, and the writhing lower parts of a dragon. She had dark snakes churning in her hair and wrapped around her feet, with bat-like wings sprouting from her back, and a scorpion's sting and the end of her tail. Zeus slew her and flew into Tartarus, where he found the Cyclopes and the Hekatonkheires. The Cyclopes forged for the sons of Kronos three objects of power--the lightning bolt of Zeus, the trident of Poseidon, and the helm of Hades. The Hekatonkheires rose up, and with their hundred arms and fifty heads, were very efficient catapults. Now finally Kronos was defeated, and he was cast into Tartarus, along with his brothers and nephews who had assisted him, and guarded by the ever-watchful Hekatonkheires.

Order of the Olympians' World

Firstly, Zeus claimed dominion of the heavens by lot, and so Poseidon chose the oceans and Hades the dark underworld. They agreed that the earth was public domain, not to be claimed by any one god.

The Darkness of the World

In the darkness of Tartarus, the inverted bronze dome opposite to the sky, Atlas, general of Kronos' army, was sentenced to forever uphold the weakened bronze dome of Ouranos upon his shoulders, standing in front of the House of Nyx, where Nyx (Night) rises to draw her misty veil across Aether's (Light) light and Hemera (Day) rises to drive it away. Never are mother and daughter simultaneously in the house: one is always cradling Hypnos (Sleep) in the house as the other sweeps across Aether's brilliant luminescence. Hypnos and his twin Thanatos (Peaceful Death) reside in the house, until Thanatos is called upon by Hades to bring another mortal to his shadowy realm.
Above, Hades reigns with Persephone in Erebus, the land of the dead, watching carefully as Cerberus allows the shades passage in but stopping them from leaving. There five dark rivers flow, Styx (Hate), Phelgethon (Fire), Cocytus (Lamentation), Acheron (Pain), and Lethe (Oblivion). A tenth of Oceanus' water is given to Styx, residing in her glorious silver house, watching her father's nine swift channels wind around the earth, while carefully maintaining her own tenth channel, that flows out from a rock and binds the oaths of those gods that swear on her river. For if any god dared to break such a binding oath, they would first lie in a deathlike trance for a year, and then be isolated from the other gods for nine years, exiled and humiliated.

The Wives of Zeus

Zeus' first wife was Metis, the Oceanid goddess of good advice, counsel, and plannning. However, dark Ouranos from above and wide Gaea from below prophesied that as Zeus had overthrown his father, so would his own child overthrow him. So when Metis was pregnant with child, Zeus, following in the footsteps of his father, swallowed her. As Metis dissolved slowly into pure wisdom, her child was born within her father's head, and eventually burst out, fully grown and clothed in armor, holding a spear in her hand.

Next he was joined with Themis, Titaness of order, justice, and law. She bore him the Horae (Hours), Eunomia (Order), Dike (Justice), Eirene (Peace), but most importantly the Moirae, the dark goddesses of Fate, Klotho who spun the thread of life, Lachesis who measured it, and darkest Atropos, who cut the glowing thread of life with her dark shears.

Fearful of the Fates, Zeus turned to Eurynome as his next wife, who bore the Charities (Graces), Aglaea, Euphrosyne, and Thaelia, attendants of Aphrodite.

Bored with her, Zeus then went to his sister Demeter, and she bore him Persephone.
After a short disaster concerning his brother and his daughter, he turned to his aunt, Mnemosyne, Titaness of Memory. She created the nine Muses, Calliope (Epic Poetry), Clio (History), Euterpe (Music, Elegiac Poetry), Erato (Lyric Poetry), Melpomene (Tragedy), Polyhymnia (Hymns), Thalia (Comedy), and Ourania (Astronomy).

Never satisfied with the same woman for more than three days, Zeus took Leto as his wife, and she was persecuted by jealous Hera, who commanded Eileithyia (Childbirth) never to visit Leto on dry land. Poor Leto ended up giving birth on the floating island of Delos, which because it was not attached to the ocean floor was not considered land, and her children were the twins Apollo and Artemis.

Finally Zeus' capricious eyes fell upon Hera, who, seeing what he had done to the rest of his wives, made him promise that he would never have an affair with another woman. Fickle Zeus agreed, and Hera bore him dark Ares, Hebe (Youth), and Eileithyia (Childbirth). Hera then created Hephaistos on her own, but was repulsed by his ugliness once he was born, and threw him down to Earth.

The Olympian Pantheon

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Zeus then met with Maia, daughter of Atlas, and she bore young Hermes. Hermes, being the god of thieves, crept away and stole Apollo's prized cows, passed down from the Titan Helios. He tied ferns to their hooves and made them walk backwards into water so that the ferns swept away their footprints, and any survivng ones made it look like Poseidon had been feeling quite generous. However, he forgot to account that Apollo had the gift of prophecy, and when the furious god ran into his cave, Hermes played the lyre, an instrument of his own invention, and offered up a wily trade. A lyre for cows. Apollo, whose heart was charmed by the sounds of the golden instrument, accepted the trade and strode away, content.
Meanwhile, in the seas, the essence of Eros that had left Ouranos churned in the dark depths of Pontus, forming into a pink foam that rose out of the seas, slowly taking a humanoid form. This new goddess slowly strode towards land, her delicate feet stepping over Pontus' boiling surface, calming even Poseidon Earth-Shaker's roaring waves. Helios peeked out of the clouds to witness her, and Zephyrus, the west wind, flew closer and blew his gentle breath over her newly formed body. When she stepped finally on dry land, Cytherea, the Charities rushed upon her and became her faithful attendants, and she was named Aphrodite, referencing the foam she rose from.
Finally, Zeus met with a mortal princess named Semele. Ever-jealous Hera changed into a wet nurse and visited the pregnant Semele. Sowing seeds of doubt in her mind, Hera asked Semele to ask Zeus to prove that he was, indeed Zeus, by making him reveal to her his true, godly form. Now, when Zeus visited Semele, she used all her feminine wiles to get one wish from Zeus, and forced him to swear on the river of Styx, the dark goddess herself seeing a new oath embed itself into her coursing stream. Semele made Zeus, lord of the Heavens, reveal his true godly form to her. Zeus pleaded again and again with Semele to change her request, but this only made Semele all the more resolute about it. Zeus could almost hear Styx's dark snickers drifting from the underworld, fingering the golden oath that had emerged from the mouth of the lord of the Gods. Zeus, not wanting to break his oath, finally revealed to the princess his true form. Her mortal eyes not being able to withstand the blazing glory, burned to ashes. Zeus, however managed to save the child, and sewed him in his thigh, saving him. The young demigod was placed on Mount Nysa, and was nicknamed by the satyrs Dionysus, or "the God of Mount Nysa". While there, he discovered that grapes could be brewed into wine and spread it around like a religion.

Now finally the Olympian pantheon was complete, Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Ares, Athena, Hephaistos, Hermes, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, and lastly, Dionysus,

The Olympian Descendants

Poseidon was joined with Amphitrite, a daughter of Nereus, who bore Triton, who is the herald of his father.
Aphrodite met with Ares in secret and bore Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror), Harmonia (Harmony), and one special child, whom she named Eros, after the all-permeating primal force of Desire. Eros was a mischievous, winged youth with arrows of iron and gold. An iron arrow would cause discord between lovers, while a golden one would set a mortal deeply in love. Harmonia was quite unfortunate, as spiteful Hephaistos gave her a cursed necklace which was passed down generations and generations until it burned with its owner, who died in a fire set by her own son.

Now Zeus joined with Alcmena, who later bore Heracles.

Hephaestus gave up on Aphrodite and made Agalea, youngest of the Charities his wife.

Dionysus chose Ariadne, distant princess, as his wife.
And when Heracles died and rose to Olympus, he married Hebe, goddess of youth.

And Helios and Perseis, an Oceanid, created Aeetes, King of Colchis, and Circe, powerful sorceress. Aeetes now took Idyia, another Oceanid, as his wife, and created Medea, who learned magical arts with her aunt.

The Gigantomachy

Capricious Gaea was once again unhappy, for she loved all her children equally and could not see the Titans condemned to Tartarus. She called forth the ancient creatures, the Gigantes, dark dragon-legged giants that rose from the blood of Ouranos that had splattered across Gaea so many eons ago. Their leader was Porphyrion, and his right-hand man was Alcyoneus, who incited the gods by stealing Helios' prized cattle away from Erytheia, the Isle of the Sunset. However, the god Apollo prophesized that the Gigantes could only be defeated with the help of a mortal or demigod.
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When Gaea learned of this, she looked for a plant that would prevent the Gigantes from dying even by the hands of a demigod. However, Zeus made the world dark by driving away Helios, Selene, and Eos, then raced to the plant and destroyed it fully. Athena flew away to recruit Heracles, who went forth to fight Alcyoneus. However, Alcyoneus was immortal in his homeland of Pallene, so Athena advised Heracles to drag Alcyoneus out of his homeland, so and once he did so, with his incredible strength, Heracles killed him with an arrow.

Zeus and Heracles fought together against Porphyrion when he tried to attack
Hera, Zeus sending a thunderbolt crashing into him, Heracles sending his deadly hydra-bloodstained arrows spiraling into the giant. Apollo and Heracles killed Ephialtes with arrows, Dionysus killed Eurytos with his thrysus, Athena buried Enceladus under a mountain and took the skin of Pallas as her armor, Hekate killed Clytius with her torches, Hephaistos killed Mimas with molten iron, Poseidon killed Polybotes by throwing an island at him, Hermes killed Hippolytus while wearing the Helm of Hades, Artemis slew Aigaion with her silver arrows, and the Morai clubbed Agrios and Thoon to death with bronze clubs. Zeus finished off the rest, and Heracles sent his bloodstained arrows into every one of their hearts, finishing the job. However, now Gaea was angered all the more, and she turned now to stormy Tartarus...


She conspired with Tartarus, and bore the terrible Typhon (Typhaeon, Typhoeus). He had a hundred different monstrous flaming heads, with fire smoldering dangerously in his each of his two hundred eyes, horrible sounds emanating from each head. He was so tall that his heads brushed Aether's misty light, with fifty serpents replacing fingers on each of his two hundred hands. He had two writhing serpents in place of legs, and two dark wings spread from his back. He would hurl volcanic rock at Olympus and great streams of flame burst from his mouth. He was the Father of all Monsters, joined with Echnida, and he bore the darkest of monsters.
When the Olympians saw him, they fled to Egypt, transforming into different animals. Zeus tried to hurl thunderbolts at him from afar, and when he approached, Zeus tried to use his father's great sickle, but Typhon flew up to Mount Kasium, in Syria. When Zeus gave chase and tried to kill him with his bare hands, Typhon's great coils streched up from the earth and grasped the Father of the Gods, his massive serpentine fingers tearing out his sinews. He dropped the limp Zeus in a cave, then deposited his sinews in the skin of a bear, setting a Drakaina to guard it. However, Hermes, god of thieves, and his son Aegipan (Pan in a piscatorial form), stole them back and but the sinews back into Zeus. Now he rode up to Typhon in his great chariot and chased him to Mount Nysa, homeland of Dionysus, where the Morai convinced him to eat an ephemeral fruit, saying it would help him regain his strength. Typhon, now intoxicated, fled to Thrace, where he threw mountains at Zeus. However, Zeus destroyed them with his thunderbolts, and Typhon, now defeated, fled to the Sicilian Sea, where Zeus threw the Mountain Etna upon him, crushing him beneath it.

However, the final plague of Gaea was now enacted, with dark winds emanating from Typhon's still body, the anemoi thuellai, the lesser winds, who blast out and blow over Pontus' still surface, churning up waves and crashing innocent ships, plaguing humanity.

The Major Gods

This section is distinct from the previous, and will cover the twelve Olympians, Hades, Hestia, and Gaea.

Hestia was the goddess of the hearth and of home, and while there weren't any myths associated with her, she was worshipped all over Greece as the major protecting deity of the home.
Hades was the lord of the underworld, and later associated with the riches mined from the Earth. His object of power, that the Cyclopes forged, was the Helm of Hades, which, when worn, would make the wearer completely invisible. The most famous myth associated with Hades is the Kidnapping of Persephone, daughter of Demeter.

Persephone was Demeter's daughter, whom Hades took away, given to him by all-seeing Zeus. One day, Demeter away helping mortals, she was playing with the fair daughters of Oceanus and gathering flowers over a soft meadow, roses and crocuses and beautiful violets scattered among the verdant grass. However, when she came upon the narcissus, which Gaia made to grow at the will of Zeus, she was spellbound by the marvellous, radiant flower. It was a thing of awe whether for deathless gods or mortal men to see: from its root grew a hundred blooms and it emanated soft fragrances. Persephone was amazed and reached out with both hands to take the lovely thing: but the great earth cracked open there in the plain of Nysa, and the lord Hades, riding a chariot pulled by immortal horses sprang out upon her. He caught her up on his ebony chariot and carried her away screaming for help from her father, Zeus. But no one, either of the deathless gods or mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only dark Hecate, who heard the girl from her cave, and the lord Helios (the Sun), who saw the fair maiden. And so long as she, the goddess, yet beheld earth and starry heaven and the strong-flowing sea where fishes shoal, and the rays of the sun, and still hoped to see her dear mother and the tribes of the eternal gods, so long hope clamed her great heart for all her trouble . . . and the heights of the mountains and the depths of the sea ran with her immortal voice: and her queenly mother heard her.
Bitter pain seized Demeter's heart, and she rent the covering upon her divine hair with her dear hands: her dark cloak she cast down from both her shoulders and sped, like a wild-bird, over the firm land and yielding sea, seeking her child. But no one would tell her the truth, neither god nor mortal man; and of the nymphs whom she had turned to birds, they resigned themselves to an ocean island. Then for nine days queenly Deo wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, so grieved that she never ate, drank, or bathed.
But when the tenth dawn had come, Hecate, with a torch in her hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her news: "Demeter, bringer of seasons and giver of good gifts, what god of heaven or what mortal man has carried away Persephone and pierced your dear heart with sorrow? For I heard her voice, yet saw not with my eyes who it was. But I tell you truly and shortly all I know."
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Demeter answered her not, but now searched with her, holding flaming torches in her hands. At last they came to Helios, and stood in front of his horses and Demeter asked him: "Helios, I heard the thrilling cry of my daughter as of one seized violently; though with my eyes I saw nothing. But you--for with your beams you look down from the bright upper air over all the earth and sea--tell me truly of my dear child if you have seen her anywhere, what god or mortal man has violently seized her against her will and mine, and so made off."
Helios answered her: "Demeter, it was Zeus who gave her to Hades, to be his wife. So Hades seized her and took her loudly crying in his chariot down to his realm of mist and gloom. But, goddess, do not be aggrieved: Hades is no unfitting husband for your child, for honour, he has that third share which he received when division was made at the first, and is appointed lord of those among whom he dwells."
But grief yet more terrible and savage came into the heart of Demeter, and thereafter she was so angered with Zeus that she avoided the gathering of the gods and high Olympus. The golden goddess vowed that she would never set foot on fragrant Olympus nor let fruit spring out of the ground until she beheld with her eyes her own daughter. Now Zeus was at a loss, for those mortals of Earth now blamed the gods for their miseries, and would not sacrifice to them, no matter how many threats or bribes were made. Gaea slowly froze into a permafrost. He sent swift Hermes down into the underworld to ask for Persephone, but Hades had conviced her to eat a pomegranate seed, grown in the gardens of Askalaphos. When Hermes tried to retrieve her, Askalaphos, gardener of the dead, told him of the telltale traces of pomegranate juice on Persephone's hands. This bound her to the underworld, for she had accepted dark Hades' hospitality, and now could not refuse him. Demeter, hearing of this, turned Askalaphos into a screech owl for his betrayal, and cursed the Earth so that snow began to fall upon it. Zeus was advised by Athena to arrange a compromise, so that Persephone would spend a quarter of the year with Hades, and the rest of the year with Demeter. For this reason, a fourth of the year is cold and dead, and it is named Winter.

Demeter was the goddess of grain, agriculture, and bread. Her name may have been derived from Ge-meter, translating as "Earth Mother". Demeter was highly honored because she provided human sustenance. She was often thought of as carrying a golden scythe, another symbol of the harvest. One of the more famous myths about Demeter is the caretaking of Demophoon.
When Demeter arrived at Eleusis during her search for Persephone, she is welcomed by King Celeus and Queen Metaneria. Metaneira was the first to speak: "You are not
one of mortal upbringing. I can see that in your eyes. If you stay here, I would wish you to care for my son, Demophoon."

Then Demeter answered her: "And to you, also, Queen, all hail, and may the gods give you good! Gladly will I take the boy in my arms, as you bid me, and will care for him."

And so she took the child in her divine hands and his mother was glad in her heart. So the goddess looked after in the palace Demophoon, who grew like some immortal being, not fed with food nor nourished by water: for by day Demeter would anoint him with ambrosia as if he were the offspring of a god. But at night she would hide him in the heat of the fire, unbeknownst to his dear parents. It sparked wonder in men that he grew beyond his age; he was like the gods. And Demeter would have made him immortal, had not Metaneira spied Demeter placing her son in the fire because she feared for her son and was greatly distraught in her heart; so she rushed in and snatched him out from the flames.

Demeter, angered, said to Metaneira: "You stupid woman! I would have made your dear son immortal and would have bestowed on him everlasting honour, but now he can in no way escape Death and the Fates. Yet shall unfailing honour always rest upon him, because he lay upon my knees and slept in my arms. But, as the years move round and when he is in his prime, the sons of the Eleusinians shall ever wage war and strife with one another continually."

As for Demophoon, he grew up like an immortal being, forever oblivious to the drama of his infancy.


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Poseidon was king of the seas, his object of power the Trident, which would split the earth and boil the oceans. One famous myth about Poseidon is the contest for Athens.
Back when Athens was still a young city, part of Attica, it's king, Cecrops (who, by all means, was quite an extraordinary king, being half human and half serpent), sought a patron for the polis. There were two gods interested in this tiny city--Poseidon, and Athena. To choose, Cecrops asked each god to give the city a gift. Poseidon went first. Pushing his trident into the ground, a saltwater spring sprang from the earth, and from it emerged a horse. Athena, on the other hand, planted an olive tree. As the tree grew under her divine touch, many noticed that the tree had knobby branches and grew tiny black fruits.
Poseidon laughed uproariously, but Athena snapped a branch from the tree and spoke: "This tree may look small, but it has many uses. You can eat its fruit, turn it into oil, rest in its shade... It will repopulate by itself across the polis. Meanwhile, Poseidon's pathetic spring cannot nourish, and his beast will be used for war."

Cecrops' choice was very easy. But he couldn't help noticing Poseidon's dark countenance. Suddenly, he could hear the sound of the ocean... Whirling around, Cecrops found his fledgling city flooded and destroyed. Only the Acropolis remained above the water. The waters would drain in a long time, but Poseidon's pride would take much longer to heal.

Hera was Queen of the gods, goddess of women and matrimony. She held a lotus-topped staff in one hand and carried an animal, variously a peacock, a cuckoo or a lion, in her other. One of the more famous myths about Hera is the persecution of Io.

Io was a nymph of the river Inakhos, who Zeus bespied with his divine eyes. Hera, however saw them as they were sitting in a meadow and flew down, hoping to catch Zeus in the act. But wily Zeus spotted her coming and hurriedly turned her into a white cow, trying to pass Io off. When Hera reached them, she enquired of Zeus why he was sitting next to a cow. Zeus, in a rush to appease Hera's wrath, told her that the cow was a gift for her. Hera, seeing through the act, played along and happily dragged Io away to a cave, and set the hundred-eyed guard Argos Panoptes upon her, so that when he slept, there was always at least one eye watching Io. Zeus sent Hermes on an extraction mission, and once Hermes had lured Argos to sleep, he snuck up behind his one eye and promptly decapitated the giant, Io escaping. Hera, mourning for her faithful servant, placed his eyes upon the feathers of a peacock, and, now infinitely wrathful towards Io, sent a dark gadfly to torment her, frenzying her and driving her to Egypt, where she was worshipped by the people there as the goddess Isis. There, safe from Hera's wrath, Zeus restored her form and she bore to him Epaphos.

Zeus was King of all gods, god of the sky, weather, law, order, and fate. One famous myth about Zeus is the punishment of Prometheus.

Prometheus was the one who created humans, and as such, had the same affection towards his creation as an artist may admire his own painting, or a poet admiring his own saga. Therefore, when the gods demanded sacrifices from humans, Prometheus took two portions from the carcass of a bull--he wrapped the meat and intestines in the skin, placing the stomach on top, and covered the bones in gleaming white fat. When Zeus came to choose his portion, he chose the bones, covered in fat as they were. When it was revealed the true contents of each package, Zeus was furious and therefore withheld the spark of fire from humanity.

Prometheus, sly as he was, snuck up to Olympus and carried away a single ember, hiding it in a hollow stalk of fennel. Zeus, now so thouroghly vexed with Prometheus, chained him to a rock and set an eagle to peck out his liver. However, Prometheus, being immortal, would regenerate his liver every night, only to have it pecked out again by morning.

Then wrathful Zeus set all the gods to build a perfect woman, who would most tempting to Prometheus' duller brother, Epimetheus. When all the gods had given the woman a gift, Zeus touched her with a ferocious curiosity and blew into her the breath of life. She was named Pandora, or "all-gifted", and sent down to Epimetheus along with a pithos, a jar-like container. The pithos came with a label warning that it was never to be opened. One day, Epimetheus left the house to run an errand, leaving Pandora alone with the pithos. Unable to restrain her curiosity, she crept up to it, and slowly opened the jar. Suddenly, a dark stream of daemons escaped, trapped away from the dark pit of Tartarus for so long, clawing to escape. Pandora hurried to shut the lid of the pithos, and found that Zeus had stored Elpis, hope within the pithos, manifested as a small bird. Pandora quickly closed the lid, not willing to let go of hope.

Now the dark daemons, spawn of Nyx, rushed into the mortal world, plaguing the heart of man. Eventually, the mortals were so frustrated, they blasphemed the gods and refused to sacrifice. Their descendants did the same for many, many years. Zeus became so frustrated with mankind that he plotted to send a great flood rushing down from Heaven. However, Prometheus warned his son, Deucalion, to craft a vessel so that they can avoid it. Deucalion crafted a ship and stored his belongings on it, taking his wife, Pyrrha, and his family and provisions, sailing away. Eventually, the flood ends and Deucalion and his family lands on the mountain of Thessaly. There the gods told them to throw the bones of their mother behind them. At first confused, Pyrrha eventually realized that their mother was the Earth, Gaea, and her bones were the stones scattered everywhere. As the water drained, Deucalion and Pyrrha throw the stones behind them, and everywhere that a stone lands, a man or woman springs from the earth, newly made, purged from the daemons that plagued their predecessors.

Athena was the goddess of wisdom, arts and crafts, and military strategy.