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Top 10 Greek Gods

Written by Top 100 Arena on 2012-08-04
Greek mythologies have always been fascinating literatures on our bookshelves. We all grew up with the heroic deeds of Greek demigods and human heroes, the adventures of gods, the massive battles between Titans and gods, and the beauty of Helen of Troy. These are just a few from our memories. And gods! The glory of Greek gods are something we will never forget. There are many Greek gods. From the twelve Olympians to other both major and minor gods, the list is quite overwhelming. For anyone unfamiliar with Greek mythology, it is quite difficult to know which are major gods and which are minors. With that in mind, we have compiled the list of top 10 Greek gods here. We actually didn't want to just choose from twelve Olympians, since we feel that there are other major gods that deserve a spot. But again, most of twelve Olympians are too important to leave out. Hence, we only left out two, and added one really major god that absolutely must be in this list (or else we will be doomed).

10 Hephaestus

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Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera, and the master of blacksmith and craftsman. He is the god of fire and forge, and in charge of weaponry and armoury for the gods. His hearth, as well as his home, is known to be located in the fiery pits of Mount Etna. Perhaps due to his choice of residence, he is also the god of volcanoes. Hephaestus was born crippled, and Hera was so disgusted by his ugliness that she threw him out of Mount Olympus. He landed on the island of Leto, and was cared for by the natives. Only when the gods recognized his mastery in blacksmith skills, he was reinstated into Olympus as a god. For such an ugly god, he married Aphrodite, not because of his charm but due to arranged marriage by Zeus. Although Aphrodite has affairs with many gods and mortals, Hephaestus is loyal to her and quite homely which is very rare since most divine husbands are quite licentious. His Latin name is Vulcan, which is the origin of the word "volcano". More info

9 Apollo

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Ah, the mighty Apollo, god of Sun and poetry. He is also god of music, prophecy and archery. Apollo is youngest child and twin brother of Zeus and Leto. A master archer, Apollo defeated mighty monsters like Python with his bow and arrows, and known for his formidable battle skills. He and Artemis were born on the island of Delos and hence, the island is sacred to him. His symbols include the sun, lyre, bow and arrow, dolphin, raven, wolf, swan and mouse. In art, he is usually depicted as clean-shaven young handsome man carrying a lyre or a bow. Apollo doesn't just look sexy but he is quite active in that area as well. he is famous for having affairs with members of both genders, and known to be a good lover. More info on Wikipedia

8 Artemis

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Twin sister of Apollo, Artemis is the goddess of hunt and the moon. Unlike Apollo, Artemis is the virgin goddess and it is no surprising that she is also goddess of virginity. In fact, Artemis is the goddess of childbirth, archery and all animals as well. Her symbols include the deer, hound, moon, she-bear, cypress tree, snake and bow and arrow. Artemis is an eternally young woman, vigorous and beautiful, and wear a short costume which leaves her legs free. She is a freedom-loving young woman and you can always find her roaming the forests with her huntress companions. As a virgin goddess, she has no interest in men but young boys are welcome to study at her sanctuary at Brauron. More info on Wikipedia

7 Aphrodite

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Probably the most famous goddess of all Greek gods, the birth of Aphrodite is also an interesting story. There are two versions, but we will only tell you the interesting one here. It is said that Aphrodite was born from the sea foam when Uranus' blood dripped into the sea after his youngest son Cronus defeated him. She emerged onto the shore in all her naked glory. The boring version is that she's the daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Dione, but then we will just choose to believe in first version. Aphrodite is married to Hephaestus, although she is known for her juicy affairs with mortals and gods, most notably with Ares. In fact, her name gave us the word "aphrodisiac" and her Latin name Venus is the root of the word "venereal". Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty, love, and desire. Her symbols are the bird, dove, apple, swan, bee, myrtle and rose. It is beleived that Aphrodite enjoyed the island of Cyprus when she was on Earth. More info on Wikipedia

6 Ares

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If you love war and bloodshed, Ares is the patron god you will want to worship. God of war, bloodshed and violence, the symbol of Ares include the serpent, vulture, dog, boar, spear and shield. He is son of Zeus and Hera, and no other gods except Aphrodite like him. In Rome and Latin language, he is known as Mars which is the origin of the word "martial". Although Ares is god of war, he is in fact the god of bloodlust and savagery in warfare, not really in strategy. Ares is known to have discovered the Greek city of Thebes, and also ancestor of the warrior Spartans. In ancient times, Greek soldiers would sacrifice a dog to Ares to gain his favor before a battle. His affairs with Aphrodite made him an enemy of Hephaestus. More info on Wikipedia

5 Athena

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Another virgin goddess of the Olympians, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, defense and strategic warfare, and handicrafts. In fact, Athena is also goddess of war, but opposed to Ares who only loves bloodlust. How Athena was born is an interesting story. Basically, Zeus and the Oceanid Metis had an affair, and Zeus swallowed Metis as it had been prophesied that Metis would bear extremely powerful children. However, Zeus got a really bad headache after that. He ordered Hephaestus to break his head with a hammer, and after that, Athena rose from Zeus' head fully grown and in full battle armor. What a way to give birth! Although Athena is also a goddess of war, she is one of the most beloved among the Greek pantheon. She is also the goddess of justice. Of all his child, Zeus favours Athena the most, and actually in all Greek history and mythology, Athena is really nice. More info

4 Hera

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The queen of the gods, Hera is both Zeus' sister and wife. She is in fact the goddess of marriage and family, and always been looking out for Zeus' adulterous behaviors. Hera was seduced by Zeus in the form of a cuckoo and she married him on the Island of the Hesperides. Whenever Hera finds anyone Zeus has been with, she would punsh them severely. Hera is a young beautiful goddess and said to be the most beeautiful of all, even more gorgeous than Aphrodite. Hera in fact fell in love with Zeus from the first moment she saw him, and got a love charm from Aphrodite to seal the deal. She actually kept Zeus busy on his honeymoon for around three hundred years, but Zeus eventually went back to his normal self of having affairs with many other mistresses. So poor Hera has to spend much of her time to drive off Zeus' mistresses, nymphs, and other dalliances. Sometimes when she is really pissed at Zeus, she would wander off by herself, hoping that Zeus will miss her and come looking for her, but it never happens. So she always have to eventually relent and return to her throne on Mount Olympus. More info on Wikipedia

3 Poseidon

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Poseidon is one of the big three gods, and brother of Zeus and Hades. He is lord of the seas, horses and earthquakes. His symbols are bull, horse, dolphin and triden. Although he is married to Nereid Amphitrite, he had many lovers. Just like Zeus! His weapon of choice and well-known ssymbol is the three-pronged trident. His Roman persona is Neptune. Some scholars believe that Poseidon was a god of the earth and earthquakes at first, and later took on the role of sea god too. Many of you might know Medusa, who received affection from Poseidon and ultimately was raped by him in the temple of Athena. Since the act defiled the temple of virgin goddess, Athena cursed Medusa to become the monster we all know of. More info on Wikipedia

2 Hades

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Eldest brother among the big three gods, Hades is god of the Underworld, the riches under the Earth and dead. As he always live in the Underworld rather than on Mount Olympus, he is not usually included in the twelve Olympians. When Hades and his two brothers defeated the Titans and claimed rulership over the cosmos, he got the Underworld to rule. Although Hades is much feared and loathed since he rules the Underworld, he is not an unjust god. He is cruel, fearful, unpitying and stern. But not an evil. Although Hades rule the Underworld and thus associated with Death, the actual embodiment of Death is Thanatos. Hades' wife is Persephone, the beautiful daughter of Demeter. While Persephone was out picking flowers in the fields of Nysa, Hades abducted her to the Underworld and raped her. And he tricked her into eating pomegrante from the Underworld since anyone who ate any foods from the Underworld will not be able to leave. More info

1 Zeus

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King of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus, Zeus is the youngest brother of Hades and Poseidon, as well as the most well-known among the big three gods. His symbols are eagle, oak tree, scepter and scales, and his infamous weapon - the hunderbolt. Zeus married his sister Hera, although he is notoriously famous for his many lovers. He is god of sky and thunder, and technically ruler of the whole cosmos. You can find his devious means of seducing females in many Greek legends and stories. Due to his adulterous nature, he actually fathered many of the major gods and goddesses, and demigods. Athena, Hephaestus, the twins Apollo and Artemis, and Hercules are famous among his children. Among the mortal demigods, the nine Muses, the hero Peseus and Helen of Troy are just a few among possibly hundreds of Zeus' offsprings. More info

We had so much joy going through Greek mythology over and over again while compiling this list. We hope that you enjoy reading and hopefully this list will ignite your love on Greek mythology. If you are interested more in Greek gods and their mythology, we suggest you to pick up Homer\'s Illiad and The Library of Greek Mythology by Apollodorus (translated into English by Robin Hard).

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