The Olympian Gods, also known as the Twelve Olympians, are a significant group in Greek mythology. These deities resided atop Mount Olympus and were considered to be the main gods and goddesses of the Greek pantheon. They got their name from their dwelling place, Mount Olympus.
The exact composition of the Twelve Olympians can vary slightly, but it generally includes the following deities:
- Zeus: The king of the gods, god of the sky, thunder, and justice.
- Hera: The queen of the gods, goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, and family.
- Poseidon: God of the sea, earthquakes, and horses.
- Demeter: Goddess of agriculture, fertility, sacred law, and the harvest.
- Athena: Goddess of wisdom, courage, and strategic warfare.
- Apollo: God of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, poetry, and more.
- Artemis: Goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, and the moon.
- Ares: God of war.
- Aphrodite: Goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality.
- Hephaestus: God of fire, metalworking, and crafts.
- Hermes: Messenger of the gods; god of trade, thieves, and travel.
- Dionysus: God of wine, pleasure, festivity, madness, and wild frenzy.
It’s worth noting that Hades, the god of the underworld, is often excluded from this list despite being a brother of Zeus and Poseidon. This is likely due to his association with the underworld and death, which set him apart from the other more ‘celestial’ Olympians. However, in some lists, he is included and Dionysus is excluded.
Each Olympian had a unique set of symbols and a special area of governance. They were worshipped extensively throughout Ancient Greece and many stories, myths, and legends are associated with them.