Thursday, April 7, 2011


Poseidon was the God of the seas and (widely known as the "Earth-Shaker") of earthquakes.  He was also the ruler of Atlantis. In Roman mythology, he was known as Neptune. He was integrated into the Olympian gods as the brother of Zeus and Hades, generally considered the second most powerful God after Zeus. Poseidon and Amphitrite, a nymph and ancient sea-goddess and daughter of Oceanus, had many children including Triton, messenger of the sea and herald to Amphitrite, Theseus, the cyclops Polyphemus, and Orion the giant master hunter. He was the patron god of many important sea-faring cities, and was widely prayed for safe voyages, for he could quickly send a tempest to destroy those who disrespected him.
Like his brother Zeus, Poseidon was known for having many human lovers. His consort was Amphitrite, a nymph and ancient sea-goddess, daughter of Nereus and Doris. A mortal woman named Tyro was married to Cretheus (together they 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. 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. Poseidon was the father of many heroes. He is thought to have fathered the famed Theseus. Poseidon rescued Amymone from a lecherous satyr and then had a child with her; Nauplius. Not all of Poseidon's children were human. 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 and captured her. Their child was a horse, Arion, which was capable of speaking. Poseidon also had sex with Medusa on the floor of a temple to Athena. Medusa got changed into a monster by Athena. When she was later beheaded by the hero Perseus, Chrysaor and Pegasus emerged from her neck. There is also Triton, the merman; Polyphemus, the cyclops; finally, Alebion and Bergion and Otos and Ephialtae, the giants.
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 climacteric 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.”
Poseidon was a son of Cronus and Rhea. In most accounts he is swallowed by Cronus at birth but later saved, with his other brothers and sisters, by Zeus. However in some versions of the story, he, like his brother Zeus, did not share the fate of his other brother and sisters who were eaten by Cronus. He was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which she gave to Cronus to devour. The kourotrophos, or nurse of Poseidon was Arne, who denied knowing where he was, when Cronus came searching; Poseidon was raised by the Telchines on Rhodes, just as Zeus was raised by the Korybantes on Crete. According to a single reference in the Iliad, when the world was divided by lot in three, Zeus received the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. Poseidon has a home in Aegae.
Poseidon and Apollo, having offended Zeus, were sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy. He had them build huge walls around the city and promised to reward them well, a promise he then refused to fulfill. In vengeance, before the Trojan War, Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack Troy (it was later killed by Heracles).

No comments:

Post a Comment