Who were the Greek Gods and Goddesses? This is a question that has intrigued historians for centuries, and it is not a question that is easily answered. This is because there are hundreds if not thousands of myths and legends that tell us different stories about these ancient deities, some of which contradict each other.
When we look at the historical impact that these Gods and Goddesses had on civilization, it is important to remember that the Gods and Goddesses each had their own flaws and personalities; they were not viewed as the idea of perfection in the way that many modern religions such as Christianity regards their God. These flaws and varying personality quirks made it easier for the common man to relate to the deities that they worshiped. Another major difference between the Greek Gods and Goddesses and the modern religions of today is that the Greeks and many other civilizations of the time worshiped a pantheon of deities rather than the single God of the monotheistic religions that are the most common in the modern world.
Because the Gods had personalities, each of the Greek Gods and Goddesses was revered for a different reason, and a person living in that era would pray to a different God or Goddess based on their occupation, city of origin, and even the tasks they sought to accomplish. For instance, the vast majority of sailors would pray to Poseidon, the God of the Seas, before they ventured out across the deadly waters of the world. Poseidon's personality was often seen as temperamental and this was used to explain the ferocity of the storms that occurred out at sea.
Poseidon has also been called the "Earth Shaker" and is said to be responsible for the earthquakes. These earthquakes were believed to be caused by Poseidon's trident, a weapon so powerful that it not only caused the earth to shake, but it was also capable of destroying any object that Poseidon wished. Interestingly enough, there are numerous myths that seem to portray Poseidon as the biggest influence amongst the Gods, while others stories place the glory at the hands of Poseidon's brother, Zeus.
Zeus is the most famous of the Greek Gods and most people in today's world are at least vaguely familiar with the God portrayed as the ruler of Mount Olympus. Zeus is a very interesting God because while he is seen as the father of both Gods and men, he is also known for his many escapades with human women. Zeus is the ruler of the skies and is often associated with the lightning bolts that he throws from his heavenly perch, as well as the thunder that accompanies them.
One of the most famous tasks that Zeus was involved in is the overthrowing of his own father, the mighty titan Cronus. Zeus was also the father to many of the other Olympians, such as Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Ares, and other Gods, Goddesses, and demigods such as the famous warrior Heracles (also known by Hercules). Many fables in Greek Mythology are tied to Zeus in some shape or form.