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published: 1/20/05
updated: 12/16/13

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Greco-Roman Gods and Goddesses




"Whoever obeys the gods, to him they particularly listen."
--Homer, The Iliad

The gods of ancient Greece, most of whom were adopted by the ancient Romans, were generally described as human in form, unaging, nearly immune to all wounds and sickness, capable of becoming invisible, able to travel vast distances almost instantly, and able to speak through human beings with or without their knowledge. In Greek mythology, the gods were presented as a large, multi-generational family, the oldest members of which created the world as we know it.

Each Greco-Roman divinity has his or her own specific appearance, genaeology, interests, personality, and area of expertise, subject to significant local variants. When the gods were called upon in poetry or prayer, they were referred to by a combination of their name and epithets, the latter serving to distinguish them from other gods.





The deities of ancient Rome were based in the Greek pantheon, but also included gods and goddesses incorporated from other cultures (such as Egyptian and Persian) and divinities associated with the Roman state.

Poseiden, Apollo and Artemis  

Greece: The Olympian Gods
The 12 major Greek gods who live on Mt. Olympus and were depicted on the Parthenon frieze:

Aphrodite
Apollo
Ares
Artemis

Athena
Demeter
Dionysus
Hephaestus

Hera
Hermes
Poseidon
Zeus

Nike, goddess of victory   Other Greek Gods
Other members of the Greek pantheon included:

Adonis
Aesepus
Agathos Daimon
Agdistis
Alastor
Ammon
Aphaea
Asclepius
Atlas
Boreas
Chloe
Cronus
Eros
Gaia
Hades
Hestia
Keres
Nike
Oceanus
Pan
Persephone
Selene
Tyche
Uranus
  Mithras

Adopted from Persia, Mithras was the center of a popular religion among soldiers in ancient Rome. See also Mithraism.
     
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