Known as the ancient Greek god of the sea and waters, Poseidon (Ποσειδώνας in Greek) is one of the most popular Olympians. His Roman equivalent is Neptune and you might have seen statues of him in squares in Greece and Italy. He is usually depicted as muscular, sporting a beard and holding a trident. There are many temples dedicated to him that are still standing; a great example of that would be the temple in Cape Sounio, near Athens. Here is a list of interesting facts about the ancient Greek god, Poseidon.
7 Facts About Poseidon | Ancient Greek Mythology
- Poseidon is the god of the seas and the protector of seafarers.
- He is also the god of horses.
- Poseidon was eaten alive by his father and saved by his brother, Zeus.
- Poseidon and Athena fought over the city of Athens.
- Triton and Poseidon are not the same person.
- God Poseidon is responsible for Odysseus’ dangerous homecoming journey.
- Poseidon’s domain was rumored to be Atlantis.
Poseidon is the god of the seas and the protector of seafarers
As the god of the seas, Poseidon was also considered the protector of sailors. He was worshipped by sailors as their patron who would pray to him to feel protected during their trips. Today, the protector of Greek sailors is Saint Nicholas.
He is also the god of horses
It may be hard to see a connection there, but Poseidon was also the god of horses. It is believed that he was the one responsible for introducing the species in Greece.
Poseidon was eaten alive by his father and saved by his brother, Zeus
Poseidon was one of the unlucky children of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. He was eaten alive by his cannibalistic and power-hungry father, only to be saved later by his younger brother, Zeus. Zeus then assigned an element to each of his siblings. Poseidon’s specialty was no other than water!
Poseidon and Athena fought over the city of Athens
Greek city-states usually had a patron who protected the land and the citizens. According to an ancient Greek legend, goddess Athena and god Poseidon competed against each other for the city of Athens, with the citizens voting for their preferred patron. The Athenians chose Athena for introducing the olive tree on their land. Now you may be wondering what Poseidon offered them. You can learn more about this myth in our dedicated video and article.
Triton and Poseidon are not the same person
You may know Triton from various movies and books, including the Disney adaption of the “Little Mermaid”. Many people confuse Poseidon with Triton, thinking they are the same person. In fact, Triton was one of Poseidon’s sons and was a mermaid.
God Poseidon is responsible for Odysseus’ dangerous homecoming journey
If you have watched Helinika’s playlist narrating the Odyssey, then you already know this fact. The king of Ithaca, Odysseus, was on his way back to his island from the city of Troy. But he ended up spending years in the sea, since he lost the favor of Poseidon. The god of the seas was furious at Odysseus for injuring and mocking one of his sons, Cyclops Polyphemus. Injuring Polyphemus wasn’t the worst part; Odysseus was trying to save his life in this case. But it was the fact that the king felt invincible after this that made him commit a hybris.
Poseidon’s domain was rumored to be Atlantis
In the past, we saw Plato’s allegory of the lost city of Atlantis. Atlantis, according to Plato, was a rich and powerful city-state that flooded and disappeared from the face of the Earth. The reason? The gods and goddesses were furious at how greedy and unethical its citizens had become. According to the legend and allegory, the city was Poseidon’s domain. The first ruler of the city was no other than king Atlas, one of Poseidon’s sons.
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