Poseidon: origins, myths, symbology

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Poseidon was an important god who was present in the religiosity of Ancient Greece. The Greeks believed that he was the god of the seas and rivers and the deity responsible for catastrophes such as the earthquakes and the floods. Sailors and fishermen asked for Poseidon's protection when they went to sail on the ocean.

this god was son of Kronos and Rhea. He was rescued by Zeus and so he fought alongside him and his other brothers against the giants. In Greek mythology, Poseidon was marked as a relentless god, who pursued his enemies. He was well respected by the Greeks, who built temples and shrines in his honor.

Know more:Apollo — god of the sun, arts and music in Greek mythology

Summary about Poseidon

  • Poseidon was the Greek god of the seas and rivers.

  • The Greeks considered him responsible for catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes.

  • He was the son of Kronos and Rhea and was rescued from his father's womb by his brother Zeus.

  • The cult of Poseidon is believed to have originated in the Mycenaean period.

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  • There were temples and shrines built in honor of Poseidon, just as there were oracles and festivals for that god.

Who was Poseidon?

Poseidon was a deity present in the pantheon that formed the religiosity of the Greeks in THEseniority. The Greeks regarded him as the god of the seas and rivers, but they also held him responsible for carrying out catastrophes such as floods, storms and earthquakes.

Poseidon's association with the sea, and especially with storms, made him considered the god patron of sailors in Greece. Both sailors and fishermen used to worship and make offerings to Poseidon as a way of securing this god's favor and protection while at sea.

This god was considered powerful and capable of destroying those who annoyed him. A very symbolic mention of this god's sabotaging action is the account found in the Odyssey. This epic poem, written by Homer, tells of the saga of Odysseus (Greek soldier who fought in the Trojan War) to return to his home on the island of Ithaca.

The return of Odysseus, which would take a short time, took ten years, for during this entire period Poseidon chased odysseus to stop him from reaching his island. Poseidon's hatred for Odysseus was motivated by the fact that the soldier would have blinded one of the god's sons. In the end, Odysseus returned to Ithaca, but he only succeeded because he got help from Zeus.

You Greeks associated the horsesThe Poseidon, considered the god who created these animals. The Greeks also believed that horseback riding and the use of a chariot were introduced to humans by Poseidon himself. Thus, the Greeks considered him a horse tamer god and responsible for their reproduction.

Read too:Medusa — mythological creature known for turning people to stone

Origins of Poseidon

Historians claim that there is evidence of the cult of Poseidon before the formation of the Greek people. In the Mycenaean period, there were already inscriptions in Linear B, the script used by the mycenaeans, which mention this god. It is speculated that the height of the Poseidon cult among the Mycenaeans extended from the 15th century BC. Ç. until the twelfth century BC. Ç.

The figure of Poseidon is believed to have originated as a result of a mixture of elements of pre-Greek religiosity with that of Indo-European peoples. This deity ended up remaining in the culture of Greece and became one of the most important of the ancient Greeks, as can be seen in the mythological origins of this god.

The Greeks believed that Poseidon was the son of Cronos and Rhea, therefore, that he was the brother of the main god of the Greek pantheon: Zeus. THE Poseidon's father was a titan who ruled the Universe and who was known to devour his own children, fearing that one of them would rebel against him and dethrone him.

One day, Rhea tricked Kronos and rescued Zeus, who had grown up safely apart from his father. Zeus returned to rescue his brothers, causing their father to vomit them up (they were in perfect condition because they were gods, therefore, immortal). So, Zeus rescued Poseidon, Hestia, Demeter, Hades and Hera.

Immediately, a war between the gods and the titans began, and Poseidon played an important role in that conflict. This war was called Titanomachy and ended with the victory of the Greek gods over the Titans, who were imprisoned in Tartarus. After that, Hades, Zeus and Poseidon divided each other's domains, and Poseidon was left with the waters and the beings that inhabit them.

Poseidon in Greek Mythology and Religiosity

Ruins of a temple built in honor of Poseidon.

They exist numerous mentions The Poseidon in Greek Mythology, in addition to the accounts given by Homer, such as Poseidon's role in the Trojan War and his role in persecuting Odysseus after that conflict ended. A well-known myth is the one that narrates the dispute between Poseidon and Athena to find out who would be the patron god of the city of Athens.

In this myth, Poseidon and Athena wished to be patrons of Athens, and each offered something to the Athenians, Poseidon offering a horse and a spring of salt water. Athena, in turn, offered an olive tree, convincing the Athenians to choose it. Despite this, Poseidon was still a god respected by the Athenians, who insisted on celebrating a festival for him.

Poseidon was married to a nymph named Amphitrite and had Triton and Cymopoleia as children born of their marriage. Poseidon, as well as several Greek gods, he had many affairs (and children) outside of his marriage.

In Greek religiosity, Poseidon was a very popular god in several regions, such as Rhodes, Pylos, Poseidonia, Athens, among others. As mentioned, Poseidon was greatly admired among sailors and fishermen, and this made him a god particularly popular in seaside towns.

A celebrated festival that paid homage to Poseidon was the isthmic games, carried out in the Isthmus of Corinth region. In these games, horse and carriage races were held. It is believed that the reverence for Poseidon in these games is related to the association with maritime trade that Poseidon had in the city of Corinth.

The Greeks also erected temples in honor of Poseidon, as well as statues and shrines. Finally, there were also oracles of Poseidon in Greece.

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