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Twelve Olympians

  • Aphrodite: Topic Page
    In Greek religion and mythology, goddess of fertility, love, and beauty. Homer designated her the child of Zeus and Dione. MORE
  • Apollo: Topic Page
    In Greek and Roman mythology, the god of sun, music, poetry, prophecy, agriculture, and pastoral life, and leader of the Muses. MORE
  • Ares: Topic Page
    The Greek god of war, son of Zeus and Hera, often perceived as hostile, rather than as a national deity, as in other mythologies. MORE
  • Artemis: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the goddess of chastity, all young creatures, the Moon, and the hunt (Roman Diana). MORE
  • Athena: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the goddess of war, wisdom, and the arts and crafts (Roman Minerva). She was reputed to have sprung fully-armed and grown from the head of Zeus, after he had swallowed her mother Metis, the Titaness of wisdom. MORE
  • Demeter: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the goddess of agriculture, especially corn (Roman Ceres); daughter of the Titans Kronos and Rhea; and mother of Persephone by Zeus. MORE
  • Dionysus: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the god of wine, mystic ecstasy, and orgiastic excess; son of princess Semele and Zeus. MORE
  • Hephaestus: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the god of fire and metalcraft (Roman Vulcan); the lame son of Zeus and Hera. MORE
  • Hera: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the goddess of women and marriage (Roman Juno). MORE
  • Hermes: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the messenger of the gods; son of Zeus and Maia, one of the Pleiades. MORE
  • Poseidon: Topic Page
    In Greek religion and mythology, god of the sea, protector of all waters. After the fall of the Titans, Poseidon was allotted the sea. MORE
  • Zeus: Topic Page
    In Greek mythology, the chief of the Olympian gods (Roman Jupiter). He was the son of Kronos, whom he overthrew. MORE

Practices & Beliefs

  • Altar: Topic Page
    Table or platform for the performance of religious sacrifice. In its simplest form the altar is a small pile, with a square or circular surface, made of stone or wood. MORE
  • Eleusinian mysteries: Topic Page
    Ceremonies in honour of the Greek deities Demeter, goddess of corn, and her daughter Persephone, queen of the underworld, celebrated in the precincts of the temple of Demeter at Eleusis, in the territory of Athens. MORE
  • Elysium
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    In Greek mythology, an afterworld or paradise. MORE
  • Hades
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    In Greek mythology, the underworld where spirits (shades) went after death, usually depicted as a cavern or pit underneath the Earth, the entrance of which was guarded by the three-headed dog Cerberus. MORE
  • Homer: Topic Page
    Principal figure of ancient Greek literature; the first European poet. MORE
  • Mystery Religions
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Any of various cults of the ancient world that were open only to the initiated; for example, the cults of Demeter (see Eleusinian Mysteries), Dionysus, Cybele, Isis, and Mithras. MORE
  • Ritual: Topic Page
    In religious devotion or service, the practice of certain set formulas that either mark a particular important event in a person's life - such as birth rituals or death rituals - or form a patterned daily, weekly, or annual cycle. Rituals are usually understood to hold deep symbolic meaning. MORE
  • Sacrifice: Topic Page
    A type of religious offering, or gift to a superior or supreme being, in which the offering is consecrated through its destruction. MORE
  • Shrine: Topic Page
    Place regarded as holy due to an association with a divine figure, relic, or event. Shrines are important places in most religions, and are often a focus of worship or meditation. MORE
  • The Odyssey
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    Greek epic poem; the product of an oral tradition, it was probably written before 700 BC and is attributed to Homer. MORE
  • Theogony
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia
    In Greek mythology, an account of the origin of the gods, conceived largely in terms of human reproduction. MORE
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