Zeus Description: Zeus has his sway over Mount Olympus and is the king of the Gods. He is the son of Cronus and Rhea, the husband to Hera, and has 15 children, all of whom were Olympians. Depiction: He is often depicted as a tall and a sturdy man with regal attire. He has long hair and a long beard. Generally, he is depicted in a standing pose, but we also have some seated sculptures of Zeus. Attributes: The thunderbolt is his main attribute which is generally placed in his right hand. Sometimes, he carries a royal scepter in his left hand. Bull and eagle are his sacred animals. Hades Description: Hades is the God of the dead.
He is the lord of the Underworld and the guardian of all the wealth that is hidden beneath the surface of the earth. He is the elder brother of Zeus and is married to Persephone. Depiction: Though he does not have many classical depictions, he has been depicted seated on his throne, along with his three-headed dog, Cerberus by his side. Attributes: He always holds a Helm of Darkness and the Key of Hades in his hands. His sacred bird is the screech owl. Poseidon Description: Often known as Neptune, Poseidon is the lord of the sea. He is the one who creates the horses from sea-foam and is also the creator of earthquakes.
He is the brother of Zeus and Hades. Depiction: He is depicted as a sturdy old man with a long beard and holding a trident in his hand. Attributes: He usually holds a trident but the statue of Poseidon at Goteborg, Sweden, depicts him as a youth holding a fish and a conch shell in his hands. Hera Description: Hera is the Goddess of childbirth and marriage. She is often said to be the Goddess of the feminine and is the wife and sister of Zeus. Depiction: She is depicted as a calm and an impressive woman, often seated on a throne and wearing a crown on her head.
Attributes: She holds a pomegranate and a lotus-tipped staff in her hands. Animals associated with Hera include lion and peacock. Demeter Description: Often considered to be the deity of the farmer, Demeter is the Goddess of fertility, grain, agriculture and harvest. She is a sister of Zeus and the calmest of all deities. She is also, at times considered to be the Goddess of creativity. Depiction: She is represented, either standing or seated, as a matured woman, a motherly figure wearing a long attire and a veil. Attributes: In her hands, she carries corn and a torch and sometimes, a wand.
She is symbolized by Cornucopia. Animals depicted alongside Demeter include pigs and serpents. Hestia Description: Hestia is the sister of Zeus and is the Goddess of homes and hearth and cooking. She is the center point of all homes of the Greek civilization. Depiction: She is depicted in a standing pose as a modest mature woman wearing a veil. Attributes: Her common attributes include a hearth and a kettle. Ares Description: Ares is the God of order, courage, violence and bloodshed, thus highlighting both the negative and positive aspects. He is also the son of Zeus and Hera and lover of Aphrodite.
Depiction: He is depicted in a standing position either as strong and matured person with a dark beard and dressed as a warrior or as a youth without a beard, also dressed as a warrior. Attributes: He holds a spear in his hand and has a helm on his head. Animals sacred to him are snakes, vultures, alligators, boars and dogs. Hermes Description: This son of Zeus is the God of mischief, travel, trade, language and animal husbandry. He is the messenger of Gods and has a humorous knack of playing tricks on people. Depiction: In common depictions, he is either a strong and an athletic youth or an old man with a long beard.
Attributes: He carries a wand and wears a traveler’s cap. His sandals have wings. The animals associated with Hermes are hawk, tortoise and ram. Dionysus Description: Also the son of Zeus, Dionysus is the God of enjoyment and merriment. He governs the intoxication of wine, parties, festivals and merry occasions. Depiction: He is often represented as a drunk fellow either in his youth or as an old man. When depicted as a young man, he has long hair and is beardless. On the contrary, when he is portrayed as an old man, he has a long beard.
Attributes: Some of his most common attributes include a drinking cup, grape-vine and an ivy. He is often depicted alongside animals such as snakes, dolphins, tigers and sometimes donkeys. Hephaestus Description: Hephaestus, the husband of Aphrodite and son of Zeus, is the God of blacksmiths and all metal workers as well as stonemasons. He is also the God of technology and is considered to be so skilled that he made the arms and armor of Greek heroes such as Achilles. Depiction: He is depicted as a crippled old man holding hammer and tongs and sitting on a donkey.
Attributes: Common attributes include blacksmith’s tools and sacred animals include a crane and a dog, other than his donkey. Apollo Description: Apollo is probably the most learned deity of the Greeks. He is the God of music, medicine, health, fitness, light and truth. He is also the God of archery and bows. He is always associated with the sun and its light and has been described as the most handsome Greek deity. He is a son of Zeus and is the twin of Artemis. Depiction: He is depicted as a tall young man with wavy hair and an elaborate hairdo. Most of the images depict him in a standing position.
Attributes: His common attributes are bows, lyre and laurel. Animals sacred to him are swans, ravens, hawks, foxes, snakes and crows. Artemis Description: She is the twin of Apollo and is associated with the moon. She is the Goddess of hunting, virginity, wildlife and dew. Depiction: She is depicted as a young woman wearing a knee-length attire. She is always equipped with bows and arrows. Attributes: Apart from bows and arrows, her attributes include spears and animal hide. Many a time, she is accompanied by a deer. Other animals she is associated with include wild boars, bears and dogs. Aphrodite
Description: The adulterous consort of Hephaestus and the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite is the Goddess of love, lust and beauty. Depiction: She is depicted as a beautiful young woman with an elaborate hairdo. She is also portrayed nude in order to indicate the sexual pleasures that she symbolizes. Attributes: Her sacred bird is the dove. Her common attributes include a scallop shell, a myrtle, a rose and a pomegranate. Athena Description: She is the Goddess of wisdom and warfare. Legend states that Athena emerged from the head of Zeus and had the armor on her body right from her birth which indicates that she was a born warrior.
She is the patroness of the Greek city of Athens. Depiction: She is depicted as a strong woman with long hair and a crested helm on her head. She is always depicted in a standing pose. However, we also have some busts of the goddess, especially on the coins. A rare portrayal of Athena seated on her throne along with her shield is found on one of the coins of Attalus I who ruled Pergamon during 200 B. C. Attributes: She holds a shield and a spear in her hands and is often accompanied by her sacred bird, owl.