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Xenophon 's Anabasis describes a group of Spartan soldiers in — BC singing to Poseidon a paean —a kind of hymn normally sung for Apollo. Like Dionysus , who inflamed the maenads , Poseidon also caused certain forms of mental disturbance. Poseidon was known in various guises, denoted by epithets.

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In the town of Aegae in Euboea , he was known as Poseidon Aegaeus and had a magnificent temple upon a hill. He is more often regarded as the tamer of horses, but in some myths he is their father, either by spilling his seed upon a rock or by mating with a creature who then gave birth to the first horse. Many springs like Hippocrene and Aganippe in Helikon are related with the word horse hippos.

Some other epithets of Poseidon are: [41]. Poseidon was the second son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. In most accounts he is swallowed by Cronus at birth and is later saved , along with his other brothers and sisters, by Zeus. However, in some versions of the story, he, like his brother Zeus, did not share the fate of his other brother and sisters who were eaten by Cronus. He was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which she gave to Cronus to devour.

According to John Tzetzes [44] the kourotrophos , or nurse of Poseidon was Arne , who denied knowing where he was, when Cronus came searching; according to Diodorus Siculus [45] Poseidon was raised by the Telchines on Rhodes , just as Zeus was raised by the Korybantes on Crete. According to a single reference in the Iliad , when the world was divided by lot in three, Zeus received the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. In Homer's Odyssey Book V , ln. Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens after a competition with Poseidon.

Yet Poseidon remained a numinous presence on the Acropolis in the form of his surrogate, Erechtheus. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring sprang up; the water was salty and not very useful, [48] whereas Athena offered them an olive tree. The Athenians or their king, Cecrops , accepted the olive tree and along with it Athena as their patron, for the olive tree brought wood , oil and food.

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After the fight, infuriated at his loss, Poseidon sent a monstrous flood to the Attic Plain, to punish the Athenians for not choosing him. The depression made by Poseidon's trident and filled with salt water was surrounded by the northern hall of the Erechtheum , remaining open to the air. The contest of Athena and Poseidon was the subject of the reliefs on the western pediment of the Parthenon , the first sight that greeted the arriving visitor. This myth is construed by Robert Graves and others as reflecting a clash between the inhabitants during Mycenaean times and newer immigrants.

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Athens at its height was a significant sea power, at one point defeating the Persian fleet at Salamis Island in a sea battle. Poseidon and Apollo, having offended Zeus by their rebellion in Hera's scheme, were temporarily stripped of their divine authority and sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy. He had them build huge walls around the city and promised to reward them well, a promise he then refused to fulfill. In vengeance, before the Trojan War , Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack Troy.

The monster was later killed by Heracles. Poseidon was said to have had many lovers of both sexes see expandable list below. His consort was Amphitrite , a nymph and ancient sea-goddess, daughter of Nereus and Doris. Together they had a son named Triton , a merman. Poseidon was the father of many heroes. He is thought to have fathered the famed Theseus. A mortal woman named Tyro was married to Cretheus with whom she had one son, Aeson , but loved Enipeus , a river god. She pursued Enipeus, who refused her advances.

One day, Poseidon, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus, and from their union were born the heroes Pelias and Neleus , twin boys.

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Poseidon also had an affair with Alope , his granddaughter through Cercyon , his son and King of Eleusis , begetting the Attic hero Hippothoon. Cercyon had his daughter buried alive but Poseidon turned her into the spring, Alope, near Eleusis. Poseidon rescued Amymone from a lecherous satyr and then fathered a child, Nauplius , by her.


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After having raped Caeneus , Poseidon fulfilled her request and changed her into a male warrior. A mortal woman named Cleito once lived on an isolated island; Poseidon fell in love with the human mortal and created a dwelling sanctuary at the top of a hill near the middle of the island and surrounded the dwelling with rings of water and land to protect her. She gave birth to five sets of twin boys; the firstborn, Atlas , became the first ruler of Atlantis.

Not all of Poseidon's children were human. In an archaic myth, Poseidon once pursued Demeter. She spurned his advances, turning herself into a mare so that she could hide in a herd of horses; he saw through the deception and became a stallion and captured her. Their child was a horse , Arion , which was capable of human speech.

Poseidon also raped Medusa on the floor of a temple to Athena.

His other children include Polyphemus the Cyclops and, finally, Alebion and Bergion and Otos and Ephialtae the giants. In Greek art , Poseidon rides a chariot that was pulled by a hippocampus or by horses that could ride on the sea. He was associated with dolphins and three-pronged fish spears tridents.

He lived in a palace on the ocean floor, made of coral and gems. In the Iliad Poseidon favors the Greeks, and on several occasion takes an active part in the battle against the Trojan forces. In the Odyssey , Poseidon is notable for his hatred of Odysseus who blinded the god's son, the Cyclops Polyphemus. The enmity of Poseidon prevents Odysseus's return home to Ithaca for many years. Odysseus is even told, notwithstanding his ultimate safe return, that to placate the wrath of Poseidon will require one more voyage on his part. In the Aeneid , Neptune is still resentful of the wandering Trojans, but is not as vindictive as Juno , and in Book I he rescues the Trojan fleet from the goddess's attempts to wreck it, although his primary motivation for doing this is his annoyance at Juno's having intruded into his domain.


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A hymn to Poseidon included among the Homeric Hymns is a brief invocation, a seven-line introduction that addresses the god as both "mover of the earth and barren sea, god of the deep who is also lord of Helicon and wide Aegae , [98] and specifies his twofold nature as an Olympian: "a tamer of horses and a saviour of ships. Poseidon holding a trident. Corinthian plaque, BC. From Penteskouphia. Poseidon on an Attic kalyx krater detail , first half of the 5th century BC. Triumph of Poseidon and Amphitrite showing the couple in procession , detail of a vast mosaic from Cirta , Roman Africa ca.

Poseidon and Athena battle for control of Athens by Benvenuto Tisi Poseidon statue in Gothenburg , Sweden. Poseidon statue in Bristol , England. The Neptunbrunnen fountain in Berlin. Poseidon sculpture in Copenhagen , Denmark. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the crane fly, see Helius fly. For the poet, see Helius Eobanus Hessus. For the moth, see Pyrois moth. Head of Helios, middle period, Archaeological Museum of Rhodes. Aegiale , possible mother to Alcyone Aithon, who chopped Demeter's sacred grove and was forever famished for that compare the myth of Erysichthon [52] Aix, a nymph with a beautiful body and a horrible face [53] Aloeus , ruler over Asopia [54] Camirus, founder of Camira , a city in Rhodes [55] Mausolus [56] Phorbas , father of Ambracia [57].

A golden chain of civilizations: Indic, Iranic, Semitic, and Hellenic up to c. Death of Adonis by Luca Giordano. The Death of Adonis by Giuseppe Mazzuoli. For the Syrian poet, see Adunis. This article is about the Greek god. For other uses, see Adonis disambiguation.

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Attic red-figure aryballos painting by Aison c. Mythology portal Ancient Near East portal. Johannes; Ringgren, Helmer, eds. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Atallah fails to find any cultic or cultural connection with the boar, which he sees simply as a heroic myth-element.