Ancient Greek Gods & Other Magical Creatures for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Greek Gods & Goddesses

The ancient Greeks  believed in a great many gods! They all believed in the same gods!  The Greeks told wonderful myths about their gods. Some gods were very powerful and very magical. There was Poseidon, lord of the sea. He could raise his hand and a new island would appear! There was Hermes, who solved many a problem for these ancient gods. Hermes was the messenger. He carried news from one god to another. Since things were always going on in the ancient Greek god world, Hermes was a very busy god. There was Apollo, who brought up the sun every day. And the mighty Zeus, king of all the gods! Zeus was not afraid of anyone or anything except perhaps his wife. In ancient Greece, honoring their gods was part of daily life and part of just about everything they did. It was not unusual to pray at home, stop at a sacred site, and visit a temple, all in the same day!

Who's Who? Well ...

Zeus was the most powerful of the gods. Should he have to bring order, he would hurl a thunderbolt. Share in the adventure of Zeus, Hera, and little Io.

Hera was the sister and wife of Zeus, and thus, the Queen. Hera was the goddess of marriage, children, and the home. Hera was extremely jealous and she could be very mean.

Poseidon, the lord of the sea, was the brother of Zeus. Poseidon was very powerful. He had a very stormy personality. The Greeks were terrified of Poseidon, especially the Greeks who lived along the coast. Here's a myth about the great god, Poseidon: Perseus, Andromeda, and the sea god, Poseidon

Hades, another brother of Zeus, was the lord of the underworld. Come visit the River Styx! Find out how the King of Corinth tricked Hades and lived to tell the tale.

Ares, Zeus' son, was the god of war. He was tall and handsome but cruel and vain.

Hermes was Zeus' son and the messenger of the gods. The job of messenger to the gods allowed Hermes to have the inside scoop on just about everything. There was a warmth about Hermes. The other gods trusted him. It is no wonder that there are probably more myths that include Hermes than any other god.

Apollo was Zeus' son and god of the sun, light and music. Come meet Apollo's Oracle at Delphi. Learn what happened when Apollo fell in love with Cassandra. Discover how Apollo got his lyre. Find out what happened when someone chose Pan's reed flute over Apollo's lyre!

Artemis was goddess of the hunt and Apollo's twin sister. She was very cold. But she loved her dogs, and they loved her.

Athena was the goddess of wisdom. There is a wonderful myth about a contest held between Athena and her uncle, the great Poseidon.

Hestia was the goddess of hearth and home, and Hera's sister. There are very few myths about Hestia. But Hestia was probably the most important goddess of all to the ancient Greek women. Knowing Hestia was on their side gave Greek woman a great feeling of comfort.

Demeter was the goddess of the harvest, and Hera's other sister. Persephone was Demeter's daughter, and the Greek's reason for the seasons.

Dionysus was the god of wine and civilization, law and calm behavior. Read the story of King Midas and the Golden Touch. Learn how Dionysus escaped from pirates and met Ariadne of Naxos: Dionysus, the Pirates, and Ariadne.

Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite didn't set out to start the Trojan War, but that's what happened all the same.

Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera, god of fire and forge, and the husband of Aphrodite. He made all the royal palaces on Mount Olympus. But perhaps his greatest creation was Pandora.

Heracles (Hercules) was another of Zeus' sons. He was half man, half god, and very strong. Known also as Hercules. Hercules had great adventures, discovered true friends, and rid the world of some really nasty critters (The 12 Labors of Hercules).

Perseus was half god, half man. His mother was a princess of the city-state Argos, and his father was the king of all the gods, the mighty Zeus. Here is a myth about Perseus: Perseus, Andromeda, and the sea god, Poseidon

Eros was the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. He carried a bow and arrow. When you were shot with Cupid's arrow, you fell in love with the very next person you saw. It was not until he fell in love that this lonely god found happiness. Read the charming myth of Eros & Psyche.

Orpheus was the son of Apollo and Calliope. He was the most famous musician in all of Greece. The story of Eurydice and Orpheus is a famous love story.

Pandora was the first woman formed out of clay by the gods. Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create her. Zeus sent Pandora down to earth to marry Epimetheus. Everyone in ancient Greece knew the story of Pandora's Box.

Pegasus was a winged horse who could fly. People were always trying to steal Pegasus, which caused them no end of trouble!

Cerberus was the three-headed dog that guarded the entrance to the underworld. Cerberus was friendly to those arriving. He only became dangerous to those trying to leave without permission. There is a wonderful myth about Hercules and Cerberus.

The Minotaur was a mythical creature, half man/half beast, that lived in the center of a huge maze. As the story goes, Theseus (a prince of Athens) was the only mortal ever to survive the maze.

Helios was the sun god. His sisters were the moon (Selene) and the dawn (Eos). Some people believe Helios and Apollo were the same god, but we rather doubt it. Read the story of The Sun Chariot, and decide for yourself.

Calliope, one of the nine Muses, the 9 daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. The Muses made such beautiful music with their singing that it brought joy to everyone who heard them.

Terpsichore, one of the nine Muses, She was the Greek god of dance. Her name actually meant "delight in dancing"  She did not have an evil side, but her daughters were the Sirens, who lured sailers to crash their boats and die on the rocks.

The Nymphs - beautiful magical beings who lived in the forest or in the waterways. There was nothing harmful about the nymphs, but they did seem to cause a great deal of trouble without meaning to.

How did the ancient Greeks worship their gods?

AND MORE! There are many more ancient Greek gods, with wonderful myths

Ancient Greek Mythology Games