Greek mythology has for milennia captured people’s imagination, especially writers and artists. It is all about myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. So many affairs, intrigues and murders – it’s like a big history soap opera. Here we present a list of the Top 7 most endearing Greek Gods and Goddesses.
Oceanus and Tethys seem to be one of the few monogamous couples on this family tree. Oceanus was a Titan, son of Ouranos and Gaea. His consort was his sister Tethys, who purportedly gave birth to the chief rivers of the world known to the Greeks, such as the Nile, the Alpheus, the Maeander, and about 3,000 daughters called the Oceanids. Each Oceanid was assigned a particular body of water, pasture, or cloud.
The Father of Gods and Men who ruled the Olympians on Mount Olympus gave birth to at least 21 children to nine different goddesses (and one who emerged from his head.) Known for his thunder strike and erotic escapades, Zeus’ wild sex life resulted in many godly, semi-godly and heroic offsprings, including Athena, Apollo and Artemis, Hermes, Persephone (by Demeter), Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the nine Muses (by Mnemosyne), while by his traditional consort Hera is said to have given birth to Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus. He was definitely the most adulterous god, though, with his list of consorts and children being the biggest in the Greek mythology.
Pleione bore Atlas seven sisters called the Pleiades, who were half-sisters of the Hyades and perhaps also half-sisters of the Hesperides, who were daughters of either Night alone, or Atlas and Hesperis. Apparently, they were all “wooed” by several of the most prominent male Olympian gods (including Zeus, Poseidon, and Ares), who engaged in affairs with the seven heavenly sisters and gave birth to the following children: Maia, eldest of the seven Pleiades, was mother of Hermes (by Zeus), Electra was mother of Dardanus and Iasion (by Zeus), Taygete was mother of Lacedaemon (by Zeus), Alcyone was mother of Hyrieus, Hyperenor and Aethusa (by Poseidon), Celaeno was mother of Lycus and Eurypylus (by Poseidon), Sterope (also Asterope) was mother of Oenomaus (by Ares), and finally, Merope, youngest of the seven Pleiades, was wooed by Orion. In other mythic contexts she married Sisyphus and, becoming mortal, faded away. She bore to Sisyphus several sons.
Mnemosyne, one of the titans, was recognized as the goddess of memory. She and Zeus had a small affair and gave birth to the nine Muses. The Muses were the deities of art, or rather, those who inspired art – music, poetry, stage, and dance, in particular.
5. Cronus and Rhea
Cronus, the titan, who is often picture as our modern-day father time, fathered six children with his sister, Rhea. Above, she is pictured handing one of their children to Cronus, whom he will promptly swallow. (Cronus’ father, Uranus, cursed him to meet the same fate as he: murdered by his own son.)
Eventually, Rhea gets tired of her children being eaten, and she sends her youngest son, Zeus, off to live as a mortal. Eventually, she finds him later and tells him to poison his own father. Cronus eventually spits up all five children he has swallowed, and then was thrown into Tartarus by his sons.
Uranus, one of the original deities, was born to Gaia, who is the inspiration for modern-day Mother Earth. With his mother, he made 12 children. These were all the Titans. At first, they gave birth to a horrid beast with 50 heads and a hundred hands.
Its name was Hecatonchires. They were so repulsed by this monster that they threw him into Tartarus. After that, they tried again, but were gifted with the horrible Cyclopes. Again, they threw him into Tartarus. On the third try, they succeeded. And soon enough, they 12 children. Eventually, Cronus kills his father Uranus, and curses his son to have the same fate as he.
Erebus was the personification of darkness, and son to Chaos. He and his sister, Nyx, courted to give birth to 14 children in all, among the most well known are Hypnos, god of sleep, and Eris, the goddess of discord. His wife Nyx drew these mists across the heavens to bring night to the world, while his daughter Hemera scattered them bringing day.