Written by GreekBoston.com in Greek Mythology
When most of us think of the Greek gods and goddesses, we envision popular ones, such as Athena or Zeus. However, these recognizable deities from Ancient Greece only represent part of the picture. The truth is, the ones that we know best are known as the Olympian Gods, and these came long after the stories began. Here’s an overview of the family tree of the gods and goddesses from Greece:
Chaos – Although many people think of Chaos as simply a void, it was a bit more than that. This is the entity where the next generation of gods and goddesses was formed. According to the historian Hesiod, “at first Chaos came to be, or was.”
The next generation of gods and goddesses was born from Chaos. However, rather than describe this as a traditional birth, it is looked at more as a “springing up of existence.” Here’s a list of the primordial gods and goddesses who came from Chaos:
–Tartarus – the god of the abyss, or the precursor to the Underworld that Hades eventually ruled.
–Gaia – the goddess of the Earth and was portrayed as its personification.
–Eros – the god of love who was portrayed as a small child in some literature.
–Erebes – was the god of darkness, or the personification of the dark.
–Nyx – was the god of the night. Night and darkness differ because darkness can exist away from night, such as in a dark room or cave.
–Uranus – Gaia gave birth to Uranus, and later on they also birthed the next generatio of gods and goddesses.
Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the next generation of gods and goddesses – the Titans. Here’s an overview of who the Titans were:
-Mnemosyne – goddess of memory
–Tethys – goddess who married her brother, Oceanus, and gave birth to some minor gods and goddesses
–Theia – goddess and mother of the moon goddess, Selene, Eos, and Helios, the sun.
–Phoebe – goddess who was associated with the moon and who married her brother, Coeus
–Rhea – wife to Cronus, she eventually gave birth to many of the Olympians
–Themis – goddess who was responsible for the law
–Oceanus – god of the ocean who married his sister, Tethys
–Hyperion – husband and brother to theia and father to Selene, Eos, and Helios
–Coeus – Titan god who was the brother and husband to Phoebe and father of Leto and Asteria
–Cronus – god who was the leader of the Titans and with Rhea, he fathered the next generation of gods and goddesses
–Crius – listed as a Titan god in Hesiod’s list of gods and goddesses, but not much is known about him
–Iapetus – Titan god and father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimethus, and Menoetius
Cronus and Rhea were the brother and sister pair who later became the parents of the next generation of gods and goddesses. These were known as the Olympians. Over time, they overthrew the Titans in a brutal war. Here’s the list:
–Zeus – king of the gods and the most powerful god
–Hera – queen of the gods and the most powerful goddess
–Poseidon – god of the sea and the second most powerful god
–Hestia – goddesses of the hearth
–Demeter – goddess of the harvest
–Hermes – was known as the messenger god
–Ares – god of war
–Athena – goddess of wisdom
–Hephaestus – god of the forge and blacksmiths
–Apollo – god of the sun
–Artemis – goddess of the hunt
–Aphrodite – goddess of love and beauty
This gives an overview of the generations of gods and goddesses. Depending on the original source, there could be some variation.