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Poseidon Essay, Research Paper


Poseidon, according to Greek mythology was the god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. He also held his own appointed position among the great gods on Olympus. Although he was officially one of the supreme gods of Mount Olympus, he spent most of his time in his watery domain. He was master not only of the sea but also of the lakes and rivers. In a sense the earth belonged to him, since his waters sustained it and he could shake it at will. He was the son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus and Hades. Poseidon was the husband of Amphitrite, who was one of the Nereids. They had son who they named Triton. Poseidon also had numerous other love affairs especially with nymps of spring and fountains. He was the father of several children famed for their cruelty and wildness, among them the giant Orion and the Cyclops Polyphmus. Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa were the parents of the famous winged horse, Pegasus.

Poseidon was a national god of the Ionians of the Peloponnese, who brought him with them when they immigrated from Asia, and was particularly worshipped in this part of Greece. In Sparta he was even called Genethlios, meaning the creator. His worship was spread throughout Greece, especially in maritime towns. The horse, the symbol of gushing springs, and the bull were sacred animals to Poseidon. In classical artwork, Poseidon very much resembles Zeus. He has a similar majesty with his bare chest, grasping his trident. He also has a long beard and is usually pictured with a dolphin at his side.

Poseidon had a prominent part in numerous ancient myths and legends. When Zeus fought the Titans And the Giants, Poseidon fought at his side and the giant Polybutes by hurling at him a fragment of cliff torn from the island of Cos, which became the islet of Nisyros. After the victory the heritage was divided into three parts, Zeus took the vast heavens, Hades took the murky underworld, and Poseidon obtained the immense sea. Poseidon also got into a dispute with Athena, the goddess of wisdom, over the control of Athens. She ended up winning control of Athens. Out of anger he flooded Athens. He had many other disputes with other gods over land, but yet no one ever disputed Poseidon s rule over the sea. He established his abode in the depths of the Aegean Sea where there had been built for him a magnificent palace, glittering with gold, which would endure forever. When he traveled on the sea on his chariot, around him would frolic sea monsters, come up from the abysmal depths to render homage to him. The joyful sea would open before him as his chariot flew lightly across waves, which did not even as much as wet the bronze axel. He is often seen accompanied by wild tempests, a manifestation of his furious rage.

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