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Facts About Poseidon – God of the Sea

By Yona Williams    4/30/10

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As the god of the sea, Poseidon usually appears as a bearded, older man surrounded by seashells or other examples of marine life. Earthquakes and horses are also associated with the god who rules with his infamous three-pronged trident. In this article, you will learn more about the god who was the older brother of Zeus and father to the winged horse Pegasus.

Symbols and Associations

Poseidon is linked to horses. Other animals connected to Poseidon were the fish, dolphin, and the bull. When the crashing of waves on the shore takes place, the Greeks believed that Poseidon was present. When earthquakes occurred, Poseidon's force was used to explain their existence, which probably stemmed from a connection between earthquakes and tsunamis that took place in Greece.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Poseidon was creative as a god and had a hand in designing some of the most intriguing creatures of the sea. However, he enjoyed engaging in war. He was not comparable to Ares, but when he was experiencing a mood swing, Poseidon could become very unpredictable.

Family Ties

Born to Kronos and Rhea, Poseidon is known as the older brother of the almighty Zeus. He is also brother to Demeter (goddess of agriculture), Hestia (goddess of the home), Hades (god of the Underworld), and Hera (Queen of the Gods).

Poseidon's Children

Poseidon took Amphitrite (a sea goddess) as his wife, they had a half-fish son named Triton – known as messenger of the sea. When he is depicted, Trition is seen as a merman, with the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish. According to Ovid, his shoulders were covered with seashells. Like his name implies, Triton also used a trident like his father. However, his special tool was a twisted conch shell, which he blew on like a trumpet when he wanted to calm or raise the waves.

Poseidon was known for his great number of children and is second only to Zeus in that department. He is known to have fathered many great heroes in Greek history, and is believed to have been the father of the infamous Theseus, who was the founder-king of Athens. He also had an affair with Medusa, which produced Pegasus (the flying horse). With his sister Demeter, they gave birth to the horse, Arion and Despoina.

Roman Counterpart

In Rome, Poseidon is often compared to the Roman god of the sea, Neptune.

The Zebra

It is said that Poseidon created the horse. He is also credited with the existence of the zebra.

Temple Sites

Today, people travel to the Temple of Poseidon, located at Cape Sounion, which still brings in large crowds who come to the Cliffside to peer into the sea.  

Interesting Fact

Since Odysseus blinded the god's son, Polyphemus, who was a Cyclops that he met along the way, Poseidon had a distinct hatred for the voyager. This spelled trouble for a traveler that had to contend with the seas that Poseidon ruled.

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