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Greek Olympians Calendar
By
Carlson Hui
January-Zeus
January is the start of the year therefore the god who represents it will
be the most important. Zeus is the ruler of the Olympian gods and the
ruler of the sky. He has two brothers, Poseidon and Hades. His wife is
Hera but is was also famous for his many affairs. He punishes those who
lie or break oaths. As the king of gods, Zeus has supreme authority on
earth and on Mount Olympus. MYTH: It is believed that Zeus has
shamed Hera into marrying him by disguising himself as a rain-soaked
cuckoo. When Hera saw the poor bird she kindly brought him near her
breast to provide warmth and to dry him. Zeus then turned into his
true form and raped her.
February-Poseidon
Poseidon is the brother of Zeus. He is also the god of the sea and water. He is still
widely worshipped by Greek seamen nowadays. He married Amphitrite, a
granddaughter of the Titan Oceanus. He is the second most powerful Olympian
god. It is believed that he is greedy. He often had disputes with other gods when
he tried to take over their cities. MYTH: Poseidon once cursed the wife of King
Minos by making her to give birth to the monstrous Minotaur. Minos had proved
his divine right to rule Crete by calling Poseidon to send a bull from the ocean
and to sacrifice it. However Minos liked it too much and he refused to sacrefice it
later. So Poseidon make Mino's queen to fall in love with the bull and give birth
th the half-man, half-bull Minotaur.
March-Hades
Hades is also the brother of Zeus. He overthrow his father with
Zeus and Poseidon for shares of the world. Unfortunately, his
share was the worst. He became the god of the underworld. He
duty was to rule the dead. He is a greedy god who is greatly
concerned with increasing his subjects. He favours in more
deaths. Also, he never let any of his subjects to leave the
underworld. In addition, he is also the god of wealth due to the
precious metals mined from the earth. MYTH: Hades's wife was
Persephone. However she was actually abducted by Hades into
the underworld. At first, after Hades fall in love of Persephone,
Zeus told him that Persephone's mother will never agree.
Therefore, Hades opened up the earth when Persephone was
reaching for a fragrant blossom and grabbed her to the
underworld. In the underworld, Hades gave Persephone a piece of
fruit to eat. Persephone ate the fruit without realizing that
anyone who ate anything in the underworld shall never leave
there.
April- Hestia
Hestia is Zeus's sister. She is the
Goddess of virgin and the Hearth. She
is also the symbol of the house around
which a newborn baby is carried
before it was received by the family.
MYTH: Heista was considered as the
first and the last god and goddesses to
be born. She was Cronus and Rhea's
first child. Therefore she was the first
one to get swallowed. However, she was
also the last one to be disgorged after
Rhea and Zeus tricked Cronus into
swallowing a rock wrapped in
swaddling instead of the infant Zeus.
Therefore Hestia was often called as
“Hestia, First and Last”.
May- Hera
Hera is Zeus wife and also his sister. She
was raised by the Titans Ocean and
Tethys. She is also the supreme goddess,
the goddess of marriage and childbirth.
She takes special care of married women.
Her sacred animals are the cow and the
peacock. MYTH: Hera was the only one
ever to convinced the other gods to join a
revolt against Zeus. They bound the
sleeping Zeus to a couch and tie him up.
After tieing him up, the god and the
goddesses started to argue. Briareus,
overheard the argument and slipped in
to release Zeus. After Zeus found out it is
Hera who started everything he hung her
from the sky and made her promise to
never rebel again.
June- Ares
Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera but he
was disliked by both of them. He is the god
of war since he is considered murderous
and bloodstained. He was also a coward at
the same time. His bird is vulture and his
animal is the dog. MYTH: Ares fought in a
human war with the Trojans. This
disobeyed Zeus law so Zeus gave permission
to Athena to drive Are away from the
battlefield. Therefore Athena encouraged
Diomedes to attack Ares. Ares was then
wounded by Diomedes's spear. After Ares
fled to Mount Olympus, forcing the Trojans
to fall back. After this, Ares always wanted
avenge for his precious injury on Athena.
But he was never successful.
July- Athena
Athena is the Greek virgin goddess
because of her intelligent activity, arts
and literature. She is the daughter of
Zeus. She sprang full grown in
armour after she was born. She is also
the symbol of bravery. Athena is
Zeus's favourite child and among all
the gods and goddesses, she was the
only one who was allowed to use
Zeus's thunderbolt. Her bird is the owl
and The Olive is her tree. MYTH: Both
Athena and Poseidon wanted to be
patron deity for Athens once. To prove
her power, Athena caused an olive
tree to spring up on the citadel of
Athens, the Acropolis. On the other
hand, Poseidon striked the ground
with his trident and caused a spring
of water to rush out. But since he was
the god of sea, the water was seawater
therefore it is salty. Athenians
considered Athena's gift to be more
useful so she became the city's patron
deity eventually.
August- Apollo
He is the son of Zeus and Leto.
He has a twin sister, Artemis.
He is also the god of music,
healing , light and truth. His
is famous for his daily tasks.
To dive the sun across the sky
with his chariot and four
horses. His tree is the laurel.
Crow is his bird and dolphin
is his animal. MYTH: Apollo
was considered as a great
warrior when he was young.
Four days after he was born,
he killed the chthonic dragon
Python in order to protect his
mother using a bow and
arrows gifted by Hephaestus.
September- Aphrodite
Aphrodite is the goddess of love, desire and beauty.She is also
Hephaestus's wife. The myrtle is her tree. The dove, the swan, and the
sparrow are her birds. She represents sex, affection and attraction
that binds people together. MYTH: Although Aphrodite was married to
Hephaestus, she had a lot of romantic affairs. Her lover includes Ares,
Hermes, Poseidon and Dionysus. Knowing this, Hephaestus created a
metal mesh to catch the lovers in bed. He caught Ares and her wife in
bed and called the other gods to see the guilty pair. She is also the
god in this calendar's background.
October- Hermes
Hermes was the cleverest among all of the Olympian gods. His
duty was to carry messages to all the other gods. Since he is the
fastest. He wears winged sandals, a winged hat and carries a
magic wand. He is the god of thieves and commerce. Other then
carrying messages, his duty also includes leading the dead to the
underworld. Moreover, he is the inventor of musical scale and
astronomy. MYTH: Hermes was famous for his helpfulness to
mankind. When Perseus set out to face Medusa, Hermes helped
him by lending him his own winged sandals. Which granted
Perseus the ability to fly.
November- Artemis
Artemis was goddess of virginity,
chastity, the hunt, the moon and the
natural environment. She is the
daughter of Zeus and Leto. She is
also the hunter of the gods. Just like
her twin brother Apollo, Artemis
hunts with silver arrows. The cypress
is her tree and all wild animals are
scared to her, especially the deer.
MYTH: Niobe, the Thebes queen once
boasted that she was better than
Artemis's mother Leto because she
had many children while Leto had
only two. Artemis and her twin
brother Apollo took revenge by
killing most of the queen's children
with their arrows. Nioble was later
transformed into a stone.
December- Hephaestus
Hephaestus is the son of Zeus and Hera. He is a ugly god. He is also lame.
He is the god of fire and the forge and his duty is to blacksmith the
gods and goddess’s armour and weapon using the volcano as his forge.
He is also kind and peace loving. His wife is Aphrodite. MYTH: After
Hera gave birth to Hephaetus, she was so upset that Hephaestus was so
ugly that she flung him from Mount Olympus into the sea, breaking
both of his legs. This is why Hephaestus was lame.
Artworks and photographs Credits
Botticelli, Sandro. Nascita Di Venere. 1483. Uffizi Gallery, Florence.
Burnett, Grand M. Zeus Statue. N.d. Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Canova, Praxitèle. Aphrodite Syracuse. 11757. National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Coustou, Guillaume. Vulcan Coustou Louvre. 1742. Louvre Museum, Paris.
Estatua De Poseidón. 2006. National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Athena. By Ricardo André Frantz.
The Giustiniani Hestia. 1894. Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, Torlonia.
Hades with Cerberus. 2008. Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete Island.
Hera Campana. 2006. Louvre Museum, Paris.
Leochares. Apollo Belvedere. 140AD. Museo Pio Clementino, Cortile Ottagono.
Leochares. Diane De Versailles. 120CE. Louvre Museum, Paris.
Machmer, Eric. Statue of Ares. 2004. Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli.
Mattei Athena. 2006. Louvre Museum, Paris.
Nguyen, Marie Lan. Hermes Ingenui. 2005. Vatican Museums, Vatican City.
Nikoxenos, Maler. God Council in Olympus: Hermes with His Mother Maia. 500BC. State Collections of Antiques, Kunstareal.
Rubens, Peter Paul. Vulcan. 1635. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam.
Statue of Hestia. 2008. Aviad Bublil, Crete Island.
Works cited
Gill, N. S. "The Greek Gods You Should Know." Ancient / Classical History. About.com, 5 Sept. 2009. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
Gods and Goddesses" World Eras. Vol. 6: Classical Greek Civilization, 800-323 B.C.E. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. 278-82. World History in
Context. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.
"The Greek Gods." YouTube. YouTube, 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 16 Apr. 2014.
"Greek Mythology." UXL Encyclopedia of World Mythology. Vol. 3. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 454-64. World History in Context. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
Stewart, Michael. "Origins of Greek Mythology." * Essays * Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant. Messagenet
Communications Research, 26 June 2009. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.