Homer and Greek Gods

Poseidon

I have now, finally, completed Homer’s, ‘The Odyssey’, and having completed ‘The Iliad some time back I am quite satisfied with my progress. As I did with ‘The Iliad’, I have been having a few problems with the names of the gods. Surely in a Greek epic it would make sense to use the Greek names for the gods, but no, they had to use the Roman ones. I guess that this is because George Chapman’s translation was based on an earlier Latin translation.

So for a little light relief after finishing these epics, and they certainly are, I decided to muse on which of the Greek gods, which Olympian, I would consider my favourite. Would it be one of the big three, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, or one of the others. Then I thought that I would ask you guys which one was your favourite and why, so here’s mine.

My favourite has to be Poseidon (Neptune) purely because I have always been drawn to water in general, and the sea in particular. He’s pretty good with oceans, and I could do with his help at the moment. He also has a pretty fancy trident, that I would just love to be able to stroll around town with, although I am sure the law would take a pretty dim view of it.

Anyway who is your favourite Greek God and why?

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44 thoughts on “Homer and Greek Gods

  1. What a great question?! Well I have been musing over Athena and Apollo for some time as archetypal motifs. Athena for her wisdom and courage (have just read Rollo May’s rendition of the Orestes myth in Man’s Search For Himself, in which Athena casts the deciding vote and spares Orestes’s life); and Apollo for his unique combination of healing and the arts – the very topic of my current book. I think we can draw strength from these personified qualities and this is how I imagine the ancient Greeks invented them. Thank you 🙂

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  2. Congratulations on finishing the book. If we’re going straight Olympian, I always liked Ares because he’s my zodiac sign. He’s more of a footnote though. Overall, I’ve loved Morpheus the god of dreams. Probably the fantasy author in me and this interest came before ‘The Matrix’.

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  3. Applause to you for reading both and not being required to! Back in my day, when Odyssey was still on the Olympian Best Seller list, my 12th grade Humanities teacher, Mr. Torche, made a big chart on the chalkboard (yeah, real chalk!) showing the Roman/Greek Deities equivalents. That helped me a lot! By the way, Athena is my favorite!

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    • Athena appears to be very popular. I have been working on a similar chart myself. I suppose I have been more familiar with the Greek names most of my life (and of course from the Percy Jackson books). I just found it strange in a Greek epic the the Roman names were used.

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  4. My favorite is Athena, as well –
    “…the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.”
    What’s not to love?
    😀

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  5. We have already discussed my favourite and why. Still I feel I must remind everyone that they are entitled to my opinion. You stole my answer. So much for intelligent comments.

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  6. Pick my favorite? And upset dozens of other gods that I didn’t pick them?

    But then if I just say I love them all equally, I will still have upset all of them…

    So maybe I’m still deciding?

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    • Great point Chris. I hadn’t thought of that, so now I am relying on Poseidon and his mighty trident to protect me from the wrath of the other Olympians. Good work on sitting on the fence 🙂

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  7. Homer’s Odyssey is my favorite ancient classic. But I am like Chris in that I wouldn’t want to pick a favorite God and upset all of the other ones! I love them all for different reasons…like my kids, none more or less.

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    • I can certainly relate to liking different Gods for different reasons. I suppose that is only natural, as they are seem to be more generally the personification of distinct sets of individual qualities, whereas we as humans, are a mish mash of all sorts of contradictions, composed of a variety of these qualities to a greater or lesser degree.

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