A Greek goddess

A bigger picture

While Demeter and Persephone were linked with fertility, growth and death, other Greek gods were associated with other aspects of life, often several different ones. Hermes, for example, is often simplified as the messenger god, but he also leads the souls of the dead to the underworld, guards the entrances to houses, looks after herds and flocks, is the god of money-making and of trickery. As well as the divine family of twelve Olympian gods, there were hundreds of minor deities: gods of healing, victory, childbirth, winds, rivers, trees, mountains.



Coin showing Poseidon with his trident and a dolphin; from the city of Poseidonia in southern Italy.

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Marble statue of Apollo from Cyrene, in modern Libya; he holds a lyre and is accompanied by a snake.

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Athena, Zeus and Hephaistos


Athenian wine-cup showing the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus; the god Hephaistos has cut Zeus’s head open with his axe.

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Terracotta plaque showing Eos, goddess of dawn, carrying off a mortal youth; found in a grave in Rhodes.

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Athenian wine-bowl showing the winner in a music contest watched by Nike, the winged goddess of victory.

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Silver dish showing Pan, a god of the countryside, and a nymph: nymphs were minor goddesses associated with a feature of the countryside such as a mountain, tree or stream; from Roman Britain, AD 300s.

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A Greek goddess