Zeus and his brothers, Poseidon and Hades, drew lots. Zeus won control of the sky, Poseidon the sea and Hades the underworld. Each was all powerful in his kingdom, but on earth they were equal.

Zeus set his court on Mount ¬†Olympus. He took his sister Hera as his wife but fathered many children other than hers. Hera resented his love affairs and his power but her attempt at rebellion failed and all the Gods accepted his authority.   Below is a guide to all the Gods and Godesses of Olympus giving their Roman names also.

ZEUS/JUPITER All powerful, arrogant. His thunderbolt is his ultimate weapon.

HERA/JUNO Powerful herself but subdued by Zeus. Jealous and frequently shrewish. Patroness of marriage.

POSEIDON / NEPTUNE Rules over all water. Produces catastrophic tidal waves with his trident.

ATHENA/MINERVA Chaste godess of victory and wisdom. Patroness of arts, science, and crafts. She is armed and helmeted and her symbol is an owl.

APHRODITE/VENUS Godess of love, her magic girdle instantly inspires and her infant son, Eros/Cupid, shoots arrows desire.

ARES/MARS God of war. Loves battle for his own sake. Takes sides indiscriminately and delights in slaughter. His sister, Eris, is the godess of arguments.

APOLLO/PHOEBUS Archer God of music, medicine and prophecy. Carer of flocks and herds, quickly angered and cruel in his youth but later moderate in all things. The most famous oracle at Delphi is his.

ARTEMIS/DIANA Apollo’s sister, a huntress with a silver bow and arrow, she and her nymphs remain virginal but children and childbirth are under her protection.

DEMETRA/CERES Sister of Zeus, powerful godess of agriculture, corn and harvest. Her daughter Persephone is the wife of Hades.

HADES/PLUTO Remains in the underworld visiting neither Earth nor Olympus since he abducted his wife. The grief of Demetra, her mother, so blighted the Earth that Zeus persuaded Hades to let her go but because she had eaten the food of the dead(pomegranate seeds) she was obliged to return to him for part of each year. Ever since, nothing grows in the winter months when Demetra mourns again.

HESTIA/VESTA Sister of Zeus, peace loving godess of hearth and home, welcome everywhere on Earth.

HERMES/MERCURY An entertaining latecomer to Olympus, full of trickery and a thief from childhood. Zeus made him herald of the Gods and gave him winged golden sandals and helmet. Goat footed pan is his son.

DIONYSOS/BACCHUS The inventor of wine, he is God of intoxication and ecstasy and became the patron of drama and theatre. Hestia, preferring Earth, gave him her place on Olympus