Q:

How did Poseidon become the god of the sea?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the "Iliad" of Homer, when the three sons of Cronus and Rhea divided up the world by lot, Zeus became the god of the sky, Hades became the god of the underworld, and Poseidon became the god of the sea. In Greek mythology, Poseidon was not only the god of the sea and water, but also of earthquakes and horses.

Continue Reading
How did Poseidon become the god of the sea?
Credit: Dave Sutherland CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

In Greek mythological tales, Cronus, fearing his offspring, ate them as soon as they were born. When Zeus was born, Rhea substituted a rock wrapped in swaddling cloth that Cronus ate and then fled with Zeus to Crete. Later, Zeus confronted his father, castrated him and forced him to regurgitate his other offspring, among them Poseidon. In other versions of the tale, Poseidon escaped being eaten, as Zeus did. Though ostensibly Zeus' equal, Poseidon deferred to Zeus as king.

Poseidon is usually pictured as a bearded, mature man. According to About.com, his symbol is the three-pronged trident, or fish spear. According to Greek mythology, when the Titans made the thunderbolt for Zeus, they made the trident for Poseidon. He was thought to be responsible for drownings, shipwrecks and earthquakes. Though he had a wife named Amphitrite, he mated with many other gods and mortals. The Cyclops Odysseus encountered was one of his children. When he mated with Medusa, the result was Pegasus, the winged horse. Poseidon had many similar attributes to the Roman god of the sea, Neptune.

Learn more about Mythology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is Hades' family tree?

    A:

    Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld, is the son of Cronus and Rhea. His brothers are Zeus, the leader of the Olympians, and Poseidon, the god of the sea. His sisters are Hera, Zeus's wife and goddess of marriage and family, Demeter, goddess of agriculture, and Hestia, the goddess of home and family.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why did the Greeks have so many gods?

    A:

    The Greeks created gods like Athena, Ares, Hades, Poseidon and Hera to explain the world around them. They relied on the gods to explain natural phenomenon, provide authority to the ruling class and entertain the masses. Most city-states had at least one particular god they honored. They would celebrate and worship that god through the building of temples, participation in festivals, sports competitions and sacrifices.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where did Poseidon come from?

    A:

    According to Reference.com, Poseidon is the god of water and the seas in Greek mythology. Poseidon is the son of Cronus and Rhea, and his brothers include Zeus and Hades. Since he is god of all water, Poseidon is closely connected to the craft of navigation.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Who was Poseidon?

    A:

    According to Greek mythology, Poseidon is the god of the sea and is one of the 12 gods known as the Olympians. Poseidon is the son of Cronus and Rhea, and he is the brother of Zeus, the god of the sky.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore