Gods of Olympus and Their Functions | 12 Ultimate Secret Olympians Greek Divinities

Gods of olympus raphael

Gods of Olympus and Their Functions and Their Ultimate Secret

The Olympians were the group of twelve great Gods of Olympus who formed the supreme council of Olympus.

These were: Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Demeter, Aphrodite, Athena, Ares, Artemis, Apollon, Hermes, Hephaestus and Dionysos.

The gods of Olympus carry within them an obvious symbolic value and a function of their own. Each of these immortal figures underline the weaknesses of men in the face of the powers of nature.

In the interpretative tradition of Greek mythology, the Olympian deities are the primary deities of worship. They take their name from Mount Olympus, on which they are supposed to reside, although two of them, Poseidon and Hades have their homes opposite.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 081
Olympia painting, by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (mid 18th century). Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

As a reminder, here is a summary table of the different gods of Olympus and their functions:

Goddess or GodRoman nameOriginFunction / Capacity
ZeusJupiterSon of Cronus and RheaKing of the Gods, Sky God, Thunder God
PoseidonNeptuneSon of Cronus and RheaGod of sea (and earth), god of earthquakes, god of horses
HeraJunonDaughter of Cronus and RheaGoddess of marriage, goddess of fertility, protector of women and married couples
DemeterCeresDaughter of Cronus and RheaGoddess of agriculture
AphroditeVenusDaughter of the sea impregnated by Ouranos or daughter of Zeus and DioneGoddess of Love, Goddess of Carnal Pleasure, Goddess of Procreation and Goddess of Beauty
AthenaMinerveDaughter of Zeus and MetisGoddess of Wisdom, Goddess of Warrior Strategy, Goddess of Justice, Goddess of Craftsmanship
AresMarsSon of Zeus and HeraGod of the war
ArtemisDianeDaughter of Zeus and LetoGoddess of the Hunt, Goddess of the Wilderness, Goddess of the Moon
ApollonApolloSon of Zeus and LetoGod of Arts, God of Reason, God of Healing, God of the Sun
HermesMercureSon of Zeus and MaiaGod of travel, god of commerce, god of thieves, messenger of the gods
HephaestusVulcainSon of Zeus and HeraGod of the forge, god of fire
DionysosBacchusSon of Zeus and SemeleGod of wine, god of parties, god of madness

But it also happens that Ares and Dionysus are replaced by Hades and Hestia. Similarly, some texts make Heracles and Dionysus Olympians. The tradition never explains which gods come out of the list when others come in.

Goddess or GodRoman nameOriginFunction / Capacity
HadesPlutonSon of Cronus and RheaKing of the underworld / hell
HestiaVestaDaughter of Cronus and RheaGoddess of the Hearth, Goddess of Sacred Fire

What gods live on Mount Olympus?

So let’s meet the inhabitants of this prestigious district, spared by the winds, rain and snow. They are only 12 according to tradition, there are the gods of the first generation, all children of Cronos, time, and Rhea, Earth. Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, Hestia and Hera, to which must be added the gods of the next generation, almost all descendants of Zeus himself: Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Dionysus. You counted correctly, it actually makes 14! This is because some of them only come here on vacation, like Hades who has to take care of the underworld of the underworld, or Hestia the goddess of the hearth who never wanted to get involved in conflicts between mortals and gods.

Mountain Olympus snowy
View of Mount Olympus from the west. Giorgos Kollias, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

What is their life like?

Between intrigues and rivalries, they spend a lot of time feasting, feeding on ambrosia which ensures their immortality, and drinking nectar, a mysterious beverage intended for the gods alone, while contemplating the world of humans.

Mytikas, the highest peak of Mount Olympus. Stolbovsky, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It will be necessary to wait until 1913 for Mytikas peak, summit of Mount Olympus, to be reached for the first time, and for an official truth to emerge which no one doubted, on its snowy rocks, no marvelous garden awaits the brave mountaineers. But it doesn’t matter, myths are like gods, they never die, and every year there are nearly 300,000 who between sporting challenge and fascination try to reach its peak.

Greek Gods and Goddesses (Mythology Figures)

Sources: PinterPandai, Wikipedia, Britannica, History Cooperative

Photo credit: Artist Raphael (1483–1520), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo description: The assembly of gods, mainly the twelve Olympians, receive Psyche (Loggia di Psiche, 1518-19, by Raphael).


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