Gods and Goddesses in Mythology and Religion

Superbeings Interacting With Humans

Monument to dictator Francisco Franco from 1975, obelisk with the goddess Hera, middle portrait of Franco was removed in 2015, Spanish square, Oviedo, Asturias province, Spain
Goddess Hera depicted atop a monument to Francisco Franco, Oviedo, Spain.

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In mythology, the gods and goddesses are referred to as an immortal, supernatural being who is the subject of traditional sacred stories. In religion, they are known as an immortal, supernatural being who is the object of worship and prayer. For example, in ancient Norse mythology, Asgard was the home of the gods. Explore Greek mythology and religion and see how a god and goddess came to be, along with their characteristics and popularity.

Greek Mythology

Through the Greeks and Romans, various mythology has been told in stories that depict superbeings and deities that were involved with humans on varying levels somewhere between good and bad or neutral. Compared to humans, gods and goddesses had varying degrees of superpowers and/or cultural influence. For instance, Zeus is known as the king of gods, Hera is the goddess of marriage and Hermes can be described as the messenger of the gods.

Major Greek Gods and Goddesses

Below is a list of the major gods and goddesses in Greek religion and mythology, including the twelve Olympians which are the main deities of the Greek pantheon, a sacred building that eventually became the Athenian Empire. Most of those who are listed as follows have been portrayed in art and poetry, but the major Olympians like Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter and more are most popularly attributed.

  • Achlys: The goddess of poisons and the "Death-Mist", and personification of misery and sadness.
  • Aion: The god of eternity, personifying cyclical and unbounded time.
  • Aether: The god of light and the upper atmosphere.
  • Ananke: The goddess of inevitability, compulsion, and necessity.
  • Chaos: The personification of nothingness from which all of the existence sprang.
  • Chronos: The god of empirical time, sometimes equated with Aion.
  • Erebus: The god of darkness and shadow.
  • Eros: The god of love and attraction.
  • Hemera: The goddess of day.
  • Hypnos: The personification of sleep.
  • Gaia (Gaea): Personification of the Earth (Mother Earth); mother of the Titans.
  • Nemesis: The goddess of retribution.
  • Nesoi: The goddesses of the islands and sea.
  • Nyx: The goddess of night.
  • Uranus: The god of the heavens (Father Sky); father of the Titans.
  • Ourea: The gods of mountains.
  • Phanes: The god of procreation in the Orphic tradition.
  • Pontus: The god of the sea, father of the fish and other sea creatures.
  • Tartarus: The god of the deepest, darkest part of the underworld, the Tartarean pit.
  • Thalassa: Personification of the sea and consort of Pontus.
  • Thanatos: God of Death.

Super Beings in Other Cultures

Greece is not the only cultures with gods and goddesses. In fact, there are gods and goddesses in all types of various cultures, from Aztec to Sumerian. These spiritual beings have been worshiped throughout history in various places from Greece, to Egypt and Rome. For example, in Egypt, there are over fifty different gods and goddesses from ancient tribes. Their Gods were typically embodied partly or fully by animals and honored by their people. Needless to say, many cultures have their own special list of gods and goddesses and come with a historical background.