Top Ten Most Honourable Greek Gods and Goddesses

Most of the Greek Gods and Goddesses were always bickering, betraying each other or plotting to overthrow the cosmos, but not all of them were as vengeful and dishonest.

The Top Ten

Hestia

The goddess of the hearth and home, she is kind, caring and selfless, and is also an eternal maiden, which, based on the behaviour of some of the other gods, is a very sensible choice. She is very honest, and the only thing that could be considered betrayal was when she helped Prometheus steal the divine fire to give to mortals. From the point of view of the mortals, this was a kind and helpful act. However, it went against Zeus's express wishes, which Hestia knew, but her kind heart took pity on humanity and she helped to give us the fire.

Hephaestus

Hephaestus is one of the least typical Olympians. He was cast out as a baby, and is the god of volcanoes, blacksmiths, fire and metalworking. He is the only deformed or 'ugly' god, and he was married to Aphrodite for a time. She disliked him because he was not athletic and good-looking enough for her, and she had an affair and several children with Ares while she was married to him. Hephaestus is not cruel, as gods go, and his only act of revenge was to trap his mother Hera with an enchanted throne because she threw him from Mount Olympus as a baby. He freed her eventually, and even saved her from Zeus's anger another time.

Demeter

Demeter is usually kind, benevolent and gentle, but she has a nasty temper if people cut down too many trees, or sacred trees, or trees with hamadryads in. She has been known to inflict some severe punishments on people who have no respect for nature. When Hades kidnapped her daughter Persephone, she was willing to let the world fall into ruin and starvation if she didn't get her daughter back. She is responsible for the seasons, and for making our crops grow.

Athena

Athena is another goddess who is sworn to eternal celibacy. She is the patron goddess of Athens, and the goddess of war and wisdom. Her sacred animals are the owl and the snake. She was born out of Zeus's head because she dissolved herself into pure thought. She is a rival of Poseidon, and has been known to inflict punishments on him, or rather his worshippers. One example is Medusa, whom she turned into a Gorgon. Medusa was later slain by the hero Perseus. Athena was one of the goddesses who claimed the Golden Apple, and she sided with the Greeks in the Trojan War. She favoured Odysseus, and helped him to get home.

Poseidon

Poseidon is the god of the sea, and his tempers can cause storms and tsunamis. He claimed patronage of the city of Attica, but Athena won it from him. The city was renamed Athens in her honour. He is the protector and the persecutor of anyone who travels by boat, and he could sink ships for forgetting to sacrifice to him before they sailed. A good sacrifice could be the difference between a calm and prosperous voyage, and a shipwreck. He caused Odysseus's fleet to sink, and exacted revenge on him for blinding his son, Polyphemus the Cyclops. Poseidon also created the Minotaur when he gave King Minos a beautiful white bull on the grounds that it would be sacrificed to him. Minos kept the bull, so as revenge, Poseidon caused his queen to fall in love with it, and their offspring was the Minotaur, which was slain by Theseus.

Apollo

Apollo is the god of many things, including prophecy, poetry, music, healing, the sun, and archery. He is the patron god of Delphi, and the Pythian Oracle and the Sybil of Cumae speak his prophecies. He dislikes hubris, such as mortals claiming that they can sing or make music better than him, and his punishments for this are severe. In one such instance, he flayed the skin from a satyr. His love of the naiad Daphne forced her to change into a laurel tree, and the laurel became sacred to him. His son Aristaeus, god of beekeeping, was indirectly the cause of Eurydice's death, and Orpheus, her husband, lost her to the land of the dead.

Hades

When Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, the three most powerful Olympians, were allotted their realms, Hades pulled the short straw. He is the god of the dead and the afterlife, but not the god of death, who is called Thanatos. He stole Demeter's daughter Persephone to be his wife, and was willing to let the world starve because of Demeter's grief, and let the spirits of the dead flood back into the world of the living, rather than give Persephone back to her mother. He punished Theseus for letting his friend Pirithous talk him into helping him steal Persephone, and Theseus was only freed later by Heracles. Hades is also known as Plouton, the god of wealth and all the riches in the earth, and his Roman form, Pluto, combines the two.

Artemis

Artemis is perhaps the goddess most sensitive to slights. She is the protector of young maidens, and youths as well. She is the goddess of the hunt, chastity, the moon, and the wilderness. Her sacred animal is the deer. When the king of Calydon neglected to sacrifice to her, she sent a giant boar to ravage the land. The king's son Meleager, with help from many famed hunters, among them the goddess's follower Atalanta, organised a hunt and brought down the boar. However, Meleager's decision to award the prize to Atalanta led to his death. Artemis used Atalanta to cause even more upheaval in Calydon.

Thetis
Aphrodite

Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was the goddess who won the Golden Apple inscribed, "To the fairest". This action led to the abduction of Helen of Sparta by the Trojan prince Paris, and the Trojan War. Aphrodite defended her actions by siding with the Trojans, and her son Aeneas fought with them. Aphrodite also had affair with Ares while being married to Hephaestus, the blacksmith god. This proves she is dishonest, and enjoys causing trouble.

"This proves she is dishonest, and enjoys causing trouble." Why is she here then?

The Contenders

Helios

Well he's technically a titan.

EoS
Selene
Hermes

Hermes is the god of liars, thieves, and highwaymen. He marched across the whole of Greece, stole Apollo’s cattle, marched back again, and bargained with Apollo for winged shoes, a staff and the rest of the cattle in return for a lyre. He is the god of being dishonest.

Hera

Hera is most famous for being the jealous wife, the evil queen, the wicked stepmother. Certainly, the punishments she has inflicted on Zeus’s children with other women are severe and sometimes unjustified. She punishes mortal women and their children for catching her husband’s eye, even if they were unwilling.

Persephone
Dionysus

Dionysus, god of wine and revelry, is the only god to have a mortal parent. He is the son of Zeus and Semele, and Hera's jealousy caused his mother's death. He is known for being reckless, often drunk, but recognises hospitality and rewards it, such as when Midas showed kindness to Silenus. Dionysus has many followers including nymphs, satyrs and maenads. He married Ariadne, whom Theseus left behind on Naxos. Later, he made her and his mother Semele immortal, and brought them to live on Olympus. His personality can be identified as that of anyone who is used to drink: reckless, careless and easily angered. He strikes his enemies with madness.

Zeus
Ares
Nemesis
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