Each and every one of the civilizations that have populated the earth have had their own deities, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, etc. Today we are going to dedicate this article to the Names of Greek and Roman Goddesses , let us know their names, who they protected and whom, what relationship existed between the Greek and Roman Goddesses.
Greek Goddess Names
The gods of Olympus were the main Greek deities, they were the gods who lived on top of Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus was the highest in Greece and a privileged place to govern the destinies of the city, there they lived in great temples. The Greek gods and goddesses had family disagreements that in most cases ended in big fights, they loved and envied, they suffered and enjoyed, they had human behavior but with divine powers. Each god was given a weapon or element that identified him. Let’s see who the Goddesses of ancient Greece were and what they represented.
We are before the goddess of hope. Elpis is the daughter of Nyx , goddess of the night. And according to mythology, she is the only goddess who remains in Pandora’s jar. How is this? Well, for a beautiful reason and that is that it is said that only a human can release hope. Not in vain, it is hope that has never abandoned humanity nor should it. Only we have the power to make it disappear.
Gaia is a very special goddess, as she is the goddess of the earth . In addition, she was the mother of the parents of the first gods of Olympus, Cronos and Rhea who fathered the gods Zeus, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera, Hades, Estia and the rest of the Olympian gods.
She is the goddess who brings peace as her name indicates. You will recognize her because she is represented as a beautiful young woman with a scepter and a torch or a rhyton, as well as a cornucopia. She is the daughter of Themis and Zeus.
Gaia is the first goddess. She created the Earth, which is why she is revered as “Mother Earth” . Due to her role, Gaia is goddess of life , death and fertility .
Those who do not wish to grow old have Hebe as their goddess, as she is the goddess of youth . His parents are Zeus and Hera and his mission was to assist all the gods. That is to say, he was like his assistant who made sure that they did not lack for anything. She later married Heracles and in doing so abandoned her work which was taken over by Ganymede.
She was the goddess of infamy and rumours . Yes, although it may seem curious to you, by that time there were already gossip and they even had a goddess dedicated to it. And it is that Feme was in charge of disseminating facts, true or not, of men. This caused conflicts due to misunderstandings.
Aphrodite’s daughter was also seen as the messenger of Zeus. It has a curious image, because it has wings to be able to be fast in its mission of spreading information. And on each wing it has eyes and a tongue. It is also said that Feme never slept , but always kept her eyes wide open so as not to miss the gossip.
Hera is the queen of all the gods, protector of the family and of marriage, she is the youngest daughter of the union of the God Cronos with her sister the Goddess Rhea and therefore sister of the God Zeus, whose wife she was also.
As the wife of Zeus and being the protective goddess of family and marriage , she often took revenge on the lovers that her husband and brother Zeus had, as well as the children he had with them.
Symbols: Peacock, the cow, the lion, the cuckoo, the crown and the pomegranate.
Artemis is the eldest daughter of Zeus and Leto , who is the daughter of the Titans Ceo and Phoebe. When Hera finds out about Zeus’s infidelity, she persecuted Leto to prevent the birth, despite everything Artemis was born with her twin brother Apollo.
Artemis is the goddess of the hunt, of wild animals, of the forest, of virgin lands, of births, virginity. When a Greek woman had some “women’s” illness, she went to the temple of Artemis. Represented with a bow and arrows, she even assumed the role of Ilithyia in helping the Parthians.
Symbols: The moon, the hunting dog, the deer, the bear, the snake, the bow and arrow and the cypress.
Athena is the daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Metis , first wife and lover of Zeus and responsible for the emetic that made Cronus vomit the children he swallowed. When Zeus learned of the prophecy about the birth of a son who would rule the world, Zeus ended up devouring her while she was pregnant. Zeus would later give birth to a daughter, who was born from his head, Athena.
Athena is the goddess of war, wisdom, science, justice, crafts or skill and civilization, one of the most important deities in Greece. Athena received worship from all the Greek people, including the area of Greek influence, whether they were the colonies of Asia or Hispania.
Symbols : The Owl and the Olive Tree
She is the goddess of love, desire and beauty. Aphrodite is the daughter of the god Zeus and the Oceanid Dione . Aphrodite is said to have been born from the foam of the sea , when the blood of Uranus fell on land and sea following the amputation committed by her own son Cronus.
Aphrodite married to Hephesus, she was never faithful to her husband since she had different love affairs, the most important being her relationship with Ares. From the name of Aphrodite, the term aphrodisiac is born.
Symbols: The dove, apple, bee, swan, rose and myrtle.
Daughter of Cronus and Rhea, she is often confused with her mother Rhea and even her Grandmother Gaea. She goddess of fertility, agriculture, nature and the annual seasons.
Demeter was in charge of giving the grain to the Athenians, teaching them the art of agriculture, such as seeding, plowing, harvesting, etc. She adored among the people dedicated to the field.
Symbols: The pig, poppy, wheat and torches.
The main Greek goddesses are these, but Greek mythology is much broader, so if you want to find more information, we leave you with more goddesses that were important within this mythology.
Persephone is the daughter of the god Zeus and the goddess Demeter. Legend has it that she was kidnapped by Hades and also forced to marry him for what, in addition to being a goddess, she is also known as the queen of the underworld. This legend has been illustrated in numerous works of art such as The Abduction of Persephone . In the myth they focus on her mother’s pain and also the daughter’s return to Olympus, which explains the different seasons of the year.
Although she is currently a highly idealized character in mythology, the Greeks also knew the other side of Persephone, being the queen of the underworld. In fact, they did not dare to pronounce her name out loud and called her “The Maiden”. Other names that have been assigned to her is that of the “Iron Queen” as Odysseus names her when he travels to the underworld. In fact, the rites that, in theory, the goddess carried underground by which she promised the attendees immortality and great banquets are also known.
Aura’s name means breeze and she was the daughter of Peribea, Oceanid, and the Titan Lelanto. It is said that she was very fast as the wind and that Dionysus fell in love with her but he could never run as fast as her since she was much lighter than him. However, Dionysus turned to the goddess Aphrodite and finally Aura went mad at the feet of Dionysus. With him he had two twin sons but, continuing with his madness, he killed one of them and then threw himself into the Sangrario river, turning Zeus into a fountain. His other son, named Yaco, was protected by Artemis and survived.
Although Hestia did appear in a few stories, she was not overly significant in Greek mythology . Goddess of the home, of order and of the family, she was the sister of Demeter, Hades, Poseidon, Hera and Zeus.
Eldest daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Hestia was in charge of the sacrificial fires and prayers were addressed to her before and after meals. Although it appears in very few myths, and in fact, is omitted entirely from the works of Homer , author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, most cities had a common hearth for Hestia where the sacred fire burned. In Rome, Hestia was worshiped as Vesta and her importance was remarkable: her fire was fueled by six virgin priestesses known as Vestals.
In Greek mythology, Circe was a goddess of magic, although she was sometimes depicted as a nymph (minor nature god), witch, or sorceress. In any case, she was associated with magic. A goddess who knew a lot about potions and herbs, and sometimes used this knowledge against her enemies and people who offended her, turning them into wild animals. He also had a wand or staff that he also used to channel his magic . In fact, this was the first mention of a “magic wand or staff” in Western writings; it was mentioned in Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey , when Circe used it to turn Odysseus’ men into beasts.
Circe was the daughter of Helios, a Titan who represented the Sun, and Perse, an ocean nymph. She was one of three thousand of her kind, daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. In another version, Circe was the daughter of Hecate, a goddess of witchcraft.
In some stories, Circe was exiled by her father Helios to live alone on Aeaea , a fictional island, as punishment for killing the prince of Colchis, who was her husband at the time. She later had children with Odysseus, the king of Ithaca from Homer’s writings. His three sons were Ardeas, Latinus, and Telegonus.
Eris was the goddess of conflict and dispute. Eris is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Hera , the king and queen of the Olympian gods, but in other myths, she is the daughter of Erebus and Nyx, the king and queen of the darkest night.
A goddess of whom stories are told in which it always leads to conflict. One of these times happened during the wedding of Peleus , a Greek king who was marrying Thetis, a sea nymph. All the Olympian gods had been invited. However, Eris had been left out of the guest list on purpose and naturally decided to take revenge.
During the party, Eris tossed something into the center of the crowd: a beautiful golden apple marked with the words “For the fairest” . Unfortunately, Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena all thought that the apple should belong to her , and so, as Eris expected, they all began arguing over who should get the prize. None of the Olympian gods wanted to get involved in this fight, so they got Paris, the prince of Troy, to judge the beauty pageant on the spot.
Each of the goddesses tried to bribe Paris into choosing her. Athena promised wisdom to Paris; Hera offered power, but Aphrodite tempted Paris with something she couldn’t refuse: the most beautiful mortal woman ever born. Paris awarded Aphrodite the apple and went to claim her prize , but there was a catch. Helena, the most beautiful woman in the world, was already married. When Paris ran away with Helen and took her to his city of Troy to make her his wife, Helen’s husband Menelaus vowed revenge on the Trojans and raised a thousand ships to force the Trojans to return her.
That conflict became known as the Trojan War. It lasted ten years and ultimately resulted in the city of Troy being burned to the ground. The only person who was happy with this turn of events was, Eris. With an apple, he managed to start a decades-long drama.
A goddess named “Iris” personified the rainbow in ancient Greek mythology. Most works of art depict her in the form of a beautiful rainbow or as a beautiful maiden. He wore wings on his shoulders and usually carried a jug in one hand. His name combines the Greek words for “messenger” and “the rainbow” to signify his dual role. Some accounts describe her as one of the attendants of the goddess Hera.
The ancient Greeks considered Iris the female counterpart of Hermes. She served as a messenger from Mount Olympus. Iris would use her pitcher to collect water from the ocean and take it to the clouds. Some legends also hold that she used her pitcher to collect water from the River Styx, the dark river that separates the world of humans from the underworld. Many Greeks saw Iris as an important link between mortals and the realm of the gods.
Nemesis was the ancient Greek goddess of divine retribution. As such, she meted out punishments for evil deeds, undeserved good fortune, and arrogance (before the gods). She was also called Adrasteia, meaning “the inescapable one”, or the “Goddess of Rhamnous” in recognition of her famous temple in the city of Rhamnous. Her Roman counterpart was Invidia, the goddess of jealousy and revenge.
Sources consistently named Nix, the goddess of the night, as Nemesis’s mother, but they were not consistent with her father. Zeus, Oceanus, and Erebus have been described as the father of Nemesis, while other sources claimed that he had no father.
In Greek mythology, Nike was the goddess of speed, strength, and victory. Also known as the Winged Goddess, Nike is most often depicted with wings. She was the daughter of Pallas (Titan) and Styx. In most beliefs, Styx is the name of the river that separates Planet Earth from the Gates of Hell (Hades). The River Styx was named for Nike’s grandfather Tethys. Nike and her three sisters, Zelus (Zeal/power), Bic (Strength), and Kralas (Strength) were brought by Styx to Zeus to help him in the great battle of the Titans, whose ultimate goal was to gain control of Mount Olympus.
The ancient Greeks worshiped Nike because they believed that she could cause them to never die and could grant humans the strength and speed necessary to be victorious in whatever task they undertook.
Styx, also known as Styx, was, for the Greeks, an Oceanid , that is, a nymph daughter of Oceans and Tethys . According to Hesiod, she was said to be the eldest of all the Oceanids, in addition to having her children Nike, Cratos, Bia and Zelo from her union with Pallas , a titan of wisdom. Although other authors also add Persephone as her daughter, from an affair with Zeus, instead of being the daughter of Demeter, because she is the goddess of hell; others even say that Scylla, a monster with the torso of a woman and the tail of a fish, was also.
Estigia, under the advice of her father, helped Zeus during the battle of the Gods against the Titans , which would lead her to have her name on all the sacred oaths and to take care of her children as her own.
Such was Zeus’ gratitude for her, that when the Aloads , two twin sons of Poseidon, broke their oath with Styx, the god punished them by uniting them from behind for life.
We are nothing less than a Cretan princess, daughter of Minos and Pasífae. Her name has a beautiful meaning as it is interpreted as “the purest” . Although there are scholars who believe rather that what we can translate as Ariadne’s name is “father’s light” . It is said that this princess fell in love with Theseus , the son of the Aegean king of Athens. Theseus was sent as a sacrifice to feed the Minotaur and thus put an end to the curse by which Athens had to suffer a severe drought and its consequent famine. Ariadne gave her lover a ball of wool to help him find his way out of the labyrinth once he had defeated the Minotaur.
There are different versions of the story. Well, in some, both lovers manage to escape together. While in others, Ariadne is killed by Artemis or Theseus abandons her. According to this version, she eventually married Dionysus and they had children and, as a nuptial gift, she was given a crown that was carried to heaven forming what we know today as the Corona Borealis constellation .
Other Greek Goddesses
- Amphitrite – Queen of the Sea and wife of Poseidon.
- Charites – Goddesses of beauty and assistant to Aphrodite and Hera.
- Enio – Ancient goddess of war and companion of Ares.
- Harmonia – Goddess of concord and harmony.
- Hecate – Goddess of magic, witches and crossroads
- Ilithyia – Goddess of the Parthians, daughter of Hera and Zeus.
- Leto – Titaness; Mother of Apollo and Artemis and lover of Zeus
- Moiras – Goddesses of fate and doom
- Muses – Nine women of science and the arts.
- Nix – Goddess of the night.
- Selene – Titaness, Goddess of the Moon.
- Tyche – Goddess of luck.
Names of Roman Goddesses
As for Roman Mythology, two parts can be distinguished, a first stage in which indigenous myths and cults were represented, full of rituals. Another second part, somewhat later and that fuses the local rites and gods with the gods and rituals of the conquered lands and without a doubt the most important was the Greek culture and mythology.
To speak of Greek and Roman mythology is to speak of the same gods whose names were simply changed, so that they would be Latinized. We know these gods adopted from Greek culture as Greco- Roman mythology and it is this in particular that we are going to refer to from now on. Let’s look at some of the best-known Roman goddesses and find out what their equivalents would be in Greek mythology.
Aurora is the Roman goddess of the dawn . Sister of the Sun and the Moon, it is said that it flies through the sky announcing the dawn.
Bellona is the goddess of war . Not in vain we are before the wife of Mars and daughter of Juno and Jupiter. It is represented with a torch, a chariot, sword and spear and protected with a shield and helmet.
With the aspect of Fauna, we are before the goddess of good luck.
The Roman goddess of prosperity and success to whom merchants worshiped.
She is considered a goddess from abroad who was brought to Rome. She is considered “the great Mother” . Goddess of life, death and also of resurrection, we can also know her as the “Lady of the animals” . In fact, she is accompanied by lions. And healing properties are attributed to the townspeople during the war.
Men of their word trust in the goddess Fides, because this means her: fidelity and commitment.
The Roman goddess of flowers.
She is the goddess with whom abundance was identified. People who wanted to give their lives a good direction and make them prosperous trusted Fortuna.
This goddess, now converted into a constellation, fled to heaven when she saw that there were crimes and injustices on Earth.
The goddess of youth, cared for males who had passed the threshold from boys to men.
She was the Roman goddess of triumph.
The Roman goddess of peace.
Her equivalent in Greek mythology would be Aphrodite. She is the Goddess of Beauty and her symbol is a shell. She was the wife of Virgil, and was considered in Rome as one of the great symbols in festivals and celebrations of all kinds, especially since Emperor Julius Caesar made her his protector. Venus is then the goddess of fertility, beauty and love. For example, many will recognize the figure of Cupid, the angel of love, who is said to have been a son of Venus and Mars.
Her equivalent in Greek mythology would be Artemis. She is the Goddess of the Hunt and her symbol is a bow. Diana was the daughter of Jupiter and Latone, and sister of Apollo. Learning of her mother’s pain during childbirth, Diana prayed to the gods never to get pregnant. So did his sister Minerva.
It was her own father Jupiter who gave Diana a bow and sent her to take an oath of chastity with the wood nymphs. From then on, Diana would be the goddess of the hunt, of the woods, and of wild animals. However, Roman mythology says that Diana was a person with a severe and spiteful character towards people, and did not hesitate to act in a vindictive manner.
Her equivalent in Greek mythology would be Athena. She is the Goddess of Wisdom and her symbol is an owl. Minerva was conceived by Jupiter after having devoured Metis. To alleviate the headaches that this caused him, he resorted to having Vulcan split his head open with an ax (it’s mythology, we already know). From her came Minerva, who already helped her father fight against the giants.
Also famous is the struggle he had with Neptune when it came to naming Athens (remember that Minerva would be Athena in Greek mythology). It was decided to name it after that god who achieved the greatest good for the city. Minerva won after making an olive grove sprout from the earth.
Her equivalent in Greek mythology would be Hera. She is the goddess of motherhood and her symbol is a peacock. She is the wife of Jupiter, who was also her brother, and the daughter of Saturn and Ops. Juno is considered to be the queen of the gods, and the goddess of motherhood and marriage.
He is one of the major gods, not in vain is he part, along with Jupiter and Minerva, of the Capitoline Triad . These triads were cults of this Roman mythology that grouped the main gods in groups of three for study.
Her equivalent in Greek mythology would be Demeter. She is the Goddess of crops and her symbol is a cornucopia. She is also the daughter of Saturn and Ops, therefore she is the sister of Juno or Vesta, the goddess that we will see in the next point. Others of her brothers were Jupiter, Pluto and Neptune. Her brother Jupiter fell passionately in love with her and they both ended up fathering Proserpina.
Ceres is the goddess who taught men to work the land, especially to sow and harvest corn and make bread, so she is considered the goddess of crops and agriculture.
Her equivalent in Greek mythology would be Hestia. She is the Goddess of the home and her symbol is fire. Like Juno, she is the daughter of Saturn and Ops. She was a goddess who acquired more importance in the Roman cult than in the Greek, however there are hardly any physical representations of her since her invocation was made through fire. In fact, its name comes from the vestals, who were 10-year-old girls who were in charge of keeping the candles that worshiped the goddess always lit.
Vesta represents the goddess of the home in Roman mythology, and represents fidelity to the family nucleus. It also has great importance in some rites related to the founding of Rome. For example, it is said that it was she who interceded with King Numitor to prevent him from killing his daughter Rhea Silvia, who was already pregnant with Romulus and Remus , who would be the future founders of Rome.
His equivalent in Greek mythology would be Rhea. She is the Goddess of earth fertility and wealth and her symbol is a moon. He is also often seen in many images holding an ear of wheat or a kind of scepter. She was the wife of Saturn and mother of some of the goddesses we have already seen, Juno and Vesta.
This Roman deity was mainly the goddess of wealth and fertility of the earth, in fact the very origin of the name is linked to that meaning of wealth or abundance. Another meaning of the word ops is to work or plow the land. For this reason he was a very present deity in Roman cults with the aim of asking him for good times, good harvests and abundance of food.
These are just some of the main deities that we can find in Roman mythology . Keep in mind that this mythology is very broad and that there are many more Roman goddesses. The truth is that their stories are very interesting, elaborate and quite cruel, a kind of game of thrones with very powerful gods. If you have liked to know more about these goddesses, surely you have been bitten by the bug and you will want to know more about mythology or Roman. They are exciting.
THE ORIGIN OF THE GODS
« From the formless mass (chaos) emerged the Earth (Gaea) and the Sky (Uranus) and both engendered the seven Titans »
This is how Hesiod described the creation of the Earth in the Theogony , according to Hesiod’s account, Uranus threw his most rebellious sons into Tartarus, these were the Cyclopes . Tartarus was a terrible and dark place that was under the earth, the same distance from it as the distance to the sky from Uranus.
Gaia , hurt by Uranus’ gesture, convinced the Titans to fight her father. Cronos , the youngest of the 7 Titans led the attack, armed with a flint sickle received from his mother Gaia and while Uranus slept, Cronos ruthlessly castrated him with his flint sickle , caught them with his left hand and threw him into the sea along with the sickle that had severed it.
Once Uranus was eliminated, the Titans freed the Cyclopes from Tartarus and left the government of the earth to Kronos. But when Cronos assumed absolute power, he returned to banish the Cyclopes to Tartarus, to later marry his sister Rhea and engender 3 Gods:
and 3 Goddesses:
Gea and the battered Uranus, had prophesied that after Cronos’ power coup, one of his sons would be the one to face him and dethrone him, so Cronos, trying to avoid the prophecy, gobbled up each and every one of the sons. that his sister Rhea gave birth. Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hedes and Poseidon.
But something would change when giving birth to her third son, Zeus , Rhea, aware of his future, decided to deceive Cronos and, wrapping a stone in diapers, offered it to Cronos, who gobbled it up, believing that he would end up with a possible future enemy. Zeus was given to his grandmother Gea who deposited him in a cave in the Aegean Mountain, present-day Crete.
Zeus grew, cared for by two nymphs, until he was old enough to, with the help of the gods, Titans and Cyclopes, dethroned his father Cronus, thus fulfilling the prophecy and setting himself up, from then on, as the supreme God capable of governing destiny. of the entire Universe, the god who imposes justice and order.