The Olympians - Poseidon
The Lesser ShareDateline: 01/19/99
By N.S. Gill
I heard you glory in that you alone of the immortals saved the son of Saturn from ruin, when the others, with Juno, Neptune, and Pallas Minerva would have put him in bonds.
- Iliad I
SURE Zeus won the draw fair and square, winning the heavens while his brothers won the underworld and the seas, but it wasn't out of gratitude that his elder brother acceded to Zeus' supremacy. No, unlike the other children of Rhea whom Zeus forced his father to regurgitate, Poseidon had been spirited off to safety at birth:
We read that, on the birth of Zeus's elder brother Poseidon, his mother Rhea saved the baby in like manner by giving his father Cronus a foal to swallow, which the deity seems to have found more digestible than the stone, for he is not said to have spat it out again (Paus. 8.8.2 ).Relegation to [www.ancientculture.com/mythology/mythology.htm#poseidon 1/19/99] second place< must have weighed heavily on him. Fortunately, Poseidon, god of horses, earthquakes, and the sea, was usually [longman.awl.com/mythology/chaptertopics/commentary_5.asp 1/19/99] honored and worshiped among men:
Pseudo-Apollodorus Library Vol I.9.
(ll. 1-5) I begin to sing about Poseidon, the great god, mover of the earth and fruitless sea, god of the deep who is also lord of Helicon and wide Aegae. A two-fold office the gods allotted you, O Shaker of the Earth, to be a tamer of horses and a saviour of ships!although not always -- as can be seen with Odysseus (whom Poseidon plagued in his homeward voyage) and assorted impious people whom he punished by turning into birds.Yet among the gods, Poseidon seemed barely adequate. Even the despised Hephaestus caught his quarry with a net; while in contest after contest Poseidon lost.
Homeric Hymn to Poseidon
More of This Feature• Poseidon - The Lesser Share - Intro.
• Poseidon's Defeats Among the Gods
• Poseidon and the Heroes
Related Resources• Odysseus
• Olympians - Emergence