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12 Olympians - The Gods and Goddesses of Mt. Olympus

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Turkey, Anatolia, Mount Nemrut, head of statue of Zeus

Statues built for Antiochus Commagene. (Approximately 2000 years ago.) Heads were removed sometime in past and placed on Nemrut Dagh

Daryl Benson/ Photographer's Choice RF/ Getty Images
Peaceable Athena Statue at the Louvre

Peaceable Athena Statue at the Louvre. Roman marble copy of Greek bronze Athena of Piraeus.

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12 Olympians - The Gods and Goddesses of Mt. Olympus

Lycian Apollo at the Louvre

Public Domain. Courtesy Wikipedia

Definition:

Ancient Greece >
Fast Facts About the Olympians | 12 Olympians

In Greek mythology, there were 12 Olympians, gods and goddesses, who lived and held thrones on Mount Olympus, although you may run across more than a dozen names. These major gods and goddesses are named Olympian for their place of residence.

Greek Names

The canonical list, based on the Parthenon sculptures includes:

Olympian Gods

Olympian Goddesses

You may sometimes see:
listed as Olympian deities, but they are not all regulars.

Roman Names

The Roman versions of the Greek names are:

Olympian Gods

  • Apollo,
  • Bacchus,
  • Mars,
  • Mercury,
  • Neptune,
  • Jupiter, and
  • Vulcan.
Olympian Goddesses
  • Venus,
  • Minerva,
  • Diana,
  • Ceres, and
  • Juno.

The alternates among the Roman gods and goddesses are:

Asculapius, Hercules, Vesta, Proserpine, and Pluto.
[See Roman Gods and Goddesses.]

 

Also Known As: Theoi Olympioi, Dodekatheon

Alternate Spellings: Hephaestus' name is sometimes spelled Hephaistos or Hephestus.

Examples:

"Iuno, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Venus, Mars,
Mercurius, Iovis, Neptunus, Vulcanus, Apollo.
"
Ennius Ann. 62-63 Vahl.
From "Plautus as a Source Book for Roman Religion," by John A. Hanson, TAPhA (1959), pp. 48-101.
The 12 Olympians were the major gods and goddesses with prominent roles in Greek mythology. Although being an Olympian meant a throne on Mt. Olympus, some of the major Olympians spent most of their time elsewhere. Poseidon lived in the sea and Hades in the Underworld.

Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Poseidon, and Zeus are the names of the Olympian gods on the Parthenon frieze, according to the Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World. However, Elizabeth G. Pemberton, in "The Gods of the East Frieze of the Parthenon" (American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 80, No. 2 [Spring, 1976] pp. 113-124), says that on the East frieze of the Parthenon, in addition to the 12 are Eros and Nike.

Quiz: Which Greek Goddess Are You?

More Details:

Olympians Profiles

 

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