Poseidon is the Greek god of the sea who also had the ability to create storms and earthquakes. He is represented holding a trident, a large three-prong spear. He was married to Amphitrite, the queen of the sea, but had many children through other extramarital relationships.
Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians, and his brothers were Zeus and Hades. Zeus would become the god of the skies while Hades would become the god of the underworld. These are some of the most interesting facts about the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon.
Fact #1: Poseidon had Children with Medusa
Medusa was a Gorgon monster with snakes for hair who could turn anyone to stone when they looked into her eyes. Medusa was once a beautiful woman. Medusa was a maiden who served Athena in her temple.
As Medusa was in Athena’s temple, Poseidon raped her and impregnated her with two children. Poseidon fled the temple right before Athena discovered that Medusa had been unwillfully intimate with the god of the sea within her temple.
When Athena discovered Medusa had been intimate with Poseidon in her temple, Athena cursed her with an ugliness and snakes for hair and cast her out of the temple. She would come to live on an island near the Hesperides and Sarpedon.
When Perseus beheaded Medusa after she was turned into a monster, two children sprang from her neck. The two children were children of Poseidon. The children were born at the same time, and they were known as Pegasus and Chrysaor. Pegasus is a white-winged horse, and Chrysaor is a young man with a golden sword.
Fact #2: Poseidon Competed Against Athena for the City of Athens
The city of Athens was in need of a deity to protect and oversee it. Cecrops was the king of Athens and asked Poseidon and Athena to present him with a gift that would benefit the city. This gift would determine who was worthy of overseeing the city of Athens.
In some versions of the myth, Poseidon presents the city of Athens with a horse, while other versions say he struck the earth with his trident, which caused a stream of saltwater to enter the city.
Athena used her power of knowledge and wisdom to present her gift to Cecrops and the city. Her gift was the olive tree. The olive tree represented peace and prosperity on earth.
Cecrops was impressed with Athena’s gift and how it would greatly benefit the city of Athens. Cecrops granted Athena the city of Athens, for whom the city would be named after.
Poseidon was angry with the decision. He and Athena quickly became rivals.
Fact #3: Poseidon, Greek God of the Horses
Poseidon was attempting to win the love and affection of Demeter, Greek goddess of harvest, to no avail. Poseidon was repeatedly rejected by Demeter until she finally gave Poseidon a request. He requested that he create the most beautiful animal in the world.
Poseidon went to work and took a great deal of time creating the animal. He took such a long time creating the horse that when he finally created it, he presented it to Demeter and found he was no longer in love with her.
Poseidon would come to be known as the god of the horses in addition to being the god of the seas and earthquakes.
When Poseidon rides in his chariot, he is pulled by horses; a symbolic connection to the animal that he spent so much time creating.