GREECE-MYTH AND TRADITION.
For this was Forethought seized and bound to the rugged cliffs of Caucasus to suffer
unending tortures. Afterwards Zeus and his two brothers, Hades and Poseidon, drew lots for
the different parts of the universe. The sovereignty of heaven fell to Zeus; the sea, to
Poseidon; and the world below to Hades.
Zeus was thus established at the head of the Greek pantheon. He took for his spouse his
sister Hera, daughter of Cronos and Rhea. A numerous divine progeny sprang up to the
Father of gods and men. His eleven children, constituting with himself the Olympian
hierarchy, or "twelve gods," were Leto and her children, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Hermes,
Athena, Hephaestus, Hestia, Demeter, Aphrodite, and Hera, who is sometimes reckoned as the
daughter rather than the sister of Zeus. These gods held their court on Olympus, as the
two subordinate courts of Poseidon and Hades were held respectively in the sea and the
underworld of darkness. It will be appropriate to notice briefly the power and province
ascribed by the Greek imagination to each of these gods and goddesses.
Zeus was the chief deity of the Hellenic race. He was subject to nothing but Fate. The
Greeks believed in an absolute Necessity which held the universe in its clutches. To this
all men and gods must bow in submission. Zeus was constrained by the Absolute. Otherwise
he was supreme. He did his will. He established his seat on Olympus, and from that cloudy
summit ruled the world. In final causation every thing, whether good or bad, flowed from
him. The destiny of all mortals, and in some sense of all immortals, was directed by his
nod. He took for his wife Metis, by whom he became the father of Athena; then Themis, who
was the mother of the Horae and the Parcae-the Hours and the Fates; then Eurynome, of whom
were born the Graces; then Hestia and Mnemosyne, whose children were Persephone and the
Muses ; then Leto, who bore him Apollo and Artemis; and then Juno, who became the mother
of Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus. So the king of the gods took to himself the epithet
"Olympian." He sat on his throne and hurled the thunderbolt. To him was erected the shrine
among the oaks of Dodona, and afterwards the splendid temple at Olympia, the latter
containing the celebrated chryselephantine statue of the god done by Phidias.
Hera was regarded by the Greeks as the queen of heaven. She bore, in some sense, the same
relation to women as Zeus did to men. She was the patroness of marriage, and under the
epithet of Elethyia presided over the birth of mortals. In the Homeric legends she is
represented as the least amiable of the divinities-jealous and petulant to the extent of
keeping the other Olympians, and especially Zeus, in perpetual trouble. She even organized
a conspiracy with Poseidon against her husband to dethrone and imprison
___________________________________ It will be well in this connection to give once for
all the Latin and Greek equivalents for the names of the principal deities-thus: Ouranos =
Uranus; Cronos = Saturn: Zeus = Jupiter, or Jove; Hades = Pluto; Poseidon = Neptune; Hera
= Juno; Apollon = Apollo; Artemis = Diana; Leto = Latona; Ares = Mars; Hermes = Mercury;
Athena = Minerva; Hephaestus = Vulcan; Hestia = Vesta; Demeter = Ceres; Aphrodite = Venus.