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Zeus and Poseidon

The Mighty Gods Zeus & Poseidon

The Greek gods had much in common with Sumerian deities. Zeus was the Greek equivalent of Enlil (later Ammon), Babylonian God of Heaven and Earth. Poseidon was the Greek equivalent of Oannes, the standard of marine gods for the Sumerians.

Zeus, lord of Olympus, was a weather god, controller of lightning, thunder and rain. The thunder was the symbol of power and one of his most powerful weapons, which he used to correct people. Hephaestus manufactured thunderbolts at Etna and Zeus threw them from Mount Olympus. If we take the myth literally, then we would say that Hephaestus manufactured some sort of weapon that appeared thunder-like as no one knew anything equivalent.

Poseidon, God of the Sea, possessed control of the waves and the tides, also the springs and rivers, and was considered responsible for geological phenomena such as earthquakes. He majestically held the sign of his reign, the Trident, which gave him the power both to create storms and calm the waters. The Trident has also been used as a powerful weapon in many other mythologies, which makes one wonder if indeed this kind of weapon existed.

Zeus was the youngest son of Cronus (Saturn), grandson of Uranus and Gaia, and Rhea. Cronus was King among the children of heaven and learned through his mother Gaia and his father Uranus that he was destined to fall by a mighty son. He did not want another god to claim his rank, so Cronus immediately swallowed all of his children as they came out of the sacred body of Rhea, which saddened her greatly. As a result, when the time came for Zeus to be born, she went to Lyktos in Crete and hid the newborn in a cave at Mount Aegean, and Cronus was given a large stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to swallow instead, thus tricking him.

Zeus grew up and defeated Cronus through trickery and force. He saved his brothers and sisters by causing Cronus to regurgitate them. He also freed his father’s brothers from their enslavement by Uranus, and the Cyclopes, who out of gratitude granted him the thunder and lightning that became the signs and instruments of his power.

It is said that the war between the Titans and the Olympian gods lasted ten years—the famous Clash of the Titans—of which we will refer to in another article. After their victory, the Olympians divided the spoils amongst themselves, giving Zeus the power over the air and the sky and Poseidon over the sea and all water bodies, and Hades control of the underworld.

Over all, these are characteristics that make gods look more like people with powers and strength rather than good and benign gods. Yet I wonder if the ancient Greeks were trying to use mythology to tell us about some secret technology that could control geological and meteorological phenomena for which they were inadequately able to explain?

By Myriam

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