Immortal Monday is back! Did you miss me? I apologize for the absence, but the gods are powerful and being out on the Pacific Ocean gave the god Poseidon the upper hand where my internet connections were concerned. Never the less, he was good to me and my family, and saw that we had beautiful calm seas for our voyage. For this reason we honor him on today’s Immortal Monday.
What do you think of when you hear the name Poseidon? Do you think of a fine fit young Kellan Lutz, an old hairy Jack Gwillim, or something in between such as Kevin McKidd or Danny Huston? Whatever your image of Poseidon, however godly and romantic, picture it now and burn it into your memory because the things you learn today may change your image of the great and mighty son of Kronos (Cronus).
Poseidon, a god of fertility and seduction was born brother to Zeus and Hades. When their mother, Rhea, gave birth to Poseidon and his siblings (seven children in total), Kronos feared one of them would be the one to eventually fulfill the prophecy and overthrow him. In order to protect himself he swallowed the children whole. All, save one. Rhea hid the sixth born, Zeus. It would be Zeus who would later return and free his siblings by tricking Kronos into drinking until he vomited each of them out.
Angered by their treatment, the siblings allied with the Cyclopes going to battle against Kronos. It is at this time that the Cyclopes bestowed Zeus with his thunderbolts, Poseidon with his Trident and Hades with the cloak of invisibility. The items they would become so well known for.
With Kronos eventual defeat, a lottery was held by the Greek gods to determine which brother would rule which realm. As it came to pass, Hades became ruler of the Underworld, Poseidon got the oceans and Zeus drew the heavens, thereby making him the supreme ruler. It was decided that the earth would be shared among them, with the greatest responsibility falling to Poseidon. Poseidon was quick to build a magnificent palace at the bottom of the ocean. There he stabled his golden-maned white horses that pulled his golden chariot across the seas.
So far it’s sounding like you would expect, right? Well, Poseidon was a powerful god and he had a little trouble playing second fiddle to his brother Zeus. In fact, he didn’t like being put in second, to the side or anywhere other than front and center, so it would seem. Being a major player wasn’t enough for him when it came down to it. He wanted to be “The Player.”
This desire lead him to attempt an overthrow of Zeus in the early years, when Zeus still ruled with a touch of arrogance. For his attempt and failure Zeus banished Poseidon to Troy where he helped the King build the great walls while disguised as a human. The King had promised to reward the gods with vines of gold for help with the wall. When the King later refused to deliver on his promise, Poseidon sent a giant sea monster on Troy out of vengeance. Hercules later killed the monster.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds a little like someone in need of anger management classes. What do you think? I’m guessing Zeus and Poseidon weren’t so chummy after that and you wouldn’t see them hanging out side by side like you did in Immortals. But Hollywood always likes to twist the tale to fit their needs. It makes for fun movies. And let’s face it, in the case of Kellan, lovely eye candy! But, Poseidon probably wasn’t making any nose dives into the sea from the heavens. That’s my guess anyway.
Kellan… I mean Poseidon often found himself angered to the point of destruction. Most notable would be the time he and Athena volleyed for rulership over Athens. Leaving the decision to the people Poseidon struck the ground with his trident, springing water from the ground. Unfortunately, it was sea water and undrinkable to the people. Athena granted the people an olive tree, thus giving the people food and wood, something they could use. Once again, letting his anger get the best of him, Poseidon let the sea fill the city.
He often found himself fighting with the other gods, yearning to stretch his power into other regions to grab more control. But more times than not he lost. Poseidon remained controller of the sea, husband to the earth and shaker of the earth for he could control its movements. But I’m not trying to make him sound all bad. He was a very honorable god. Although he kept trying to expand his position, he knew where he stood and when he gave his word he always kept it. He had no respect or time for those who could not offer the same.
Did I mention fertility god? Yeah, there was something about that. He was sexually insatiable! He made the rounds and had plenty of children like his brother Zeus. But unlike his brother he rarely took the time to seduce a woman, he took what he wanted. That’s right – physical force – anyway he could get it. He was a bad boy and by today’s standards he’d be locked up in the pen.
Athena had been able to reject his advances because of her own goddess powers. Poseidon bedded Medusa in Athena’s temple to get back at her. In anger for defiling one of her temples, Athena cast Medusa into the hideous serpent we have all come to know. Poseidon didn’t know or understand love until he met Amphitrite. It would take some convincing for her to believe he was serious but they would eventual marry and she would become a jealous and vindictive wife when Poseidon would later return to his womanizing ways. –Scoundrel –
Although there are many myths that paint our featured immortal in a negative light, he had his good qualities. But like the news, all you hear is the bad. He was a powerful, competitive, decisive and dignified god. One had to take to stay on Poseidon’s good side for he could be rather moody and take offense rather quickly. He would then make it a hobby of taking revenge. But he also saw that the land remained fertile and that sailors saw safe travels across the oceans. Two responsibilities not to take lightly.
Is there someone else you have in mind that better suits the role of this hot tempered immortal? Cast the name out in the comments, we’d love to hear it.
- The information noted in this post is just a fraction of the myths and legends to be found on Poseidon. The most relevant were chosen to keep the length within reason. For further information of the Greek god a wider search is recommended. Please see the disclaimer on the top tab regarding any information listed in this post. Thank you.
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