Dawn Kollonige


Earth - Shaker

First to concern himself with seafaring and first to tame horses

Pa: Pausanias

Ap: Apollodorus

* : Carlos Parada, Genealogical Guide to Greek Mythology


  • Parents

- son of Rhea and Cronos, brother and sister (Ap: 1.1.5)
- one of the Olympians, siblings included Demeter, Hera, Pluto, and Zeus (Ap: 1.1.5)

  • Birth and Rise to Dominion of the Sea:

- Cronos, believing oracle that son would dethrone him, swallowed offspring at birth, including Poseidon (Ap: 1.1.5)

- Rhea saves Poseidon by placing him to live with flock of lambs (Pa: 8.8.2), telling Cronos that she gave birth to a horse, and giving him a foal to swallow (Pa: 10.24.6). Similar to way in which she will save Zeus.

Zeus joins with Metis, daughter of Ocean, to rise up against Cronos. Metis gives Cronos a drug to force him to regurgitate the swallowed children. - with all of the children freed, they unite in war against their father and the Titans (Ap: 1.2.1). They kill the jailer (Campe) of Tartarus and liberate all those sent there, including the Cyclopes. In retribution, Cyclopes give Zeus thunder, lightning, and the thunderbolt; Pluto a helmet; and Poseidon a trident (three-pronged spear). Armed with these weapons, they overcome Cronos and the Titans (Ap: 1.2.1), and confine them to Tartarus, around which ran a bronze fence which Poseidon made. Afterwards, each took a dominion: Zeus was given the sky, Pluto Hades, and Poseidon the sea.

  • Sacred Sites:

Poseidon’s sacred island, Calauria, and an oracle of Poseidon and Earth, short distance from Oracle at Delphi. They shared oracle equally: Earth gave oracles herself and Poseidon mediated his through Pycron. Earth gave share to Themis, who, in turn, gave it as a present to Apollo. Apollo gave Poseidon Calauria, a sacred island that lies near Troezen, in compensation for the remaining part of the oracle (Pa: 10.5.6).

Calaurea originally named Sphaeria; revered and held by Apollo. In a dream inspired by Athena, woman named Aethra crossed to island with offerings for the deceased Sphaerus. upon traveling over the shallow channel from Greece to the island, Poseidon slept with her. Subsequently, Aethra erected temple of Athena and changed the island’s name to Sacred Island; latter became holy sanctuary of Poseidon (Pa: 2.33.1).

  • Wives, Lovers, and Children:

Married Amphitrite, daughter of Ocean, who originally fled to Atlas to escape marriage. Poseidon sent many to search for her. A man by the name of Delphin found her and talked her into marrying Poseidon. For this reason, Poseidon placed the dolphin into the constellations  (Ap: 1.4.5). Amphitrite and Poseidon had two sons, Triton and Rhode, who later married the Sun.

Caeneus, who, upon having intercourse with Poseidon, asked to become an invincible man   (Ap: e.1.22).

Had sex with Libya, daughter of Epaphus and Memphis. Twins issued from this union: genor and Belus. Belus married Anchinoe, sister of Memphis and his great-aunt, and they had twin sons: Egyptus and Danaus. Upon growing up, Egytpus had 50 sons, Danaus 50 daughters. Fearing the sons, Danaus and girls moved to Argos, where he became the reigning king. The land was dried up due to Poseidon’s anger at Inachus for declaring that the land was Hera’s. Danaus sent two of his daughters out to fetch water. Seeing a deer, Amymone, one of the daughters, threw a dart; it missed and hit a sleeping satyr that tried to rape her. Poseidon saved and slept with his great-granddaughter; afterwards, he showed her the springs at Lerna. (Ap: 2.1.4)

  • Poseidon’s famous non-human offspring

- Pegasus, the winged-horse, and Chrysaor, born holding a golden sword, which emerged from the neck when Perseus severed Medusa’s head (Ap: 2.4.2).

Poseidon consorted with Chione and had a son, Eumolpus. So as not to be suspected by her father, she flung her son into the deep. Poseidon saved and bestowed him upon Benthesicyme, his own daughter from his marriage to Amphitrite (Ap: 3.15.4).

  • Other Children of Poseidon

Polyphemus, son (Ap: e.7.4)
Periclymenus, son on whom Poseidon granted the power of changing his shape; killed by Herakles  (Ap: 1.9.9)
Phereocydes, son on whom Poseidon bestowed the power of striding across the sea (Ap: 1.4.3)
Sinis, questionable son (Ap: 3.16.2)
Cercyon, son  (Pa: 1.14.6)
According to Libyan legend, Athena is the supposed daughter of Poseidon and lake Tritonis; due to a statue of her with the same blue eyes attributed to the sea god. According to the legend of Atlantis, the first ten kings were five pairs of twins, all were the sons of Poseidon and Cleito. The first born was Atlas, who was given reign over the rest; island was named after him (Ap: 1.14.7).

Story of Poseidon and Demeter, how she gained the surname "Fury": Demeter was searching for her daughter, Persephone, when Poseidon, who lusted after her, followed. Attempting to outwit him, she changed into mare and joined other grazing ones. Poseidon realized her trick, transformed himself into a stallion, and had intercourse with her ( Pa: 8.25.5). Demeter, angered by what had occurred with Poseidon and with the rape of Persephone, wore black clothing and confined herself in a cavern until mankind was starving (Pa: 8.42.1). She soon calmed and exited the cave; heading to bathe in the Ladon. She gained the surname, Fury, for her "avenging anger" and Bather, or Lusia, for she had bathed in the Ladon. Demeter had a daughter, and received the horse Arion, from the tryst with Poseidon. The name of her daughter is very sacred, not given out. An entire temple is dedicated to this "Mistress". Arcadians worshipped her above all other gods (Pa: 8.25.5).

Poseidon had a love affair with woman named Canace. Sons born were Hopleus, Nireus, Epopeus, Aloeus, and Triops. Aloeus married Iphimedia, daughter of Triops and his niece. Iphimedia fell in love with Poseidon and would often go to the sea, draw up water in her hands, and pour it into her lap. Poseidon came to her and they had two sons: Otus and Ephialtes. or the Aloads. These brothers attempted to conquer the gods by threatening to dry up the sea with mountains and flood the land with water. They wooed Artemis and Hera, and shackled Ares. They killed one another when Artemis changed herself into a deer and stood between the brothers. Both hoping to kill the game, shot each other when she leapt out of the way  (Ap: 1.7.4).

  • Actions and Other Encounters:

Poseidon aids Athena: Athena had thrown a thunderbolt at the ship of Ajax. When his ship fell apart, he was able to swim to a rock. In an act of blasphemy, he declared that not even the goddess could kill him. Poseidon rose up and split the rock with his trident, killing Ajax  (Ap: e.6.6).

Poseidon and Zeus: Poseidon was angry at the Athenians for murdering his son. Zeus killed Erechtheus as favor for Poseidon  (Ap: 3.15.5).

Battle of Olympians and Giants: Poseidon chased Polybotes through the sea to Cos. Poseidon broke off piece of island called Nisyrum, and threw it on the giant (Ap: 1.47).

Centaurs fled from Herakles; Nessus went to the river Evenus. Poseidon hid the rest of them in a mountain (Ap: 1.193).

Nereids were angered by Cassiepea, wife of Cepheus, who vied others in beauty and boasted she was better than the Nereids. Poseidon, sharing their wrath, sent a flood and a monster to invade the land. Perseus later slew the monster (Ap: 2.4.3).

Poseidon sent a bull from the sea upon Minos’ promise to sacrifice whatever came out of it. Minos kept the magnificent bull and slaughtered another to Poseidon. This angered Poseidon so he made the bull savage (Ap: 2.5.7).

Poseidon and Ares: Poseidon’s son, Halirrhothius, attempted to rape Ares’ daughter, Alcippe. Ares killed Halirrhothius. Poseidon impeached him before the twelve gods. Ares was acquitted (Ap: 3.14.2). This is known to be the first murder trial and why the Aereopagus in Athens is called the "Hill of Mars."

  • Disputes with Gods/Goddesses over Land:

During the reign of Cecrops, the gods took possession of cities to become patron gods/goddesses. Poseidon went first to Attica, and, slashing his trident across the middle of the Acropolis, created the sea, Erechthesis. However, Athena came afterwards, brought Cecrops as a witness, and planted an olive tree. The two gods vied for possession. The dispute was finally resolved by the twelve gods, land given to Athena since she had had Cecrops as a witness; the city was renamed Athens. Poseidon, in anger, flooded the Thriasian plain, placing Attica under the sea  (Ap: 2.79). This competition is the subject of the sculpture group of the East Pediment of the Parthenon.

* Dispute with Helius over possession of Corinth: settled by Briareus, who gave the Isthmus of Corinth and neighboring lands to Poseidon and gave Helius the height above the city.

* Hera and Poseidon over patronage of Argos: council of three river gods (Inachus, Cephisus, and Asterion) gave Argolis to Hera. In retribution, Poseidon dried up their waters.

* Another dispute with Athena: they fought over Troezen, but Zeus commanded them to share the land. At the time, Althepus was king, himself the son of Poseidon.

Father of Theseus?

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