Or the Wee Lassie’s Most Valiant attempt to be Struck by a Bolt of Lightning
One of my current obsessions is Greek Mythology, specifically the Greek Pantheon. So in a clear sign of some form of latent death wish, here is a list of the Top Ten Best Greek Gods for your reading pleasure; plus the Worst One – because we’ve really got to seal that Lightning bolt in somehow.
So strap in my wee readers, we’re about to get very sacralgious.
Roman Name: Venus
Husband: Hephaestus (divorced)
Lovers: Ares, Hermes, Poseidon, Dionysus, Anchises – and that’s just the ones she got pregnant by.
Kids: Eros, Phobus, Demmos, Harmonia, Pothos, Antero, Himeros ; Hermaphrodite ; Rhodos, Eryx ; Peithlo, The Graces, Priapus; Aenas
The Goddess of Love, Beauty, Desire and Pleasure – it was said in Heiod’s Theogony (188-206) that Aphrodite was born from the severed genitals of Uranus falling in the ocean. Later works such as Homer’s Iliad would try to claim that she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione – which is quite frankly a much duller origin story for the Goddess of Love. I mean, oh my Hades, Zeus cheated on Hera…that’s never happened before.
Jerk Level: 8/10
Roman Name: Ceres
Husband: None, because Demeter doesn’t need that hassle.
Lovers: Zeus (what was she thinking?), Poseidon ( should we count him? I don’t think that was consensual).
The daughter of the Titans Chronus and Rhea – like most of her siblings Demeter was eaten by her father because he heard a prophecy from his dethroned father, that one of his children would overthrow him. I think I’m beginning to see where all the issues stem from. Demeter is of course most memorable in the Myth of the Kidnap of Persephone where she basically starts the Ice Age – and all subsequent winters – when Hades kidnaps and then refuses to give back her daughter Persephone. I’ll have more to say on that particular Myth later in the post, but regardless of how you interpret that myth, I still think Demeter herself is kind of Bad-ass.
Jerk Level: 6/10 – because she did kill a lot of people with that first winter.
Roman Name: Faunus
Lovers: Syrinx, Echo, Pitys
Kids: Silenos, Lynx, Krotos, Xanthus
God of nature and the wild, shepherds, flocks, and often associated with sexuality – but to be honest what Greek God wasn’t to some extent. Pan’s parentage seems to be a bit of a mystery; there are many conflicting accounts in Greek Myths. Some tales say he’s the son of Zeus (the shock, Zeus had another child); some the son of Hermes, I even heard at least one that claimed he was the son of Penelope wife of Odysseus after an affair with Apollo.
In more modern times Pan’s image has often been associated with the Christian Devil – by stupid people. Seriously guys, the Greek God of the Wild has nothing to do with the Christian Devil – stop saying he does, you’ll hurt his feelings.
Jerk Level: 7/10 – because as much as I like him, he did seem to have a poor understanding of consent
Roman Name: Juno
Husband: Zeus – much, I’m sure, to her eternal regret.
Lovers: None, because she kept her wedding vows, Zeus.
Children: Angelos, Ares, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Hebe, Hephaestus
I think the Hera we know best from Greek Myth is the wrathful and vengeful spouse of Zeus – especially since she continues to try and kill innocent women and children, when really the person she should be gunning for is Zeus. I mean come on Hera, get your priorities straight. That being said when she did like you, she was a good Goddess to have on your side – so long as you didn’t fall out of favor with her, like a certain boneheaded chaser of Golden fleeces.
Jerk Level: 9/10
Roman Name: Caelus
Children: The Titans, the Cyclopes, the Meliae, the Furies, the Giants, the Hekatonkheires, and Aphrodite (sort of)
The Son and Husband of Earth Mother Gaia – because the Greek Pantheon would look at the Targaryens and say they were not inbred enough – Uranus is proof that you don’t have to be at all likable in Greek Myths to be enjoyable to the listener. Now true, my favorite Uranus myth is the one where he gets his balls hacked off – but he really had it coming. Plus, I just think his name is funny
Jerk Level: 10/10
Roman Name: the same I think.
Spouse: I don’t think she had one – but please, correct me if I’m wrong.
Lovers: Zeus (via rape), Tartarus
Children: Helen of Troy, Clytemnestra, Castor, and Pollux
The Underworld Goddess of divine retribution – in one of the many Greek myths where Zeus is awful, to save herself from his pursuit Nemesis turned herself into a goose. This of course did not stop Zeus, because nothing does – so he turned himself into a swan and mated with her anyway. This led Nemesis to lay two eggs – with two sets of twins inside. One of whom would grow up to be the famed Helen of Troy. Of course other myths claim the children where fathered and mothered by other people – but they’re not on this list, so who cares.
Jerk Level: 5/10 – because she’s just doing her job when she punishes you.
Roman Name: Bucchus
Lovers: Goddesses – Aphrodite and Aura ; Nymphs – Beroe, Kronois, Nikaia; Mortal Women – Erigone, Althaia, and Pallene; Satyr – Ampelos; Mortal Man – Polymnos or Hyplipuos
Kids: Priapus, Hymen, Thoas, Staphylus, Oenopian, Comus, Phthonus, the Graces, Deianina
The God of Wine, fruitfulness, Parties, festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness , ecstasy and for some strange reason the theater. Another illegitimate child of Zeus, one myth claimed that Hera killed his mother while she was pregnant with him; so, to save his life, Zeus took the unborn infant and sewed him into his thigh and carried him to term. It’s almost unbelievable – Zeus did something relatively decent.
Jerk Level: 7/10
Roman Name: Proserpina
Lovers: Maybe Adonis, Zeus sometimes (raped obviously) but sources vary
Kids: Melinoe and Zagereus
The daughter of Demeter and her jerk brother Zeus; Persephone was the personification of vegetation and the Goddess of Spring and Nature before she was kidnapped and later married to the God of the Underworld, Hades. After which she also carried the title of Goddess and Queen of the Underworld. Whether her abduction was exactly that, or a mutually agreed upon elopement is a mater up for some debate – but whatever the case, their later marriage seemed to be one of equal partnership. The Greeks feared Persephone as much as they feared Hades.
Jerk Level: 6/10
Roman Name: Vulcan
Wife:Aphrodite (divorced), Aglaia
Lovers: One attempted rape of Athena, and an accendental impregnation of Earth Mother Gaia
Kids: Thailia, Eucleia, Eupheme, Philophrosyne, Cabeiri and Euthenia
Thrown off Mount Olympus when he was born, because Hera found him so ugly. Yeah…not every bad thing she did was provoked by Zeus. Found and raised by nymphs, he returned to Mount Olympus when he was grown and trapped his mother on a golden throne; and demanded the Love Goddess Aphrodite in exchange for Hera’s freedom. He got this – much I’m sure, to his later regret.
Jerk Level: 7/10
Roman Name: Pluto, Dis
Lovers: Possible Minthe, who Persephone later turned into the Mint plant.
Kids: Zagreus, Macaria, Melinoe, Plutus, and the Erinyes
I don’t care what Hollywood thinks of him, on this blog we respect the Lord of the Underworld. Despite modern adaptions portraying him as a Satan like figure – at least I can follow the logic of that misrepresentation – Hades is one of the better behaved of the Greek Gods. He’s certainly the best out of the big three – you know, kidnapping that caused the earth to freeze half the year, aside.
Jerk Level: 6/10
+ 1. Zeus
Roman Name: Jupiter
Lovers: We don’t have all day, just assume everyone.
Kids: Also, everyone – heck, Zeus slept with so many people we probably all have a little bit of his DNA in us.
Let’s be honest, all Greek Gods are sort of Jerks – that’s why I included a Jerk Level to each of their bios, felt like a lie without it – but no one quite competes with Zeus. Whether he’s turning into a swan to rape someone; turning his lovers into flies to eat and murder their children; kidnapping implied-underage boys to be his ‘cup-bearer’; screwing his older brothers out of their birthright; or breaking his wife’s heart over and over again – Zeus is singular among the jerks of the world.
Jerk Level: 10000000000000000000000/10
Well that’s the end of it, if you’ve enjoyed this slightly sacrilegious experience check me out on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest; or if you haven’t already, follow my wee blog. Until next time my Wee Readers…is…is that a Bolt of Lightning heading straight for my head?
Just a brief note before we leave, if you’ve enjoyed this and other posts like it on the Wee Writing Lassie, why not buy me a Wee Cup of Coffee, or drop me a tip over on Ko-fi. Which is linked to the image below.