God of the Week: Poseidon

3/28/2011: Poseidon

The Greek sea god Poseidon is one of the oldest recorded gods we have, his name being engraved on Mycenaean Linear B tablets.

By the time that concerns us most the Earth-Shaker is a sea-god, specially important to the sea-peoples of Athens and Ionia. He is the father of Neleus, the ancestor of the Ionian kings. His temple at Cape Mykale is the scene of the Panionia, and second only to Delos as a religious centre of the Ionian tribes. He has intimate relations with Attica too. Besides the ancient contest with Athena for the possession of the land, he appears as the father of Theseus, the chief Athenian hero. He is merged in other Attic heroes, like Aigeus and Erechtheus. He is the special patron of the Athenian knights. Thus his prominence in Homer is very natural.

-The Five Stages of Greek Religion, by Gilbert Murry

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