Poséidon (in Greek old Ποσειδῶν / Poseidỗn , Ποτειδάων / Poteidáôn in crétois and a philistine) is the Greek god seas and oceans, pits and seisms. He is also the lord of the horses. Its symbol is the Trident, which it receives from the Cyclops during the Titanomachie. It corresponds to the Roman Neptune , which is posterior for him.
It is the son of Cronos and Rhéa, and the brother of Zeus and Hadès. With the birth, it is his devoured by Cronos as brothers and sisters, but is at the same time returned later at the day thanks to a trick of Zeus. Another tradition reported by Diodore of Sicily reports that Rhéa manages to dissimulate its birth with Cronos and secretly entrusts it to the Océanide Capheira, girl of Océan, and with the Telchines of the island of Rhodos, which take care on its divine childhood. At all events, after having helped Zeus to fight the Titans, it receives, at the time of the division of the world, sovereignty on the watery world, with the only exception however antique field of his uncle Océan, of which it however marries the girl or the grand-daughter Amphitrite.
It is generally represented with its three-pronged fork or its tank, with which it flies on water surface, escorted by the marine monsters. It resides normally in the sea, but goes sometimes on the Olympe, for the assembly of the gods.
He is legitimately married in Amphitrite of which he has three children, Triton, Benthésicymé, Rhodé (certain traditions reported by Diodore give birth to on the other hand the latter from its union with Halia, the sister of Telchines). He has also good number of children of other divinities or mortals.
One allots in particular the paternity to him of:
- Rhodos, wife of Photogravure and Hérophilé by Aphrodite;
- Despœna and the oracular horse Arion by Déméter, violated during its search of Perséphone;
- PEGASE and the giant Chrysaor by Jellyfish;
- the Giant Antée and the marine monster Charybde as well as the giant Orion or the Telchines by his/her own grandmother Gaïa;
- Polyphème and Télémos the cyclops by the nymph Thoosa;
- Gadir and Atlas, the founder of the Atlantis by the Clito nymph;
- Nauplios, founder and first king of Nauplie, in the Peloponnese by the Danaïde Amymone;
- Pélias, tyrant of Iolcos, by the mortal Tyro;
- the Molionides by the mortal Molioné;
- Chrysomallos, the ram with the Golden Fleece, by Théophanée;
- Eumolpos, priest of Poséidon and Erginos, by Chioné;
- the Aloades, by Iphimédie;
- Lycos by the Pleiad Célaéno;
- Delphos, by Mélantho;
- Bélos and Agénor, by the mortal Libya.
One allots moreover the paternity of various secondary marine demons to him, such as Glaucos by the nymph Naïs or the pleiad Alcyoné, Protée by the néréide Phénice, etc. Hésiode also makes him to it father of the nymph Cymopolée that it Marie with the Hécatonchire Briarée in reward of his intervention at the sides of the gods in the Titanomachie, but does not indicate to any moment the name of the mother of the latter.
It appears in a certain number of legends:
- Poséidon is punished at the same time as Apollon to have conspired against Zeus, and to have condemned to serve Laomédon, king of Troy. It builds for the wall city gigantic. But when the walls are completed, Laomédon refuses with the gods their payment. Furious, Poséidon sends against the city a marine monster which devastates the coasts before being killed by Héraclès.
- Poséidon and Athéna dispute the possession of the Attique. Poséidon strikes the Acropole of its three-pronged fork, it leaves a source there salt water (or the horse Skyphios , according to the traditions). Athéna offers to the city a olive-tree. Cécrops, king of the Attic, judges the present of the more useful goddess, and the city devotes to him.
- In the Odyssey , it continues Ulysses his revenge, because the hero burst the eye of his son, the Cyclops Polyphème. It thus prevents it from returning to Ithaque quickly.
- It is famous to have created the horse, either in Athens (see above), or in Thessalie. He also learns how to the men to assemble the horses using a Bride.
- It makes leave the sea, at the request of Minos, a gigantic bull. But, as the king of Crete refuses to sacrifice the animal to him, it insufflates in Pasiphaé, woman of this one, a guilty love for the bull. From their union will be born the Minotaure.
As the Greeks recognize it themselves, Poséidon is an important and old god. Its name is attested since the time mycénienne in the form Po-if-dai-OJ . The shelves in Linéaire B show that he is the principal god of Pylos, as attests of it in the Odyssey the sacrifice offered by Nestor, king de Pylos, in Poséidon.
The principal sanctuary of the Ionian ones, whose Nestor is the mythical ancestor, is with the Cape Mycale and is devoted to him. The Wind ones, the Béotie NS and the Mégariens also claim him via their ancestors éponyme S, Éolos, Béotos and Mégarée, which are its sons. Cities also bear its name: Potidée in Chalcidique and Poseidonia/Paestum in Large Greece. The Amphictyonie of Calaurie meets in its sanctuary, while the principal religious center of the Triphylie is the sanctuary of Samikon.
The name of Poséidon was broken up by Kretschmer into the juxtaposition of the Vocatif *Ποτει (“main, husband”) and Δᾶς , name dorien of the Earth which one would find in the name of Déméter. “Poséidon” would thus mean “main/husband of the Earth”. The assumption was disputed, the vocative *Ποτει remaining insulated
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