Poseidon, 4th Century Vase
Ancient Greek Mythology, Religion, Art
Poseidon was a very important god to the ancient Greeks, something one might expect considering their reliance on the seas both for food and for trade. It was important to make the appropriate sacrifices to him in order to ensure safe travel. The violence of the seas and of earthquakes were supposed to be reflections of Poseidon's violent temper. Poseidon's anger with Osysseus for injuring his son, Polyphemus the Cyclops, played an important role in the Illiad. Holding a grudge for a long time was also apparently one of Poseidon's traits.
I begin to sing about Poseidon, the great god, mover of the earth and fruitless sea, god of the deep who is also lord of Helikon and wide Aigai. O Ennosigaios (Shaker of the Earth), to be a tamer of horses and a saviour of ships! Hail Poseidon Gaienokhos (Holder of the Earth), dark-haired lord! O blessed one, be kindly in heart and help those who voyage in ships! Homeric Hymn 22 to Poseidon