Major Gods and Goddesses
Aphrodite (Ἀφροδίτη, Aphroditē)
Goddess of love, beauty, desire, and pleasure. Although married to Hephaestus she had many lovers, most notably Ares, Adonis, and Anchises. She was depicted as a beautiful woman and of all the goddesses most likely to appear nude or seminude. Poets praise the radiance of her smile and her laughter. Her symbols include roses and other flowers, the scallop shell, and myrtle wreath. Her sacred animals are doves and sparrows. Her Roman counterpart was Venus.
Apollo (Ἀπόλλων, Apóllōn)
God of music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague, prophecy, poetry, manly beauty and archery. He is the son of Zeus and Leto, and the twin brother of Artemis. As brother and sister, they were identified with the sun and moon; both use a bow and arrow. In the earliest myths, Apollo contends with his half-brother Hermes. In sculpture, Apollo was depicted as a very handsome, beardless young man with long hair and an ideal physique. As the embodiment of perfectionism, he could be cruel and destructive, and his love affairs were rarely happy. His attributes include the laurel wreath and lyre. He often appears in the company of the Muses. Animals sacred to Apollo include roe deer, swans, cicadas, hawks, ravens, crows, foxes, mice, and snakes.
Ares (Ἄρης, Árēs)
God of war, bloodshed, and violence. The son of Zeus and Hera, he was depicted as a beardless youth, either nude with a helmet and spear or sword, or as an armed warrior. Homer portrays him as moody and unreliable, and he generally represents the chaos of war in contrast to Athena, a goddess of military strategy and skill. Ares' sacred animals are the vulture, venomous snakes, dogs, and boars. His Roman counterpart Mars by contrast was regarded as the dignified ancestor of the Roman people.
Artemis (Ἄρτεμις, Ártemis)
Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth and plague. In later times she became associated with the moon. She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and twin sister of Apollo. In art she was often depicted as a young woman dressed in a short knee-length chiton and equipped with a hunting bow and a quiver of arrows. Her attributes include hunting spears, animal pelts, deer and other wild animals. Her sacred animals are deer, bears, and wild boars. Diana was her Roman counterpart.
Athena (Ἀθηνᾶ, Athēnâ)
Goddess of intelligence and skill, warfare, battle strategy, handicrafts, and wisdom. According to most traditions, she was born from Zeus's head fully formed and armored. She was depicted crowned with a crested helm, armed with shield and a spear, and wearing the aegis over a long dress. Poets describe her as "grey-eyed" or having especially bright, keen eyes. She was a special patron of heroes such as Odysseus. She was also the patron of the city Athens (which was named after her) Her symbol is the olive tree. She is commonly shown accompanied by her sacred animal, the owl. The Romans identified her with Minerva.
Demeter (Δημήτηρ, Dēmētēr)
Goddess of grain, agriculture and the harvest, growth and nourishment. Demeter is a daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus, by whom she bore Persephone. She was one of the main deities of the Eleusinian Mysteries, in which her power over the life cycle of plants symbolized the passage of the human soul through its life course and into the afterlife. She was depicted as a mature woman, often crowned and holding sheafs of wheat and a torch. Her symbols are the cornucopia, wheat-ears, the winged serpent, and the lotus staff. Her sacred animals are pigs and snakes. Ceres was her Roman counterpart.
Dionysus (Διόνυσος, Diónysos)/Bacchus (Βάκχος, Bákkhos)
God of wine, parties and festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, drugs, and ecstasy. He was depicted in art as either an older bearded god or a pretty effeminate, long-haired youth. His attributes include the thyrsus (a pinecone-tipped staff), drinking cup, grape vine, and a crown of ivy. He is often in the company of his thiasos, a posse of attendants including satyrs, maenads, and his old tutor Silenus. The consort of Dionysus was Ariadne. Animals sacred to him include dolphins, serpents, tigers, and donkeys. A later addition to the Olympians, in some accounts he replaced Hestia. Bacchus was another name for him in Greek, and came into common usage among the Romans.
Hades (ᾍδης, Hádēs)/Pluto (Πλούτων, Ploutōn)
King of the underworld and the dead, and god of the earth's hidden wealth, both agricultural produce and precious metals. His consort is Persephone. His attributes are the drinking horn or cornucopia, key, sceptre, and the three-headed dog Cerberus. The screech owl was sacred to him. He was one of three sons of Cronus and Rhea, and thus sovereign over one of the three realms of the universe, the underworld. As a chthonic god, however, his place among the Olympians is ambiguous. In the mystery religions and Athenian literature, Pluto (Plouton, "the Rich") was his preferred name, with Hades more common for the underworld as a place. The Romans translated Plouton as Dis Pater ("the Rich Father") or Pluto.
Hephaestus (Ἥφαιστος, Hḗphaistos)
Crippled god of fire, metalworking, and crafts. Either the son of Zeus and Hera or Hera alone, he is the smith of the gods and the husband of the adulterous Aphrodite. He was usually depicted as a bearded man with hammer, tongs and anvil—the tools of a smith—and sometimes riding a donkey. His sacred animals are the donkey, the guard dog and the crane. Among his creations was the armor of Achilles. Hephaestus used the fire of the forge as a creative force, but his Roman counterpart Vulcan was feared for his destructive potential and associated with the volcanic power of the earth.
Hera (Ἥρα, Hḗra)
Queen of the gods and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. She is the wife of Zeus and daughter of Cronus and Rhea. She was usually depicted as a regal woman in the prime of her life, wearing a diadem and veil and holding a lotus-tipped staff. Although she was the goddess of marriage, Zeus's many infidelities drive her to jealousy and vengefulness. Her sacred animals are the heifer, the peacock, and the cuckoo. In Rome she was known as Juno.
Hermes (Ἑρμῆς, Hērmēs)
God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, thievery, trickery, language, writing, diplomacy, athletics, and animal husbandry. The son of Zeus and Maia, Hermes is the messenger of the gods, and a psychopomp who leads the souls of the dead into the afterlife. He was depicted either as a handsome and athletic beardless youth, or as an older bearded man. His attributes include the herald's wand or caduceus, winged sandals, and a traveler's cap. His sacred animals are the tortoise, the ram, and the hawk. The Roman Mercury was more closely identified with trade and commerce.
Hestia (Ἑστία, Hestía)
Virgin goddess of the hearth, home and chastity. She is a daughter of Rhea and Cronus and sister of Zeus. Not often identifiable in Greek art, she appeared as a modestly veiled woman. Her symbols are the hearth and kettle. In some accounts, she gave up her seat as one of the Twelve Olympians in favor of Dionysus, and she plays little role in Greek myths. Her counterpart Vesta, however, was a major deity of the Roman state.
Poseidon (Ποσειδῶν, Poseidōn)
God of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and the creator of horses; known as the "Earth Shaker". He is a son of Cronus and Rhea and brother to Zeus and Hades. He rules one of the three realms of the universe as king of the sea and the waters. In classical artwork, he was depicted as a mature man of sturdy build with an often luxuriant beard, and holding a trident. The horse and the dolphin are sacred to him. His wedding with Amphitrite is often presented as a triumphal procession. His symbols are the trident, horse, dolphin, fish and bull. His Roman counterpart was Neptune.
Zeus (Ζεύς, Zeus)
King of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and justice. He is the youngest son of Cronus and Rhea. He overthrew Cronus and gained the sovereignty of heaven for himself. In artwork, he was depicted as a regal, mature man with a sturdy figure and dark beard. His usual attributes are the royal scepter and the lightning bolt, and his sacred animals are the eagle and the bull. His counterpart Jupiter, also known as Jove, was the supreme deity of the Romans.
Greek myth include many monstrous beings:
Centaur (male) or Centauride (female),a head and torso of a human with the legs and behind of a horse.
Asbolus In Greek mythology, Asbolus was a centaur. He was a Seer,or an auger. He was a diviner who read omens in the flight of birds.
Chariclo, wife of the centaur Chiron
Chiron, the eldest and wisest of the Centaurs. The ancient Trainer of Heroes. Nessus, famous centaur, known for being killed by Heracules.
Ichthyocentaurs are half-human, half-hippocampi and they have lobster-claw horns.
Onocentaur, head and torso of a human with legs and behind of a donkey.
Cerberus, the three-headed, giant hound that guarded the gates of the Underworld.
Charybdis, a sea monster whose inhalations formed a deadly whirlpool or a huge water mouth.
Chimera, a two-headed monster with one head of lion, and other of a goat, lion claws in front and goat legs behind, and a long snake tail.
Wood Nymphs, beautiful minor goddess women who lived in the forest, they were often chased by heroes, gods and satyrs.
Empousai, seductive female vampire demons with a leg of bronze and a donkey's foot. They are especially good at killing men with their beauty.
Gorgon, monstrous women depicted as having snakes on the head instead of hair. And sometimes snake body after torso.
Medusa, whose gaze could turn anyone to stone.
Stheno, most murderous of the sisters.
Euryale whose scream could kill.
Graeae, three old women with one tooth and one eye among them.
Deino Persis or Perso Pemphredo Harpies, creature with torso, head and arms of women, talons, tail and wings (mixed with the arms) of bird.
Hippalectryon, a creature with the fore-parts of a rooster and the body of a horse
Hippocampi, sea creatures with the fore-parts of horses and the tails of fish and fins instead hooves.
Ichthyocentaurs, a pair of marine centaurs with the upper bodies of men, the lower fronts of horses, and the tails of fish
Ipotane, a race of half-horse, half-humans Kobaloi, a species of mischievous creatures, fond of tricking or frightening humans
Manticore, a monster with the head of a man, the body of a lion, and a tail that can shoot spikes.
Merpeople, human with fish tail after torso (Mermaid as female, Merman as male), they lure adventurers to drown then.
Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man; slain multiple times.
Mormo, a vampiric creature who bit bad children
Lamia, a vampiric demon which preyed on children
Hydra, also known as King Hydra, a many-headed, serpent-like creature that guarded an Underworld entrance beneath Lake Lerna. It was destroyed by Heracles, in his second Labour. Son of Typhon and Echdina.
Lycanthrope, or Werewolf, men that was cursed into a anthromorphic wolf, the first men to be cursed into a werewolf was Lycaon, king of Arcadia by offering Zeus human flesh.
Vrykolakas, undead vampiric werewolves.
Furies, the three goddesses of pain. Worked for Hades in the Underworld to punish evil souls. Created from the blood of Ouranos.
Charon, a ferryman at the river Styx
Ophiotaurus, a creature part bull and part serpent.
Orthrus, a two-headed dog, brother of Cerberus, slain by Heracles.
Panes, a tribe of nature-spirits which had the heads and torsos of men, the legs and tails of goats, goatish faces and goat-horns
Pholus, a wise centaur and friend of Heracles
Satyrs and Satyresses, companions of Pan and Dionysus which had human upper bodies, and the horns and hindquarters of a goat
Scylla, lover of Poseidon, transformed by Circe into a many-headed, tentacled monster who fed on passing sailors in the straits between herself and Charybdis.
Sirens, three beautiful mermaid/bird like women whose irresistible song lured sailors to their deaths
Taraxippi, ghosts that frightened horses
Telekhines, skilled metal-workers with the heads of dogs and flippers of seals in place of hands
Greek mythological animals
These animals possess some fantastic attribute.
Arion, the immortal horse of Adrastus who could run at fantastic speeds
Balius and Xanthus, the immortal horses of Achilles
Calydonian Boar, a gigantic boar sent by Artemis to ravage Calydon and slain in the Calydonian Boar Hunt
Ceryneian Hind, an enormous deer which was sacred to Artemis; Heracles was sent to retrieve it as one of his labours
Griffin or gryphon, a creature that combines the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.
Hippogriff, head, wings and front body of eagle, and back of horse, they are born by the union of a male gryphon and a mare, or a couple of hippogriff.
Golden Fleece, from a golden-haired ram, which was held in Colchis.
Erymanthian Boar, a gigantic boar which Heracles was sent to retrieve as one of his labours
Karkinos, a giant crab which fought Heracles alongside the Lernean Hydra.
Laelaps, a female dog destined always to catch its prey.
Mares of Diomedes, four man-eating horses belonging to the giant Diomedes
Nemean Lion, a gigantic lion whose skin was impervious to weapons; it was strangled by Heracles
Winged Horse or Pterippi, winged pure white horses.
Pegasus, a divine winged stallion that is pure white, son of Medusa and Poseidon, brother of Chrysaor and father of winged horses.
Phoenix, a golden-red fire bird of which only one could live at a time, but would burst into flames to rebirth from ashes as a new phoenix.
Sphinx has the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman
Stymphalian Birds, man-eating birds with beaks of bronze and sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims
Teumessian fox, a gigantic fox destined never to be caught.
Unicorn, a beautiful horse-like creature with a magical horn on its forehead
Winged unicorn or Alicorn, different and rarier unicorns, by the fact that they have beautiful wings, like Winged Horses.
The dragons of Greek mythology were serpentine monsters. They include the serpent-like Drakons, the marine-dwelling Cetea and the she-monster Dracaenae.
The Colchian Dragon, an unsleeping dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece
Cychreides, a dragon which terrorised Salamis before being slain by Cychreus
The Ismenian Dragon, a dragon which guarded the sacred spring of Ares near Thebes; it was slain by Cadmus
Ladon, a serpent-like dragon which guarded the Golden apples of immortality of the Hesperides
Hydra, it's believed as the offspring of the Lernean Hydra, they are multiple-headed aquatic and very poisonous dragons, like their father, more heads will grow by cutting one off.
Python, a dragon which guarded the oracle of Delphi; it was slain by Apollo.
Drakons ("δράκους" in Greek, "dracones" in Latin) were giant serpents, sometimes possessing multiple heads or able to breathe fire, but most just spit deadly venom.
The Laconian Drakon was one of the most fearsome of all the drakons.
Cetea were sea monsters. They were usually featured in myths of a hero rescuing a sacrificial princess.
The Ethiopian Cetus was a sea monster sent by Poseidon to ravage Ethiopia and devour Andromeda, which was slain by Perseus The Trojan Cetus was a sea monster that plagued Troy before being slain by Heracles.