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Zeus vs. Poseidon

A myth submitted to the site by Brian P

Mt. Olympus, Earth

Zeus vs. Poseidon

In the beginning, the skies were nothing…clear… unruly. The seas were tranquil, empty, and untamed. The Earth was waiting and hungry for power, to be ruled. Will these great traits of the Earth ever be put in the hands of heroes? Zeus and Poseidon were the greats capable of taking on this difficult task. These two gods were very powerful in their presence. These dominating gods are similar in the way that their both known to punish those that lie or break any oaths. Their both very moody and vague in their image and even come from the same family. However they are different in the way they embody the archetypes of passion, power, and personality traits in their relationships.

Together the brothers reigned as gods after overthrowing their father Cronus. At birth each child of Rhea, the mother, were eaten by Cronus due to the fear of the power of his children. Except for their last born, Zeus. “Zeus, son of Cronus, god of the dark clouds, who is the lord of all.” ( The Iliad Homer Poem-Atsma, Aaron J. "ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter." ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013) Rhea managed to let him escape, to pass him on to his grandmother, Gaia, to be raised. Zeus, the youngest of six siblings, is known as the god of the skies, and the spiritual leader of both gods and men. He tricked his father into puking up his brothers and sisters. After tricking his father, the siblings came together and declared war on the great titans. Together they defeated the titans and sent them to prison forever. All the gods became rulers and were drawn an occupation towards the world. Poseidon, the middle child of six, received the god of all the seas. This commenced the legend of these Greek gods.

Zeus and Poseidon are both essential characters in the study of Greek mythology. Above all, they both demonstrate their ability to punish those who lie or break, any oaths. For example, in the story of Prometheus it reads, Prometheus was the widest titan that fought the other titans with Zeus. After defeating the titans he was given the task of creating all the living things to roam the Earth. In contrast, he created a creature at the top of the food chain, to rule over all the other living creatures, the human being. Zeus grew to be covetous of the power of this creature. “For this Zeus punished Prometheus by having him chained to a rock with an eagle tearing at his liver. He was to be left there for all eternity or until he agreed to disclose to Zeus which of Zeus children would try to replace him.” ("Prometheus." Prometheus. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.)

On the other side, Poseidon was very vague in his punishable his ways as well. For example, In the story of Poseidon and Athena. In the midst of the huge crowd, Athena challenged Poseidon with a contest. The god and goddess had to provide the city of Athens with the best gift. The victor would receive the city. In continuation, Poseidon was to go first. He started towards his trident, pointed it down, and struck the ground. “At the point where the spear struck, a frothy spring burst out producing a sea which is now called Erechtheus. The people loved it but as they went closer to taste the water, to their dismay the water was salty.”("A Voyage with the Gods, Athena - Athena and Poseidon Contest for Athens." A Voyage with the Gods, Athena - Athena and Poseidon Contest for Athens. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.) Next was Athena. She knelt down, and buried a substance into the ground to sprout an olive tree. This turned out to be a more useful gift that granted the city food, oil, and a resource to their houses. In contrast to their future, the city declared Athena as the winner, making her the protector of Athens. “The Sea God Poseidon however was not at all pleased by all of this and in a wild fury flooded the Thracian plain and drowning Attica under his salty sea.” ("A Voyage with the Gods, Athena - Athena and Poseidon Contest for Athens." (A Voyage with the Gods, Athena - Athena and Poseidon Contest for Athens. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.) As you can see, Zeus and Poseidon are very similar in the way that they punish.

These two powerful gods are very similar, however they are also different in many ways including their personality and power towards the Earth. Poseidon, being the god of the seas, lives in a palace on the ocean floor and spends most of his time in the watery domain. “Where he kept his horses with brazen hoofs and golden manes.”(Il. xiii. 27, comp. Virg. Aen. v. 817, &c., i. 147; Apollos. Rhod. iii. 1240, &c- Homer poem) Poseidon would ride his chariot on top of the waves, controlling shore to shore of the great wide seas. At times assisted by his wife, Amphitrite. Although he is dwelt at sea, he also appears in Olympus along side of his brothers. Poseidon's symbols include horses, dolphins, and three pronged spears. He was known to be the cause of rivers, floods, droughts, and earthquakes. On the flip side, Zeus, being the god of Olympus and the skies, lives on top of Mount Olympus. Zeus is “the most high and powerful among the immortals, whom all others obey.” (Atsma, Aaron J. "ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter." ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.) Zeus takes on the task of controlling the whole earth, from over houses to families, or even a fellow god and goddess. Zeus is armed with lightning and thunder, to produce storms. “The symbols of Zeus were the scepter, the throne and the thunderbolt, which was as a gift from the Cyclopes because he liberated them. Zeus' tree was the oak tree and his sacred animal was the eagle.” ("Olympian Gods » Zeus, the King of the Gods." Greek God Zeus, the King of the Gods and Ruler of Mankind. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.)

Another difference between these gods is the passion they give out towards their task and the world. Poseidon pursues his passion towards the sea, while Zeus more to the protection of his power and the creatures of the Earth. Poseidon puts his passion towards controlling the seas, and any substance that touches his waters. Poseidon has a love for controlling a good percentage of the world. He is also featured in his passion towards helping others and his fellow gods. For example, he allied in the war of the titans and sent them to prison to come to where he is now. He punished those who dishonored him to keep this world in one piece. On the other hand, Zeus is passionate into his power. He loves power and punishes anyone who tries to rule over himself. “He is the highest ruler, who with his counsel manages everything” (i. 175, viii. 22 Atsma, Aaron J. "ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter." ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.) But Zeus also feels passionate to protect his people and creatures of the world. After all, he is the father and spiritual leader of all men. He provided sanctity, hospitality, and the prevention of suffering. He tricked his father and defeated the selfish control of the titans, In Greek mythology, he was part of the “creation of the world we have today.”

As you can see these two gods share many traits and differ from each other. These two gods are featured in Greek Mythology and share many great stories to our benefit. In conclusion, Zeus and Poseidon come from the same family and were born with astounding traits that embody their passion, determination, and relationship with each other. These traits make them very common and different.

Bibliography

i. 175, viii. 22 Atsma, Aaron J. "ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter." ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

"Olympian Gods » Zeus, the King of the Gods." Greek God Zeus, the King of the Gods and Ruler of Mankind. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Il. xiii. 27, comp. Virg. Aen. v. 817, &c., i. 147; Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1240, &c- Homer poem

http://www.mythweb.com/gods/zeus.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Zeus/zeus.html

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/z/zeus.html

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Zeus.html

http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/zeus/

Atsma, Aaron J. "ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter." ZEUS : Greek King of the Gods, God of Sky & Weather | Mythology, W/ Pictures | Roman Jupiter. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

Il. xiii. 27, comp. Virg. Aen. v. 817, &c., i. 147; Apollon. Rhod. iii. 1240, &c- Homer poem

("A Voyage with the Gods, Athena - Athena and Poseidon Contest for Athens." A Voyage with the Gods, Athena - Athena and Poseidon Contest for Athens. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

A Voyage with the Gods, Athena - Athena and Poseidon Contest for Athens. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013

"Prometheus." Prometheus. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.

The Iliad Homer Poem

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/p/poseidon.html

http://www.mythweb.com/gods/Poseidon_easy.html

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Poseidon.html

http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Poseidon/poseidon.html

By Brian P
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