Poseidon was one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain was the ocean, and he is called the "God of the Sea". Additionally, he is referred to as "Earth-Shaker" due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the "tamer of horses". He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and a beard. He was often depicted riding Hippocampi. Due to his connection to the sea he is often depicted as a merman, like his son Triton.
There is a Homeric hymn to Poseidon, who was the protector of many Hellenic cities, although he lost the contest for Athens to Athena. According to the references from Plato in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias, the island of Atlantis was the chosen domain of Poseidon.
In his benign aspect, Poseidon was seen as creating new islands and offering calm seas. When offended or ignored, he supposedly struck the ground with his trident and caused chaotic springs, earthquakes, drownings and shipwrecks. Sailors prayed to Poseidon for a safe voyage, sometimes drowning horses as a sacrifice.
Poseidon was the second son of titans Cronus and Rhea. In most accounts he is swallowed by Cronus at birth but later saved, with his other brothers and sisters, by Zeus. However, in some versions of the story, he, like his brother Zeus, did not share the fate of his other brother and sisters who were eaten by Cronus. He was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which she gave to Cronus to devour.
According to John Tzetzes the kourotrophos, or nurse of Poseidon was Arne, who denied knowing where he was, when Cronus came searching; according to Diodorus Siculus Poseidon was raised by the Telchines on Rhodes, just as Zeus was raised by the Korybantes on Crete.
According to a single reference in the Iliad, when the world was divided by lot in three, Zeus received the sky, Hades the underworld and Poseidon the sea. In the Odyssey (v.398), Poseidon has a home in Aegae. The foundation of Athens
Athena became the patron goddess of the city of Athens after a competition with Poseidon. Yet Poseidon remained a numinous presence on the Acropolis in the form of his surrogate, Erechtheus. At the dissolution festival at the end of the year in the Athenian calendar, the Skira, the priests of Athena and the priest of Poseidon would process under canopies to Eleusis. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and the Athenians would choose whichever gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring sprang up; the water was salty and not very useful, whereas Athena offered them an olive tree.
The Athenians or their king, Cecrops, accepted the olive tree and along with it Athena as their patron, for the olive tree brought wood, oil and food. After the fight, infuriated at his loss, Poseidon sent a monstrous flood to the Attic Plain, to punish the Athenians for not choosing him. The depression made by Poseidon's trident and filled with salt water was surrounded by the northern hall of the Erechtheum, remaining open to the air.
Poseidon and Apollo, having offended Zeus by their rebellion in Hera's scheme, were temporarily stripped of their divine authority and sent to serve King Laomedon of Troy. He had them build huge walls around the city and promised to reward them well, a promise he then refused to fulfill. In vengeance, before the Trojan War, Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack Troy. The monster was later killed by Heracles.
Consorts and ChildrenEdit
His consort was Amphitrite Halosydne, a nymph and ancient sea-goddess, daughter of Nereus and Doris, whith whom he had children: Triton, Benthesikyme, and Rhodos.
Poseidon was the father of many heroes. He is thought to have fathered the famed Theseus.
A mortal woman named Tyro was married to Cretheus (with whom she had one son, Aeson) but loved Enipeus, a river god. She pursued Enipeus, who refused her advances. One day, Poseidon, filled with lust for Tyro, disguised himself as Enipeus, and from their union were born the heroes Pelias and Neleus, twin boys. Poseidon also had an affair with Alope, his granddaughter through Cercyon, his son and King of Eleusis, begetting the Attic hero Hippothoon. Cercyon had his daughter buried alive but Poseidon turned her into the spring, Alope, near Eleusis.
Poseidon rescued Amymone from a lecherous satyr and then fathered a child, Nauplius, by her.
After having raped Caeneus, Poseidon fulfilled her request and changed her into a male warrior.
A mortal woman named Cleito once lived on an isolated island; Poseidon fell in love with the human mortal and created a dwelling sanctuary at the top of a hill near the middle of the island and surrounded the dwelling with rings of water and land to protect her. She gave birth to five sets of twin boys; the firstborn, Atlas, became the first ruler of Atlantis.
Not all of Poseidon's children were human. In an archaic myth, Poseidon once pursued Demeter. She spurned his advances, turning herself into a mare so that she could hide in a herd of horses; he saw through the deception and became a stallion and captured her. Their children were Despoina and a horse, Arion, which was capable of human speech. Poseidon is more often regarded as the tamer of horses, but in some myths he is their father, either by spilling his seed upon a rock or by mating with a creature who then gave birth to the first horse.
Poseidon also had sexual intercourse with Medusa on the floor of a temple to Athena. Medusa was then changed into a monster by Athena. When she was later beheaded by the hero Perseus, Chrysaor and Pegasus emerged from her neck.
There is also Polyphemus (the cyclops) and, finally, Alebion and Bergion and Otos and Ephialtae (the giants).
Once Upon a TimeEdit
Before First CurseEditPoseidon reigns as the sea king. With his unnamed wife, he has a daughter, Ursula, who is named after the sea goddess of the same name. His wife and daughter, both renowned for their singing voices, give him much happiness. However, when his wife is killed by a pirate, Poseidon comes to hate humans and has Ursula lure sailors to their deaths with her enchanting voice. During one such excursion, she allows the crew aboard the Jolly Roger to live and incurs her father's disappointment. Longing to honor her mother's memory, Ursula doesn't wish to use her singing talent to harm others and insists all humans can't bad, but Poseidon commands her to obey him as long as she lives in his kingdom. Upset at his demands, she steals a magic bracelet from his vault to gain human legs and disappears with plans of going to Glowerhaven to become a singer. Once Poseidon discovers Hook, captain of the Jolly Roger, has agreed to take Ursula there, he offers squid ink, which the pirate can use to give retribution to the Dark One. In return for this much needed item, the sea king enchants a shell and asks him to trap his daughter's voice within it so she won't leave the kingdom for Glowerhaven. Instead, Hook tells Ursula about the deal, and she procures the ink from her father's vault for him. Poseidon accosts them, and as Ursula sides with Hook, he takes away the ink to prove the pirate only cares about his vengeance. As expected, Hook is furious that his only hope of getting revenge is gone, and he gets back at Poseidon by absorbing Ursula's singing voice so the sea king can never sink another ship again. Under Hook's threats, Poseidon is forced to retreat without regaining the shell. Later, Ursula uses her father's trident to transform her mermaid fin into tentacles to become more powerful than him.
After Second CurseEdit
With Ariel's help, Poseidon travels to Storybrooke to meet with Ursula, who is now a grown woman. As the person who originally enchanted the shell, only he can restore Ursula's voice, which she desires to regain. During their reunion, Poseidon apologizes to his daughter for using her gift for horrible deeds and expresses regret for not cherishing her talent as a happy reminder of his late wife. After restoring her voice, he turns to leave, but a moved Ursula wishes to reconnect and decides to go home with him.