The Greek myths were important to the people of ancient Greece, as they explained how everything in their world worked. The Greek gods and goddesses lived on Mount Olympus and ruled over the humans and their lives. They may be gods and goddesses, but their stories show us that they are just as susceptible to their feelings and emotions as humans are – maybe even more so.
Greek gods and goddess can love and be compassionate, but they can also get angry and be jealous. For them, being angry or jealous usually means getting revenge and that revenge is mostly of the creative variety. The following list shows six epic – and sometimes disturbing – ways the Greek gods and goddesses got their revenge.
1) Cronus versus Uranus:
Uranus was the sky, Gaia was the Earth and together they were married and had children. Uranus and Gaia’s children were called Titans and they numbered twelve. There were six sons, Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus and Cronus and six daughters, Ilia, Rhea, Themis, Thetis, Mnemosyne and Phoebe. Uranus hated and feared his children, so he shoved them all back up into his wife, Gaia, after they each were born.
This was all very uncomfortable for Gaia and with her encouragement the youngest of the Titans, Cronus, got his revenge on his father for her, his siblings and himself. Cronus waited until his mother and father were having sex to ambush Uranus. When the time was right, he took a sickle and castrated his father, allowing him and his siblings to leave their mother’s body. Cronus threw Uranus’ “parts” over his shoulder and let them fall to the Earth.
2) Zeus versus Cronus:
Cronus took his sister, Rhea, as a wife and together they had five children, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. Now, the problem Cronus had with children is that his father, Uranus, had prophesized that one day Cronus would be dethroned y one of his own children. This prophecy came after Cronus had castrated Uranus, of course. Cronus was determined not to allow this prophecy to come true, so he swallowed each of his children as they were born. He swallowed them all, except Zeus, that is.
Rhea ran away from Cronus just before Zeus was to be born. She ended up in Crete and that was where Zeus was born. Cronus tracked them down and asked for the child, so he could swallow him, of course. Instead of handing her latest baby over, however, Rhea handed Cronus a stone wrapped up to look like a swaddled baby. Cronus immediately swallowed the stone down without unwrapping it to make sure it was in fact his baby.
Zeus grew up and later approached the goddess Metis to his cause. Metis served Cronus a potion, which caused him to throw up all the children he’d swallowed in reverse order. Zeus then stole the throne from his father, becoming King of the gods and god the sky, weather, law and order, destiny and fate.
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3) Artemis versus Siproites:
Artemis was the daughter of Zeus and the goddess Leto, as well as the twin sister of the god Apollo. She was the goddess of childbirth, a fact that became apparent when right after she was born she helped her mother deliver her brother, Apollo. Not only did Artemis vow to her father to live a marriage-less life, she also swore she would forever remain a virgin. Keeping her virginity intact and remaining totally innocent were extremely serious matters for her. One day, Siproites, a young Cretan hunter, stumbled across Artemis and saw her bathing. Angered with the boy for threatening her virginity and innocence, Artemis turned him into a girl.
4) Artemis versus Actaeon:
One day a human named Actaeon was hunting with a bunch of his friends when he came upon Artemis and her attendants bathing in a pool of water. Artemis was beyond ticked off that she’d been seen naked by Actaeon. She threw water at him and turned him into a stag, although on the inside he was still Actaeon. Actaeon freaked and took off running. He made it back to where the rest of the hunting party he’d been a part of was waiting. Unfortunately for Actaeon, to everyone and everything in sight, he was just a normal stag. Everything included his own hunting dogs, which promptly chased Actaeon the stag down and tore him apart with their teeth.
5) Artemis and Apollo versus Leto:
The twins, Artemis and Apollo, along with their mother, Leto were worshipped by the women of Thebes. The queen of Thebes, Niobe, was greatly offended by her subjects’ attitudes toward the goddess and her children. Niobe told the Theban women there was no way Leto was all that great when all she’d been able to produce and raise was one son and one daughter, while Niobe had given birth to and raised seven sons and seven daughters.
Leto, overhearing Niobe’s words, went crying to her two children, Artemis and Apollo. The god and goddess were outraged on their mother’s behalf and took their revenge. Both siblings were skilled with the bow and arrow and they proved it as Apollo killed all seven of Niobe’s sons and Artemis killed all seven of her daughters. Niobe tried to save her youngest girl’s life; begging Artemis to leave her be, but Artemis wasn’t having it. The girl joined the rest of her siblings. As for Niobe, she was transformed into stone and placed on to of a mountain in Phyrgia, her former home.
6) Zeus versus Prometheus:
Prometheus is said to be the creator of mankind. He was taught architecture, mathematics, astronomy, navigation, medicine and metallurgy by the goddess Athene. He then gave all his knowledge of those subjects to humans. Zeus wasn’t at all happy that Prometheus did this. All of that knowledge made humans powerful. In other words, humans might not need the gods quite as much if they could just do stuff by themselves. This was just one of the things Prometheus did to get on Zeus’ nerves.
One time, Prometheus was chose to settle an argument between the gods and he tricked Zeus into eating the worst parts of a sacrificial bull. To get back at Prometheus, the angry Zeus decided humans would never receive fire. Not that it mattered to Prometheus; he just went behind Zeus’ back and made a trip to Mount Olympus where he lit a torch from the sun. He then made his way to Earth and gave fire to humans. In response, Zeus tried to get Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother, to marry Pandora – because that just sounds like an excellent idea. Anyway, Zeus’ plan to trick Prometheus’ brother just plain failed and Zeus was miles beyond angry. He’d had it. So, he had Prometheus stripped and chained to a pillar in the Caucasian mountains where a vulture would spend the day eating up his liver. During the nights, Prometheus’ liver would re-grow, only to be eaten again by the vulture the following day. And on and on it went.