Greek God Poseidon Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Diehl

Elizabeth studied to be a special education teacher at Regis University, and received her masters in 2014.

Let's read about a very important god to the Ancient Greeks. This very important god was the god of the ocean, Poseidon. We will learn about what he did, why he was important, and some of his symbols.

A Powerful God

The ancient Greek sailors on the small ship were fearful. Had they prayed enough? Did someone do something to make him mad? Why was a storm coming? Were they going to make it to shore safely? These sailors were all thinking about a god who was very powerful over the ocean. They were thinking about Poseidon.

Who Was Poseidon?

Poseidon sitting on his throne
Poseidon sitting on his throne

Poseidon is one of the most important gods to the ancient Greeks. He is also one of the strongest. Poseidon had two famous brothers: Zeus and Hades. The three brothers decided they each needed to share ruling over the world, so they played a game of dice to decide who would get which part. Zeus won control over the sky, Hades won control over the underworld, and Poseidon won control over the ocean.

Next, Poseidon decided he needed to get married. He married a nymph named Amphrite. Although he was married, he was not a faithful husband, and fell in love with other goddesses all the time. Poseidon had many children. Some were monsters. Some of his children were beautiful nymphs who controlled parts of the ocean, such as the waves on the shores. Many of his children looked like mermaids, with fish tails instead of legs.

What Poseidon Did

As ruler of the ocean, he got to control storms and waves. The ancient Greeks imagined that he protected the waterways. They also imagined him as creator of earthquakes.

In many myths, Poseidon created different animals. As a gift to his wife, he created dolphins. To impress one of his crushes, he created horses. He loved horses so much, he created a special kind of sea-horse to live underwater with him, and horses would live on land. He also made sea monsters.

Why Poseidon Was famous

Poseidon was famous for being a bit grumpy. He did not like to be bothered by others. If he was mad, there would be rough waves and storms. Greek sailors worried that he would be mad at them for sailing in his ocean. They would pray to him for protection from dangerous storms.

Sometimes he could be helpful. He made horses, which were very helpful to Greeks. Sometimes, he would help sailors in stories get where they wanted to go safely.

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