Gods, Goddesses, and Some Important Mortals in Classical Greek Literature

Zeus, king of the gods, [destiny, and justice, esp. for guest-host relations]

Hera, queen of the gods, wife of Zeus [marriage]

Poseidon, ruler of the sea, brother of Zeus [earthquakes, sea]

Hades, ruler of the Underworld, brother of Zeus [death, wealth]

Athena, born fully-armed from Zeus' forehead [wisdom, weaving]

Hermes, son of Zeus, messenger of the gods [sudden enlightenment, theft, trade]

Aphrodite, born of sea foam, mother of Eros [erotic love]

Apollo, son of Zeus [music, medicine, prophecy]

(Associated with Apollo are the ancient world's most important philosophical maxims: "Know thyself," and "Nothing in excess." Socrates later adopted the first, and Aristotle the second, as the cornerstones of their philosophical methods.)

Artemis, daughter of Zeus, twin of Apollo [medicine, chastity, the hunt]

Ares, son of Zeus, god of war and lover of Aphrodite [war, discord, weapons]

Hephaestus, son of Zeus, armorer and jeweler of the gods, [technology]

Dionysus, son of Zeus, god of wine [ecstatic inspiration]

Important specifically for the Odyssey

Kalypso (Calypso), immortal nymph, ruler of Ogygia, lover of Odysseus

Kirke (Circe), witch, ruler of Aeaea, lover of Odysseus

Polyphemus, Kyklope (Cyclops--one-eyed giant), son of Poseidon, herdsman of Sicily