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Hera & ZeusIt seems odd to us that other people would worship many gods. However, they did not have the technology that we have today. Our technology helps explain much of the things that occur in nature. For example, where does thunder come from? Why do the seasons change? Who makes an eclipse happen? What causes a hurricane? We know the answers to all of these questions, but the ancient people did not.

Ancient people build a system of belief around different gods to explain things that puzzled them. Their gods were the strongest, bravest and most powerful entities. The Greeks modeled themselves after their gods and tried to achieve the highest level of performance. And since the gods represented all aspects of life - athletics, warfare, art, literature, homemaking, worship, architecture - the Greeks valued every aspect of life equally.

The Greeks had 12 gods, Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Aphrodite, Apollo, Hephaestus and Athena, who were part of the family of gods known as Olympians. Although there were many other gods, these were the most powerful and lived in a cloud covered place in the sky called Mount Olympus.Zeus Temple

Zeus was the king of all the gods. He lived in a place called Mount Olympus. He was king of men, god of the weather. Zeus was the most honored of all gods by the Greeks. Throughout Greece, temples and alters were built to honor Zeus.

Hera Hera
In Greek mythology, Zeus was married to Hera. Many Greek homes had a small alter or statue to honor Hera because she was the protectress of marriage and married women, children and the home. Stories that include Hera usually depict her as the angry wife of Zeus because he really liked younger women.

Athena was the patron of household crafts, goddess of war, wisdom and protectress in war of those who worshipped her. She was the daughter of Zeus and extremely powerful. Athenians believed she gave the city the olive tree, a valuable source of oil.

Hermes was Zeus' son and the main messenger of the mortal people on Earth to the gods on Mount Olympus. That is why he was usually depicted with wings on his feet to indicate speed. He had quite a sense of humor and was the protector of thieves and practical jokers. Being quite an interesting character, Hermes was also the patron god of the theater and writers as well.

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