Greek Mythology

Welcome to the Greek Mythology Index

Categories of Greek Gods

The Olympian gods ("Theoi Olympioi") presided over ever facet of ancient life and were often grouped according to their common functions.

THE THEOI AGORAIOI were the gods of the "agora" (the marketplace and people's assembly). Zeus, as the god of kings and princes, presided over the the assembly, alongside Athena, as goddess of wise counsel, Dike (Justice), Themis (Custom) and Calliope (Eloquence). The gods of the marketplace, on the other hand, were led by Hermes, the god of commerce, along with Hephaestus and Athena, the patron gods of artisans : weavers, potters, metalworkers, sculptors, etc. Apollo was another god of the marketplace.

THE THEOI DAITIOI were the gods of feasts and banquets. Dionysus, the god of wine, and Hestia, goddess of feasting, presided over these. They were accompanied by festive gods such as Aphrodite, goddess of pleasure, and the Charites, goddesses of joy, dancing and other amusements. The Theoi Mousikoi, or gods of music, also accompanied the feast.

THE THEOI GAMELIOI were the gods of marriage. The first of these were Zeus, Hera, and Aphrodite, but others included Hymenaios (Wedding Song), the Erotes (Loves), Peitho (Persuasion), the Charites (Graces), Eunomia (Good Order), Harmonia (Harmony) and Hebe (Youth).

THE THEOI GEORGIKOI were the gods of agriculture. Olympian Demeter was their leader, but for the most part these were non-Olympian chthonic gods. See the Gods of Agriculture page for more information.

THE THEOI GYMNASTIKOI were the gods of the gymnasium, athletics and the Games. The first of these were Hermes, Heracles and the Dioscuri. Nike (Victory) and Agon (Contest) were minor daemones of the Games. Eros, as the god of comradeship, was also frequently worshipped in the gymnasia.

THE THEOI HALIOI were the gods of the sea led by King Poseidon. Several of the other Olympian gods had minor maritime roles including Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite and the Dioscuri who presided over embarkations, harbours, safe voyage, and salvation from storms. Most of this class of god, however, were non-Olympian marine divinities.

THE THEOI IATRIKOI were the gods of medicine and healing. These belonged to the train of Apollo and included his son the medicine-god Asclepius, and his family : Epione (Soothing), Hygeia (Good Health), Panaceia (Curative), Aegle (Radiance), Iaso (Healing), Aceso (Cure) and Telesphorus (Accomplisher).

THE THEOI KTESIOI were the gods of house and home. They were led by Zeus protector of the home (Ctesius) and of the family courtyard (Hicesius) along with Hestia, the goddess of the hearth. Hecate and Hermes were also important household gods who protected the gates and entranceways.

THE THEOI MANTIKOI were the gods of oracles, divination and prophecy. These were led by Apollo, the god or oracles and seers, and Zeus, the god of fate. Other oracular gods included the Titanesses Phoeibe (at Delphi) Themis (at Delphi and Dodona), Dione (at Dodona) and Mnemosyne (at Lebadeia). The god Hermes presided over certain primitive forms of diviniation including the casting of stones, coin-throwing oracles, and astrology. Lastly Pan and the Nymphs inspired the rustic prophets.

THE THEOI NOMIOI were the gods of the countryside and country pursuits, including hunting, fowling, fishing, and the herding of cattle and sheep. They were led by the Olympians Artemis (for hunting), Hermes (for herding) and Dionysus. The rest of the rustic gods were mostly non-Olympian divinities. See the Theoi Nomioi page for more information on these.

THE THEOI MOUSIKOI were the gods of music, dance and education in the arts. They were led by the Olympian twins Apollo and Artemis, the former presiding over music and poetry, and the latter over the choirs and dances of girls. Other important musical gods included the nine Muses, the dancing Charites or Graces, and the musical demi-gods Hymenaeus and Linos. Dionysus, Hermes and Aphrodite were also gods of music and the arts.

THE THEOI POLEMIKOI were the gods of war. These were led by Ares and Athena, and included gods such as Enyo, Eris (Strife), Nike (Victory), Deimos (Terror) and Phobos (Fear). Zeus, as the god of fate, and Apollo, as god of archery, also had wartime functions.

THE THEOI THESMIOI were the gods of divine law and custom. These were led by Zeus Nomius (of the Laws) and Demeter Thesmophorus (the Law Bringer). Lesser gods in this sphere included the Horae, specifically Dike (Justice), Eunomia (Good Order), and Irene (Peace), their mother Themis (Custom), and Apollo.