What Did Poseidon of Greek Mythology Look Like?

Poseidon, the god of the sea, is frequently shown riding a horse.
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In Greek mythology, Poseidon is the son of Kronos, the Lord of Time, and Rhea. Out of jealously, Kronos habitually ate all his children, but when Zeus, Poseidon's brother, was born, Rhea tricked Kronos by giving him a rock to eat instead. Zeus thus survived to overthrow Kronos and become king of the gods. His brother Hades became ruler of the underworld, and his brother Poseidon became the god of the sea.

1 Depiction of Poseidon

Poseidon usually has been depicted as a mature man with an athletic build and a full, dark beard. Unlike his father Kronos, who often has been depicted as an old man, Poseidon is in the prime of his power. He holds a trident, which can make the earth shake and which can shatter any object.

2 Poseidon on Horseback

According to Pausanias, the second-century Greek traveler and chronicler, Rhea saved Poseidon from being eaten by his father by hiding him among lambs and claiming to give birth to a horse, which she offered to Kronos. In another verse, he relates how Poseidon lusted after Demeter, his sister. She changed into a mare to evade him and he became a stallion to catch her. Reinforcing the equine association, images of Poseidon often show him on horseback or riding over the surface of the sea in a horse-driven chariot.

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.