Mythology of Neptune ♆
What is the mythological origin of Neptune?
Neptune ♆ was the god of the sea in Roman mythology, equivalent to the Greek god Poseidon.
Neptune Mythology Stories
There are two different versions of Poseidon’s birth. Child of Kronos and Rhea, and so older brother to Zeus, Poseidon was by most accounts swallowed like most of his siblings (Hestia, Hera, Hades and Demeter). The Arcadian version, however, says that, like Zeus, he was spared this fate by Rhea’s trickery. She gave the child into the care of Caphira, one of the Oceanids, then persuaded Kronos that she had given birth to a horse and gave him a foal to swallow. This is one of the reasons cited for Poseidon’s traditional association with horses.
Zeus had also escaped being swallowed and was raised by nymphs. He convinced Metis to administer a drug to Kronos that caused him to vomit up all his children. then united with them to overthrow Kronos and the Titans. When they were successful, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades cast lots to divide the universe between them: Zeus, the foremost god, took dominion of the skies, Poseidon took the waters, the seas and rivers, and Hades took the Underworld.
Poseidon, known for his tremendous rages, was often in dispute with the other gods, usually in connection with dominion over territories and cities, and often unsuccessfully. When he took issue with Hera for patronage of Argos, a tribunal of three river gods decided to award it to Hera. Poseidon was so incensed that that he caused all the permanent water to disappear.
He moved through the deep in a chariot pulled by golden sea-horses, a trident in his hands which was capable of stirring the waters to a fury. He was particularly feared as the bringer of earthquakes. Poseidon supplied King Minos of Crete with a sea-born bull, which, when it mated with Pasiphae, sired the infamous minotaur.
Poseidon became enamoured of the corn goddess, Demeter. She was looking for her daughter Persephone (abducted by Hades) and was not interested, so turned herself into a mare to escape and hid among the grazing horses. Poseidon, traditionally associated with horses, turned into a stallion and coupled with her, producing as offspring a “mysterious daughter and a black stallion” (Arthur Cotterell). Medusa, originally a beautiful human girl, was changed into a gorgon by Athena for sleeping with Poseidon.
Poseidon’s offspring included Atlas and the next nine kings of the mythical city Atlantis. The city was designed as a set of concentric cirles, the outermost being 20 km in diameter and the innermost circle 1 km in diameter. In the centre of this circle was a ring wall of gold, which enclosed a temple to Poseidon. When Poseidon was courting the Oceanid Amphitrite, she fled to Atlas, who hid her in the city. Poseidon searched everywhere, and finally enlisted the help of a Delphin who found her after long wanderings and persuaded her to marry the god. Poseidon rewarded him by placing the dolphin among the constellations.
Poseidon demanded high standards from mortals. He and Apollo decided to test the honour of Laomedon, king of the city of Troy.Assuming the form of mortals they took a job fortifying the city walls. At the end of the job, the king refused to pay. The gods, realising that he had no honour, struck the city. Apollo sent pestilence, while Poseidon unleahed a horrifying sea monster, annihilating the population of the plains outside the city. To pacify the monster the king was required to sacrifice his daughter, Hesione. She was tied to a rock at the edge of the sea, but when the monster appeared to take her, Heracles intervened and killed it.
Neptune’s influence has been felt in the world over the past two millennia as the Age of Pisces unfolded. Religion and mysticism have held sway, with organised religions becoming some of the most powerful institutions on Earth. The most materially powerful of these, if not the largest, has been Christianity, originally emerging with the Piscean sign of the fish as its emblem.
Image credit Christina Balit
Last updated on August 17, 2017 at 3:39 pm. Word Count: 680