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Mythical Profile: Poseidon, God of the Sea


Poseidon, the Greek god of the waters, ruled much more than just the wet and wild parts of the Earth! Let's discover his other surprising powers.

A Roman mosaic ca. 3rd century CE depicting Poseidon riding a chariot drawn by a pair of hippocamps – Poseidon’s sea horses. From the Sousse Archaeological Museum.

Poseidon: Master of Horses

The ancient Greeks believed Poseidon to be the ancient god of horses! He was the father of many powerful mythical horses including Pegasus, the immortal winged stallion. In fact, in some myths Pegasus was the child of Poseidon and Medusa. Like his father, Pegasus could control water. According to ancient legend, by striking the earth with his hoof, Pegasus could make streams of sweet water burst from the ground.

In this artwork, the hero named Bellephoron is riding Pegasus to kill the monster Chimera

A famous stream believed to be created by Pegasus was called the Hypocrene, located on mythical Mount Helicon. Anyone that drank from the waters would be inspired by the Muses to create great art or poetry.

The worship of Poseidon as a horse master would have begun in Greece in the 2nd century BCE, when horses were first introduced to the country.

Quick Facts! Who are the Muses? The Muses are the ancient Greek goddesses of art, music, history and science. Poets, musicians, artists and inventors would call on the Muses for inspiration (good ideas) to help them create great art. If you want to learn more about the nine Muses, we recommend this website:

Poseidon: The Earth Shaker

Poseidon’s famous trident is his mighty staff, shaped like a fish spear. While Poseidon wielded great power over the waters with this trident, it could also influence the land. By striking the earth with the trident, Poseidon could cause earthquakes, split rocks, create streams and shape islands in the sea.


CREATE: Your Trident in the Sand

Summer is here! This month, we encourage you to get outside and enjoy the summer weather by heading to the beach with family or friends. While you're there, why not create a giant sand sculpture of Poseidon's trident? After all you're right by the sea which, as we've learned, is part of Poseidon's domain!

You can either work together to create one big sand trident, or have a competition to see who can build the largest trident of their own. When you're finished, make sure to decorate your sand tridents with shells, stones and seaweed to honour the glory of Poseidon.

You will need:

  • Beach sand that is a little wet and easy to shape

  • Sand spades (or use your hands to shape the sand into a trident)

  • Shells, seaweed and pebbles you find on the beach for decorating

Don't forget: when visiting the beach, it's important to be safe. Always visit with a responsible adult and practice sun safety.

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