Who Was Neptune (Poseidon)?
The Romans thought of Neptune as a god of violent, unpredictable movement. He is most often thought of as the god of the ocean, which is of course the biggest, most unpredictable, and most dangerous thing around. Many Romans spent a lot of time sailing on the ocean, and they paid a lot of attention to Neptune.`
But Neptune is also the god of earthquakes, and earthquakes are also very common in Greece. He stamps his foot, or he hits the earth with his trident (like a pitchfork) to make an earthquake. And maybe for the same reason, Neptune is the Horse-God. Horses, I suppose, are also big and unpredictable and dangerous, though not on the same scale as earthquakes and oceans!
Neptune is called Poseidon in Greek mythology. He is the brother of Zeus and Hades, and also the brother of Demeter and Hera. Like them, he is the child of Earth and Time, Gaia and Kronos.
There are not very many stories involving Neptune. One is the story of Phaedra, which shows Neptune more or less as a blind, uncaring force, kind of like the oceans and earthquakes he controls. Another story involving Neptune is The Odyssey.
Another Myth About Neptune
Neptune (Poseidon) was the moody, violent god of the sea. After Jupiter defeated his father, Cronus, to become supreme, he split the universe with his brothers. Neptune got the sea to rule, Hades got the Underworld and Zeus the sky. Whenever Neptune hit the ground with his trident, the earth shook, and Neptune’s nickname was Earth Shaker. If he became angry and struck the sea, waves bigger than skyscrapers rose up and the fierce winds caused many ships to wreck. Neptune is pictured with blue eyes and long sea-colored hair. However, if Neptune was in a good mood, he would stretch out his hand to make the seas calm. He often created new lands out of the sea when he was happy.
Before Neptune became the ruler of the sea, an old sea god named Nereus ruled it. Nereus was the son of Gaea (mother earth) and Pontus (the seas), and he was also the father of fifty sea nymphs called the Nereids. Because Nereus was a kind old god, he decided to give the new ruler, Neptune, a gift. Nereus gave his daughter, Amphitrite for Neptune’s queen. Neptune also got the beautiful palace, which was located at the bottom of the sea and made from gold. Beautiful coral and glowing pearls surrounded the palace. Neptune’s wife, Amphitrite, lived in the palace happily with her sisters the Nereids. Neptune had one son named Triton, who had a fish tale, like a mermaid, and he rode about on the back of a sea monster. We can see Triton in the Little Mermaid movies today!
Neptune was restless and raced the waves with his team of snow-white horses, and he had many wives and many children. Luckily, Amphitrite was not a jealous goddess, like Hera!