God of the sea, also called the Earthshaker, since he was thought to cause earthquakes, Poseidon was the son of Cronus and Rhea and brother of Zeus and Hades. He was the husband of Amphitrite, with whom he had Triton. He also had children with his many mistresses, for example the Cyclops, Pegasus, Thesus and Orion.
Originally, Poseidon was the god of water, but later became a sea-god as well as the ultimate master of the wells and rivers. His temples were usually situated by the sea, the remains of one of them can still be seen at Cap Sounion, not far from Athens. He was the patron god of the Ionians.
In art Poseidon was pictured with a trident and the dolphin was his animal.
Poseidon was also the horse-god, and the ancient Greeks would sacrifice horses to him and sink them into the sea. He was also connected to bulls.
During the Trojan wars he sided with the Greeks since a king of Troy had refused to pay him for building the city walls, but he an enemy of Odysseus after he had killed his son Polyphemus the Cyclop.
Poseidon had wanted to be the protector of Athens, and in a competition with Athena about the city, he offered a spring to the Athenians. When the people drank the water they had to spit it out since it was salt, Poseidon being a sea-god. He lost to Athena who had given Athens the olive tree.
The ancient Greeks celebrated the god through the Istmian Games which were
held every two years.
In Roman mythology Poseidon is called Neptune. He also had the following epithats:
Aegaeus, Asphaleius, Cuerius, Damatites, Epactaeus, Epopsius, Gaeaochus, Genethlius, Heliconius, Hippius, Hippocurius, Isthmus, Lechaeus, Onchestius, Patros, Petraeus, Samicus, Samius, Taenarius.