Poseidon the god who was considered among the ancient Greeks as presiding over the sea. He was the son of Chronos and Rhea, and had his palace at the bottom of the sea, where the monsters of the deep play around his dwelling. This deity was believed to be the author of storms, and to shake the earth with his trident or three-pronged spear. His wife was Amphitrite. When the universe was divided between the brothers, the sea was given to Poseidon. He was equal to Zeus in dignity, but not in power. He once conspired with Hera (Juno) and Athena (Minerva) to put Zeus in chains, but usually he was submissive to the more powerful god. He rides over the waves in a chariot drawn by horses with brazen hoofs and golden manes, and the sea becomes smooth at his appearance, while the monsters of the deep gambol and play around him. Herodotus affirms that the Greeks derived the worship of Poseidon from Libya; but, from whatever quarter it was received, it spread all over Greece and Southern Italy. It prevailed more especially in the Peloponnesus. The usual sacrifices offered to this god were black and white bulls, and also wild boars and rams. At Corinth horse and chariot races were held in his honor. The Panionia, or festival of all the Ionians, was celebrated also in honor of Poseidon. The Romans identified him with their own sea-god Neptune. Troy was called Neptuna Peurgam, because Poseidon assisted Apollo to surround it with walls for king Laomedon, who refused to give them their promised reward, and Poseidon sent a sea-monster to ravage the country, which was killed by Hercules. He always hated the Trojans, and assisted the Greeks against them. He prevented the return of Ulysses, in revenge for his having blinded Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon. In art he is easily recognized by his attributes, which are the trident, horses, and dolphins. SEE NEPTUNE.

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