Greek Mythology: Gallery of the Gods

APHRODITE
ROMAN NAME: VENUS
GODDESS OF LOVE AND BEAUTY
Aphrodite was so lovely that the Greeks couldn't imagine her being born in the usual way. Instead she sprang from the white beauty of the sea foam. In an odd arrangement, this most beautiful goddess was married to the only ugly Olympian, HEPHAESTUS, the deformed forge god. Some said that ZEUS forced her into the marriage; others, that she chose him herself. Either way, her vows did not stop her from having many affairs. Gods and mortal men found her charms simply irresistible. Whenever on business abroad, Aphrodite was pulled through the sky by a swan-drawn cart. The swan and the dove were both symbols of her grace. In Greece her worship was popular, although the temple priestesses were rumored to be prostitutes. Our word aphrodisiac, a passion-inducing substance, is derived from her name.

APOLLO
ROMAN NAME: PHOEBUS APOLLO
GOD OF LIGHT, TRUTH, POETRY, PROPHECY, & MUSIC
 From all the important titles laid at Apollo's feet, you can see the Greeks thought very highly of him. He is called the "most Greek of all the gods". He, above all others, represented the ideal man: handsome, athletic, intelligent, talented, and good. His twin sister is ARTEMIS, Goddess of the Moon. Over time, Apollo came to replace the Greek god Helios as God of the Sun as well. The lyre is Apollo's instrument, as he is the master musician. Apollo's tree is the laurel. A wreath of laurels was awarded in Greece to those who won a contest of poetry. Apollo's oracle in Delphi was the most reliable and the most popular.
ARES
ROMAN NAME: MARS
GOD OF WAR 
 Ares is the cruelest member of the Olympians, hated by all (even his mother, HERA).  This god is known for his ruthlessness when he has the upper-hand and his cowardice when the tides turn against him.  Even the Greeks disliked this terrible god.  There were no temples to Ares in ancient Greece. APHRODITE, in one of her many infidelities, started an affair with Ares, which was his motivation to fight for the Trojans in the great war.  Martial (having to do with war) and March are coined from his Latin name.