The twelve gods and goddesses who were supreme in the Greek pantheon. They were so called because Olympus was their home. They are: Zeus, the chief god; Poseidon, the god of the sea; Hades, the god of the underworld; Hestia, the goddess of the hearth; Hera, Zeus' wife and protector of (married) women; Ares, the god of war; Athena, the goddess of battle and wisdom; Apollo, the sun god and patron of music and poetry; Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love; Hermes, the messenger of the gods; Artemis, the goddess of the hunt; and Hephaestus, the god of fire and crafts.

There are many other divinities besides the twelve great Olympians, the lesser gods of Olympus. The most important of them was Eros, the god of love. Some of the others are Hebe, the goddess of youth; Iris, goddess of the rainbow; and the Muses and their companions the Graces.

Hesiod mentioned that there were thirty thousand gods.1