Poseidon, King of the Sea
He was the Olympian god of the sea, earthquakes, floods, drought and horses. He was depicted as a mature man with a sturdy build and dark beard holding a trident.
Being the ruler of the sea (the Mediterranean), he is described as gathering clouds and calling forth storms, but at the same he has it in his power to grant a successful voyage and save those who are in danger, and all other marine divinities are subject to him. As the sea surrounds and holds the earth, he himself is described as the god who holds the earth, and who has it in his power to shake the earth. From this attribute, he is known as “the earthshaker.”
Poseidon was married to Amphitrite, by whom he had three children, Triton, Rhode, and Benthesicyme, but he had besides a vast number of children by other divinities and mortal women. He frequently assaulted and raped women.
He was known for his fast changing temperament and being easily offended. And because he was also dignified and competitive, it was very important not to offend him or argue his statements and acts. Those who angered him became the victims of his wrath. He was known for causing major catastrophic events, such as floods, earthquakes and sea storms, and even unleashed his sea monsters in order to get even. Poseidon was also very lustful and selfish when it came to women. He had numerous affairs with both goddesses and mortals, by either seducing them or tricking them by changing his form, not to mention abducting and violating them.
Notable conquests included Medusa, Demeter, and Europe. He had at least 100 known consorts and many more children.
During the war with the Titans, he received the magical Trident, a weapon of great power made by the Cyclopes as a token of gratitude for helping them to escape from Tartarus. With their new weapons and help from enemies of Cronus, they were able to defeat and imprison the titans. After the victory, when the division of cosmos had to be decided between three brothers, they drew lots and he got the realm of Sea under his control. He also became second in command to Zeus.
Wrath of Poseidon
During his reign, many vengeful acts of Poseidon were recorded. He chased Odysseus for 8 years for injuring his son. He punished the Phoenicans by turning their ships to stone. When the walls of Troy were built, and the king of Troy refused payment to Poseidon, he flooded the region and sent an enormous sea-monster to ravage the lands of Troy. The princess of Troy had to be sacrificed to Poseidon to sate his wrath and call off the sea-monster.
There had also been a contest for the patronage of Athens between Athena and Poseidon. In order to win city’s deviotion, they had to produce a useful gift for its population. Poseidon was first to act and struck his trident hard in the earth, creating a well with streaming water. However, the water turned out to be salty and not so useful for the people. Athena was next and created the olive tree, by planting an olive branch into the hole that she made with a spear. Delighted with olives, oil and useful wood, people of Athens chose Athena over Poseidon. This angered the god who then, in his vengeful act, flooded the city and lands nearby with salt water.
A king of Crete did not sacrifice the right bull to Poseidon, who was angered and compelled the king’s wife to fall in love with the bull instead and mate with it, producing the dreaded Minotaur as their offspring in punishment.
The king of Athens killed one of Poseidon’s sons in the battle of Athens. Poseidon god then demanded that one of his daughters should be sacrificed to him but because the daughters of Erechtheus had an agreement with each other that if one dies, the rest would commit suicide, the king of Athens lost all of his daughters. In the end Poseidon also requested from Zeus to struck Eechtheus with a thunderbolt which ended the king’s life and bloodline.
Not all accounts are about revenge though. Poseidon could also be very passionate and understanding to those who he favored and therefore gave good words or intervened himself on their behalf. One of such accounts is the myth of Ares and Aphrodite when they were trapped in the bed of Hephaestus. After all the gods have been summoned to see this adultery and having a laugh at it, it was Poseidon who convinced Hephaestus to let Ares go, in spite of what had been done.
He was also close to his family and gave his sons and grandsons many magnificent gifts. He was also known to grant the wish of sex-change in those seeking to switch genders.