Poseidon (; Greek: , ) is one of the twelve Olympian deities of the pantheon in Greek mythology. His main domain is the ocean, and he is called the "God of the Sea". Additionally, he is referred to as "Earth-Shaker"〔Modern Greek media (e.g. ("The Pacific: A history full of earthquakes" ) ''Ta Nea'', 2011) and scholars (e.g. (Koutouzis, Vassilis ) ''Volcanoes and Earthquakes in Troizinia'') do not metaphorically refer to Poseidon but instead to Enceladus, the chief of the ancient Giants, to denote earthquakes in Greece.〕 due to his role in causing earthquakes, and has been called the "tamer of horses". He is usually depicted as an older male with curly hair and beard.
The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology; both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon. Linear B tablets show that Poseidon was venerated at Pylos and Thebes in pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece as a chief deity, but he was integrated into the Olympian gods as the brother of Zeus and Hades.〔 According to some folklore, he was saved by his mother Rhea, who concealed him among a flock of lambs and pretended to have given birth to a colt, which was devoured by Cronos.〔In the 2nd century AD, a well with the name of ''Arne'', the "lamb's well", in the neighbourhood of Mantineia in Arcadia, where old traditions lingered, was shown to Pausanias. (Pausanias viii.8.2.)〕
There is a Homeric hymn to Poseidon, who was the protector of many Hellenic cities, although he lost the contest for Athens to Athena. According to the references from Plato in his dialogues ''Timaeus'' and ''Critias'', the island of Atlantis was the chosen domain of Poseidon.〔 . Retrieved October 02, 2012.〕〔''Timaeus'' 24e–25a, R. G. Bury translation (Loeb Classical Library).〕〔Also it has been interpreted that Plato or someone before him in the chain of the oral or written tradition of the report accidentally changed the very similar Greek words for "bigger than" ("meson") and "between" ("mezon") – 〕
== Etymology ==
The earliest attested occurrence of the name, written in Linear B, is ''Po-se-da-o'' or ''Po-se-da-wo-ne'', which correspond to (''Poseidaōn'') and (''Poseidawonos'') in Mycenean Greek; in Homeric Greek it appears as (''Poseidaōn''); in Aeolic as (''Poteidaōn''); and in Doric as (''Poteidan''), (''Poteidaōn''), and (''Poteidas'').〔Martin Nilsson (1967). ''Die Geschichte der Griechische Religion.'' Erster Band. Verlag C. H. Beck. p. 444. Also Beekes entry "Poseidwn".〕 The form ("Poteidawn") appears in Corinth. 〔Liddell & Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, ().〕A common epithet of Poseidon is ''Enosichthon'', "Earth-shaker," an epithet which is also identified in Linear B, as , ''E-ne-si-da-o-ne'', This recalls his later epithets ''Ennosidas'' and ''Ennosigaios'' indicating the chthonic nature of Poseidon.〔''Ennosidas'' (Pindar), ''Ennosigaios'' (Homer): B. C. Dietrich (2004), ''The origins of the Greek religion''. Bristol Phoenix Press, p. 185.〕
The origins of the name "Poseidon" are unclear. One theory breaks it down into an element meaning "husband" or "lord" (Greek (''posis''), from PIE ''
*pótis'') and another element meaning "earth" ( (''da''), Doric for (''gē'')), producing something like lord or spouse of ''Da'', i.e. of the earth; this would link him with Demeter, "Earth-mother."〔Pierre Chantraine ''Dictionnaire etymologique de la langue grecque'' Paris 1974-1980 4th s.v.; Lorenzo Rocci ''Vocabolario Greco-Italiano'' Milano, Roma, Napoli 1943 (1970) s.v.〕 Walter Burkert finds that "the second element ''da-'' remains hopelessly ambiguous" and finds a "husband of Earth" reading "quite impossible to prove."〔
Another theory interprets the second element as related to the word
*δᾶϝον ''dâwon'', "water"; this would make
*''Posei-dawōn'' into the master of waters. 〔Martin Nilsson, p. 417, p. 445〕 There is also the possibility that the word has Pre-Greek origin.〔R. S. P. Beekes. ''Etymological Dictionary of Greek'', Brill, 2009, p. 324 (''s.v.'' "Δημήτηρ").〕 Plato in his dialogue Cratylus gives two alternative etymologies: either the sea restrained Poseidon when walking as a "foot-bond" (ποσίδεσμον), or he "knew many things" (πολλά εἰδότος or πολλά εἰδῶν).〔Plato, Cratylus, 402d–402e〕
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