chapter  5
RULER OF ELEMENTAL POWERS: Poseidon
Pages 12

Homer (Il. 15.184-93) recounts that when the cosmos was divided among the gods, Poseidon received the sea as his lot. Yet his first worshipers probably did not live within sight of the sea. Poseidon was a powerful god among the Mycenaean Greeks, and his cult is strongest among populations established in the Greek world before the so-called Dorian invasion. His status was gradually eroded in the Archaic period, as the process of Panhellenization required that all the gods of the canon be subordinated to Zeus. Little concerned with the spheres of justice, invention, or the arts, Poseidon is in origin a god of elemental, geological forces: life-giving springs, disastrous floods, chasms through which water flows or recedes, and tremors in the earth. Ultimately he ruled the vast and unpredictable sea, causing storms and tidal waves.