Classical goddesses

In classical antiquity the Greeks believed that twelve gods, six of them female – Demeter, Artemis, Pallas Athena, Aphrodite, Hestia, and Juno, the wife of the supreme god Zeus – lived on Mount Olympus. The Roman poet Ovid (43 BC–AD 17-18) recorded their fates and those of the other Greek gods in his epic poem the Metamorphoses. Except for their miraculous deeds the gods were just like ordinary people: they felt love, anger and jealousy, and fought and committed adultery among themselves and with mortals. Mythological subjects were popular in ancient architecture, and later predominantly in Renaissance and Baroque art. The Olympian goddesses – with their Roman names of Ceres, Diana, Minerva, Venus, Vesta and Juno – are frequently depicted, yet other deities, including Latona (Leto), the goddess of fertility Cybele (Rhea) and the Three Fates also figure regularly in art.



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