Neptune (Greek Poseidon)
In Roman mythology, the name given to the Greek sea god Poseidon, son of Cronus and Rhea, brother of Zeus (Roman Jupiter) and Hades (Roman Pluto).
Neptune was married to the granddaughter of the Titan Oceanus, the water nymph Amphitrite, and was the father of Polyphemus, the Cyclops. Neptune constantly hindered Odysseus' attempts to return home for tricking and injuring Polyphemus.
Poseidon helped the Greeks during the Trojan War. He is usually shown as a bearded man holding a trident and standing in a shell-chariot being drawn over the sea by dolphins. His festival, called the Neptunalia, was celebrated by the Romans on July 23, when water was scarcest.
Poseidon liked to surprise nymphs with monsters, and concocted the octopus, the blowfish, and the seapolyp for their entertainment. He was revered by those who lived near the sea and feared by inlanders as well, for his floods reached far into the country. Poseidon provided bountiful support to generations of sailors, but his mood could change in an instant, producing terrible storms that would wreck fleets and drown those venturing into the sea.
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Sources: (1) Cooper, J.C. (Editor), Brewer's Book of Myth and Legend, Cassell Academic Publishing; (2) Evans, Bergen, Dictionary of Mythology, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.; (3) Dixon-Kennedy, Mike, Encyclopedia of Greco-Roman Mythology, ABC-Clio Inc. Publishers; (4) Ayto, John, Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, Collins Reference Publishing.
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