Poseidon

by Max
(Elizabeth Grove, South Australia, Australia)

I would like to know some myth of Poseidon making a storm at sea. Is it natural disasters that cause a shipwreck washed by the sea, or is it a wind blowing a ship? And how do you sacrifice people to angry sea gods? I heard of the latter in a video game called 'Discworld Noir', when the captain talked about this and wouldn't let a detective on his ship, plus he said sacrificing people to the angry sea gods is bad for business.



Hi Max,
I'm afraid I can't tell you very much about video games, I'm not that much into it! (whoever knows more is invited to drop us a line!)
But I can tell you that the mighty god Poseidon had a trident and when he was upset, he would strike the ground with it, causing earthquakes, shipwrecks and drowning people. The horse was the animal to be sacrificed to Poseidon, in order to make him calm the sea. Also, bulls were sacrificed to him.
God Aeolus was responsible of the winds, and sometimes his winds would create a storm that would cause a shipwreck (that's what happened to Odysseus' ships, when his men opened the otter containing the winds and caused a storm).
In Greek mythology there aren't many stories about human sacrifices. The only one I can remember now is the myth of Iphigenia. Agamemnon, her father, boasted to be a better hunter than Artemis, so the goddess got very angry and stopped the winds. Agamemnon and the Greek fleet wanted to sail in order to go to war (with Troy), but they couldn't. An oracle told him that goddess Artemis is angry and only sacrificing Iphigenia would bring back the winds. Agamemnon took his daughter to Tauris, but in the last moment goddess Artemis replaced her with a deer. In this case, the problem was at sea, but it was not caused by Poseidon, nor by Aeolus.

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