Greek Religious Hierarchy

The ancient Greek religious hierarchy followed the concept of polytheism. Polytheism is defined as the worship of multiple deities and belief in their respective religions and rituals. In ancient Greece, there existed a classical scheme of Twelve Olympians. The gods and goddesses that were worshiped as per the classical scheme are Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Artemis, Hestia and Apollo.

The above deities were the most important elements of the Greek religion and people gave much emphasis on pleasing the gods and goddesses, in order to live a life free of hardships and oppression. The various levels of greek religious hierarchy are:

Greek Religious Hierarchy

Greek Religious Hierarchy

  • Zeus
  • Hera
  • Poseidon
  • Demeter
  • Ares
  • Hermes
  • Hephaestus
  • Aphrodite


Zeus was at the top of the Greek religious hierarchy, also known as the king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus. Zeus was known as the god of thunder and the sky, as per the Greek mythology. He was the youngest child of the Titan Cronus and Rhea. The symbols of Zeus include thunderbolt, eagle, scepter, scales and an oak tree.


Hera is the queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage and family. She was the daughter of Rhea and Cronus. She was the wife and one of the three sisters of Zeus, as per the Greek mythology. The symbols of the goddess included peacock, crown, lion, pomegranate, cow and cuckoo.


Poseidon is known as the god of the sea. He is also referred to as Earth Shaker due to the capability of causing earthquakes. Collectively, he is called as the lord of earthquakes, seas and horses. Poseidon was the middle son of Cronus and Rhea and the brother of Zeus and Hades. He was married to the NereidAmphirite. The symbols representing Poseiden are horse, dolphin, bull and trident.


Demeter is one of the important parts of the Greek religious hierarchy. She is the goddess of the harvest and presided over grains and the fertility of the earth. She was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea. The symbols of Demeter are poppy, wheat, pig and torch.


Ares is the god of war, bloodshed and violence. He was the son of Zeus and Hera. The symbols used for Ares are boar, dog, vulture, serpent and shield.


As per the Greek mythology, he was the son of Zeus and the Pleiade Maia. He was the second youngest of all the Olympian gods. He is believed to be the god of transitions and boundaries. He was considered to be the protector of travelers, orators, literature and poets, athletics and sports, invention and trade. He was also known as the god of commerce. The symbols of Hermes include winged sandals and cap, staff entwined with two snakes, stork and tortoise.


He is the craftsman of the gods and known as the god of fire and the forge. As per the Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the son of Zeus and Hera. The symbols of the god includefire, axe, hammer, anvil, donkey, tongs and quail.


She is the goddess of love, beauty and desire. The symbols include swan, dove, bee, apple, rose and myrtle.