About This Guide

There are many different kinds of texts, reading tools, and reading styles. We’ve been working hard at OwlEyes.org to improve the reading experience for everyone by providing users with accessible annotation tools, contextual and analytical insights, and opportunities for community collaboration. This Owl Eyes Guide to Greek and Roman Gods is designed to give you a base to understand mythological gods and the many literary allusions to them and their individual stories that you will encounter in plays, movies, songs, and other aspects of Western culture, due to the phenomenal influence that Greek and Roman mythology has had on it. This guide will help you identify the gods and remember their individual characteristics so that you can better understand the metaphorical power of allusions to their myths.

We’ve set up this guide in a particular way: 

First, we briefly introduce the importance of mythology and the influence of the gods on Western literature. We broadly cover the reasons why you might want to be familiar with these ancient characters and point out some fun facts that you might not already know.  

Second, we provide you with a historical overview of the ancient time periods from which these gods came. This section includes a useful timeline of texts that provide the surviving canon of ancient literature and a list of vocabulary words that relate specifically to the myths. 

Third, we dive into each god individually. We’ve created a table for each god detailing the god’s powers, genealogy, and characteristics so that you can get a sense of who each one is at a glance. Then, we briefly summarize the three most important myths featuring each god (aka the myths that are generally referenced by Shakespeare and the poets who were influenced by his work). 

Finally, we’ve included a list of example texts that have allusions to Greek and Roman myths, so you can see the influence these stories have had on literature throughout the centuries. 

Happy Reading!