Home to many of the gods in Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was created after the war between the Olympians and the Titans. This war finally ended after ten years and saw Zeus and his fellow Olympians victorious.
Mount Olympus is often described as containing a fabulous palace made of marble and gold. Mytikas, the highest of its peaks— rises to 2,917 metres (9,570 ft)—was referred to as the pantheon. This is where the gods would gather, and many fierce discussions and arguments took place within the pantheon.
Many gods and goddesses were believed to have lived on Mount Olympus. The twelve Olympians (Aphrodite, Artemis, Apollo, Hebe, Zeus, Hera, Hades, Demeter, Ares, Poseidon, and Hermes) were most commonly depicted as making Mount Olympus their home. But Poseidon and Hades chose to live separately.
The ancient Greek poem, Iliad, describes Olympus as being an ancient Acropolis, essentially a fortified hilltop. Somewhat of a palace complex located just below the peaks of Mount Olympus.
Located on the lowest level of the mountain were the nine Muses (Kallichore, Helike, Eunike, Thelxinoë, Terpsichore, Euterpe, Eukelade, Dia, and Enope), who would often entertain the gods of Olympus.
The golden gates that led to Olympus were not guarded by any creature or monster. They were protected by the three goddesses of the seasons—known as the Horae (Horai), were usually named Eunomia (Good Order, Good Pasture), Eirene (Peace, Spring), and Dike (Justice) goddesses who individually represented the conditions required for farming prosperity.
The main feature of Mount Olympus was Zeus’ palace, much larger than the palaces of the other gods and goddesses. Despite the size, Zeus’ palace still had a very simple layout—with a large central hall, private bed chambers and some storage rooms.
The main hall had floors made from gold and often served as a council chamber and a feast hall for the other Olympian gods, as it provided them with an expansive view of the world, allowing them to observe mankind from the heights of Olympus.
The tables and furniture of the Great Hall were created by the divine smith Hephaestus, and they were animated so they could present themselves when needed and packed themselves away when the feasts were over.
Outside the palaces of Olympus was a lush land, teeming of exotic fruits and herds of cattle. There was a large courtyard where all the gods would gather, including those of Earth and even the sea deities; sometimes, even nymphs were invited.
Olympus was more than a lush land filled with exotic fruit and vegetation. The gods had an abundance of anything that they would have ever needed. To the gods, Olympus was just the home that they deserved, nothing more and nothing less. To everyone else, Olympus was a paradise that they only wish they could have visited.
Mount Olympus is an actual Mountain located in Greece. The highest in the country. There are those who believe that the gods never lived on the mountain. Olympus was, however, seen as a metaphor, as it reflects the social hierarchy in Greek mythology.
Being the highest point, Mount Olympus would naturally make sense as the home of the gods, as they are elevated above all mortals, creatures and demigods, able to look down at those they were considered to be above and rule over.
Mount Olympus Q&A
What is Mount Olympus in Greek mythology?
In Greek mythology, Mount Olympus was regarded as the home of the gods and the place of the throne of Zeus. Mount Olympus was created after the war between the Olympians and the Titans.
Is there a real Mount Olympus?
Yes, there is a real Mount Olympus, and it is located in Greece, near the Gulf of Thérmai (Modern Greek: Thermaïkós) of the Aegean Sea and lies astride the border between Macedonia (Makedonía) and Thessaly (Thessalía).
What is so special about Mount Olympus?
Mount Olympus was said to be the palace of the ancient Greek gods, which include Zeus and Hera. Here, the gods were said to look at the activities of mankind from the top of Olympus.
What Happened at Mount Olympus?
According to the Greek mythos, the Olympians ruled Olympus until the monster Typhon attacked their stronghold—Typhon was a 100-headed fire-breathing dragon. When he attacked Olympus, the majority of the gods chose to flee, as Zeus’ tenor was removed by Typhon, making him powerless. He was eventually helped by Hermes, who replace his tenor, which made him face and defeat the monster.
Image Credits: Marcel Gatabaki, Badr Laghzaoui.