Herakles banqueting on the Olympus
(from 6th c. BC Greek pottery)
Powerful, yet hardly infallible, the Hellenic gods of Mt. Olympus and their adventures reflect as much the mentality of the ancients, as their pagan traditions. Their cults actually originated at different times and places, but eventually they all amalgamated in the family of the chosen twelve, with its family feuds and dealings with mortals. Of course, not (even) all gods were created equal - as evidenced, among other things, by the frequency of their presence on coinage - with Zeus, Athena and Apollo being the most popular. Many of them served as patrons of certain city-states or monarchies, or were awarded other forms of special veneration, which is also apparent on monetary issues. Finally, one must remember that there are numerous other deities that have been worshipped, Hellenized and placed on coinage in the vastly expanded Hellenistic realm following the Macedonian conquests.