Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

Helios, the God of the Sun

Birth and Family of Helios

Helios was born from the union of the celestial Titan Hyperion and Theia, the Titaness of Sight (or Euryphaessa). Helios' sisters were Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Eos, the radiant, rosy-fingered goddess of the dawn. Helios was first married to his sister, Selene, but overall he had many wives, among them the Oceanid Perse; from their union, Helios became the father of king Aetes, Circe and Pasiphae, the wife of Minos.

Appearance of Helios

Helios was a glowing god with bright curls of hair. He had piercing eyes gazing from his golden helmet and wore fine-spun garment. The ancient Greeks interpreted Helios as a gigantic eye with a halo, observing everything his light could touch.

The Daily Journey of Helios

Morning by morning, Eos would travel up to Mount Olympus to announce her brother's glorious arrival. Soon Helios would approach the mountain with his winged golden chariot pulled by four horses of fire and the two siblings would depart for their daily journey across the sky.
While traveling from the land of the dawn to the land of the heavens, Eos would gradually transform into Hemera (Day) and later on to Hespera (evening). Upon arrival, Helios would hide himself in his golden cup and night fell upon the earth...this was the moment when his wife Selene, the goddess of the moon, would depart for her own, nightly journey.

Helios and the Island of Rhodes

Another wife of Helios was the Nymph Rhode (meaning "rose" in the Greek language). Rhodes gave her name to the famous Greek island of Rhodes and Helios was the island's patron deity.
The Rhodians worshipped Helios very much and organized annual festivities in his honor.
One of the island's main attractions, the Colossus of Rhodes, was built in Helios' honor and was one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. The Colossus of Rhodes was a bronze, triumphal statue, about 32 meters high, that was constructed by the famous Chares of Lindos.

The Roman name of Helios is "Sol"


Picture Gallery

Helios photo gallery