Demeter - goddess of grain and the harvest, and daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea.
When her daughter Persephone was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld, Demeter's grief was so great that she neglected the land; no plants grew, and famine devastated the earth. Dismayed at this situation, Zeus, the ruler of the universe, demanded that his brother Hades return Persephone to her mother. Hades agreed, but before he released the girl, he made her eat some pomegranate seeds that would force her to return to him for four months each year.
In her joy at being reunited with her daughter, Demeter caused the earth to bring forth bright spring flowers and abundant fruit and grain for the harvest. However, her sorrow returned each fall when Persephone had to go back to the underworld. The desolation of the winter season and the death of vegetation were regarded as the yearly manifestation of Demeter's grief when her daughter was taken from her.
Demeter and Persephone were worshiped in the rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The cult spread from Sicily to Rome, where the goddesses were worshiped as Ceres and Proserpine. (Encarta)
Apollo - god of candy bars...oh wait. That was a Rick Note
Apollo - son of the god Zeus and Leto, daughter of a Titan. He also bore the epithets “Delian” from Delos, the island of his birth, and “Pythian,” from his killing of the Python, the fabled serpent that guarded a shrine on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.
The functions of the Greek sun god Helios were transferred to Apollo, in his identity as Phoebus. In Homeric legend Apollo was primarily a god of prophecy. His most important oracle was at Delphi, the site of his victory over the Python. He sometimes gave the gift of prophecy to mortals whom he loved, such as the Trojan princess Cassandra.
Apollo was a gifted musician who delighted the gods with his performance on the lyre. He was also a master archer and a fleet-footed athlete, credited with having been the first victor in the ancient Olympic Games.
His twin sister, Artemis, was the guardian of young women, and Apollo was the special protector of young men. He was also the god of agriculture and cattle and of light and truth. He taught humans the art of healing (see Asclepius).
Some tales depict Apollo as stern or cruel. According to Homer's Iliad, Apollo answered the prayers of the priest Chryses to obtain the release of his daughter from the Greek general Agamemnon by shooting fiery, pestilential arrows into the Greek army. He also abducted and ravished the young Athenian princess Creusa and abandoned her and the child born to them.
Perhaps because of his beauty, Apollo was represented in ancient art more frequently than any other deity. (Encarta)
Ares - god of war and son of Zeus, king of the gods, and his wife, Hera.
Aggressive and sanguinary, Ares personified the brutal nature of war. He was unpopular with both gods and humans. Among the deities associated with Ares were his consort, Aphrodite, goddess of love, and such minor deities as Deimos (Panic) and Phobos (Fear), who accompanied him in battle. Although fierce and warlike, Ares was not invincible, even against mortals.
The worship of Ares, believed to have originated in Thrace, was not extensive in ancient Greece, and where it existed, it lacked social or moral significance. Ares was an ancestral deity of Thebes and had a temple at Athens, at the foot of the Areopagus, or Hill of Ares. (Encarta)
Hestia - virgin goddess of the hearth, the eldest daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea.
She was believed to preside at all sacrificial altar fires, and prayers were offered to her before and after meals. Although she appears in very few myths, most cities had a common hearth where her sacred fire burned. Her fire was attended by six virgin priestesses known as vestal virgins.
Poseidon - god of the sea, the son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and the brother of Zeus and Hades.
Poseidon was the husband of Amphitrite, one of the Nereids, by whom he had a son, Triton. Poseidon had numerous other love affairs, however, especially with nymphs of springs and fountains, and was the father of several children famed for their wildness and cruelty, among them the giant Orion and the Cyclops Polyphemus. Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa were the parents of Pegasus, the famous winged horse.
Poseidon plays a prominent part in numerous ancient myths and legends. He contended unsuccessfully with Athena, goddess of wisdom, for the control of Athens. When he and Apollo, god of the sun, were cheated of their promised wages after having helped Laomedon, king of Troy, build the walls of that city, Poseidon's revenge against Troy knew no bounds. He sent a terrible sea monster to ravage the land, and during the Trojan War he helped the Greeks.
In art, Poseidon is represented as a bearded and majestic figure, holding a trident and often accompanied by a dolphin. (Encarta)
Athena - one of the most important goddesses in Greek mythology.
Athena sprang full-grown and armored from the forehead of the god Zeus and was his favorite child. He entrusted her with his shield, adorned with the hideous head of Medusa the Gorgon, his buckler, and his principal weapon, the thunderbolt.
A virgin goddess, she was called Parthenos (“the maiden”). Her major temple, the Parthenon, was in Athens, which, according to legend, became hers as a result of her gift of the olive tree to the Athenian people.
Athena was primarily the goddess of the Greek cities, of industry and the arts, and, in later mythology, of wisdom; she was also goddess of war. Athena was the strongest supporter, among the gods, of the Greek side in the Trojan War.
After the fall of Troy, however, the Greeks failed to respect the sanctity of an altar to Athena at which the Trojan prophet Cassandra sought shelter. As punishment, storms sent by the god of the sea, Poseidon, at Athena's request destroyed most of the Greek ships returning from Troy.
Athena was also a patron of the agricultural arts and of the crafts of women, especially spinning and weaving. Among her gifts to man were the inventions of the plow and the flute and the arts of taming animals, building ships, and making shoes. She was often associated with birds, especially the owl.