5

Cheating on one's significant other is common in Greek Myth. I have only found four gods that remain faithful: Hera, Amphitrite, Eros and Psyche (while gods that didn't marry can't exactly cheat). Examples of infidelity are:

  • Zeus and Io
  • Poseidon and Aphrodite
  • Hephaestus and Aglaea
  • Hades and Minthe
  • Persephone and Adonis
  • 1
    Sexual promiscuity is unfaithfulness only when one has taken some vow to abstain from it (as in the Anglican Form for the Solemnization of Matrimony: "Wilt thou . . . forsaking all others, keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?" "I will.") What, if anything, do we know about the marriage vows of the gods? I don't think it was C of E! Even today in Greece, marriage is commonly understood as committing only the female partner to sexual exclusivity. – Brian Donovan Apr 19 '18 at 21:18
  • 2
    Thus Penelope's legendary faithfulness in contrast to her husband. (Note that in the case of Penny, it is her cunning that allows her to keep the suitors at bay, leveraging her weaving, a source of female power in Greek myth.) Still, Hera was not happy about the situation with her husband, regardless of the status quo... – DukeZhou Apr 24 '18 at 20:34
  • 1
    Also, don't forget the very famous infidelities of Ares and Aphrodite, Zeus and Leto! (Really, "Zeus and [fill in name here]" because that guy really got around;) – DukeZhou Apr 24 '18 at 20:39
  • 1
    In the VAST majority of the tales, Persephone and Hades are EXTREMELY faithful to each other. More than that, it’s actually a Roman fabrication, that they weren’t. So in ACTUAL Greek mythology, they were faithful. – Starsewq Jan 5 at 1:16
4

Yup, there sure are.

(It might be a noteworthy consideration that most of them are female deities.)

The sea-god Nereus and his wife the Oceanid Doris were faithful to each other.

The sea-goddess Eurybia, wife of the Titan Creius

The Titaness Tethys, wife of her own brother Oceanus

The Titaness Mnemosyne, Goddess of Memory, who, in Hesiod's Theogony, is Zeus's fifth wife

Erebus, the primaeval personification of darkness, who was married to the night-goddess Nyx

Hemera, the primordial personification of daytime, who was married to Aether

Uranus, the original sky-god, who was married to his own mother Gaia, the Earth

Sidenote 1: The poetess Sappho says that Eros was the son of Uranus and Aphrodite, but Aaron Atsma interprets this as meaning that Aphrodite herself was born pregnant, with Eros in her womb, she herself having formed out of the severed genitalia of Uranus mingling with the salt-foam of the sea. Besides, the more common parentages of Eros do not involve Uranus.

The river-god Hydaspes, in India, who was married to the nymph Astris

The Arcadian river-god Ladon, who was married to Stymphalis

The Sicilian river-god Anapus, who, in Ovid's Metamorphoses, is married to the nymph Cyane

A few Oceanids: the aforementioned sea-goddess Doris; Electra (wife of the sea-god Thaumas); Meliboea (wife of King Pelasgus of Pelasgia, which later became Arcadia); and the youngest Oceanid Eidyia (wife of King Aeetes of Colchis).

Iris, wife of Zephyrus

Hebe, who married Heracles [Hercules] after he became a god

The Nereid Thetis, wife of the Myrmidon king Peleus

The Nereid Iphianassa, wife of King Enydmion of Elis (though there are different versions of who this king's wife was).

Rhode, wife of Helios

Benthesicyme, who married a king of Aethiopia [Ethiopia]

Nephele, wife of the Boeotian king Athamas


Sidenote 2: Regarding Eros: in Book 32 of his Dionysiaca, Nonnus quotes Hera as devising an elaborate fiction by which to deceive Zeus. In it she says that Eros has become infatuated with the Oceanid Rhodope so much so that he has even abandoned his duties as the god of love.

Since Nonnus does not mention Psyche, who, besides that, appears to be a purely allegorical character invented by Apuleius, it is unclear whether Eros is at this point is to be understood as being married. The point might be moot, however, since the business with Rhodope could all be part of Hera's lie.

Sidenote 3: Algaia (or Aglaea) shouldn't be on your infidelity examples list, by the way. She was legitimately married to Hephaestus (and was loyal to him).

-2

In real Greek mythology, when it comes to Persephone and Hades, that NEVER happened. Persephone and Hades were faithful to each other.

NO Ancient Greek author ever claimed otherwise. And NO Ancient Greek myth, ever claimed that they were “unfaithful” to each other either.

That’s a ROMAN FABRICATION, invented by Ovid, a ROMAN author, for ROMAN mythology, as a ROMAN myth.

And in the original Roman myths, neither Pluto (Hades) or Proserpina (Persephone) had an “affair.”

In the original myth of Minthe, Proserpina (Persephone) turned Minthe into a plant before she could have a liaison with Pluto (Hades).

While in the original myth of Adonis, Proserpina (Persephone) NEVER even appeared. She was only ever SHOEHORNED into that myth, by later Roman authors who were unfaithful to Ovid and to the original myth. Making it invalid and non-canon to the original myth.

And clearly, since that’s a ROMAN fabrication, it’s also invalid and non-canon to Ancient Greek mythology, the original mythology.

In real Greek mythology, both Persephone and Hades, were faithful and loyal to each other. At least according to the Elysian Mysteries (Persephone’s main cult), who believed that Persephone and Hades had a faithful, and apparently, a loving marriage too.

And if you’re not going to acknowledge Persephone or Hades, then you shouldn’t acknowledge Hera either. Since according to some sources, Hera slept with Dionysus. No Ancient Greek author ever claimed this, but you honestly seem to think that fan fiction is “valid.”

While Hephaestus was legitimately married to Aglaea.

  • If you are going to attempt to alter my view on the situation, you might want to try proving your claims. As it is, you are just yelling at me without evidence to back your words. Paragraphs and sources please, so I can read the, "original," myth of Minthe. Let you show me the, "original," myth of Adonis where Persephone was, "shoehorned," into later on. Make the distinction between Ovid and the Greek authors. But, while Persephone was apart of the Elysian Mysteries, the cult belonged to Demeter. – Andrew Johnson Apr 18 at 21:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.