3

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
2

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).

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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