Poseidon and Neptune seem to share a lot of similarities at first glance. However, there is much more to unpack under those choppy seas than meets the eye.
Poseidon and Neptune share many characteristics. This is mainly due to the fact that the Romans adopted several aspects of Greek mythology. They each wield a trident, are deity figures associated with the ocean, and have eerily similar backstories. There are some similarities that can be seen, but there are also a number of key differences to highlight.
Neptune is worshiped in Rome, where he possesses a chariot and a single temple. On the other hand, Poseidon is the creator of horses and the patron god of various cities. When we compare and contrast their histories, mythologies, portrayals, and forms of devotion, we can see that they are distinct from one another.
Because of their similarities, Poseidon and Neptune are frequently used as synonyms. However, when compared side by side, their contrasts are striking.
In Greek mythology, Poseidon is one of the 12 Olympian Gods who preside over many domains, including the heavens, the underworld, the wars, the loves, the seas, and so on. Often represented in art while wielding a trident, he is revered as the sea’s patron deity.
In order to aid the Olympians in their conflict with the giants, the cyclops presented him with that trident. Greek mythology’s gods were humanized by giving each one a distinct character and set of values that worshippers may aspire to.
According to Roman mythology, Neptune was first created there. Since Roman mythology followed Greek mythology, many of the Gods were identical save for their names. If the distinction between Neptune and the Roman god Poseidon ended there, we’d leave it at that.
A trident and a chariot drawn by seahorses or dolphins were common accessories for Neptune in the artwork.
These marine mammals were more like horses with fins than the typical seahorse. One major dissimilarity between these deities is the prevalence of aquatic life. Roman deities were not personified like their Greek counterparts but rather were designated by inanimate things or activities.
Because of this, most Roman deities were renamed versions of Greek deities.
Poseidon, the God of the Sea, is traditionally represented with a trident. This was true of all water, but especially the ocean, after which he was named. Although he is widely revered as the God of Thunder, he is also the God of Earthquakes and Horses.
He was rumored to shake the Earth with his trident if he felt neglected or insulted. He also created the first equine species. The Romans incorporated some of these ideas into their version, while others were left out.
He is said to have sired a large number of legendary horses, Pegasus being the most famous.
Neptune resembles Poseidon so closely as to be nearly comical. Unlike Poseidon, which is associated with the sea, Attis was originally worshiped as the god of freshwater. By 399 B.C., however, he had been firmly linked to Poseidon.
Neptune was revered as the god of water and the wind, storms, and horses.
There is no evidence that Neptune ever created horses. Thus, they must be done differently. Stories, however, have it that he was dragged to the ocean by horses, which led to his eventual notoriety. Others cast doubt on Neptune’s association with equines.
Speculation has it that he resided in a golden mansion hidden beneath the seas of the Mediterranean.
Poseidon has a long and storied history in Greek mythology. Even before the modern Olympic Games, he was one of the 12 deities most closely associated with the games. Because his father, Cronus, was paranoid that one of his children might bring about his destruction, Cronus ate him whole.
Before his wife deceived him into thinking he was given a rock instead of a kid, Cronus promptly ate every child he had soon after delivery.
Cronus didn’t bother to check, so he gulped it down whole along with the rest, and then he became sick and puked up all of his grown offspring.
Poseidon was one of the people that sent their dad to Tartarus with their other brothers. Zeus, the instigator of the whole thing, split up the worlds. The position of Sea God was given to Poseidon.
Neptune was an introduced mythological figure in Roman culture. For some, his appearance as a widespread devotion deity only occurred 400 years after Rome was founded. The legend of Neptune is similar to that of Poseidon. His father ate him, threw him up, and then he and his siblings beat him.
In contrast to Poseidon, Neptune is given the freedom to choose his own realm; he opts for the oceans. According to Roman mythology, Neptune created the Earth by carving out valleys and sculpting the ocean bottoms with his tentacles.
Poseidon was revered as the patron god of several important cities in ancient Greece. Even in Athens, he ranks second only to Athena. Most ancient Greek cities chose a single deity as their patron. However, a few chose many deities. There, they would celebrate their gods and pray for the protection of their cities and people.
A prevalent subject in their prayers was prosperity, and they would also pray for fulfilling their own unique demands. The Greeks practiced this in their daily routines for fear of offending the Gods.
Gods were given a considerably more central role, practically being seen as genuine, all-powerful persons who should not be insulted.
Prayers to Poseidon were offered by those who made their living from the sea, such as fishermen and sailors, hoping to receive good fortune, pleasant weather, and plenty of fish. However, since he also invented the horse, he was revered by those whose livelihood depended on caring for animals.
Since Neptune didn’t appear until much later in the mythology, it makes sense that he doesn’t get much veneration. Only one temple was dedicated to Neptune in all of Rome, and it was repeatedly destroyed and restored throughout the centuries.
Neptune was one of the four Roman gods who sanctioned the killing of bulls in religious rituals. The sacrifice of a bull would anger any other deities. Neptunalia was a celebration held at the height of summer. The plan was to worship Neptune in the hopes that he would alleviate the heat and dryness.
For maximum synergy, this celebration was sandwiched between two others honoring similar deities and for similar purposes.
Powers And Skills
It is claimed that Poseidon has total dominion and authority over the water and ocean. He’s meant to unleash enormous storms, which may either clear the skies and allow ships to sail or, in the event of retaliation, sink them.
He was known as the Earth-shaker because of his ability to use his trident to trigger earthquakes on Earth.
His control over huge expanses of water allowed him to
- Create powerful tsunamis and tidal surges that could sink any size boat
- Make enormous water funnel clouds
- He had a command of hydrogenases since he could conjure forth water from thin air.
- It could go across the sea at supersonic speed.
- It could even make water solid enough to step on it.
- When enraged, it causes drought and flooding. By sending a flood to blanket the area inhabited by humans, he assisted his brother Zeus in putting an end to the human race.
- Ride enormous sea waves and occasionally employ them as a form of high-speed transportation.
- He was well-recognized for having great heat and burn resistance.
The Romans shared the belief that several gods existed and ruled the Earth.
Neptune is thought to have been created by the Romans as their deity of the oceans, much like the Greek god of the water, Poseidon, for the exact same purpose.
Romans prayed to Neptune in order for him to provide their crops with water during the summer droughts since he was a deity of both the sea and freshwater.
Neptune’s powers include
- As one of the Big Three, Neptune shared the same supreme powers as the other three gods and was only ever opposed by his brothers, Pluto and Jupiter.
- Hydrokinetics. He was in charge of large quantities of water since he was the deity of fresh water. It allowed him to;
- without burden, and withstand extremely high water pressure.
- He could produce some water through his body.
- He could facilitate his teleportation by using sea waves.
- He could comfortably breathe underwater, allowing him to spend a lengthy period submerged.
- He has virtually complete influence over the will of all aquatic life.
Who Would Win in a Battle?
Indeed, if Neptune and Poseidon battled, it would be quite difficult to predict who would come out on top. During the fight, they and the rest of the world would all be wiped off the face of the Earth.
The argument is that, despite their seeming differences, they are both great gods.
The gods Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, were ranked in order of their might, with Zeus being the most powerful.
Neptune would have a hard time defeating Poseidon if the latter sought aid from Zeus and Hades, his siblings.
Both Poseidon and Neptune are powerful sea deities. Thus a conflict between them would be close to a draw if neither side received financial support from other relatives.
They have similar abilities, such as the ability to control horses, storms, earthquakes, and hurricanes. However, Poseidon’s trident, a three-pronged weapon, and the support of his mighty siblings are his sole advantages over Neptune.
- In Greek mythology, Poseidon presided over the sea, whereas in Roman mythology, Neptune presided over the freshwater.
- Neptune is depicted as a dolphin or seahorse and is said to be in charge of the other aquatic deities that reside in and around Thetis. On the other hand, Poseidon was shown as an isolated figure with his trident raised toward the heavens.
- In Greece, the celebration of Poseidon is known as the Isthmian Games, while the festival honoring Neptune is known as Neptunalia.
- White horses are frequently used as symbols of Neptune because, in some stories, the god of the sea was once said to have been carried along the beach in a chariot pulled by white horses.
Poseidon, the son of Rhea and Cronus, succeeded his father as a sea god following his death. Likewise, two of his brothers, Hades and Zeus, succeeded him as ruler of the underworld and the heavens.
Neptune, the Roman deity of fresh water, is typically depicted astride a seahorse, in contrast to Poseidon, the Greek god of the ocean, who was typically shown standing next to a ship.
Legend has it that the fearsome Gorgon Medusa and Neptune had a child together, and that child was a seahorse.
While modern sculptures sometimes combine elements of both, there is a clear distinction between the two in terms of their history.
Even though both Neptune and Poseidon are associated with vast quantities of water, Neptune is in charge of freshwaters and Poseidon of the ocean.
We can declare without any doubt that Poseidon and Neptune are two very distinct legendary beings with their own histories. The divinities of nature are revered and honored across religious and cultural traditions.
An enthusiastic dream journaler who has connected sleep-time visions with real-life occurrences in the past and present, Karandeep believes in tapping into the subconscious and demystifying strengths, insecurities, and deep-rooted desires. Besides identifying the interconnectedness of dreams in his personalized dream journal, he continues to study the significance of celestial objects and their relation to mythological tales that keep modern society intrigued about past civilizations.