The ancient Greeks believed there were a great number of gods and goddesses. These gods had control over many different aspects of life on earth. In many ways they were very human. They could be kind or mean, angry or pleasant, cruel or loving. They fell in love with each other, argued with each other and even stole from each other.
King of all the gods and goddesses was Zeus. He could control the weather and was often called "the thunderer" or "the cloud-gatherer". He lived with the other gods on Mount Olympus, a high mountain in northern Greece.
The ancient Greeks built great temples and sanctuaries to their gods. They held festivals in their honour, with processions, sports, sacrifices and competitions. Stories of the gods' exploits were told to children by their mothers and to large audiences by professional bards and storytellers.