The Greek gods could take many forms, and Poseidon, god of the sea, once took the form of a horse and fathered Areion—a wild, winged horse blessed with great speed. Few could tame the steed enough to ride it, although Hercules was purported to have done so. Poseidon’s chariot might still be seen skirting the waves in a wild Mediterranean storm, with Areion at the end of the reins, wings pumping furiously. The majestic horse fears neither wave nor gale, and only the strong hand of the sea god can hold the steed in check.
Needing to impress his brother, Hades and Zeus, Poseidon decided to put on a show with his son Areion, the fastest flying horse of the ancient world. He ordered sea nymphs to search shipwrecks for gold coins, and they returned with great treasure.
After smelting the gold in his undersea palace, Poseidon ordered the speedy Areion to fly through a waterfall of gold, which gilded the black horse. Areion was still the speediest horse in all the world, but now he streaked through the heavens like a gold comet, aweing even Zeus and Hades, both of whom coveted the shiny steed.
Areion was nearly impossible to tame, however, even for the god of the sky and the god of the underworld. Poseidon agreed to allow the horse to spend one month every year in Zeus’ stables and another month in Hades’ barn, where his brother gods could admire the beautiful horse.
Poseidon’s chariot might be seen skirting the waves in a wild Mediterranean storm, with Areion at the end of the reins, wings pumping furiously. The majestic horse fears neither wave nor gale, and only the strong hand of the sea god can hold the horse in check.