Anatolian mythology is a rich mixture from different cultures and histories. There were always many civilizations in Anatolia throughout prehistoric and historic ages. With migrations, battles and commercial transactions, Anatolia has influenced and been influenced by other civilizations. Most of the 12 major deities came from Anatolian origins. Zeus is the most prominent deity in mythology. He is clearly of Indo-European origin and is a celestial deity related to and symbolized by the sky and is a phenomena of the sky. He is the thunderbolt, a god of lightning, a god of rain. He is a father ruler, a sovereign figure and controller.
In Homer, Zeus is a reigning god who sits on a throne at the top of Mount Olympus. He is attended by his council of deities: Hera, Apollo, Poseidon, Artemis and Athena. Each of these has his or her own dwelling on Olympus. The palace and walls were built by Hephaestus.
Poseidon is the creator of thunder but more often the wild horse. In the time of Homer he was called earth-shaker and this name may be related to the sound of horses’ hooves. Several stories tell of Poseidon’s mating with goddesses in the form of mares.
Dionysus is probably Phrygian in origin as the god and his cult were widely spread. The myth of his birth suggests that his mother was Semele and that he was fathered by Zeus. When Hera, Zeus’s wife, learned of Zeus’s infidelity and the approaching birth, she disguised herself as Semele’s nurse and convinced Semele to demand that Zeus reveal himself in the totality of his godliness to her. Zeus appeared to Semele in the fullness of his thunder and lightning. The appearance struck Semele dead, but just before her death Zeus snatched Dionysus from her womb, cut open his thigh and placed the child therein. Nine months later Dionysus was born from the thigh of Zeus. Dionysus was the so-called “twice-born” from the womb of Semele and the thigh of Zeus.
Dionysus’s appearances always seemed to be accompanied by some violent activity that presented a threat to conventional order. As the center of an orgiastic mystical cult, he tended to break the bonds of social life.
Apollo stands in contrast to Dionysus. Whereas Dionysus oriented his devotees to wild orgiastic rites, Apollo was the god of moderation and represented the legal or statutory meaning of religion. Apollo was foremost a god of law in being the source of law. In his role as provider of law, Apollo is to be referred to as the precedents for the gods and laws of the city.
Apollo, like Dionysus, was related to the oracle of Delphi and his devotees there were enthusiastic and ecstatically possessed. W. K. C. Guthrie, in The Greeks and Their Gods, suggests that Apollo originated in Siberia and that the ecstatic powers attached to his cult were derived from the tribal shamanism of that area rather than from the Dionysian cult at Delphi.