Bildarchiv Preubischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, N.Y.

MOTHER AND SON: Triton, the Greek god of water and the sea, and his mother Amphitrite frame the front façade of the northwestern corner of Pergamon’s Great Altar, flanking the left side of the steps . Triton’s father was Poseidon, brother of Zeus and god of the sea and, especially, of earthquakes. Amphitrite was one of 50 sea goddesses who were known collectively as the Nereids. This is one of dozens of scenes that adorn the Great Altar of Pergamon, all of them depicting a cosmic battle between the Greek gods and the Giants—mythical creatures believed to have been descendants of Ge (Earth) and Uranus (Heaven).