955pages on
this wiki


God of
The Sky, Storms, Weather, Thunder, Lightning, Justice, Honor, Law, Order, Reason, Strength, and Royalty
Hera and others
Sacred Animals
Eagle, Wolf, Woodpecker, Lion, Bull, Swan
Roman Names
Jupiter, Jove
Aegis, Thunderbolt, Scales, Oak Tree, Olive Tree, Linden Tree, Scepter

Zeus (Gr: Ζευς) is the King of the gods, ruler of gods and men, god of the sky, honor, and justice, and resides in the gods home on Mount Olympus. He is also the leader of the Olympians.

His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" also derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the Ancient Near East, such as the scepter.



After the war, Zeus married Metis, the titaness of wisdom and daughter of Okeanos and Tethys. Metis sided with the gods during the war and became Zeus' mentor after the war. When Metis first became pregnant, Zeus learned that they were to have a son that would overpower Zeus. Zeus acted as his father and grandfather did and tried to change destiny. He swallowed Metis whole. However, because she was immortal, she gave birth inside of Zeus to a daughter. After their daughter was fully grown, Zeus suffered from a terrible headache. He asked Hephaestus to open his head with a blow with an axe. Hephaestus did so and Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, sprang out fully dressed in armor.


Zeus eventually fell in love with his sister, Hera. However, Hera didn't love Zeus back. So, Zeus summoned a storm and turned himself into a cuckoo. He flew to her window, pretending to be in distress. Hera brought the cuckoo into her room and dried it and cared for it. Zeus turned back into himself. Hera acknowledged his cunning and consented to marry him.


Aegina was the mortal daughter of the river god Asopus and the sea-nymph Metope. She had either eleven or nineteen sisters. Zeus fell in love with her and he abducted her into the shape of an eagle. He flew her to an island and there she gave birth to twin sons, Menoetius and Aeacus. Zeus then named the island Aegina after her. Menoetius' daughter, Polymede, gave birth to the hero Jason, and Aeacus' son Peleus married the goddes Thetis and they had the warrior Achilles.


Callisto was a nymph who was a servant to Artemis. Zeus fell in love with her and seduced her in the form of Artemis herself. As Callisto slept, Zeus raped her and she was pregnant with his child. Hera, hearing of the affair, attacked Callisto's home. Artemis and the other nymphs fought her off as Callisto gave birth to a son called Arcas. Artemis took care of Arcas as Callisto fled into the wilderness, but Hera found her and turned her into a she-bear. Callisto wandered the earth looking for her son. One day, she was spotted by a younger hunter who she recognized as her son Arcas. As he hurled his spear at her, Artemis dodged it and turned Arcas into a bear cub. He soon realized that his prey was his own mother and they were reunited. Zeus and Artemis pulled them by their tails and tossed them into the sky, fearing Hera would kill them. Callisto became the constellation Ursa Major, bearing the Big Dipper, and Arcas became Ursa Minor, bearing the Little Dipper.


Zeus also had an affair with a mortal woman named Semele. Hera, jealous that Zeus had impregnated this woman, disguised herself as an old woman and went to visit Semele. Hera talked friendly with Semele for a while but she eventually asked why her husband was not home.

Semele told the old woman that her husband was Zeus but Hera, still pretending to be the old lady, told Semele that she had met plenty of men who pretended to be Zeus. She told Semele that she should ask Zeus to see him in all his splendor to be absolutely certain that he was who he said he was. Hera then left and Semele was still questioning Zeus.

When Zeus returned, Semele asked him to grant her one wish. After he swore on the River Styx, she asked him to see him in his splendor. Zeus begged Semele to change her wish but she kept her wish as she didn't know that mortals would die if they saw the true form of gods. Zeus revealed his true form and Semele was burned to ashes. Zeus did however, save their son, Dionysus. Hermes took Dionysus to be raised by a band of Maenads. Dionysus grew up with tigers and leopards.

When Dionysus grew up, he invented wine. Zeus was so proud of him that he granted him immortality and a place among the Olympians. However, there were now thirteen Olympians. Because thirteen was an unlucky number, Zeus saw this as a problem. Zeus' sister, Hestia, gave up her place on the Olympian council to Dionysus for a simple wooden tripod near the hearth.

Disagreement with PrometheusEdit

Zeus had assigned Prometheus and Epimetheus to fill the earth with creatures so it wouldn't be so barren.

Epimetheus created the animals of the world and gave them all the gifts (horns, shells, etc). So nothing was left for man. Prometheus then created man out of clay and based it on the form of the gods, and gave them the mind. Thus making them superior to the other animals. Yet they were physically helpless, so he asked Zeus if he could give them some of the sacred fire of Olympus, but Zeus denied his request.

Prometheus still wasn't happy. He took some of the fire from Olympus, hiding it in a bundle of straw and gave it down to humans. Zeus was so angered at Prometheus' act that he chained him to a mountain and had the Caucasian Eagle fly to him and eat out his liver every day, since it would heal overnight. Eventually, the hero Heracles rescued him.

Miscellaneous on ZeusEdit

  • Zeus turned his granddaughter Niobe into stone after Apollo and Artemis killed her fourteen children.
  • Zeus killed Salmoneus with a thunderbolt for attempting to impersonate him, riding around in a bronze chariot and loudly imitating thunder.
  • After Hera killed King Ceyx of Thessaly, Zeus turned his soul into a kingfisher. He did the same to his mourning queen, Alcyone.
  • At the marriage of Zeus and Hera, a nymph named Khelone refused to attend. As a punishment, Zeus transformed her into a tortoise (meaning of Chelone's name).
  • After attempting to feed Zeus his grandson's severed body parts, the wicked king Lycaon was turned into a wolf by the angry god.
  • Zeus condemned Tantalus to eternal torture in Tartarus for trying to trick the gods into eating the flesh of his butchered son Pelops.
  • Zeus condemned Ixion to be tied to a fiery wheel for eternity as punishment for attempting to violate Hera.
  • Zeus sank the Telekhines beneath the sea for practising dark magic.
  • Zeus sent the Harpies to plague the seer Phineus as punishment for revealing the secrets of the gods.
  • Zeus rewarded Tiresias with a life three times the norm as reward for ruling in his favor.
  • Zeus punished Hera by having her hung upside down from the sky when she attempted to drown Heracles in a storm.
  • Of all the children Zeus spawned, Heracles was often described as his favorite. Indeed, Heracles was often called by various gods and people as "the favorite son of Zeus", Zeus and Heracles were very close and in one story, where a tribe of earth-born Giants threatened Olympus and the Oracle at Delphi decreed that only the combined efforts of a lone god and mortal could stop the creature, Zeus chose Heracles to fight by his side. They proceeded to defeat the monsters.
  • Athena has at times been called his favorite daughter and adviser.
  • His sacred bird was the Golden Eagle, which he kept by his side at all times. Like him, the eagle was a symbol of strength, courage, and justice.
  • His favorite trees were the linden, oak, and olive.
  • Hebe, Nike, and the Furies were Zeus' retinue.
  • Zeus condemned Prometheus to having his liver eaten by a giant eagle for giving the Flames of Olympus to the mortals.

In modern cultureEdit

Depictions of Zeus as a bull, the form he took when raping Europa, are found on the Greek 2-euro coin and on the United Kingdom identity card for visa holders. Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge University, has criticised this for its apparent celebration of rape. Zeus has been portrayed by various actors:

  • Axel Ringvall in Jupiter på jorden, the first known film adaptation to feature Zeus.
  • Niall MacGinnis in Jason and the Argonauts and Angus MacFadyen in the 2000 remake
  • Laurence Olivier in the original Clash of the Titans, and Liam Neeson in the 2010 remake, along with the 2012 sequel Wrath of the Titans.
  • Anthony Quinn in the 1990s TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
  • Rip Torn in the Disney animated feature Hercules
  • Sean Bean in the 2010 movie Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
  • In season 8, episode 16 of the hit TV series Supernatural; Zeus is the main antagonist and is killed with a silver arrow by his daughter Artemis in the climax.


Mortal ChildrenEdit

Depiction and PersonalityEdit

Zeus is usually described as a handsome, tough-looking man with a regal body, thick curly hair and beard, and a very muscular body. He usually was carrying a thunderbolt and he usually had a regal beard. Zeus was a very joyful man who laughed easily but he also had a serious side. His serious side helped him be very fair when the gods came to him for advice or resolutions to problems. Zeus was also easily angered and when he was angry it was very destructive. He hurled lightning bolts and caused violent storms to cause havoc on the earth. Zeus also was easily susceptible to love as he had several affairs with various women. He would punish anyone who tried to escort/fall in love in Hera like Porphyrion the Giant.

Sacred Symbols and AnimalsEdit

All of Zeus' symbols include;

  • Thunderbolt - Because of his status as the god of thunder and lightning. These thunderbolt also allow him to control the weather and allow him to destroy or kill whatever he dislikes.
  • Aegis - A powerful shield that he used before he gave it to his favored daughter, Athena.
  • Set of Scales - Showing him as a god of justice and law.
  • Oak Tree - Oak tends to be a very sturdy and strong material, symbolizing Zeus as stable and protective.
  • Royal Scepter

All of his sacred animals include;

  • Eagle - The eagle showed Zeus as a powerful and royal god. Also, because eagles are often seen in sunlight, they symbolize Zeus as being pure and courageous. Eagles are also known for the excellent vision, symbolizing that Zeus saw all.
  • Wolf - A powerful creature of the land that is highly respected and feared.
  • Woodpecker
  • Bull


  • Zeus holds the number for most children. His wife however, had no children with others because she is the goddess of marriage.
  • Zeus' Roman name is Jupiter, or sometimes Jove.
  • Zeus punished anyone who lied.
  • The Olympic Games were started in Zeus' honor.
  • Ancient Greeks believed that thunder was used to predict when Zeus' wrath was coming upon them.
  • Zeus can mean "day" in Ancient Greek.

Powers and abilitiesEdit

As the god of the sky, Zeus has absolute power and authority of the sky, including clouds, air, wind, and the weather. Being the son of the titan Kronos, Zeus is an incredibly powerful Olympian god. Zeus was also able to transform himself and others into other animals, as he did with his mortal lover Io.

Gallery of Things Sacred to ZeusEdit

Gallery of Images of ZeusEdit


ve Olympian Gods
Olympians : AphroditeApolloAresArtemisAthenaDemeterDionysusHadesHephaestusHeraHermesHestiaPoseidonZeus
Related Articles : Mount OlympusProtogenoiTitansGigantesDemigods

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki