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Zeus
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Zeus, King of the Gods and Ruler of Olympus
Attributes
Names(s): Zeus
Rules Over: Skies, Thunder, Lightning, Hospitality, Honor, Kingship, and Order.
Title: King of Olympus
Gender: Male
Symbols: Thunderbolt, Aegis, Set of Scales, Oak Tree, Royal Scepter
Sacred Animals: Eagle, Wolf, Woodpecker
Items: Bag of Lightning
Parents: Cronus and Rhea
Consort: Metis, Hera
Other Significant Other(s): Leto, Maia, Ganymede,Demeter, Semele, Themis, Eurynome, Mnemosyne, Persephone, Eris, Selene, Gaea, Danae, various others
Children Artemis, Apollo, Athena, Hebe, Persephone, Dionysus, Hermes, Heracles, various others
Roman Name Jupiter

Zeus is the god of thunder, honor, and justice, king of gods and rules the heaven on Mount Olympus.

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.

ConsortsEdit

MetisEdit

After the war, Zeus married Metis, the titaness of wisdom and daughter of Oceanus 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.

Metis remained as Zeus' advisor while staying inside of his body and after Athena was born, Metis went on to marry a mortal. 

HeraEdit

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.

LetoEdit

At some point during the war, Zeus fell in love with the Titaness Leto, with whom he had the twins Artemis and Apollo.

GanymedeEdit

Ganymede was a Trojan prince with whom Zeus was infatuated. Zeus abducted him in the form of an eagle and made him his immortal cupbearer/lover on Olympus.

SemeleEdit

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.

Miscellany on ZeusEdit

  • Zeus turned Pandareus to stone for stealing the golden dog which had guarded him as an infant in the holy Dictaeon Cave of Crete.
  • Zeus killed Salmoneus with a thunderbolt for attempting to impersonate him, riding around in a bronze chariot and loudly imitating thunder.
  • Zeus turned Periphas into an eagle after his death, as a reward for being righteous and just.
  • At the marriage of Zeus and Hera, a nymph named Chelone refused to attend. Zeus transformed her into a tortoise (chelone in Greek).
  • Zeus, with Hera, turned King Haemus and Queen Rhodope into mountains (the Balkan mountains, or Stara Planina, and Rhodope mountains, respectively) for their vanity.
  • 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 blinded the seer Phineas and sent the Harpies to plague him 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 favour when he and Hera contested which of the sexes gained the most pleasure from the act of love.
  • 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 favourite tree was the oak, symbol of strength. Olive trees were also sacred to him.
  • Zelus, Nike, Cratos and Bia 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.

FamilyEdit

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

TriviaEdit

  • 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.

GalleryEdit

NavigationEdit

ve Olympian Gods
Olympians : AphroditeApolloAresArtemisAthenaDemeterDionysusHephaestusHeraHermesHestiaPoseidonZeus
Related Articles : Mount OlympusProtogenoiTitansGigantesDemigods

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