Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. His mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun, Indra, Dyaus and Thor.
Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus. At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione, by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite. Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades. These resulted in many divine and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses.
He was respected as an allfather who was chief of the gods and assigned roles to the others: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence." He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' 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. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.
Origins and Accolades
Birth and Early Days
The Fates had foretold the overthrowing of Cronus (Originally Kronos in ancient Greek), by the hands of his own children. To prevent this prophecy of the Fates from coming true, the 'Lord of Time' had swallowed his children one by one, imprisoning each of them inside his belly. Standing on the 'Summit of Sacrifice', Rhea, grieved over the loss of her children, refused to sacrifice her last child, and in turn saved the baby, Zeus. She had tricked the mighty Cronus into swallowing a stone wrapped in piece of cloth, and thinking it was infant Zeus. She had called upon an eagle to take Zeus to an far away cave off of Mount Ida on the island of Crete, which was beyond the watchful eyes of Cronus. There are many accounts of how and who raised Zeus. However, two stories are most viewed as fact.
1) It was the 'Mother of Earth', Gaea, who raised and nurtured baby Zeus. The mother of Earth drove his desire to free his brothers and sisters from the belly of Cronus.
2) The Nymphs or Goat, Amalthea, as well as a few other Nymphs, raised Zeus and kept him hidden from Cronus.
Titanomachy: The Titan War
After growing into manhood, Zeus decided to free his brother and sister from the stomach of their father, Cronus. He cut all six of his siblings: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon, from the pits of Cronus' stomach. Once freed, his siblings joined his in the rebellion against their predecessor, the Titans. Along with them, he freed the Hecatonchires, Gigantes, and Cyclopes from the earth to assist him against Titans. Out of graduated, the Cyclopes formed his all-powerful lightning bolt. Opposite of the rebels, was Cronus with his allied Titan army.
The war, consisting of a series of battles, lasted ten years in span. Through a vicious battle, the rebellion proved victor. They defeated the Titans and imprisoned them in the deep abyss of Tartarus. After doing so, they became to rulers of the world. Zeus and his two brother: Poseidon and Hades, drew straws to clarify their separate control over the world: Poseidon gaining control over the Sea, Hades over the dead (the underworld), and Zeus over the sky and heavens. With that, Zeus became the King of the Gods, whom would become the Olympians.
The Conflict with Typhon
The last son of Gaea, Typhon was the 'Father of All Monsters' because of how deadly he was. Stretching into the stars from his upper half, with an arm span that reached far east and far west, he outsizes any and all other creatures. Out of the anger of Gaea, she Typhon was sent to punish the Olympians for the eternal damnation that they deemed the Titans to.
Typhon destroyed many cities out of rage, and struct fear into the eyes of all, even the Olympians. Running to the safety of their homes, all of the gods hid in fear, except for Zeus. Standing tall, the two fought through a raged battle with one-another. The battle was so powerful that earthquakes and tsunamis were the result of it. Shooting fire from his eyes and a hundred serpents from his arms, Typhon was a very deadly opponent, even for the almighty Zeus. The monster stole both of the king's sinews in the encounter of their first battle. However, after the messenger god, Hermes, stole them back. And upon their second battle, Zeus used a hundred lightning bolts and defeated the monster king. After doing so, he condemned the beast under Mount Etna, to forever be trapped.
Role in Greek Mythology
Zeus is the King of the Gods, God of the Sky, Heavens, and Thunder and Lightning, and the Skyfather of Greek Mythology. He rules from his golden palace, Olympus, which lies at the top of Mount Olympus. He would take the throne alongside his sister and wife, Hera, whom would rule as 'Queen of Gods'. With his iconic lightning bolts, he reigns as the most powerful of the gods, as well. He would continue to rule all Greece; having hands in many earthly event: such as the Trojan War. As well, he would father many of the heroes of Ancient Greece: like Hercules and Perseus, among many others.
In Popular Culture and Other Variations
Because of the influence of the ancient Greeks, their mythology would have a hugely widespread influence on the world. Zeus, being the almighty king of the gods, in highly portrayed in many medias. From animation like Disney's Hercules, to Live-Action films like Wrath of the Titans, to Video Games like God of War, Zeus' image is endlessly used and loved by modern culture. There is a Marvel and DC version of Zeus, which strongly portray his respectfully.
- Lightning bolts
- size alteration
- animal control