Zeus

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Zeus
Jupiter Smyrna Louvre Ma13.jpg
The Jupiter de Smyrne, found in Smyrna, 1680.[1]
King of the Olympian Gods
God of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order and justice
Abode Mount Olympus
Symbol(s) Thunderbolt, eagle, bull and oak tree
Consort Hera
Parents Kronos and Rhea
Siblings Poseidon, Hades, Demeter, Hestia, Hera
Children Ares, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Hebe, Helen of Troy, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Persephone, Perseus, Minos, the Muses

Zeus (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς, Zeús) is the god of the sky, lightning and thunder in ancient Greek religion and myth, and king of the gods on Mount Olympus. Zeus is the sixth child of Kronos, ruler of the Titans, and Rhea. His father, Kronos swallowed his children as soon as they were born out of a prophecy which told one of them would overthrow him. When Zeus was born, Rhea hid him in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete, giving Kronos a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes for him to swallow instead. Zeus eventually grew up and went on to free his brothers and sisters; with their allies, the Hekatonkheires and Elder Cyclopes, they fought the Titans in a ten-year war known as the Titanomachy. At the end of the war, Zeus took Kronos' scythe and cut him into pieces, throwing his remains into Tartarus. He then became the king of the gods, predicted by the prophecy that Kronos once feared.

The supreme deity of the Greek pantheon, Zeus was universally respected and revered throughout Ancient Greece; the ancient Olympic Games were held at the site of Olympia every four years in honor of him. Highly temperamental, Zeus was armed with the mighty thunderbolt, said to be the most powerful weapon among the gods. Brother and husband of Hera, Zeus was infamous for his infidelity, taking on an almost innumerable amount of lovers and consorts, both mortal and divine. The god of honor and justice, Zeus was the one who both established and enforced law, and served as the standard for kings to follow, ensuring they did not abuse the power of their position. Zeus' brothers were Poseidon and Hades. After the Titanomachy, Zeus agreed to split the world with them, with Zeus himself receiving the sky, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the Underworld. His symbols were the thunderbolt, sceptre, and oak tree, and the eagle and bull were his sacred animals. Zeus is typically depicted as an imposing and regal figure, seated upon his throne in all his majesty, a crown of olive leaves atop his head and sceptre in hand. His Roman equivalent is Jupiter.

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  1. The sculpture was restored ca. 1686, by Pierre Granier, who added the upraised right arm brandishing the thunderbolt. Marble, middle 2nd century AD. Now in in the Louvre Museum (official on-line catalog)