Zeus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Zeus
God of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, and justice
Jupiter Smyrna Louvre Ma13.jpg
Zeus de Smyrne, discovered in Smyrna in 1680[1]
AbodeMount Olympus
SymbolThunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak
Personal information
ConsortHera and various others
ChildrenAeacus, Agdistis, Angelos, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Epaphus Eris, Ersa, Hebe, Helen of Troy, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Lacedaemon Minos, Pandia, Persephone, Perseus, Rhadamanthus, the Graces, the Horae, the Litae, the Muses, the Moirai , prince Diana
ParentsCronus and Rhea
SiblingsHestia, Hades, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Chiron
Roman equivalentJupiter[2]
Norse equivalentThor or Odin
Slavic equivalentPerun
Hinduism equivalentIndra

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 and Rhea, king and queen of the Titans. His father, Kronos, swallowed his children as soon as they were born for fear of a prophecy which foretold that 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 to swallow instead. Zeus eventually grew up and went on to free his brothers and sisters; together with their allies, the Hekatonkheires and the Elder Cyclopes, Zeus and his siblings fought against 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.

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. Zeus was married to his sister, Hera, though he 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. His symbols were the thunderbolt, a sceptre, and oak tree, and the eagle and bull were his sacred animals. His Roman equivalent is Jupiter.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. The sculpture was presented to Louis XIV as Aesculapius but restored as Zeus, ca. 1686, by Pierre Granier, who added the upraised right arm brandishing the thunderbolt. Marble, middle 2nd century CE. Formerly in the 'Allée Royale', (Tapis Vert) in the Gardens of Versailles, now conserved in the Louvre Museum (Official on-line catalogue)
  2. Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, The Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215.