Zeus /ˈzjuːs/ (Ancient Greek: Ζεύς, Zeús, [zdeǔ̯s]; Modern Greek: Δίας, Días [ˈði.as]) is the God of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, storms, air, law, order, justice, fate, honor, hospitality, governance and moral conduct in Greek mythology, who ruled as King of the Gods on 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 the Indo-European deities such as Indra, Jupiter, Perun, Thor, and Odin.
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 godly 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 the others to their roles: "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" (Greek: Νεφεληγερέτα, Nephelēgereta) 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.
Birth and Infancy
The then-current Titan of the sky, Cronus, and the Titaness Rhea gave birth to six children: Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon, Hera, and Zeus. Cronus heard a prophecy that one of his children will overthrow him. To prevent this, he swallowed five of his children. Zeus was not swallowed due to him not being born yet. Rhea devised a plan with Gaia to protect and save Zeus. She gave birth to him in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete and handed Cronus a decoy, which was a stone wrapped in clothe, which Cronus swallowed. In varying versions, Zeus is raised by Gaia, a goat named Amalthea, a nymph named Adamanthea, a nymph named Cynosura, Melissa, or by a shepherd family.
Once reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge the stone and his siblings. In some versions, Zeus uses an emetic to accomplish this while in others he cuts Cronus' stomach open. He then releases Cronus' brothers (the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes) from their prison in Tartarus and killing their guard, Campe, in the process.In return for freeing them, the Cyclopes give Zeus thunder. Zeus, his siblings, and Cronus' brothers overthrew Cronus and the other Titans in a ten year series of battles called Titanomachy. The defeated Titans were then cast into Tartarus, where Cronus had imprisoned his siblings. Atlas, one of the titans that fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.
After the battle, Zeus shared the world with Hades and Poseidon and drew lots to see who got what kingdom. Zeus took the heavens ,sky and air, Hades was sent to the Underworld, and Poseidon claimed the sea. The Earth was left for all the gods.
Like most of the major gods, Zeus was given epithets to reflect patronage in a certain area or field.
- Zeus Olympios - Zeus of Olympus
- Zeus Panhellenios - Zeus of all the Greeks
- Zeus Xenios - Zeus of Hospitality, describing his protection of guests and hosts
- Zeus Horkios - Zeus, Keeper of Oaths
- Zeus Agoraeus - Zeus of the Agora (marketplace)
- Zeus Aegiduchos - Zeus, Bearer of the Aegis
- Zeus Georgos - Zeus the Farmer
- Zeus Keraunos - Zeus the Thunderer
- Zeus Astrapios - Zeus of the Lightning
- Zeus Ktesios - Zeus of the House
- Zeus Ombrios - Zeus of the Rain
- Zeus Boulaios - Zeus of the Council
- Zeus Basileus - Zeus the King
- Zeus Meilikhios - Zeus the Merciful
Notable Mortal Offspring
- Perseus (m. Andromeda)
- Dardanos (m. Batea)
Powers & Abilities
As an Elder Deity, and King of the Gods and the Heavens Zeus is the most powerful Deity in his pantheon, and among his sibling. With Poseidon and Hades being the only other Deities to come close to his power.
- Immortality Removal
- Order Manipulation
- Law Manipulation
- Subordination Manipulation
- Sky Father Physiology
- Celestial Manipulation
- Sky Lordship
- Air Manipulation
- Electricity Manipulation
- Sky Manipulation
- Weather Manipulation
- Storm Manipulation
| Preceded by:|
(Contested with Ophion)
| King of the Greek Gods|
| Succeeded by|
|Gods and Goddesses of Greek mythology|
|Classical deities||Aphrodite • Apollo • Ares • Artemis • Athena • Demeter • Dionysus • Hephaestus • Hera • Hermes • Poseidon • Zeus|
|Other deities||Asclepius • Eros • Hades • Hebe • Heracles • Hestia • Pan • Persephone|
|Greek mythology articles|
|Deities||Aphrodite • Apollo • Ares • Artemis • Athena • Demeter • Dionysus • Hephaestus • Hera • Hermes • Poseidon • Zeus|
|Heroes||Abderus • Bellerophon • Daedalus • Diomedes • Achilles • Cadmus • Heracles • Perseus • Odysseus • Orpheus • Theseus • Jason • Argonauts|
|Groups||Demigod • God • Titans • Graeae • Gorgons • Protogenoi|
|Creatures and monsters||Chimera • Centaur • Charybdis • Cyclops • Ceryneian Hind • Cretan Bull • Empusa • Erinyes • Erymanthian Boar • Minotaur • Typhon • Medusa • Makhai • Lernaean Hydra • Pegasus • More...|
|Titans||Atlas • Coeus • Crius • Cronus • Epimetheus • Gaia • Helios • Iapetos • Pallas • Perses • Prometheus • Oceanus • Hyperion • Rhea • Styx|
|Locations||Mount Olympus • Tartaros|
|Topics||Titanomachy • Overthrowing of Ouranus|