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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.

Myth

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.

Titanomachy

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.

ZeusThunderbolt

Zeus throwing a thunderbolt

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.

Epithets

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

Family

Olympian Genealogy in Greek mythology
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Uranus
 
Gaia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iapetus
 
Clymene
 
Cronus
 
Rhea
 
 
 
Coeus
 
Phoebe
 
Themis
 
Zeus
 
Dione
 
 
Mnemosyne
 
 
 
Eurynome
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aphrodite
 
 
 
 
Zeus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Atlas
 
Pleione
 
 
 
 
 
 
Metis
 
 
Leto
 
Zeus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Muses
 
Graces
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Zeus
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fates
 
Hours
 
Nemesis and Tyche
 
 
 
Zeus
 
Maia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Athena
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hermes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Artemis
 
Apollo
 
Coronis
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Asclepius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hera
 
Zeus
 
Demeter
 
Poseidon
 
Amphitrite
 
Hades
 
Hestia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Persephone
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Persephone
 
 
 
 
 
 
Triton
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Arion
 
Despoina
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eris
 
 
 
 
Eileithyia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hebe
 
Heracles
 
 
Ares
 
Aphrodite
 
Hephaestus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alexiares
 
Anicetos
 
Harmonia
 
Eros
 
Anteros
 
Himeros
 
Hymenaios
 
Pothos
 
Peitho
 
Deimos
 
Phobos
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cadmus of Thebes
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Semele
 
 
 
Zeus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dionysus

Immortal Offspring

With Hera

With Demeter

With Leto

With Maia

With Metis

With Dione

With Themis

With Semele (Thyone)

With Eurynome

With Mnemosyne

Notable Mortal Offspring

With Danae

With Alcmene

With Leda

With Callisto

With Europa

With Elektra

With Pandora

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.

  • Deification
  • 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

Weapons

Gallery

References


See Also

External links


Preceded by:
Cronus

(Contested with Ophion)

King of the Greek Gods
Mythic
Succeeded by
None (Incumbent)