Zeus

The God of Sky, Thunder, and King of all Gods

His Birth

Zeus was the sixth child born. Rhea wanted to save this child so she tricked Cronus by giving him a rock wrapped in a blanket to swallow. After he swallowed it Rhea sent Zeus off to the secret island of Crete. There, nymphs influenced Zeus, while Cretan soldiers chanted songs and slammed their swords together to hide Zeus’s cries.

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Sculpture Depicting Rhea Giving Cronus the Rock

God of the Sky

As the god of aërial phenomena he could, by shaking his ægis, produce storms, lighting, and intense darkness. At his command the mighty thunder rolls, the lightning flashes, and the clouds open and pour forth their refreshing streams to fructify the earth. He received the lighting bolt from the Cyclops who were giants that helped Zeus in the war against his father. He uses the lighting bolt for defense along with a bright golden shield.
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Zeus wielding his aegis and lighting bolt

Most Prized Statue

Zeus’ most loved statue, made by a famous Athenian sculptor Phidias, was forty feet tall and was located at the temple of Zeus at Olympia. It was assembled from ivory and gold, and was made to such perfection it was looked upon as one of the seven wonders of the world. It symbolized a god, seated on a throne, holding in his right hand a life size portrait of Nike (The god of Victory), and in his left hand a royal sceptre.


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Zeus' Conflict with Prometheus

Prometheus' attempts to better the lives of the mortals brought him into direct conflict with Zeus. Firstly he tricked the gods out of the best portion of the sacrificial feast, acquiring meat for the feasting of man. Then when Zeus refused to give him fire, he stole it from heaven and delivered it to mortal kind hidden inside a fennel-stalk.. Prometheus meanwhile, was arrested and bound to a stake on Mount Kaukasos where an eagle was set to feed upon his ever-regenerating liver (or, some say, heart). Generations later the great hero Herakles came along and released the old Titan from his torture.
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Painting of Prometheus being saved from the eagle by herakles

Zeus' Special Assistants

Affairs

Yet Zeus continued to have affairs, many of the them were with mortal women. Zeus sometimes mated with them in disguise or in animal form. After he visited the princess Danaë as a shower of gold, she bore Perseus. To Europa, another princess, he appeared as a white bull. He came to Leda in the form of a swan. The children of their union were Helen of Troy, her sister Clytemnestra, and the brothers Castor and Pollux. His most famous half-human son was Hercules, born to Alcmena, to whom he came disguised as her own husband.”
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Danae reclined while zeus impregnated her as a gold shower