Zeus greek god

Zeus God on his throne

Zeus was the son of Cronus and Rhea. He was the King of the Olympian Gods and the most powerful of them. Zeus was brought up in Crete, in Dikation Andro cave, where a goata called Amaltheia fed him. In fact, Rhea had hidden her son in that cave in order to save him from Cronus who used to eat his children for fear of losing his power due to them. Cronus had been told that one of his children would steal his reign so he didn’t let them live. However, when Rhea gave was pregnant, she asked her parents Gaia and Uranos (Earth and Sky) to help her protect the child from Cronus. They brought their daughter in Diktaion Andro cave where she gave birth to Zeus and asked the Nymphs who lived there to take care of the baby. Amaltheia offered her milk to Zeus and the pigeons and an eagle brought him nectar and ambrosia, the food eaten by the Gods. As far as Cronus is concerned, Rhea wrapped a baby-shaped stone with the clothes of a baby and gave it to her husband. He ate it immediately but this made him to vomit a huge rock. It is said, that this is the rock from which the mountain Parnassos was created.

Once having grown up, Zeus dethroned his father and made him to vomit the children that he had already eaten. So, Zeus and his brothers started a war against the Titans. The Gods defeated the Titans and Zeus was established on the top of Olympus mountain and shared his power with his brothers Poseidon, who took over the power of the Sea, and Hades, who took over the power of the Underworld. Zeus would be the lord of the universe. He got married to his sister Hera who was his official wife even though Zeus used to be prone to women and he was chasing them continuously. This resulted in his having a lot of children. The illegal love affairs of Zeus were noticed by Hera who turned to be a jealous and revengeful wife.

There is a great deal of myths related to the love affairs of Zeus with both mortal and immortal women. According to these myths, he would do several tips in order to sleep with any woman he desired. In many cases, he was transformed to various creatures in order to deceive the women that avoided him. For instance, he had been transformed to a swan in order to couple with Leda. This coupling resulted to the birth of Helen, the woman who got married to Menelaus and was said to be the cause for the Trojan War.

Zeus was also transformed to a golden rainfall in order to enter the room where Danae had been imprisoned by her father who wanted to prevent her from becoming pregnant and giving birth to a child that would seize his power. The coupling with Danae resulted to the birth of Perseus.

Europa was also desired by Zeus who got transformed to a bull and kidnapped the young girl while she was collecting flowers from a field. Zeus brought Europa to Crete and mated with her, giving birth to Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthos.

Apart from the children born after the coupling of Zeus with mortal or immortal women, nymphs and any other females he desired, he had also gave birth to children after having mated with Hera. The children of the married couple were Ares, who became the God of the War, Hebe, who got married to Hercules and Eileithyia who was the Goddess of birth-giving.

Zeus was called as the “thunder holder” by ancient Greeks because he was believed to ryle the thunders and the weather in general. According to the myth, Zeus had been given the thunderbolt by the Cyclopes as a gift once having set them free after their imprisonment by Cronus. Apart from the thunder, his emblem is also an eagle which symbolizes a threatening creature that lives up high the mountains. Among the propriertie of Zeus, there is the protection of the guests, known as “xenoi” foreigners in ancient Greece. For this reason he was also called Xenios.

The King of the Gods was worshipped by ancient Greeks in various towns where Temples to him had been erected. The most important Temple of Zeus was built in Olympia and most of the religious ceremonies related to Zeus used to take place in Olympia where the gold-ivory statue of Zeus had been placed. Of course, Athenians had erected a Temple for the King of the Gods in their own city and the remains of it can be seen even today.