The Greek mythology consists of amazing stories of gods, goddesses and the human heroes. The legends of these gods and goddesses was popularized and transferred from one generation to the other, by oral means. Also, one of the oldest literature in the world, Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey contains stories about the Greek mythology, more prominently the Trojan war. The Greek mythology has influenced several forms of art and culture in Greece as well as in other parts of the world.
The characters or the gods in the Greek mythology are characterized into two major parts; the Olympians and the Titans. Apart from these characters, there are several other characters and mythical creatures. According to the mythology, the titans were the oldest known rulers, hence, are also known as the older gods. They ruled the world until the Olympians overthrew them. The Titan ruler Cronus (also Kronos) was overthrown by his own son, Zeus, who then became the ruler of the Olympians. Let us know about the Greek god Zeus in detail.
The Greek God Zeus
Greek god Zeus is the ruler or the king of the Greek gods and goddesses. His counterpart in the Hindu mythology is god Indra, while that in the Roman mythology is Jupiter. In several pictures and sculptures, we find the appearance of Zeus as an old bearded man. But finding pictures of the Greek god Zeus is quite rare. In the Greek mythology, the character of Zeus is full of contradictions. Although he is considered as the god of marriage, he himself had several illicit relationships. But the Greek god Zeus was a powerful and just ruler.
The legend of Zeus’ birth is very interesting. According to the mythology, Zeus’s father, King Cronus had heard a prophesy that his own son would overthrow him. Therefore, he swallowed all the children produced by his wife Rhea. Later, when Zeus was born on mount Ida on the island of Crete, his mother Rhea substituted the baby with a rock and gave it to her husband Cronus who ate it. Thus Zeus was saved and raised by the Greek goddess Gaia. In his adulthood, Zeus tore open the stomach of his father to release his siblings. Later, he also set free his father’s siblings from the dungeons. Together they defeated the Titans and overthrew Cronus. Later, all the Titans were punished and sent underground. It is also believed that Atlas was punished and was asked to keep holding the earth, forever on his shoulders.
Zeus then drew a lot between his siblings to determine the ruler of the gods. He won, and hence became the King or the ruler of the gods or the Olympians. Zeus then married his sister Hera and produced several offspring. One of the biggest weaknesses of the Greek god Zeus was his promiscuous nature. He had liaisons with numerous Goddesses, nymphs or even mortals. According to the myth, Zeus masked himself in various disguises to seduce beautiful women on the earth. Greek goddess Athena, Aphrodite, Apollo, Hephaestus, Muse, etc. are some of his numerous offspring. Hercules is the most famous child of Zeus.
The Greek God Zeus: Facts
Here are some interesting Greek god Zeus facts.
- Apart from being the king of gods, Zeus is the master of earthly events.
- Mount Olympus is the abode of the Greek god Zeus
- He is highly powerful and hence, symbolizes strength.
- He is also very charming and moody.
- Zeus was worshiped in Dodona in Greece and also in the ancient Greek Temple of Zeus in Olympia.
- Zeus is also the god of fertility, law and order.
- Some also believe that Zeus is the god of marriage.
- Greek god Zeus symbols are the thunderbolt, bull, oak and the eagle.
We can observe the grandness of the Greek god Zeus as we discover his representations in works of art and also his references in pieces of literature!