The heroes and Greek Gods and Goddesses are long gone, but their legend remains, and reading about these legends makes you want to turn back the clock thousand of years and be a part of that legend, romantic, adventurous, and mysterious time. Ancient Greek mythology still attracts hundreds of readers and researchers. There is no end to learning about the Greek Gods Goddesses, and the legends behind them. Before learning about them, it’s important that one knows about the most powerful God, Zeus, the father of Gods and men. It is also important that you know about the Zeus family tree, which will link you to all the important Gods and Goddesses, and their connection with this King of Gods.
Zeus, the Father of God and Men
Also known as the God of Sky and Thunder, Zeus plays a very important role in the Greek pantheon of Gods and Goddesses. Thunderbolt, eagle, the bull and the oak are the symbols that are mainly associated with Zeus. In Hindu mythology, Indra is considered to be Zeus’s counterpart, whereas in the Roman mythology, it’s Jupiter. The Greek artists have portrayed the Greek God Zeus in two forms; one being that of Him walking forward with his right hand raised, holding a thunderbolt, while the other image is that of Him sitting majestically.
Myth Behind Zeus’s Birth and His Rise to Power
Behind the birth of every God and Goddess there is always a myth associated with it. According to the Hesiod’s Theogony, Zeus is said to be the youngest of all the children of the Titans – Cronus and Rhea. Fearing a prophecy which had predicted that one of his children would dethrone him, Cronus swallowed up all his children as soon as they were born. Seeing this, Gaea, the primal Greek Titan, who personified Earth, and was also Zeus’s grandmother, advised Rhea to go to Crete and secretly give birth to her third son there. After Zeus was born, leaving him in the care of Gaea, Rhea went back to Cronus and gave him a stone wrapped in a cloth. He swallowed that thinking it was Zeus. Meanwhile, two Nymphs, Adrasteia and Ida, took care of Zeus. They did all they could to protect him from Cronus. When he reached manhood, Zeus decided to teach his father a lesson. Metis, daughter of Oceanus, gave him a drug, which when given to Cronus, made him vomit up all of Zeus’s siblings including the stone. Therefore the 5 siblings in Zeus family tree are:
- Hestia: Goddess of Hearth and Home
- Demeter:Goddess of Harvest
- Hera: Goddess of Marriage, Children and the Home. She was also the wife of Zeus
- Hades: Lord of the Underworld
- Poseidon: Lord of the Sea.
Then with the help of his siblings and all those whom Cronus had imprisoned in Tartarus, Zeus was able to defeat his father and the Titans in a battle that lasted for nearly ten years. After the victory, there was sharing of power among all the Gods, and Zeus became the ruler of the universe. Thus began the Olympian era.
Zeus Family Tree for Kids
If you have a look at the Zeus family tree, you will be confused. There are so many Gods and Goddesses, so many heroes, so many marriages, children, etc., that you, mainly your kid could get confused. So here’s a much simpler version of the Zeus family tree showing only the most important Gods and Goddesses or heroes. The various important generations have been color coded to make it easier for you to follow the tree. The coding has been done as follows:
- Pink color for the Gaea and Uranus’s generation.
- Purple for the next generation, i.e. Zeus’s father’s generation.
- Blue color for Zeus’s generation.
- Green for the generation after Zeus i.e. Apollo, Atlas, etc.
- Orange for daughters of Atlas and Epimetheus, i.e. Maia and Dione, respectively.
- Brown for the 6th generation, i.e. of Hermes and Aphrodite.
Wherever Zeus has been marked in black, it indicates that he was married to the daughters of that generation. Also the (S) indicates ‘Son’, while (D) indicates ‘Daughter’. Besides this, Zeus also had a son, Heracles, whose mother is not known. Heracles or Hercules, was one of the best known and the strongest of all mortals. He married Hebe, daughter of Zeus and Hera.
Just follow the figure given below, and you will understand how the family of Zeus started.
This is not the entire family. But, since it’s a family tree for kids, for their convenience, only the names of some important Gods and Goddesses have been mentioned. Also mentioned are the powers that each of these God and Goddesses had. Here is the list of Greek Gods and Goddesses:
|Uranus||Sky God and Father of the Titans|
|Phoebe||Ruled the Moon with Atlas|
|Coeus||Titan of Intelligence|
|Oceanus||Father of Oceanid|
|Tethys||Mother of all Rivers and Seas|
|Hestia||Goddess of Hearth and Fire|
|Demeter||Goddess of Harvest|
|Poseidon||God of the Sea|
|Hera||Goddess of Marriage and the Queen of all God and Goddess|
|Zeus||Supreme God, of Sky and Thunder|
|Ares||God of War|
|Hades||God of the Underworld|
|Hephaetus||God of Fire and Forge|
|Hebe||Served wine and nectar to the Gods|
|Apollo||God of Sun, Shepherd, Music, Poetry, Archery, Healing etc|
|Hermes||God of Flock, Roads, Trading etc|
|Aphrodite||Goddess of Love|
|Atlas||God who supported Heaven|
Follow the above table and figure, and you will know about the Zeus family tree in no time.
The Zeus family tree consists of heroes and heroines, Gods and Goddesses, and behind each of them there is a myth, a mystery. Read about this Greek God family and you would wish you were in that period. Avrio (Greek for Goodbye).