Gods of Olympus

Zeus

In Greek mythology, Zeus represents the highest of the Olympian gods. His father is the titan Kronos and his mother is the titan Rhea.

Originally he was the god of the weather, and therefore of the mountains. It wasn't until around 1000 BC that he began to become a supreme god. This transition was aided by both Homer and Hesiod. Overall, the god Zeus oversaw the order of the world (alternation of night and day, seasons, protector of law, oaths, homes, etc.). His symbol was an eagle, a bundle of lightning bolts, and a scepter. He also possessed an indestructible shield, the aigis, which was made for him by Hephaestus out of goatskin.

After his birth, Kronos wanted to devour him, as well as his siblings (Hades, Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Poseidon), so that Zeus could not overpower him in the future and usurp his rule. However, Zeus escaped his fate because his mother Rhea hid him in Crete, where he grew up. Instead, after the birth of her son, she slipped a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to Kronos. But as soon as Zeus grew up, he freed his siblings and led a rebellion against Kronos. On Cronus' side were the Titans, and on Zeus' side were the Cyclops and the hundred giants of Hecatoncheir. After a ten-year battle, Zeus was victorious, becoming the highest of the gods. The siblings then divided the rule of the world. Zeus was given dominion over heaven and earth and chose Olympus as his seat, where other important gods called Olympians also lived.

Zeus's rule was threatened by a rebellion of the giants, the Giants, which he suppressed with the help of the other gods and his earthly son Heracles.

Zeus was also associated with divination, for it was to him that the second most important Greek oracle in the Dodona was dedicated, where divination was performed by the rustling of the leaves of the sacred oak tree. He is also said to have had two barrels in his house from which he sent good or bad things to people.

Zeus also appears in a number of myths where he intervenes in human affairs. Both in divine form and in various other forms (such as a bull). Sometimes he helps people (e.g. in the case of Prometheus) and sometimes he oversees the maintenance of order (e.g. in the story of Phaethon).

Zeus' wife was his sister Hera. With her he had several children, who were Ares (god of war), H├ęb├ę (goddess of eternal youth), Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth) and Hephaestus (god of fire and smithing).

But in addition, he had many illegitimate children named Persephone (mother of Demeter - also a sister), Aphrodite (mother of Dione), Charity (mother of Eurynome), Apollo and Artemis (mother of Leto), Hermes (mother of Maia), Muses (nine children, mother of Mn├ęmosyn├ę), Helen (mother of Nemesis, sometimes referred to as the mother of Leda), Moira and Horus (mother of Themis), Aiakos (mother of Aigina), H├ęrakl├ęs (mother of Alcmene), Amphion and Z├ęthos (mother of Antiope), Perseus (mother of Danae), M├şn├│s, Rhadamanthys and Sarp├ęd├│n (mother of Europa), Epaphos (mother of ├Ź├│), Arkas (mother of Callist├│), Polydeuk├¬s (mother of Leda), Dionysos (mother of Semel├ę), Tantalos, Athena (without a mother - she popped out of his head, but the fetus came from his first wife M├ętis, whom he took as his part).