When was Zeus born
Zeus (Greek: Ζεύς) in Greek mythology is the supreme Olympian god and the ruler of the sky, including lightning and thunder. He is the most powerful god and the youngest son of Kronos.
Some of his most famous symbols of power are the ruler's lightning and the shield Aigis, a work of Hephaestus.
In his career as an Olympic god, Zeus seduced a large number of women. Not always in his own form (in Europe e.g. as a bull), but one way or another they always carried one or more children of his.
Zeus is the brother of Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera, who is also his wife, while Kronos is his father and Rhea is his mother. For his children and their respective mother, see here.
Titanomachy (titan war)
Kronos devoured all his children as he was prophesied that one of his children would one day overthrow him, which he did not want. He was afraid of being disempowered by this child, just as his father had previously been by himself. When Rhea realized that she was pregnant with Zeus, she hid the child, as Uranos and Gaia advised her to do so. She gave birth to Zeus in a cave and when Kronos noticed that Rhea was gone, he looked for her. When he found her, he saw the wrapped child. He asked for the child, and Rhea gave him a wrapped stone as she had prepared. Rhea asked Kronos to be allowed to stay in the cave to recover from the birth. When Kronos was gone, Rhea gave Zeus to the goat Amalthea to raise him. Before she left, she made sure that as soon as Zeus could not drink milk from Amalthea, he would be able to drink nectar and ambrosia from her horns.
After Zeus grew into a man, he wanted to defeat his father. First he made sure that Kronos strangled his siblings. Then they fought together against the titans.
In the war for world domination, Zeus also got the Cyclops and the Hekatoncheirs from the underworld on his side by freeing them from it. As a thank you, the Cyclops forged him, Poseidon and Hades the respective power attributes: the ruler's lightning, the trident and the Hades cap. The Olympians fought from Mount Olympus and the Titans from Mount Othrys. After a long battle, it looked like the gods would defeat the titans and their allies, which eventually happened.
Zeus wanted to make Metis his wife and eventually seduced her. But since a prophecy revealed to him that a son of Metis would overthrow him and that a daughter would be just as beautiful, powerful and clever as himself, he turned Metis into a shell and devoured her when she was pregnant. Months later he got a headache and Hephaestus had to split his head with a hammer for it. Athena jumped out of it in full golden armor. The unborn son of the Metis remained unborn. As soon as Metis was out of Zeus' head, she didn't want to have anything more to do with him, because she said that he, like his father Kronos, was greedy for power.
Gaia now incited the giants to fight the Olympians because she was angry because their children, the titans, were defeated and locked in the Tartaros. Then came a new war. But the Olympians also won this without any losses with the help of Heracles, a son of Zeus.
Finally Typhon came to destroy the gods. Gaia wanted revenge on the gods for the defeat of her children, which is why she united with Tartarus and gave birth to Typhon. Zeus managed to keep Typhon prisoner under Mount Etna in a bitter struggle, but would have been lost before the final battle without Hermes, as Typhon severed his tendons with the sickle, which had already emasculated Uranus, and Zeus trapped in a cave held while he gave the tendons to Delphyne, a monster living there. Hermes distracted the monster, stole the tendons, and gave them back to Zeus. Typhon has been trapped under Mount Etna ever since.
Zeus as chief god
The rule of the Olympians was finally secure. By lots it was decided which of the three brothers got which part of the world. He himself became the supreme god and divided the world into three realms: the sky, the sea and the underworld. The sky fell to him, while Poseidon received the sea and Hades the underworld.
Hera, Zeus' sister and wife, viewed his many relationships with offense, but they always remained husband and wife.
- Main article: Prometheus
Prometheus and Epimetheus sided with the Olympians during the Titanomachy, as Prometheus had the gift of foresight and knew who would win. For this reason they still walked the earth.
Zeus now instructed the two of them to fill the earth with creatures so that it is not so sterile. Epimetheus created the animals of the world and gave them all gifts. Prometheus created humans out of clay (in appearance he took the gods as models), but could not give them anything because of Epimetheus. Athena gave them the wisdom and reason as she was friends with Prometheus.
It was by the spirit that humans were superior to animals. But they were physically helpless. So Prometheus gave them fire. Zeus recognized the spiritual power of men and therefore demanded offerings and complete submission. But Prometheus did not want people to be enslaved by the gods. So he collected offerings and divided them into two piles. A small one made of meat and a much larger pile of bones. He covered these piles so that they could only be distinguished by their size. Finally he called to Zeus to choose one of the two heaps as his sacrifice; the rest should belong to the people. Zeus, in his greed, chose the larger of the two offerings. When Zeus realized that his victim was only made of bones, he went wild with anger. He felt betrayed by the people and took the fire away from them.
So the unfortunate Prometheus just stole a bit of the fire and gave it to the people himself. Zeus was incredibly angry. So, together with the other Olympians Pandora, he created a metal sculpture made of bronze with golden hair and silver hearts, forged by Hephaestus, which went to Epimetheus with a box and offered the contents as a gift. However, almost all illnesses and other ailments came out of the box, hope was the only good thing.
He punished Prometheus by having him chained to the Caucasus, while the giant eagle Ethon came every day to eat from his liver, which grew back overnight due to his immortality. At some point, however, he was freed by Heracles or Cheiron.
Zeus made several attempts to exterminate humanity. In addition to Pandora's box, the flood of Zeus is also narrated in this regard. Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha survived this flood on a ship. The Flood of Zeus is therefore also called the Deucalionic Flood.
Robbery of Europe
- Main article: Europe
Zeus fell in love with Europe the daughter of the Phoenician king Agenor and Telephassa. So that Hera would not notice this, he turned into a bull. In this form he kidnapped her while she was playing with friends and brought her to the island of Crete, where he also transformed back and they fathered three children: Minos, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. That is why the continent became Europe.
Io was the daughter of the river god Inachus. Zeus once fell in love with Io. But Zeus' wife Hera found out about this, whereupon he turned Io into a cow. However, she asked for the cow as a gift, knowing that the cow is Io. Hera then had the cow guarded by the hundred-eyed giant Argos. Feeling guilty, Zeus sent Hermes to kill Argos so that Io could escape. But Hera had Io pursued, whereupon she had to flee over the sea named after her (Ionian Sea). Finally Hera was appeased and turned Io back into a human. She gave birth to Zeus Epaphos.
Children of Zeus
Zeus had many children with different women, here they are:
- Aigina: Aiakos
- Alcmene: Heracles
- Ananke: Adrasteia, according to another version the Moiren
- Antiope: Amphion, Zethos
- Danae: Perseus
- Demeter: Persephone
- Dione: Aphrodite
- Elara: Tityos
- Elektra: Iasion, Dardanos, Harmonia
- Europe: Minos, Rhadamanthys, Sarpedon
- Eurynomials: Charites
- Garamantis: Jarbas
- Hera: Arge, Elleithria, after Hesiod Ares, after Homer Hephaestus
- Hora: Kolaxes
- hubris: Pan
- Io: Epaphos
- Callisto: Arkas
- Karme: Britomartis
- Kalyke: Edymion
- Leda: the Dioscuri (Pollux and Kastor)
- Leda or Nemesis: Helena
- Leto: Apollo, Artemis
- Maia: Hermes
- Metis: Athena
- Mnemosyne: Muses
- Niobe: Argos
- nymph: Megaros
- Persephone: Zagreus
- Pluto: Tantalos
- Protogeneia: Aethlios
- Semele: Dionysus
- Taygete: Lacedaemon
- Thalia: Palikoi
- Themis: Horen, Moiren
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