Fast Facts: Zeus
- Pronunciation: ZOO-s
- Origin: Greek
- Role: God
- Symbol: Thunderbolt
- Father: Cronus
- Children: Dozens
- Other Names: Jupiter, Dias
Who Is Zeus?
God of Heaven and sovereign of the gods of Olympus. Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. Zeus corresponds to the Roman god Jupiter.
He is the last son of Titan Cronos and Rhea , brother of the deities Poseidon , Hades , Hestia , Demeter and Hera. And just as Cronos was the youngest of the Titans lineage , so Zeus is the youngest .
Cronos was warned by an oracle that one of his children would dethrone him, so to prevent the realization of this threat he devoured his sons and daughters as Rhea brought them to light. Zeus was saved and his mother hid him in Crete, where he was raised by the Nymphs and it was the nymph (or goat) Amalthea who fed him with his milk.
It was said that at the death of the goat Amalthea, Zeus took his skin as armor: it was the aegis, which he felt the power, the first time, in the fight against the Titans .
Homer considered Zeus the father of gods and mortals. He had created neither the gods nor the mortals! ; he was the protector and ruler of both the family of Olympus and the human race. He was the lord of heaven, responsible for his storms and rains. Zeus led the gods on Mount Olympus in Thessaly.
Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.
- In modern culture: Depictions of Zeus as a bull, the form he took when abducting Europa, are found on the Greek 2-euro coin and on the United Kingdom identity card for visa holders.
Zeus’ symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak.
More About Zeus:
- Zeus is the greatest god of the Hellenic pantheon.
- He is essentially the god of light, clear sky, and lightning, but he does not identify with the sky any more than Apollo identifies with the sun or Poseidon with the Sea.
- He is the god of the family in the broad sense:
• god of the home ( Ephestios );
• god of fences and walls ( Hercios ) of both houses and cities;
• god of marriage ( Gamelios );
• god of friendship ( Philios );
• god of hospitality ( Xenios ).
- Not only does Zeus preside over celestial manifestations, causes rain, hurls lightning and lightning (power symbolized by his aegis), but above all, he maintains order and justice in the world.
- Providential God, aware of his responsibility.
- The laws of the world are only the thought of Zeus. But this is the extreme term of the evolution of the god, and goes beyond the limits of mythology to belong to theology and the history of philosophy.