There have been so many movies with Greek Mythology as one of the main thematic. In the several past years, Hollywood has dug deep into Greek mythology to find inspiration for its movies. As a result, we got several movies like Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, Immortals, and so on. But while those movies tried to popularize Greek mythology, they’ve also perverted some of the facts and legends. For example, Zeus is very differently portrayed in some of those movies. That being said, we would like to look at some of the legends and facts regarding Zeus from Greek Mythology. He was initially worshiped by the Greeks, and then by the Romans who referred to him as Jupiter. Here are some quick facts.
- Zeus was the youngest child of his siblings, even though sometimes people reckon him as the oldest. One reason is because his other siblings required disgorging from Kronos’s stomach. He is the child of Kronos and Rhea. According to the legend, Zeus avoided being swallowed by Kronos, who had been told that one of his children will overthrow him. His mother, Rhea, hid him in a cave on Mount Ida on Crete
- Another legend states that Zeus was actually raised by a goat, and her name was Amalthea. Soldiers danced and shouted in the presence of the goat, so that Kronos could not hear the baby crying
- Zeus vanquished his father, and released his siblings. Fun fact: Kronos also overthrow his father, so you might say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the three. After defeating Kronos and imprisoning him in Tartarus, Zeus became the ruler of heaven and Earth along with his brothers Hades and Poseidon. Hades ruled the underworld, while Poseidon ruled the sea
- In Greek mythology, Zeus is sometimes portrayed as the rain god. Homer believed that the Gods live at Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece which is perfect for a “weather god”
- Zeus married his sister Hera, who became his wife. But he was unfaithful, and there are multiple legends about his “erotic escapades”. His unfaithful relationship to Hera resulted in many godly and heroic offspring, including Heracles (the most famous mythical hero), Apollo, Hermes, Perseus, Minos, Artemis, Persephone, and Heracles
- According to Greek mythology, Hera was Zeus’s third wife. He was married to Metis, the Titaness of Wisdom after defeating his father, and to Themis, the Titaness of Justice. He had three offspring with Themis, the Fates, the Hours, and Astraea
- While Zeus was portrayed as goofy person who wanted to laugh and joke, he was unpredictable and had a bad temper. He was easily angered, which resulted in him hurling lightning bolts and wreaking havoc on Earth. And that explains having servants named Violence and Force
- He was not only severe in his punishments to mortals, but also to other Gods and Goddesses. For example, when Prometheus stole the fire and gave it to humans, Zeus punished him and had a giant eagle eat his liver daily
- Most temples in Greece and oracles are dedicated to Apollo, Themis, or heroes. But there are few dedicated to Zeus. The biggest temple is the Temple of Olympian Zeus, a colossal ruined temple in the center of Athens. Some foreign oracles are also dedicated to Zeus, like the Ba’al’s at Lebanon
- Zeus is also the subject of controversy, as his depiction as a bull raping Europa is on the Greek two-euro coin and on the UK identity card for visa holders. Many professors have criticized this move as glorification of rape
- We talked previously about the golden eagle, which was his sacred bird. Zeus kept the golden eagle by his side at all times. The eagle, just like Zeus, was symbol of strength and justice. The eagle then became a symbol for the Roman legion
- Zeus is the first god to enjoy worldwide fame and acceptance, thanks to the many Greek kingdoms and empires. Greeks traveled around the world, and everywhere they went, they made citizens adopt the Greek (Hellenic religion). He was enjoying worldwide acceptance well before Christianity and Islam
- Zeus had several titles, including kingship over the gods, keeper of oats, bearer of the Aegis, god of Crops and Harvest in Athens, thunderer, lightninger, patron of hospitality and much more
- Zeus was the lord of justice, which is one of the reasons why he didn’t join either side in the Trojan War. While he preferred the Trojans, he stayed neutral for most part because his wife, Hera, preferred the Greeks
- Last, but not least, Zeus punished men by giving them women. He knew personally from experience how insufferable women can be when they are opposed. So, when he wanted to punish some man, he would give him a woman.
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