49 Facts About Zeus


Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus.

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Zeus's name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter.

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Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach.

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Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of three poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.

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Zeus is the Greek continuation of *, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky, called * .

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Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology.

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Plato, in his Cratylus, gives a folk etymology of Zeus meaning "cause of life always to all things", because of puns between alternate titles of Zeus with the Greek words for life and "because of".

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Diodorus Siculus wrote that Zeus was called Zen, because the humans believed that he was the cause of life .

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Zeus swallows each child as soon as they are born, having received a prophecy from his parents, Gaia and Uranus, that one of his own children is destined to one day overthrow him as he overthrew his father.

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Zeus refers to the Kouretes "rais[ing] a great alarum", and in doing so deceiving Cronus, and relates that when the Kouretes were carrying the newborn Zeus that the umbilical cord fell away at the river Triton.

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When Zeus is born, Hera, asks Rhea to give her the young Zeus, and Rhea gives Cronus a stone to swallow.

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Zeus next frees the Cyclopes, who, in return, and out of gratitude, give him his thunderbolt, which had previously been hidden by Gaia.

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Zeus gives them nectar and ambrosia and revives their spirits, and they agree to aid him in the war.

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Apollodorus provides a similar account, saying that, when Zeus reaches adulthood, he enlists the help of the Oceanid Metis, who gives Cronus an emetic, forcing to him to disgorge the stone and Zeus's five siblings.

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Zeus says that Gaia, out of anger at how Zeus had imprisoned her children, the Titans, bore the Giants to Uranus.

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Aeschylus and Pindar give somewhat similar accounts to Hesiod, in that Zeus overcomes Typhon with relative ease, defeating him with his thunderbolt.

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Disabled, Zeus is taken by Typhon to the Corycian Cave in Cilicia, where he is guarded by the "she-dragon" Delphyne.

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The monster then flees to Thrace, where he hurls mountains at Zeus, which are sent back at him by the god's thunderbolts, before, while fleeing to Sicily, Zeus launches Mount Etna upon him, finally ending him.

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Zeus then married the Oceanid Eurynome, who bore the three Charites .

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The fifth wife of Zeus was his aunt, the Titan Mnemosyne, whom he seduced in the form of a mortal shepherd.

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Zeus then transformed back and took hold of her; because she was refusing to sleep with him due to their mother, he promised to marry her.

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Zeus then promised Achilles that every person who bore his name shall become famous.

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Zeus mated with several nymphs and was seen as the father of many mythical mortal progenitors of Hellenic dynasties.

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Zeus sacrificed a large ox, and divided it into two piles.

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Zeus, enraged at Prometheus's deception, prohibited the use of fire by humans.

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When Zeus was atop Mount Olympus he was appalled by human sacrifice and other signs of human decadence.

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Zeus decided to wipe out mankind and flooded the world with the help of his brother Poseidon.

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Zeus slept with his great-granddaughter, Alcmene, disguised as her husband Amphitryon.

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Zeus fell in love with Semele, the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, and started an affair with her.

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When Zeus showed his true form to Semele, his lightning and thunderbolts burned her to death.

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Zeus saved the fetus by stitching it into his thigh, and the fetus would be born as Dionysus.

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Zeus granted Callirrhoe's prayer that her sons by Alcmaeon, Acarnan and Amphoterus, grow quickly so that they might be able to avenge the death of their father by the hands of Phegeus and his two sons.

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Zeus was afraid that his grandson Asclepius would teach resurrection to humans, so he killed Asclepius with his thunderbolt.

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However, at the request of Apollo's mother, Leto, Zeus instead ordered Apollo to serve as a slave to King Admetus of Pherae for a year.

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Zeus took pity on Ixion, a man who was guilty of murdering his father-in-law, by purifying him and bringing him to Olympus.

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Zeus punished Ixion for lusting after Hera by tying him to a wheel that spins forever.

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Zeus played a dominant role, presiding over the Greek Olympian pantheon.

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Zeus fathered many of the heroes and was featured in many of their local cults.

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In Crete, Zeus was worshipped at a number of caves at Knossos, Ida and Palaikastro.

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On Crete, Zeus was represented in art as a long-haired youth rather than a mature adult and hymned as ho megas kouros, "the great youth".

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The Hellenistic writer Euhemerus apparently proposed a theory that Zeus had actually been a great king of Crete and that posthumously, his glory had slowly turned him into a deity.

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Zeus' consort at Dodona was not Hera, but the goddess Dione — whose name is a feminine form of "Zeus".

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Zeus Ammon was especially favored at Sparta, where a temple to him existed by the time of the Peloponnesian War.

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Zeus was identified with the Roman god Jupiter and associated in the syncretic classical imagination with various other deities, such as the Egyptian Ammon and the Etruscan Tinia.

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Zeus is occasionally conflated with the Hellenic sun god, Helios, who is sometimes either directly referred to as Zeus' eye, or clearly implied as such.

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Zeus appears there as one of five grand rulers gathered together by a divine figure named Yew.

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Zeus was portrayed by Axel Ringvall in Jupiter pa jorden, the first known film adaption to feature Zeus; Niall MacGinnis in Jason and the Argonauts and Angus MacFadyen in the 2000 remake; Laurence Olivier in the original Clash of the Titans, and Liam Neeson in the 2010 remake, along with the 2012 sequel Wrath of the Titans; Rip Torn in the Disney animated feature Hercules, Sean Bean in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief .

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Zeus was portrayed by Anthony Quinn in the 1990s TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys; Corey Burton in the TV series Hercules; Hakeem Kae-Kazim in Troy: Fall of a City; and Jason O'Mara in the Netflix animated series Blood of Zeus.

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Zeus is featured in the 2002 Ensemble Studios game Age of Mythology where he is one of 12 gods that can be worshipped by Greek players.

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