Zeus is the supreme ruler of all gods, the God of Thunder and Sky, and the Rain God and Cloud Gatherer. He wields a mighty thunderbolt and surpasses every other god in power and rules the heavens. He is a very prominent god in Greek mythology, and he plays several major roles.
Zeus possesses absolute strength and might. However, he is not omniscient. In several myths he can be deceived and is prone to falling in love with several women. In fact, Fate is said to be stronger than Zeus.
His bird is the eagle and his tree the oak.
Zeus makes several appearances throughout Greek mythology. Following is his more important appearances.
In the story of Aesculapius, he kills Aesculapius as the mortal became more and more proud of himself, eventually thinking "thoughts too great for man". Zeus struck him with a thunderbolt, and in revenge Apollo slaughtered the Cyclopes. In turn and angered by this, Zeus punished Apollo by forcing him to serve as a slave to King Admetus.
Creation of the UniverseEdit
When Cronus ruled the universe, Zeus rebelled against him, after Cronus knew by fate that one of his children would dethrone him. Cronus decided to avoid such a fate by swallowing every child he bore with his wife Rhea. However, when Zeus was born, Rhea carried him secretly to Crete and replaced Zeus's supposed body with a stone, which Cronus swallowed, thinking it was Zeus.
When Zeus grew up, a devastating war occurred between Zeus and the Cyclopes vs. Cronus and the Titans. Of course, Zeus won. Zeus punished the Titans harshly, such as the fate of Atlas, who had to carry the world on his back. There was still opposition, however. Typhon emerged, but Zeus defeated him with his thunderbolt. The Giants rebelled, but they were defeated as well and hurled down into Tartarus. From then on, Zeus and his siblings ruled the universe.
Humankind was created shortly after. Different ages occurred, and as each age progressed humankind became worse. In the first age, the Golden Age, humankind prospered, and there was peace. Next came the Silver Age, which were inferior to the Golden Age. Finally, at the fifth age, the Iron Age, humankind became selfish and evil, and today we live in the Iron Age.
In the story of Prometheus, Prometheus stole fire and gave it to men. In addition, he arranged that the gods would receive the fat and bones of animals, while man got the best part of their meat. Angered at Prometheus, Zeus created Pandora, which served as the evil of men: women.
After this, Zeus tortured Prometheus to force him to reveal a secret piece of information he knew: that a son would be born to dethrone Zeus, and only Prometheus knew his mother. However, eventually Prometheus was released when Chiron sacrificed his life for him.
The story of Demeter begins when her daughter Persephone is kidnapped by the god of the Underworld, Hades. Demeter mourned dearly for her daughter, and during her daughter's absence a period of crop failure spread throughout the towns. Zeus responded by sending Hermes to order Hades to release Persephone. Hades could not deny Zeus's request, and he relinquished Persephone.
Io and EuropaEdit
Io was a nymph whom Zeus loved. Fearing Hera's jealousy, he concealed her in a thick cloud, which was highly conspicuous and attracted Hera's attention. Zeus was quick-witted, however, and he turned her into a heifer.
Europa was picking flowers in the meadows with her companions. Zeus was watching from above, and Aphrodite had shot an arrow into Zeus's heart, making him instantly fall in love with Europa. Zeus appeared next to the girls with the appearance of a bull, and after Europa mounted him he sped off instantly into the sea. He took Europa to Crete, the island where Rhea had secretly raised him, and there Europa bore sons.