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Zeus constantly battles with the godly virtues, while continuing to have all the Zeus in Greek mythology was chief and father of all Gods and mortals. He corresponds to the Roman god Jupiter. He lived atop Mt. Olympus, at the center of the earth where all the gods lived and held court. Sometimes Olympus was thought of as an actual mountain in Greece, but more often as a lofty reign in the heavens. Zeus was pictured as a kingly, bearded figure who supposedly hurled thunderbolts from the mountain to announce his anger.
His bird was the eagle and his tree the oak. He became the father of all who populated the heavens and earth. His promiscuous behavior was legend. Zeus was the youngest son of the Titan, Cronus and Rhea, who was actually a sister to Cronus. They produced many offspring, but Cronus could not allow his children to survive because it had been prophesied that he would be dethroned by one of his children.
He swallowed each of them following their birth, except for Zeus, who was saved his mother Rhea. She gave Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes for him swallow instead of Zeus. He grew to manhood, attended by nymphs on the island of Crete. Cronus was growing old, so Zeus gave him an emetic causing him to vomit up his brothers and sisters, five gods and goddesses, along with the stone that Rhea had given him. They where alive and unhurt. Cronus was dethroned and the legend has it that Zeus struck him with a thunderbolt and killed him, becoming the leader in his place.
Zeus' triumph was far from serene the Titans rebelled, and for ten years the fighting lasted, neither the Gods or the Titans could secure a victory. Zeus went and released the Cyclops and with their power and weapons were able to finally defeat the Titans. There were still attempts to defeat Zeus and the other Olympians. It required all the power of the other Gods and Monsters to subdue and kill their enemies. These enemies were the Titans, the dragon with a hundred heads There was one more attempt to defeat Zeus and the other Olympians by the Giant's.
They laid siege to Olympus by piling mountain upon mountain to get there. It required the assistance of other gods and Hercules to defeat them. Zeus ruled over the sky and his brother Poseidon and Hades were given power over the sea and underworld. The earth was ruled by all three. Position was a wrathful, moody God.
He traveled with sea nymphs and monsters of the deep. His Latin name was Neptune. Hades was lord of the underworld, the reign of the deep. He was described as stern and dark, his kingdom gray and lifeless.
His Latin name was Des and Pluto. With the writings of Homer, Zeus is pictured in two different ways, as the God of justice and mercy, the protector of the world and also the punisher of the wicked. Despite his awesome power, he had a weakness for mortal women and well as Goddesses, and frequently descended to earth to couple with them. He had numerous affairs with both. He used many guises and tricks to fool them into having an affair with him. He could change his form at will.
Zeus was married to his sister Hera, she was supposedly his real wife. In order to trick her into marrying he disguised himself as a cuckoo bird during a rain storm and hide in her clothing, when she held him he resumed his true form and ravished her. She married him to hide her shame. It was said that the marriage night lasted three hundred years. Due to his many affairs their marriage was not a happy one. Zeus used all kinds of tricks to hide his infidelity from her.
Hera was very jealous and punished him by avenging her self on the females with whom he dallied. Thier marriage produced four children, Hebe was the goddess of youth and acted as a cupbearer of the Gods. Ares, God of war, Ilithyia goddess of child bearing and Hephaestus, the craftsman of the gods. In order to punish Zeus, she The offspring of Zeus from other affairs were too numerous to count. He had other wives before Hera, the first was Metis whom he swallowed before she gave birth to Athena. He knew his second child would dethrone him.
In order for Athena to live he had Hephaestus to split his forehead open to free her. She came out alive and fully armed as she was warrior goddess. She took part in the war against the giants and the Trojans. He had many other wives as well as numerous affairs. Some of his children were great heroes such as, Hercules who was able to perform super human feats. Zeus had arranged that one day he would become a god.
He was honored throughout Greece, and was a powerful athlete, instituting the Olympian games. Another was Apollo, a deity of light to help ripen crops, destroying pest, and heal illnesses. He could also be deadly as he shot his terrible arrows and created plagues. He was also the shepherd god and protected flocks of sheep. He had twin sister Artemis, who was a huntress and goddess of forest creatures. Another was Aphrodite, goddess of love and protector of marriage.
She had a magic girdle which made her irritable to gods and mortals alike. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, she was goddess of spring time. She became queen of the underworld after being abducted by Hades. Dionysus, was a fertility god, and god of the vine. He freed the emotions and inspired joy in men. From him we get the tragic theater.
He was also known as Backup, god of drunkenness. Zeus was also the father of nine muses, Cleo goddess of history, Melpomene of tragedy, Urania of astronomy, Thalia of comedy, Terpsichore of dance, Callrope of epic poetry, Et of love verse, Euterpe of lyric poems and Polyhymnia of sacred songs. Zeus was the father of many other gods and goddesses, among them was the famous Helen of Troy. Zeus had thirty-two mortal children, most of them were leaders of the Greek nations.
He had thirty-eight immortal children. Only five of them were from his legal wives. Zeus and Hera had distinct personalities, and a family situation that was real, the things they did were understandable. Hera's jealousy and Zeus' need to satisfy his lust and to have his desires appeased were human nature. Gods were supposed to be devine, but many of the qualities that Zeus had were very low The Greeks had a passion for order and they continually tried to rationalize their myths trying to make them more believable. In trying to make the gods more human, they actually made them trivial, depriving them of their original power and mystery.
Pride, greed, lust and trickery were outstanding features of Zeus and other Greek gods. Once their character had been defined they become like stereotypes and the people ceased to believe in them. One feature that was common in all the legends was the idea of mankind's frailty, sometimes they bring calamity upon themselves, other times it may the result of events or which they have no control. According to myths the gods created men. The first race of men lived in harmony. This was the Golden Age where there was no pain, toil or old age.
Dying was as easy as falling asleep. They enjoyed the fruits of the earth and after death they remained as spirits to protect men from evil. Next the gods created the Silver Age this was inferior to the Golden Age. They remained children for a hundred years and were dominated by there mothers. In this age they had to work and the year was divided into seasons. Then men knew cold and heat.
Crime began in this period and Zeus was displeased and put an end to this age. Zeus then created the Bronze Age out of ash spears. These men were strong and violent warriors, who worked in metal and created some tools of civilization. they finally destroyed themselves with their warfare. The next period was the Heroic Age, many heroes and mighty deeds were performed. Heracles, Jason, Theseus and the heroes of the Trojan war existed.
Zeus tribute to them established Elysian Fields as a resting place for them after their Zeus then created the Iron Age, the worst race of men to ever appear on the earth. The things that now exist were the same as then. Hard work, trouble, pain and weariness were their lot. They were evil and vicious causing the gods to At this time Zeus was disgusted with man and his evil and decided to destroy him with a flood.
Some of the people were warned and prepared for it by getting into a chest with provisions. After ten days the flood subsided and the chest rested on a mountain. The couple came out and offered a sacrifice to Zeus and asked him to restore the human race. According to legend the human race The tale of the five ages of man shows that there was a negative attitude by the gods about each age, while the gods improved with each age, man degenerated from age to age. This does not match with our belief that each age has improved.
We started as primitive man and with the ages man progressed to his present state. The story of Zeus' flood has a biblical comparison to the flood of Zeus as one of the greatest of the Greek gods had many feast an celebrations, one of the greatest was the Olympian Games. They took place every four years in Olympia, even if there was a war between the city states of Greece, they stopped the war to take part in the games. Our present day Olympics is There were many shrines of Zeus, the principal one was at Dakota, where his temple was an oracle, like the on Apply had. In Arcadia he was worshipped on the mountain Like and it was believed by some that sacrifices with human victims were taking place.
One of his most famous temples outside Greece is the The myths were for the most part absurd and unbelievable. While they had human qualities their behavior left much to be desired. Zeus was such a loose moral god, it is so hard to even consider him as an honorable person. While the Greeks and others considered these legends to be true. Most of them were so wild people would have to be very ignorant to believe them.
They had such trust in the gods that they would believe anything they were told. The heroes fight beast, monsters, and even their own families in the most cruel way. Some of the books written about this era makes interesting reading and could tell us much about the culture of that day. One example is "The Odyssey" Greek legends and myths provide some of the richest stories in western culture, not including the Bible.
They wanted fame and accomplished that with great deeds. They believed in honor and were sensitive about anything that would lessen it. Myths became acceptable as fact, through repetition they became to have many variations. Both good and evil came from the gods, and the religious theme was a struggle between the powers of light and darkness.
Bibliography: Bibliography Berger, Edna Dictionary of Mythology, Rev. 1991 Encarta CD-ROM, Zeus Ereslin, Bernard, Heroes, Gods and Monsters of Greek Myths pp. 4 - 6 Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia (1994) Zeus Hillegass, Cliff Intro. to Mythology Rev. 1991 pp. 56 - 60 Internet Characters of Greek Mythology Hamilton, Edith, Mythology (1969) pp. 24 - 39
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