Zeus

Greek - A supreme god, rain-god and sky-god. Son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother of Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Pluto and Poseidon. Husband of Metis, Themis and finally Hera. Father of Ares, Hebe, Hephaestus and Ilithyia by Hera. His father, Cronus, had made a habit of swallowing his offspring to prevent their becoming a threat to his position so his wife Rhea hid the infant Zeus as soon as he was born in a cave in Crete where he was reared by the nymphs Io and Adrasteia and the goat-nymph Amaltheia whose skin he wore. He became cup-bearer to Cronus and gave him an emetic which forced him to regurgitate all the children he had swallowed. He led the gods in the war against the Titans and killed Campe, the female guardian of Tartarus, releasing the Cyclopes and the hundred-handed Giants who helped in the fight against the Titans. After a ten-year struggle the gods were the victors and the three brothers shared the world between them, Pluto taking the underworld, Poseidon the sea and Zeus the earth and heavens. He was defeated in a single-handed fight with Typhon who cut out all his sinews. Pan and Hermes restored them and Zeus carried on the fight with Typhon finally burying him for all time when he threw Mount Etna at him. Angered by the impiety of the sons of Lycaon, he caused a universal flood from which only Deucalion with his wife Pyrrha and a few others managed to escape. He is said to have created Pandora, the most beautiful of all women, as a gift to Epimetheus who rejected her and to have placed the Pleiades in the sky as stars to escape the attentions of Orion who had pursued them relentlessly. In the form of an eagle, he abducted the beautiful youth Ganymede and made him cup-bearer to the gods after Hebe. He married his sister Hera and they had three children, Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus (and, some say, Ilithyia) but he is said to have raped his mother, Rhea, both of them in the form of serpents, and to have fathered many other children on various goddesses, nymphs and mortals. One of these children was Athena. Zeus had seduced Metis and she was expecting his child. When he heard that the child would be a girl but any second child would be a boy who would dethrone him, Zeus swallowed Metis and her unborn baby. When he later developed a headache, Hephaestus split open his skull and out sprang Athena fully armed. Another child was Heracles. When he decided there was a need for a protector of both gods and man, he set out to produce such a champion, selecting Alcmene, the wife of Amphitryon as his partner. He caused the motions of the earth to slow so that one night lasted for three as he lay with Alcmene in the guise of her husband. The son of this union was the hero Heracles. In the form of a white bull he carried off Europa and then, changing to an eagle, fathered Minor, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon on her and he also abducted Aegina, fathering Aeacus on her and turning himself into a huge rock to escape the vengeance of her father Asopus. In the case of Castor, Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra, there is some dispute but there is no doubt that Zeus was involved in some way with their mother Leda. In some tales he seduced Leda taking the form of a swan on a night when she had also lain with her husband Tyndareus. Four children resulted and these are attributed variously to the two potential fathers. In another version, Helen was fathered on Nemesis (as a goose) by Zeus (as a swan). Amongst others, he was the father of: Aeacus by Aegina or Europa Aegipan by Aex Agdistis by Cybele Amphion by Antiope Aphrodite by Dione, some say Apollo by Leto (as quails) Ares by Hera Argus by Niobe Aroas by Callisto Artemis by Leto (as quails) Astraea by Themis Athena by Metis (from his head) Balio by Podarge, some say Britomartis by Carme Castor by Leda (as swan) Charities by Eurynome Clytemnestra by Pyrrha Core (Persephone) by Demeter Dardanus by Electra Dike by Themis Dionysus by Semele or by Demeter Eirene by Themis Eunomia by Themis Epaphus by Io Eros by Aphrodite, some say Harmonia by Electra, some say Hebe by Hera Helen by Pyrrha Hephaestus by Hera Heracles by Alcmene Hermes by Maia Herophile by Lamia Horae by Themis Iasion by Electra Ilithyia by Hera Lacedemon by Taygete Magnes by Thyia Minos by Europa (as bull or eagle) Moirae by Themis Muses by Mnemosyne Orchomenus by Isonoe Pan by Aphrodite, some say Peirithous by Dia (as a stallion) Pelasgus by Niobe Perseus by Danae Pollux (Polyneices) by Leda (as swan) Rhadamantus by Europa (as bull or eagle) Sarpedon by Europa (as bull or eagle), or by Laodamia Scylla by Lamia, some say Tantalus by Pluto, some say The Graces by Eurynome The Moirae by Themis The Muses by Mnemosyne The Seasons by Themis Thebe by Iodamia Tityus by Elare, some say Xanthus by Podarge Zagreus by Persephone Zethus by Antiope He killed Tantalus when he put pieces of his son Pelops in a stew served to the gods and, when Nyctimus was similarly treated by his brothers, Zeus restored him to life and turned all his brothers into wolves. He killed Salmoneus for pretending to be Zeus himself, Iasion for seducing Demeter and he killed Asclepius when the physician tried to restore Hippolytus to life. His bird was the eagle, his tree the oak, his weapon the thunderbolt and his oracle was at Dodona. Also known as Zeus, Aether, Aether, Ahura Mazda, Ahura Mazda, Auharmazd, Auramazda, Hormazd, Hormazu, Horomazd, Living God, Mazda, Mazdah Ahura, Ohrmazd, Ohrmuzd, Ormazd, Ormuzd, Wise Lord, Persian, Ahura Mazdah, Armaiti, Aurharmazd, Harvatat, Hor(o)mazd, Kshathra, 'Living God', O(h)rmazd, O(h)rmuzd, Spenta Mainya, Sraosha, Vohu Manah, Armenian Aramazd, Assyrian Assara Mazas, Georgian Armaz, Greek Oromasdes, Hindu Rudra, Varuna, Aktaios, Aktaios, Basileus, Basileus, Dios, Dios, Dyaus, Dyaus, Diaus, Dyaus Pita, Dyaus Pitar, Dyaus Pitri, Dyaush Pitir, Dyhu, Dyaus Pita(r), Dyu-piter, 'heaven', Greek Uranus, Roman Jupiter, Ether, Ether, King of Men, King of Men, Agamemnon, Agamemnon, Lord of the Sky, Lord of the Sky, Lykaios, Lykaios, Apollo, Lycaeus, Lycaeus, Lycaeus, Maimaktes, Maimaktes, Meilichios, Meilichios, Melichios, Olympios, Olympios, Polieus, Polieus, Zio, Zio, Tyr, Tiwaz, Agoraios, Agoraios, Alastor, Alastor, Apomyios, Apomyios, Boracus, Boracus, Boulaios, Boulaios, Cloud-Gatherer, Cloud-Gatherer, Dictaeus, Dictaeus, Eleutherios, Eleutherios, Dionysus, Eros, 'liberator', Ephestios, Ephestios, Gamelios, Gamelios, Herkeios, Herkeios, Horios, Horios, Kataibates, Kataibates, Keraunos, Keraunos, Khesios, Khesios, Marnos, Marnos, Me(i)lichios, Me(i)lichios, Nephelegeretes, Nephelegeretes, Nicophoros, Nicophoros, Ombrios, Ombrios, Panomphaean, Panomphaean, Pater, Pater, Phratrios, Phratrios, Pilar, Pilar, Pistios, Pistios, PolieusSabazios, PolieusSabazios, Sabazius, Sabazius, Sabadios, Sabazios, Sabos, Theos Hypsistos, Soter, Soter, Talaios, Talaios, Teleios, Tele(i)os, Tele(i)os, Thunderer, Thunderer, Baal, Elias, Odin, Taran, Thor, Thunderbird, Thunderbird, Thunderbird, Tritos, Tritos, Xenios, Xenios, Zagreus, Zagreus, Semele, Greek Dionysus, Zan, Zan, Egyptian Amon, Egyptian Amon, Jupiter, Etruscan Tinia, Etruscan Tinia, Hindu Dyaus, Hindu Dyaus, Lycian Cragus, Lycian Cragus, Persian Ahura Mazda, Persian Ahura Mazda, Aramazd, Assara Mazas, Rudra, Roman Diu-pater, Roman Diu-pater, Q're, Q're, Panemerios, Syrian Ker, Tyndareus, Tyndareus or Tyndareos.

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