Thursday, May 14, 2015


Image of Zeus from greek mythology

The image of Zeus seen on the left shows a statue that was discovered in 1680 in Smyrna (now Izmir, Turkey), on the Aegean coast.

His origin was strange. The youngest male child of the pre-Olympian  Titan rulers Cronus and Rhea, he managed not only to escape his father's attempt to kill him, but to save his siblings as well: Hades, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia and Hera, who became his royal consort. He then battled with his father, gained control of the universe, and banished the vanquished Titans to Tartarus, a particularly nasty bit of the underworld.

With such a traumatic early history, perhaps it is not surprising that Zeus was power hungry and ill-tempered. After the battle, Zeus was supreme, but gave dominion over the sea to Poseidon and over the underworld to Hades. Zeus fathered numerous children with his wife and many other partners, both mortal and immortal. Some of these children came to life in an unusual fashion. Dionysus was nurtured in his thigh and Athena was born from his head. 

On the right is a Roman copy of Zeus (Jupiter) in bronze and marble. The statue is housed at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. This image comes from theoi.

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