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Statue von Zeus, Bild: Vladimir Mucibabic / shutterstock

Who is Zeus? The legend of his origins

Zeus is referred to as the god of the third generation. He is not only a ruler, but a special deity of the ancient Greek pantheon. Legends claim that it was he who gave people goodness and the pursuit of beauty, and bestowed justice on mortals. Zeus
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was a great warrior who mastered thunder and lightning.

The story of his birth is associated with a turning point in the reign of the gods and titans. Zeus’ father was Kronos, who, according to mythology, had a prediction that he would be overthrown by one of his children and ascend the throne.

Kronos was frightened, he wanted to rule forever, and so he began to devour all his children. Even the pleas of his wife Rhea could not convince the titan. He had no mercy on his sons and daughters.

When Zeus was born, his mother decided to save him. Rhea gave Kronos a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes instead of a child. She herself took the child with her to Crete, where it grew up.

Even in his first days, the child was strong. It was fed with the milk of sacred goats and honey.

The story of his ascent to Mount Olympus

As Zeus grew up, he learned the story of his origins and realized what he wanted to achieve. His goal was to overthrow his father. It would have been difficult or even unrealistic to do this alone, so he had to look for companions. Legend has it that some Titans and Cyclops joined the god of thunder (they were angry with Kronos for locking them in a dungeon). The Cyclops forged the Peruns (lightning bolts) for Zeus, with which they later struck Kronos.

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The battle between father and son lasted for several years. The earth shook. It is likely that the authors are referring here to the natural disasters that occurred at that time.

The prophecy that Cronus had received many years ago was fulfilled. He was defeated. Zeus became the exclusive ruler of the world. The thunderer freed his brothers and sisters from their captivity and they joined the victor.

The war ended, but there was no consensus as to whether Zeus had killed his father or had taken pity on him.

Beloved of the god of thunder

Zeus was famous for his weakness for the female sex. A joke in the myths is that most of the unrest on Mount Olympus is due to the ruler’s love affairs.

The first love of the new ruler was the goddess of wisdom Metida. She helped him to overthrow the old tyrant. The oracle said that Metida was the one who would give birth to an heir to the new tyrant who would dethrone him. The pregnant woman was therefore devoured by her husband.

The second wife was Themis, who bore her lover several children. But the marriage to her did not last long. However, Themis, the goddess of justice, remained as an advisor at her former husband’s side even after the divorce.

Hera, the patron saint of marriage, became the third wife of the ruler of Olympus. She, too, was known for her hot temper and jealousy. The god of thunder repeatedly cheated on his wife, whereupon she took revenge on him. The king of Olympus had many affairs, including with earthly women. To approach them, Zeus transformed himself into humans, other gods or animals. Each time it took on a different shape and form.

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Why is Zeus considered one of the most powerful gods?

Zeus was destined to be the supreme deity. He ruled the heavens and thus ruled the whole world. Both gods and men obeyed him, and he was the symbol and protector of justice. Mortals had to obey the will of the gods, otherwise they would incur the wrath of heaven and suffer terrible punishments.

The Thunderer was the Lord of Heaven, who had the power to control one of nature’s destructive forces. The lightning bolt is the symbol of his power. And it was precisely this power that made him the strongest deity on earth.

Zeus was called the king of all gods and ruled from his Mount Olympus. The god of thunder made important decisions and punished those who disobeyed him. He was also called the God of justice and law. It was in his power to watch over mortals and to encourage them to live according to the laws and customs of society.

The king of Olympus also protected marriage and family and was considered the father of many gods and demigods. Zeus was also asked for protection in war and prayed to him for victory in war. After all, the Thunderer was known to have fought in many battles.