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Then you will see how far I am strongest of all the immortals. Come, you gods, make this endeavor, that you all may learn this. Let down out of the sky a cord of gold; lay hold of it all you who are gods and all who are goddesses, yet not even so can you drag down Zeus from the sky to the ground, not Zeus the high lord of counsel, though you try until you grow weary. Yet whenever I might strongly be minded to pull you, I could drag you up, earth and all and sea and all with you, then fetch the golden rope about the horn of Olympus and make it fast, so that all once more should dangle in mid air. So much stronger am I than the gods, and stronger than mortals.
~ Zeus

Zeus, also known as Jupiter, is the god of thunder, lighting, justice and ruler of the sky in Greek mythology. He ruled as King of the Gods of Mount Olympus along with being the Sovereign of the Heavens and Earth.

Overview

He was respected as an all-father who was chief of the gods, and assigned the others to their roles: "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence." He was equated with many foreign weather gods, permitting Pausanias to observe "That Zeus is king in heaven is a saying common to all men". Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak.

History

The Prophesied Usurper

Cronus, his father, had sired six children in this order with Rhea, his wife: Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Hera, Poseidon and Zeus himself. But Cronos swallowed them all because of a prophecy claiming that he would be overthrown by his son, as he had overthrown his own father. Rhea, seeking revenge, hid Zeus at birth and gave Cronus a rock wrapped in cloth to swallow instead.

After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone then his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. In some versions, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Cronus's stomach open. Then Zeus released the brothers of Cronus, the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe.

Titanomachy

As a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him the power of thunder and lightning with his weapon, the Master Bolt, which had previously been hidden by Gaia. Together, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, along with the Gigantes, Hecatonchires and Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in the combat called the Titanomachy. The defeated Titans were then cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus. Atlas, one of the titans that fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.

Battle for the Heavens

After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld). The ancient Earth, Gaia, could not be claimed; she was left to all three, each according to their capabilities, which explains why Poseidon was the "earth-shaker" (the god of earthquakes) and Hades claimed the humans that died. Gaia resented the way Zeus had treated the Titans, because they were her children.

Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Zeus had to fight Gaia's most powerful offspring, Typhon. At first he was defeated when Typhon ripped out his sinews until he recovered them thanks to Hermes and Pan. He vanquished Typhon and trapped him under Mount Etna, but left his consort Echidna and her children alive in order for future demigod heroes to face. Zeus's victory over Typhon cemented his ruling as the lord of the heavens and the king of the gods.

Tempting Fate

Soon after becoming king of the gods, Zeus took Metis as his consort and soon after she was pregnant. However, Zeus was told by Gaia that Metis would bear children that were more intelligent and more powerful than their father. Paranoid over the fact that his own children would usurp all that he has fought to achieve, Zeus imitated his father by tricking Metis to turn into a fly then swallow her, preventing the prophecy from coming true.

After Metis, Zeus later married Hera instead although the goddess continuously rejected his advances beforehand. Seeing her resistance, Zeus conjured a mighty storm outside of her palace and shapeshifted into a wounded bird. Feeling pity for the creature, Hera took the bird and nurtured it in her hands. However, Zeus suddenly revealed himself and forced himself unto Hera, taking away her cherished virtue, thus she had no other choice but to comply to Zeus's proposal.

Much later on, Zeus was plagued with a terrible and unbearable headache. He requested his son Hephaestus to deal with his pain and the smith god obliged by splitting his father's head open with an axe, and from his head burst forth none other than Athena, the goddess of wisdom, already fully grown and armored. Athena would serve as a foil to Ares, the god of war, since she embodies strategic warfare. While Athena had not been the one to usurp Zeus of his rulership, his lust towards females, both mortal and immortal, would only cause him to continuously tempt fate though he does stop himself only due to receiving Gaia's warnings.

A God of Many Affairs

Zeus was infamous for his lust of mortals, indeed the king of the gods transcended male or female and even species when it came to his many affairs. Zeus was known to have slept with many women aside from Hera, and he had many sons and daughters; his most well known children are Hermes, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Hephaestus, Dionysus, Hebe and Heracles. Some of which were sired by Hera although the queen does not show particular love to some of her biological offspring while Zeus's bastard divine children are only treated with high contempt and disdain.

He has also sired numerous divine children that embodied numerous aspects of the Earth's workings along with having famous demigod children known for slaying the most fearsome of beasts and partaking in dangerous and daring adventures all while having the blessings and protection of their father. His affairs would result in the vengeful and wrathful retaliation of his wife Hera, as she would instead take her anger out on his consorts rather than Zeus himself and his own children as well. This would result in Zeus stepping in to protect them from Hera's wrath with even other gods interfering unless they were strictly ordered by Hera not to do so.

Personality

Zeus was the upholder of the universal order. He gave justice to mortals to help civilize them and was in charge of punishing oath-breakers, liars, and violators of sacred hospitality. He is a strict adherent and follower to the Divine Code, created and decreed by the Council of Godheads, and the celestial laws decreed by God and Asherah. Anyone who taints or breaks such laws, according to him must receive a rightful punishment. He is also possesses strong and moral sense of justice, and can be seen as a benevolent god, taking pity/mercy towards the innocents and people who ask for his forgiveness.

Zeus is shown to have a lively and almost cheerful disposition. He is carefree, free-spirited and loves to laugh out loud. This is mainly when in the presence of his siblings but becomes firm, stern, and just in the presence of mortals and other gods. This rare showing of buoyancy is most likely related to him being the youngest of Cronus' children. Zeus also cares for and deeply loves his family, being highly protective of them as he would rain down his immense wrath on anyone that would dare harm them.

Zeus, however, was also known to be quite arrogant, prideful, highly temperamental, as well as reckless and even childish. When things do not go his way he becomes cold and harsh to the point where he believes himself to be above all gods, including the gods of foreign pantheons, and it would take a literal beating to have him return to his senses that no matter how much he gloats over his power there are still entities that far surpass him; a fact that he bitterly acknowledges. He is also known to be rather unpredictable, as no one could guess the decisions he would make.

His recklessness is shown to where he is not above cheating over his own wife Hera as he fathered many children with mortal women despite knowing the consequences of his actions. Zeus was infamous for his lust of beautiful mortals, indeed the king of the gods transcended male or female and even species when it came to his many affairs. His lascivious actions in bed always left a very positive mark on the mortals he slept with which enraged Hera to no end.

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