11 Shocking Facts about Zeus and Greek Mythology
Thunderbolts and Lightning, Zeus isn’t Very Frightening
Sometimes referred to as the “Father of Gods and men,” Zeus is an important figure and god in Greek mythology. Here are some other facts about the King of Mount Olympus that you may not know.
- Zeus was the last child of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea, and was the only child to avoid being swallowed by his father.
- After overthrowing his father in the Battle of the Titans, Zeus became King of Olympus after winning admiration from his siblings.
- He chose to share rule of the world with his two older brothers, Hades (Lord of the Underworld) and Poseidon (Lord of the Sea).
- While Zeus is well-known for having many affairs with goddesses and mortals, he married his sister Hera, goddess of marriage and monogamy.
- Through his many affairs, Zeus is the father to many famous children including Hercules.
- The name “Zeus” means “bright” or “sky.”
- Made by the Cyclops, Zeus chose the thunderbolt as his weapon of choice.
- If you visit Greece, there are a few major temple sites of Zeus to visit. One of the easiest temples to visit is located at the peak of Mount Olympus. There is also a temple of Zeus Hypsistos (the “Most High” or “Highest”) in the archaeological site of Dion at the foothills of Mount Olympus, Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens, and Dodona in northwestern Greece.
- One of the more famous sanctuaries, Olympia, has a gold and ivory statue of an enthroned Zeus which was sculpted by Phidias and hailed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- The Olympic Games were originally a religious event dedicated to the glory of Zeus.
- Finally, Zeus was revered as a protector of the weak and punisher of the wicked but his punishments could be severe at times.
There are many stories, adaptations, and portrayals of Zeus available however, most share the common theme that he is well-known in Greek mythology.