King of the Gods
God of the sky, lightning, thunder, law, order, justice
Member of the Twelve Olympians
Zeus de Smyrne, discovered in Smyrna in 1680[1]
AbodeMount Olympus
SymbolThunderbolt, eagle, bull, oak
DayThursday (hēméra Diós)
Personal information
ParentsCronus and Rhea
SiblingsHestia, Hades, Hera, Poseidon and Demeter; Chiron
ConsortHera, various others
ChildrenAeacus, Agdistis, Angelos, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Britomartis, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Epaphus Eris, Ersa, Hebe, Helen of Troy, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Lacedaemon, Melinoë, Minos, Pandia, Persephone, Perseus, Pollux, Rhadamanthus, Zagreus, the Graces, the Horae, the Litae, the Muses, the Moirai
Roman equivalentJupiter[2] (Sometimes called "Jovis" or "Iovis" in Latin)
Slavic equivalentPerun[citation needed]
Hinduism equivalentIndra[3][4][5][6]
This article contains special characters. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

Zeus[a] is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. His mythology and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun, Indra, and Dyaus.[3][4][5][6]

Zeus is the child of Cronus and Rhea, the youngest of his siblings to be born, though sometimes reckoned the eldest as the others required disgorging from Cronus's stomach. In most traditions, he is married to Hera, by whom he is usually said to have fathered Ares, Hebe, and Hephaestus.[9] At the oracle of Dodona, his consort was said to be Dione,[10] by whom the Iliad states that he fathered Aphrodite.[13] Zeus was also infamous for his erotic escapades. These resulted in many divine and heroic offspring, including Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Persephone, Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen of Troy, Minos, and the Muses.[9]

He was respected as an allfather who was chief of the gods[14] and assigned roles to the others:[15] "Even the gods who are not his natural children address him as Father, and all the gods rise in his presence."[16][17] 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".[18] Zeus' symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak. In addition to his Indo-European inheritance, the classical "cloud-gatherer" (Greek: Νεφεληγερέτα, Nephelēgereta)[19] also derives certain iconographic traits from the cultures of the ancient Near East, such as the scepter. Zeus is frequently depicted by Greek artists in one of three poses: standing, striding forward with a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.


The god's name in the nominative is Ζεύς (Zeús). It is inflected as follows: vocative: Ζεῦ (Zeû); accusative: Δία (Día); genitive: Διός (Diós); dative: Διί (Dií). Diogenes Laërtius quotes Pherecydes of Syros as spelling the name Ζάς.[20]

Zeus is the Greek continuation of *Di̯ēus, the name of the Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky, also called *Dyeus ph2tēr ("Sky Father").[21][22] The god is known under this name in the Rigveda (Vedic Sanskrit Dyaus/Dyaus Pita), Latin (compare Jupiter, from Iuppiter, deriving from the Proto-Indo-European vocative *dyeu-ph2tēr),[23] deriving from the root *dyeu- ("to shine", and in its many derivatives, "sky, heaven, god").[21] Zeus is the only deity in the Olympic pantheon whose name has such a transparent Indo-European etymology.[24]

The earliest attested forms of the name are the Mycenaean Greek 𐀇𐀸, di-we and 𐀇𐀺, di-wo, written in the Linear B syllabic script.[25]

Plato, in his Cratylus, gives a folk etymology of Zeus meaning "cause of life always to all things", because of puns between alternate titles of Zeus (Zen and Dia) with the Greek words for life and "because of".[26] This etymology, along with Plato's entire method of deriving etymologies, is not supported by modern scholarship.[27][28]

Diodorus Siculus wrote that Zeus was also called Zen, because the humans believed that he was the cause of life (zen).[29] While Lactantius wrote that he was called Zeus and Zen, not because he is the giver of life, but because he was the first who lived of the children of Cronus.[30]



"Cave of Zeus", Mount Ida, Crete

Cronus sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overthrown by his son as he had previously overthrown Uranus, his own father, an oracle that Rhea heard and wished to avert.[31]

When Zeus was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Cronus would get his retribution for his acts against Uranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Cronus a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed.[32]


Varying versions of the story exist:

  1. According to Hyginus, Zeus was raised by a nymph named Amalthea. Since Saturn (Cronus) ruled over the Earth, the heavens and the sea, she hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth, sea and sky and thus, invisible to his father.[33]
  2. According to Apollodorus, Zeus was raised by a goat named Amalthea in a cave called Dictaeon Antron (Psychro Cave). A company of soldiers called Kouretes danced, shouted and clashed their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry.[34]

King of the gods

First century statue of Zeus
First century statue of Zeus

After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone (which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, the Omphalos) then his siblings in reverse order of swallowing.[35] 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 Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Campe. As a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, which had previously been hidden by Gaia.[36][37]

Together, Zeus, his brothers and sisters, 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 who fought against Zeus, was punished by having to hold up the sky.[38]

After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus received the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld).[39]

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 some of Gaia's other children, including the Gigantes. It was prophesied that the Gigantes, children of Gaia born from Uranus's blood, could not be killed by the gods alone, but they could be killed with the help of a mortal. Hearing this, Gaia sought for a certain plant (pharmakon) that would protect the Gigantes even from mortals. Before Gaia or anyone else could get it, Zeus forbade Eos (Dawn), Selene (Moon) and Helios (Sun) to shine, harvested all of the plant himself and then he had Athena summon the mortal Heracles. Porphyrion, the king of the Gigantes,[40] attacked Heracles and Hera, but Zeus caused Porphyrion to lust after Hera, whom Porphyrion then tried to rape, but Zeus struck Porphyrion with his thunderbolt and Heracles (or Apollo)[40] killed him with an arrow. Zeus, with the help of other Olympians and Heracles, destroyed the Gigantes.[41]

After the Gigantes failed to defeat Zeus, Gaia mated with Tartarus and gave birth to Typhon. The monstrous Typhon challenged the reign of Zeus. Zeus fought against him in a cataclysmic battle and defeated him with his thunderbolt. He then trapped Typhon in Tartarus.[42] According to Pindar, however, Typhon was trapped in Mount Etna.[43] The Homeric hymn to Apollo states that Hera, angry at Zeus for giving birth to Athena by himself, prayed to Gaia, Uranus, and the Titans to give her a son stronger than Zeus. Hera then slapped the ground and became pregnant with Typhon.[44]

Zeus' reign was once challenged by Hera, Poseidon, and Athena, who wished to bind Zeus and overthrow him. The Nereid Thetis called the Hecatoncheire Briareus to rescue Zeus. The other Olympians were scared of Briareus, who then freed Zeus.[45]

Prometheus and conflicts with humans

When the gods met at Mecone to discuss which portions they will receive after a sacrifice, the titan Prometheus decided to trick Zeus so that humans receive the better portions. He sacrificed a large ox, and divided it into two piles. In one pile he put all the meat and most of the fat, covering it with the ox's grotesque stomach, while in the other pile, he dressed up the bones with fat. Prometheus then invited Zeus to choose; Zeus chose the pile of bones. This set a precedent for sacrifices, where humans will keep the fat for themselves and burn the bones for the gods.

Zeus, enraged at Prometheus's deception, prohibited the use of fire by humans. Prometheus, however, stole fire from Olympus in a fennel stalk and gave it to humans. This further enraged Zeus, who punished Prometheus by binding him to a cliff, where an eagle constantly ate Prometheus's liver, which regenerated every night. Prometheus was eventually freed from his misery by Heracles.[46]

Now Zeus, angry at humans, decides to give humanity a punishing gift to compensate for the boon they had been given. He commands Hephaestus to mold from earth the first woman, a "beautiful evil" whose descendants would torment the human race. After Hephaestus does so, several other gods contribute to her creation. Hermes names the woman 'Pandora'.

Pandora was given in marriage to Prometheus's brother Epimetheus. Zeus gave her a jar which contained many evils. Pandora opened the jar and released all the evils, which made mankind miserable. Only hope remained inside the jar.[47]

When Zeus was atop Mount Olympus he was appalled by human sacrifice and other signs of human decadence. He decided to wipe out mankind and flooded the world with the help of his brother Poseidon. After the flood, only Deucalion and Pyrrha remained.[48] This flood narrative is a common motif in mythology.[49]

The Chariot of Zeus, from an 1879 Stories from the Greek Tragedians by Alfred Church.
The Chariot of Zeus, from an 1879 Stories from the Greek Tragedians by Alfred Church.

In the Iliad

Jupiter and Juno on Mount Ida by James Barry, 1773 (City Art Galleries, Sheffield.)
Jupiter and Juno on Mount Ida by James Barry, 1773 (City Art Galleries, Sheffield.)

The Iliad is a poem by Homer about the Trojan war and the battle over the City of Troy, in which Zeus plays a major part.

Scenes in which Zeus appears include:[50][51]

Other myths

Zeus slept with his great-granddaughter, Alcmene, disguised as her husband Amphitryon. This resulted in the birth of Heracles, who would be tormented by Zeus's wife Hera for the rest of his life. After his death, Heracles's mortal parts were incinerated and he joined the gods on Olympus. He married Zeus and Hera's daughter, Hebe, and had two sons with her, Alexiares and Anicetus.[52]

When Hades requested to marry Zeus's daughter, Persephone, Zeus approved and advised Hades to abduct Persephone, as her mother Demeter wouldn't allow her to marry Hades.[53]

Zeus fell in love with Semele, the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, and started an affair with her. Hera discovered his affair when Semele later became pregnant, and persuaded Semele to sleep with Zeus in his true form. When Zeus showed his true form to Semele, his lightning and thunderbolts burned her to death.[54] Zeus saved the fetus by stitching it into his thigh, and the fetus would be born as Dionysus.[55]

In the Orphic "Rhapsodic Theogony" (first century BC/AD),[56] Zeus wanted to marry his mother Rhea. After Rhea refused to marry him, Zeus turned into a snake and raped her. Rhea became pregnant and gave birth to Persephone. Zeus in the form of a snake would mate with his daughter Persephone, which resulted in the birth of Dionysus.[57]

Zeus granted Callirrhoe's prayer that her sons by Alcmaeon, Acarnan and Amphoterus, grow quickly so that they might be able to avenge the death of their father by the hands of Phegeus and his two sons.[58]

Both Zeus and Poseidon wooed Thetis, daughter of Nereus. But when Themis (or Prometheus) prophesied that the son born of Thetis would be mightier than his father, Thetis was married off to the mortal Peleus.[59][60]

Zeus was afraid that his grandson Asclepius would teach resurrection to humans, so he killed Asclepius with his thunderbolt. This angered Asclepius's father, Apollo, who in turn killed the Cyclopes who had fashioned the thunderbolts of Zeus. Angered at this, Zeus would have imprisoned Apollo in Tartarus. However, at the request of Apollo's mother, Leto, Zeus instead ordered Apollo to serve as a slave to King Admetus of Pherae for a year.[61] According to Diodorus Siculus, Zeus killed Asclepius because of complains from Hades, who was worried that the number of people in the underworld was diminishing because of Asclepius's resurrections.[62]


Seven wives of Zeus

Jupiter, disguised as a shepherd, tempts Mnemosyne by Jacob de Wit (1727)
Jupiter, disguised as a shepherd, tempts Mnemosyne by Jacob de Wit (1727)

According to Hesiod, Zeus had seven wives. His first wife was the Oceanid Metis, whom he swallowed on the advice of Gaia and Uranus, so that no son of his by Metis would overthrow him, as had been foretold. Later, their daughter Athena would be born from the forehead of Zeus.[63]

Zeus's next marriage was to his aunt and advisor Themis, who bore the Horae (Seasons) and the Moirai (Fates).[64] Zeus then married the Oceanid Eurynome, who bore the three Charites (Graces).[65]

Zeus's fourth wife was his sister, Demeter, who bore Persephone.[66] The fifth wife of Zeus was his aunt, the Titan Mnemosyne, whom he seduced in the form of a mortal shepherd. Zeus and Mnemosyne had the nine Muses.[67] His sixth wife was the Titan Leto, who gave birth to Apollo and Artemis on the island of Delos.[68]

Zeus's seventh and final wife was his older sister Hera.[69]

Zeus and Hera

Main article: Hera

Wedding of Zeus and Hera on an antique fresco from Pompeii
Wedding of Zeus and Hera on an antique fresco from Pompeii

Zeus was the brother and consort of Hera. According to Pausanias, Zeus had turned himself into a cuckoo to woo Hera.[76] By Hera, Zeus sired Ares, Hebe, Eileithyia and Hephaestus,[77] though some accounts say that Hera produced these offspring alone. Some also include Eris,[78] Enyo[79] and Angelos[80] as their daughters. In the section of the Iliad known to scholars as the Deception of Zeus, the two of them are described as having begun their sexual relationship without their parents knowing about it.[81] Zeus mated with several nymphs and was seen as the father of many mythical mortal progenitors of Hellenic dynasties. Aside from his seven wives, relationships with immortals included Dione and Maia.[82][83] Among mortals were Semele, Io, Europa and Leda (for more details, see below) and with the young Ganymede (although he was mortal Zeus granted him eternal youth and immortality).

Zeus carrying away Ganymede (Late Archaic terracotta, 480-470 BC)
Zeus carrying away Ganymede (Late Archaic terracotta, 480-470 BC)

Many myths render Hera as jealous of his amorous conquests and a consistent enemy of Zeus' mistresses and their children by him. For a time, a nymph named Echo had the job of distracting Hera from his affairs by talking incessantly, and when Hera discovered the deception, she cursed Echo to repeat the words of others.[84]

Transformation of Zeus

Love interest Disguises
Aegina an eagle or a flame of fire
Alcmene Amphitryon[85]
Antiope a satyr[86]
Asopis a flame of fire
Callisto Artemis[87] or Apollo[88]
Cassiopeia Phoenix
Danaë shower of gold[89]
Europa a bull[90]
Eurymedusa ant
Ganymede an eagle[91]
Hera a cuckoo[92]
Lamia a lapwing
Leda a swan[93]
Mnemosyne a shepherd
Nemesis a goose[94]
Persephone a serpent[57]
Semele a fire
Thalia a vulture


Offspring and mothers (Hesiod)
Offspring Mother
Heracles Alcmene
Persephone Demeter
Charites (Aglaea, Euphrosyne, Thalia) Eurynome
Ares, Eileithyia, Hebe Hera
Apollo, Artemis Leto
Hermes Maia
Athena Metis
Muses (Calliope, Clio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, Urania) Mnemosyne
Dionysus Semele
Horae (Dike, Eirene, Eunomia), Moirai (Atropos, Clotho, Lachesis) Themis
Offspring and mothers (Other sources) Table 1
Offspring Mother
Aegipan[95] Aega, Aix or Boetis
Tyche[96] Aphrodite
Hecate,[97] Heracles[98] Asteria
Acragas[99] Asterope
Corybantes[100] Calliope
Coria (Athene)[101] Coryphe
Dionysus[102] Demeter
Aphrodite Dione[103] or Thalassa
Carae Eos
Charites (Aglaea, Euphrosyne, Thalia) Euanthe or Eurydome or Eurymedusa
Asopus[104] Eurynome
Dodon[105] Europa
Agdistis, Manes,[106] Cyprian Centaurs[107] Gaia
Angelos, Arge,[108] Eleutheria,[109] Enyo, Eris, Hephaestus[110] Hera
Pan[111] Hybris
Helen of Troy[112] Nemesis
Melinoë, Zagreus, Dionysus Persephone
Persephone[113] Rhea
Dionysus,[114] Ersa,[115] Nemea,[116] Nemean Lion, Pandia[117] Selene
Persephone[118] Styx
Palici[119] Thalia
Aeacus,[120] Damocrateia[121] Aegina
Amphion, Zethus Antiope[122]
Targitaos[123] Borysthenis
Arcas[124] Callisto
Britomartis[125] Carme
Dardanus,[126] Emathion,[127] Iasion or Eetion,[128] Harmonia[129] Electra
Myrmidon[130] Eurymedousa
Cronius, Spartaios, Cytus Himalia[131]
Colaxes[132] Hora
Cres[133] Idaea
Epaphus, Keroessa[134] Io
Sarpedon, Argus Lardane[135]
Saon[136] Nymphe
Meliteus[137] Othreis
Offspring and mothers (Other sources) Table 2
Offspring Mother
Tantalus[138] Plouto
Balius, Xanthus Podarge
Lacedaemon[139] Taygete
Archas[140] Themisto
Carius[141] Torrhebia
Iarbas Nymph African
Megarus[142] Nymph Sithnid
Olenus[143] Anaxithea
Aethlius or Endymion[144] Calyce
Milye,[145] Solymus[146] Chaldene
Perseus[147] Danaë
Pirithous[148] Dia
Tityos Elara[149]
Minos, Rhadamanthus,[150] Sarpedon, Carnus[151] Europa
Arcesius Euryodeia
Orchomenus Hermippe[152]
Agamedes Iocaste
Thebe, [153] Deucalion[108] Iodame
Acheilus[154][155] Lamia
Libyan Sibyl (Herophile)[156] Lamia (daughter of Poseidon)
Sarpedon[157] Laodamia
Helen of Troy, Pollux Leda
Heracles[158] Lysithoe
Locrus Maera[159]
Argus, Pelasgus Niobe[160]
Graecus,[161] Latinus[162] Pandora
Achaeus[163] Phthia
Aethlius,[164] Aetolus,[165] Opus[166] Protogeneia
Hellen[167] Pyrrha
Aegyptus,[168] Heracles[169] Thebe
Magnes, Makednos Thyia[170]
Aletheia, Ate,[171] Nysean,[172] Caerus, Eubuleus,[173] Litae,[174] various nymphs, Phasis,[175] Calabrus,[176] Geraestus, Taenarus, Corinthus,[177] Crinacus[178] unknown mothers
Orion[179] No mother

Roles and epithets

See also: Category:Epithets of Zeus

Roman marble colossal head of Zeus, 2nd century AD (British Museum)[180]
Roman marble colossal head of Zeus, 2nd century AD (British Museum)[180]

Zeus played a dominant role, presiding over the Greek Olympian pantheon. He fathered many of the heroes and was featured in many of their local cults. Though the Homeric "cloud collector" was the god of the sky and thunder like his Near-Eastern counterparts, he was also the supreme cultural artifact; in some senses, he was the embodiment of Greek religious beliefs and the archetypal Greek deity.

Aside from local epithets that simply designated the deity as doing something random at some particular place, the epithets or titles applied to Zeus emphasized different aspects of his wide-ranging authority:

A bust of Zeus.
A bust of Zeus.

Additional names and epithets for Zeus are also:


















Cults of Zeus

Marble eagle from the sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos, Archaeological Museum of Dion.
Marble eagle from the sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos, Archaeological Museum of Dion.

Panhellenic cults

Colossal seated Marnas from Gaza portrayed in the style of Zeus.  Roman period Marnas[205] was the chief divinity of Gaza (Istanbul Archaeology Museum).
Colossal seated Marnas from Gaza portrayed in the style of Zeus. Roman period Marnas[205] was the chief divinity of Gaza (Istanbul Archaeology Museum).

The major center where all Greeks converged to pay honor to their chief god was Olympia. Their quadrennial festival featured the famous Games. There was also an altar to Zeus made not of stone, but of ash, from the accumulated remains of many centuries' worth of animals sacrificed there.

Outside of the major inter-polis sanctuaries, there were no modes of worshipping Zeus precisely shared across the Greek world. Most of the titles listed below, for instance, could be found at any number of Greek temples from Asia Minor to Sicily. Certain modes of ritual were held in common as well: sacrificing a white animal over a raised altar, for instance.

Zeus Velchanos

With one exception, Greeks were unanimous in recognizing the birthplace of Zeus as Crete. Minoan culture contributed many essentials of ancient Greek religion: "by a hundred channels the old civilization emptied itself into the new", Will Durant observed,[206] and Cretan Zeus retained his youthful Minoan features. The local child of the Great Mother, "a small and inferior deity who took the roles of son and consort",[207] whose Minoan name the Greeks Hellenized as Velchanos, was in time assumed as an epithet by Zeus, as transpired at many other sites, and he came to be venerated in Crete as Zeus Velchanos ("boy-Zeus"), often simply the Kouros.

In Crete, Zeus was worshipped at a number of caves at Knossos, Ida and Palaikastro. In the Hellenistic period a small sanctuary dedicated to Zeus Velchanos was founded at the Hagia Triada site of a long-ruined Minoan palace. Broadly contemporary coins from Phaistos show the form under which he was worshiped: a youth sits among the branches of a tree, with a cockerel on his knees.[208] On other Cretan coins Velchanos is represented as an eagle and in association with a goddess celebrating a mystic marriage.[209] Inscriptions at Gortyn and Lyttos record a Velchania festival, showing that Velchanios was still widely venerated in Hellenistic Crete.[210]

The stories of Minos and Epimenides suggest that these caves were once used for incubatory divination by kings and priests. The dramatic setting of Plato's Laws is along the pilgrimage-route to one such site, emphasizing archaic Cretan knowledge. On Crete, Zeus was represented in art as a long-haired youth rather than a mature adult and hymned as ho megas kouros, "the great youth". Ivory statuettes of the "Divine Boy" were unearthed near the Labyrinth at Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans.[211] With the Kouretes, a band of ecstatic armed dancers, he presided over the rigorous military-athletic training and secret rites of the Cretan paideia.

The myth of the death of Cretan Zeus, localised in numerous mountain sites though only mentioned in a comparatively late source, Callimachus,[212] together with the assertion of Antoninus Liberalis that a fire shone forth annually from the birth-cave the infant shared with a mythic swarm of bees, suggests that Velchanos had been an annual vegetative spirit.[213] The Hellenistic writer Euhemerus apparently proposed a theory that Zeus had actually been a great king of Crete and that posthumously, his glory had slowly turned him into a deity. The works of Euhemerus himself have not survived, but Christian patristic writers took up the suggestion.

Zeus Lykaios

Further information: Lykaia

Laurel-wreathed head of Zeus on a gold stater, Lampsacus, c 360–340 BC (Cabinet des Médailles).
Laurel-wreathed head of Zeus on a gold stater, Lampsacus, c 360–340 BC (Cabinet des Médailles).

The epithet Zeus Lykaios (Λύκαιος; "wolf-Zeus") is assumed by Zeus only in connection with the archaic festival of the Lykaia on the slopes of Mount Lykaion ("Wolf Mountain"), the tallest peak in rustic Arcadia; Zeus had only a formal connection[214] with the rituals and myths of this primitive rite of passage with an ancient threat of cannibalism and the possibility of a werewolf transformation for the ephebes who were the participants.[215] Near the ancient ash-heap where the sacrifices took place[216] was a forbidden precinct in which, allegedly, no shadows were ever cast.[217]

According to Plato,[218] a particular clan would gather on the mountain to make a sacrifice every nine years to Zeus Lykaios, and a single morsel of human entrails would be intermingled with the animal's. Whoever ate the human flesh was said to turn into a wolf, and could only regain human form if he did not eat again of human flesh until the next nine-year cycle had ended. There were games associated with the Lykaia, removed in the fourth century to the first urbanization of Arcadia, Megalopolis; there the major temple was dedicated to Zeus Lykaios.

There is, however, the crucial detail that Lykaios or Lykeios (epithets of Zeus and Apollo) may derive from Proto-Greek *λύκη, "light", a noun still attested in compounds such as ἀμφιλύκη, "twilight", λυκάβας, "year" (lit. "light's course") etc. This, Cook argues, brings indeed much new 'light' to the matter as Achaeus, the contemporary tragedian of Sophocles, spoke of Zeus Lykaios as "starry-eyed", and this Zeus Lykaios may just be the Arcadian Zeus, son of Aether, described by Cicero. Again under this new signification may be seen Pausanias' descriptions of Lykosoura being 'the first city that ever the sun beheld', and of the altar of Zeus, at the summit of Mount Lykaion, before which stood two columns bearing gilded eagles and 'facing the sun-rise'. Further Cook sees only the tale of Zeus' sacred precinct at Mount Lykaion allowing no shadows referring to Zeus as 'god of light' (Lykaios).[219]

A statue of Zeus in a drawing.
A statue of Zeus in a drawing.

Additional cults of Zeus

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Although etymology indicates that Zeus was originally a sky god, many Greek cities honored a local Zeus who lived underground. Athenians and Sicilians honored Zeus Meilichios (Μειλίχιος; "kindly" or "honeyed") while other cities had Zeus Chthonios ("earthy"), Zeus Katachthonios (Καταχθόνιος; "under-the-earth") and Zeus Plousios ("wealth-bringing"). These deities might be represented as snakes or in human form in visual art, or, for emphasis as both together in one image. They also received offerings of black animal victims sacrificed into sunken pits, as did chthonic deities like Persephone and Demeter, and also the heroes at their tombs. Olympian gods, by contrast, usually received white victims sacrificed upon raised altars.

In some cases, cities were not entirely sure whether the daimon to whom they sacrificed was a hero or an underground Zeus. Thus the shrine at Lebadaea in Boeotia might belong to the hero Trophonius or to Zeus Trephonius ("the nurturing"), depending on whether you believe Pausanias, or Strabo. The hero Amphiaraus was honored as Zeus Amphiaraus at Oropus outside of Thebes, and the Spartans even had a shrine to Zeus Agamemnon. Ancient Molossian kings sacrificed to Zeus Areius (Αρειος). Strabo mention that at Tralles there was the Zeus Larisaeus (Λαρισαιος).[220]

Non-panhellenic cults

Roman cast terracotta of ram-horned Jupiter Ammon, 1st century AD (Museo Barracco, Rome).
Roman cast terracotta of ram-horned Jupiter Ammon, 1st century AD (Museo Barracco, Rome).

In addition to the Panhellenic titles and conceptions listed above, local cults maintained their own idiosyncratic ideas about the king of gods and men. With the epithet Zeus Aetnaeus he was worshiped on Mount Aetna, where there was a statue of him, and a local festival called the Aetnaea in his honor.[221] Other examples are listed below. As Zeus Aeneius or Zeus Aenesius (Αινησιος), he was worshiped in the island of Cephalonia, where he had a temple on Mount Aenos.[222]

Oracles of Zeus

Although most oracle sites were usually dedicated to Apollo, the heroes, or various goddesses like Themis, a few oracular sites were dedicated to Zeus. In addition, some foreign oracles, such as Baʿal's at Heliopolis, were associated with Zeus in Greek or Jupiter in Latin.

The Oracle at Dodona

The cult of Zeus at Dodona in Epirus, where there is evidence of religious activity from the second millennium BC onward, centered on a sacred oak. When the Odyssey was composed (circa 750 BC), divination was done there by barefoot priests called Selloi, who lay on the ground and observed the rustling of the leaves and branches.[223] By the time Herodotus wrote about Dodona, female priestesses called peleiades ("doves") had replaced the male priests.

Zeus' consort at Dodona was not Hera, but the goddess Dione — whose name is a feminine form of "Zeus". Her status as a titaness suggests to some that she may have been a more powerful pre-Hellenic deity, and perhaps the original occupant of the oracle.

The Oracle at Siwa

The oracle of Ammon at the Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert of Egypt did not lie within the bounds of the Greek world before Alexander's day, but it already loomed large in the Greek mind during the archaic era: Herodotus mentions consultations with Zeus Ammon in his account of the Persian War. Zeus Ammon was especially favored at Sparta, where a temple to him existed by the time of the Peloponnesian War.[224]

After Alexander made a trek into the desert to consult the oracle at Siwa, the figure arose in the Hellenistic imagination of a Libyan Sibyl.

Zeus and foreign gods

Evolution of Zeus Nikephoros ("Zeus holding Nike") on Indo-Greek coinage: from the Classical motif of Nike handing the wreath of victory to Zeus himself (left, coin of Heliocles I 145-130 BC), then to a baby elephant (middle, coin of Antialcidas 115-95 BC), and then to the Wheel of the Law, symbol of Buddhism (right, coin of Menander II 90–85 BC).
Evolution of Zeus Nikephoros ("Zeus holding Nike") on Indo-Greek coinage: from the Classical motif of Nike handing the wreath of victory to Zeus himself (left, coin of Heliocles I 145-130 BC), then to a baby elephant (middle, coin of Antialcidas 115-95 BC), and then to the Wheel of the Law, symbol of Buddhism (right, coin of Menander II 90–85 BC).
Zeus as Vajrapāni, the protector of the Buddha. 2nd century, Greco-Buddhist art.[225]
Zeus as Vajrapāni, the protector of the Buddha. 2nd century, Greco-Buddhist art.[225]

Zeus was identified with the Roman god Jupiter and associated in the syncretic classical imagination (see interpretatio graeca) with various other deities, such as the Egyptian Ammon and the Etruscan Tinia. He, along with Dionysus, absorbed the role of the chief Phrygian god Sabazios in the syncretic deity known in Rome as Sabazius. The Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes erected a statue of Zeus Olympios in the Judean Temple in Jerusalem.[226] Hellenizing Jews referred to this statue as Baal Shamen (in English, Lord of Heaven).[227] Zeus is also identified with the Hindu deity Indra. Not only they are the king of gods, but their weapon - thunder is similar.[228]

Zeus and the sun

Zeus is occasionally conflated with the Hellenic sun god, Helios, who is sometimes either directly referred to as Zeus' eye,[229] or clearly implied as such. Hesiod, for instance, describes Zeus' eye as effectively the sun.[230] This perception is possibly derived from earlier Proto-Indo-European religion, in which the sun is occasionally envisioned as the eye of *Dyḗus Pḥatḗr (see Hvare-khshaeta).[231]

The Cretan Zeus Tallaios had solar elements to his cult. "Talos" was the local equivalent of Helios.[232]

Zeus in philosophy

In Neoplatonism, Zeus' relation to the gods familiar from mythology is taught as the Demiurge or Divine Mind, specifically within Plotinus's work the Enneads[233] and the Platonic Theology of Proclus.

Zeus in the Bible

Zeus is mentioned in the New Testament twice, first in Acts 14:8–13: When the people living in Lystra saw the Apostle Paul heal a lame man, they considered Paul and his partner Barnabas to be gods, identifying Paul with Hermes and Barnabas with Zeus, even trying to offer them sacrifices with the crowd. Two ancient inscriptions discovered in 1909 near Lystra testify to the worship of these two gods in that city.[234] One of the inscriptions refers to the "priests of Zeus", and the other mentions "Hermes Most Great" and "Zeus the sun-god".[235]

The second occurrence is in Acts 28:11: the name of the ship in which the prisoner Paul set sail from the island of Malta bore the figurehead "Sons of Zeus" aka Castor and Pollux.

The deuterocanonical book of 2 Maccabees 6:1, 2 talks of King Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), who in his attempt to stamp out the Jewish religion, directed that the temple at Jerusalem be profaned and rededicated to Zeus (Jupiter Olympius).[236]

Zeus in Gnostic literature

Pistis Sophia, a Gnostic text discovered in 1773 and possibly written between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD alludes to Zeus. He appears there as one of five grand rulers gathered together by a divine figure named Yew.[237]

In modern culture


Niall MacGinnis as Zeus in Jason and the Argonauts

Zeus was portrayed by Axel Ringvall in Jupiter på jorden, the first known film adaption to feature Zeus; Niall MacGinnis in Jason and the Argonauts[238][239] and Angus MacFadyen in the 2000 remake;[240] Laurence Olivier in the original Clash of the Titans,[241] and Liam Neeson in the 2010 remake,[242] along with the 2012 sequel Wrath of the Titans;[243][244] Rip Torn in the Disney animated feature Hercules,[245] Sean Bean in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010).[246]

TV series

Zeus was portrayed by Anthony Quinn in the 1990s TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys;[247] Corey Burton in the TV series Hercules; Hakeem Kae-Kazim in Troy: Fall of a City;[248] and Jason O'Mara in the Netflix animated series Blood of Zeus.[249]

Video games

Zeus has been portrayed by Corey Burton in God of War II, God of War III, God of War: Ascension, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale & Kingdom Hearts 3[250][251] and Eric Newsome in Dota 2. Zeus is also featured in the 2002 Ensemble Studios game Age of Mythology where he is one of 12 gods that can be worshipped by Greek players.[252][253]


Depictions of Zeus as a bull, the form he took when abducting Europa, are found on the Greek 2-euro coin and on the United Kingdom identity card for visa holders. Mary Beard, professor of Classics at Cambridge University, has criticised this for its apparent celebration of rape.[254]

Genealogy of the Olympians

Olympians' family tree [255]
Uranus' genitalsCronusRhea
    a[259]     b[260]

Argive genealogy

Argive genealogy in Greek mythology
Colour key:



See also


  1. ^ British English /zjs/;[7] American English /zs/[8]
    AtticIonic Greek: Ζεύς, romanized: Zeús AtticIonic pronunciation: [zděu̯s] or [dzěu̯s], Koine Greek pronunciation: [zeʍs], Modern Greek pronunciation: [zefs]; genitive: Δῐός, romanizedDiós [di.ós]
    Boeotian Aeolic and Laconian Doric Greek: Δεύς, romanized: Deús Doric Greek[děu̯s]; genitive: Δέος, romanizedDéos [dé.os]
    Greek: Δίας, romanizedDías Modern Greek[ˈði.as̠]


  1. ^ The sculpture was presented to Louis XIV as Aesculapius but restored as Zeus, ca. 1686, by Pierre Granier, who added the upraised right arm brandishing the thunderbolt. Marble, middle 2nd century CE. Formerly in the 'Allée Royale', (Tapis Vert) in the Gardens of Versailles, now conserved in the Louvre Museum (Official on-line catalog)
  2. ^ Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, The Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215.
  3. ^ a b Thomas Berry (1996). Religions of India: Hinduism, Yoga, Buddhism. Columbia University Press. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-0-231-10781-5.
  4. ^ a b T. N. Madan (2003). The Hinduism Omnibus. Oxford University Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0-19-566411-9.
  5. ^ a b Sukumari Bhattacharji (2015). The Indian Theogony. Cambridge University Press. pp. 280–281.
  6. ^ a b Roshen Dalal (2014). Hinduism: An Alphabetical Guide. Penguin Books. ISBN 9788184752779. Entry: "Dyaus"
  7. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. "Zeus, n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1921.
  8. ^ Zeus in the American Heritage Dictionary
  9. ^ a b Hamilton, Edith (1942). Mythology (1998 ed.). New York: Back Bay Books. p. 467. ISBN 978-0-316-34114-1.
  10. ^ Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Zeus.
  11. ^ Homer, Il., Book V.
  12. ^ Plato, Symp., 180e.
  13. ^ There are two major conflicting stories for Aphrodite's origins: Hesiod's Theogony claims that she was born from the foam of the sea after Cronos castrated Uranus, making her Uranus's daughter, while Homer's Iliad has Aphrodite as the daughter of Zeus and Dione.[11] A speaker in Plato's Symposium offers that they were separate figures: Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos.[12]
  14. ^ Homeric Hymns.
  15. ^ Hesiod, Theogony.
  16. ^ Burkert, Greek Religion.
  17. ^ See, e.g., Homer, Il., I.503 & 533.
  18. ^ Pausanias, 2.24.2.
  19. ^ Νεφεληγερέτα. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  20. ^ Laërtius, Diogenes (1972) [1925]. "1.11". In Hicks, R.D. (ed.). Lives of Eminent Philosophers. "1.11". Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers (in Greek).
  21. ^ a b "Zeus". American Heritage Dictionary. Retrieved 3 July 2006.
  22. ^ R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 499.
  23. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Jupiter". Online Etymology Dictionary.
  24. ^ Burkert (1985). Greek Religion. p. 321. ISBN 0-674-36280-2.
  25. ^ "The Linear B word di-we". "The Linear B word di-wo". Palaeolexicon. Word study tool of Ancient languages.
  26. ^ "Plato's Cratylus" by Plato, ed. by David Sedley, Cambridge University Press, 6 November 2003, p. 91
  27. ^ Jevons, Frank Byron (1903). The Makers of Hellas. C. Griffin, Limited. pp. 554–555.
  28. ^ Joseph, John Earl (2000). Limiting the Arbitrary. ISBN 1556197497.
  29. ^ "Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, Books I-V, book 5, chapter 72". www.perseus.tufts.edu.
  30. ^ "ToposText". topostext.org.
  31. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 453–469; Hard, p. 68.
  32. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 470–491; Lane Fox, p. 264.
  33. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 139
  34. ^ Apollodorus, 1.1.6–1.1.7
  35. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 492
  36. ^ Apollodorus, 1.2.1
  37. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 505-506
  38. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 687–750
  39. ^ Homer, Iliad 15.187–193; Hard, p. 76; Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Zeus.
  40. ^ a b Pindar, Pythian 8.12–18.
  41. ^ Apollodorus, 1.6.1–2.
  42. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 820–869.
  43. ^ Pindar, Olympian 4.6–7.
  44. ^ Homeric Hymn to Apollo 305–355
  45. ^ Homer, Iliad, Book 1, 395–410.
  46. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 507-565
  47. ^ Hesiod, Works and Days 60–105.
  48. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.216–1.348
  49. ^ Leeming, David (2004). Flood | The Oxford Companion to World Mythology. Oxford University Press. p. 138. ISBN 9780195156690. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  50. ^ "The Gods in the Iliad". department.monm.edu. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  51. ^ Homer (1990). The Iliad. South Africa: Penguin Classics.
  52. ^ Apollodorus, 2.48–77.
  53. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 146.
  54. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 179.
  55. ^ Apollodorus, 3.43.
  56. ^ Meisner, pp. 1, 5
  57. ^ a b West, pp. 73–74; Meisner, p. 134; Orphic frr. 58 [= Athenagoras, Legatio Pro Christianis 20.2] 153 Kern.
  58. ^ Apollodorus, 3.76.
  59. ^ Apollodorus, 3.13.5.
  60. ^ Pindar, Isthmian odes 8.25
  61. ^ Apollodorus, 3.10.4
  62. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.71.2
  63. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 886–900.
  64. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 901–905; Gantz, p. 52; Hard, p. 78.
  65. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 901–911; Hansen, p. 68.
  66. ^ Hansen, p. 68.
  67. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 53–62; Gantz, p. 54.
  68. ^ Homeric Hymn to Apollo (3), 89–123; Hesiod, Theogony 912–920; Morford, p. 211.
  69. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 921.
  70. ^ Theogony 886–929 (Most, pp. 74, 75); Caldwell, p. 11, table 14.
  71. ^ One of the Oceanid daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, at 358.
  72. ^ Of Zeus' children by his seven wives, Athena was the first to be conceived ( 889), but the last to be born. Zeus impregnated Metis then swallowed her, later Zeus himself gave birth to Athena "from his head" ( 924).
  73. ^ At 217 the Moirai are the daughters of Nyx.
  74. ^ One of the Oceanid daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, at 358.
  75. ^ Hephaestus is produced by Hera alone, with no father at 927–929. In the Iliad and the Odyssey, Hephaestus is apparently the son of Hera and Zeus, see Gantz, p. 74.
  76. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.17.4
  77. ^ Hard, pp. 79
  78. ^ Homer, Iliad 4.441
  79. ^ Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy, 8.424
  80. ^ Scholia on Theocritus, Idyll 2.12 referring to Sophron
  81. ^ Iliad, Book 14, line 294
  82. ^ Apollodorus, 1.3.1
  83. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 938
  84. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 3.361–369
  85. ^ Hard, p. 247; Apollodorus, 2.4.8.
  86. ^ Hard, p. 303; Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Antiope.
  87. ^ Gantz, p. 726; Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.401–530; Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.1.2; Apollodorus, 3.8.2; Hansen, p. 119; Grimal, s.v. Callisto, p. 86; Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Callisto.
  88. ^ Apollodorus, 3.8.2; Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Callisto.
  89. ^ Hard, p. 238
  90. ^ Lane Fox, p. 199.
  91. ^ Hard, p. 522
  92. ^ Hard, p. 137
  93. ^ Hard, p. 439; Euripides, Helen 16–22.
  94. ^ Hard, p. 438; Cypria fr. 10 West, p. 88, 89 [= Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 8.334b–d].
  95. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 155
  96. ^ Pindar, Olympian 12.1–2; Gantz, p. 151.
  97. ^ according to Musaeus as cited Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3.467
  98. ^ Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3.16; Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 9.392.
  99. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Akragantes; Smith, s.v. Acragas.
  100. ^ Strabo, Geographica 10.3.19
  101. ^ Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3.59.
  102. ^ Scholiast on Pindar, Pythian Odes 3.177; Hesychius
  103. ^ Homer, Iliad 5.370; Apollodorus, 1.3.1
  104. ^ Apollodorus, 3.12.6; Grimal, s.v. Asopus, p. 63; Smith, s.v. Asopus.
  105. ^ Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions 10.21; Stephanus of Byzantium, s. v. Dōdōne, with a reference to Acestodorus
  106. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 1.27.1; Grimal, s.v. Manes, p. 271.
  107. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14.193.
  108. ^ a b Murray, John (1833). A Classical Manual, being a Mythological, Historical and Geographical Commentary on Pope's Homer, and Dryden's Aeneid of Virgil with a Copious Index. Albemarle Street, London. p. 8.
  109. ^ Eleutheria is the Greek counterpart of Libertas (Liberty), daughter of Jove and Juno as cited in Hyginus, Fabulae Preface.
  110. ^ Hard, 141; Gantz, p. 74.
  111. ^ Apollodorus, 1.4.1; Hard, p. 216.
  112. ^ Cypria, fr. 10 West, p. 88, 89; Hard, p. 438.
  113. ^ Orphic fr. 58 Kern [= Athenagoras, Legatio Pro Christianis 20.2]; Meisner, p. 134.
  114. ^ Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3.21-23.
  115. ^ Hard, p. 46; Keightley, p. 55.
  116. ^ Smith, s.v. Selene.
  117. ^ Homeric Hymn to Selene (32), 15–16; Hyginus, Fabulae Preface; Hard, p. 46; Grimal, s.v. Selene, p. 415.
  118. ^ Apollodorus, 1.1.3.
  119. ^ Smith, s.v. Thaleia (3); Oxford Classical Dictionary, s.v. Palici, p. 1100; Servius, On Aeneid, 9.581–4.
  120. ^ Apollodorus, 3.12.6; Hard, p. 530–531.
  121. ^ Pythaenetos, quoting the scholiast on Pindar, Olympian Odes 9.107
  122. ^ Homer, Odyssey 11.260–3; Brill's New Pauly s.v. Amphion; Grimal, s.v. Amphion, p. 38.
  123. ^ Herodotus, Histories 4.5.1.
  124. ^ Apollodorus, 3.8.2; Pausanias, 8.3.6; Hard, p. 540; Gantz, pp. 725–726.
  125. ^ Pausanias, 2.30.3; March, s.v. Britomartis, p. 88; Smith, s.v. Britomartis.
  126. ^ Apollodorus, 3.12.1; Hard, 521.
  127. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 3.195.
  128. ^ Apollodorus, 3.12.1; Hard, 521.
  129. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 5.48.2.
  130. ^ Hard, p. 533
  131. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 5.55.5
  132. ^ Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 6.48ff., 6.651ff
  133. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Krētē.
  134. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 32.70
  135. ^ Murray, John (1833). A Classical Manual, being a Mythological, Historical and Geographical Commentary on Pope's Homer, and Dryden's Aeneid of Virgil with a Copious Index. Albemarle Street, London. pp. 5–6.
  136. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 5.48.1; Smith, s.v. Saon.
  137. ^ Antoninus Liberalis, 13.
  138. ^ Antoninus Liberalis, 36; Hyginus Fabulae 82; Pausanias, 2.22.3; Gantz, p. 536; Hard, p. 502; March, s.v. Tantalus, p. 366.
  139. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 3.1.2
  140. ^ Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Themisto; Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Arkadia [= FGrHist 334 F75].
  141. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Torrhēbos, citing Hellanicus and Nicolaus
  142. ^ Pausanias, 1.40.1.
  143. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Ōlenos.
  144. ^ Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Calyce (1); Smith, s.v. Endymion.
  145. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Pisidia
  146. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, s.v. Pisidia; Grimal, s.v. Solymus, p. 424.
  147. ^ Homer, Iliad 14.319–20; Smith, s.v. Perseus (1).
  148. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 155; Grimal, s.v. Pirithous, p. 374.
  149. ^ Brill's New Pauly, s.v. Tityus; Hard, p. 147–148.
  150. ^ Homer, Iliad 14.32–33; Smith, s.v. Rhadamanthus.
  151. ^ Pausanias, 3.13.5.
  152. ^ Scholia on Iliad, 2. 511
  153. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 1206 (pp. 957–962).[non-primary source needed]
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  155. ^ Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History 6
  156. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 10.12.1; Smith, s.v. Lamia (1)
  157. ^ Homer, Iliad 6.191–199.
  158. ^ Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3.16.
  159. ^ Eustathius ad Homer, p. 1688
  160. ^ Apollodorus, 2.1.1; Gantz, p. 198.
  161. ^ Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 5
  162. ^ Ioannes Lydus, De Mensibus 1.13
  163. ^ Pseudo-Clement, Recognitions 10.21; Servius, Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid 1. 242
  164. ^ Apollodorus, 1.7.2; Hyginus, Fabulae 155.
  165. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 155.
  166. ^ Pindar, Olympian Ode 9.58.
  167. ^ Apollodorus, 1.7.2; Parada, s.vv. Hellen (1), p. 86, Pyrrha (1), p. 159.
  168. ^ Tzetzes on Lycophron, 1206 (pp. 957–962).[non-primary source needed]
  169. ^ John Lydus, De mensibus 4.67.
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  171. ^ Homer, Iliad 19.91.
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  174. ^ Homer, Iliad 9.502; Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica 10.301 (pp. 440, 441); Smith, s.v. Litae.
  175. ^ Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 5.205
  176. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Tainaros
  177. ^ Pausanias, 2.1.1.
  178. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 5.81.4
  179. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 195 in which Orion was produced from a bull's hide urinated by three gods, Zeus, Poseidon and Hermes
  180. ^ The bust below the base of the neck is eighteenth century. The head, which is roughly worked at back and must have occupied a niche, was found at Hadrian's Villa, Tivoli and donated to the British Museum by John Thomas Barber Beaumont in 1836. BM 1516. (British Museum, A Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities, 1904).
  181. ^ Homer, Iliad 1.202, 2.157, 2.375; Pindar, Isthmian Odes 4.99; Hyginus, De Astronomica 2.13.7.
  182. ^ Spanh. ad Callim. hymn. in Jov, 49
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  198. ^ Suda "ε 3269".
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  206. ^ Durant, The Life of Greece (The Story of Civilization Part II, New York: Simon & Schuster) 1939:23.
  207. ^ Rodney Castleden, Minoans: Life in Bronze-Age Crete, "The Minoan belief-system" (Routledge) 1990:125
  208. ^ Pointed out by Bernard Clive Dietrich, The Origins of Greek Religion (de Gruyter) 1973:15.
  209. ^ A.B. Cook, Zeus Cambridge University Press, 1914, I, figs 397, 398.
  210. ^ Dietrich 1973, noting Martin P. Nilsson, Minoan-Mycenaean Religion, and Its Survival in Greek Religion 1950:551 and notes.
  211. ^ "Professor Stylianos Alexiou reminds us that there were other divine boys who survived from the religion of the pre-Hellenic period — Linos, Ploutos and Dionysos — so not all the young male deities we see depicted in Minoan works of art are necessarily Velchanos" (Castleden) 1990:125
  212. ^ Richard Wyatt Hutchinson, Prehistoric Crete, (Harmondsworth: Penguin) 1968:204, mentions that there is no classical reference to the death of Zeus (noted by Dietrich 1973:16 note 78).
  213. ^ "This annually reborn god of vegetation also experienced the other parts of the vegetation cycle: holy marriage and annual death when he was thought to disappear from the earth" (Dietrich 1973:15).
  214. ^ In the founding myth of Lycaon's banquet for the gods that included the flesh of a human sacrifice, perhaps one of his sons, Nyctimus or Arcas. Zeus overturned the table and struck the house of Lyceus with a thunderbolt; his patronage at the Lykaia can have been little more than a formula.
  215. ^ A morphological connection to lyke "brightness" may be merely fortuitous.
  216. ^ Modern archaeologists have found no trace of human remains among the sacrificial detritus, Walter Burkert, "Lykaia and Lykaion", Homo Necans, tr. by Peter Bing (University of California) 1983, p. 90.
  217. ^ Pausanias, 8.38.
  218. ^ Republic 565d-e
  219. ^ A. B. Cook (1914), Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion, Vol. I, p.63, Cambridge University Press
  220. ^ Strabo, Geographica 14.1.42.
  221. ^ Schol. ad Pind. Ol. vi. 162
  222. ^ Hesiod, according to a scholium on Apollonius of Rhodes. Argonautika, ii. 297
  223. ^ Odyssey 14.326-7
  224. ^ Pausanias, 3.18.
  225. ^ "In the art of Gandhara Zeus became the inseparable companion of the Buddha as Vajrapani." in Freedom, Progress, and Society, K. Satchidananda Murty, R. Balasubramanian, Sibajiban Bhattacharyya, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1986, p. 97
  226. ^ 2 Maccabees 6:2
  227. ^ David Syme Russel. Daniel. (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 1981) 191.
  228. ^ Devdutt Pattanaik's Olympus: An Indian Retelling of Greek Myths
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  232. ^ Karl Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks 1951:110.
  233. ^ In Fourth Tractate 'Problems of the Soul' The Demiurge is identified as Zeus.10. "When under the name of Zeus we are considering the Demiurge we must leave out all notions of stage and progress, and recognize one unchanging and timeless life."
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  254. ^ A Point of View: The euro's strange stories, BBC, retrieved 20 November 2011
  255. ^ This chart is based upon Hesiod's Theogony, unless otherwise noted.
  256. ^ According to Homer, Iliad 1.570–579, 14.338, Odyssey 8.312, Hephaestus was apparently the son of Hera and Zeus, see Gantz, p. 74.
  257. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 927–929, Hephaestus was produced by Hera alone, with no father, see Gantz, p. 74.
  258. ^ According to Hesiod's Theogony, of Zeus' children by his seven wives, Athena was the first to be conceived; Zeus impregnated Metis then swallowed her (886–890), later after mentioning the birth of his other children, Hesiod says that Zeus himself gave birth to Athena "from his head" (924–926), see Gantz, pp. 51–52, 83–84.
  259. ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 183–200, Aphrodite was born from Uranus' severed genitals, see Gantz, pp. 99–100.
  260. ^ According to Homer, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus (Iliad 3.374, 20.105; Odyssey 8.308, 320) and Dione (Iliad 5.370–71), see Gantz, pp. 99–100.