Zeus-Jupiter
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Overview

Zeus was the son of the king of the Titans, Cronus. Zeus took credit for saving his brothers and sisters from him. Zeus gave his brothers realms to rule over; Poseidon became the king of the sea, and Hades ruled the underworld, while reserving the position of the king of Heaven for himself. Zeus also became the god of all Greek gods. Because he was king of the heavens, he controlled thunder and was king of Mount Olympus, the dwelling place of the gods. His wife and sister was Hera, but he had relationships with other mortals, goddesses, and animals.

Symbols

Some symbols for Zeus include the Oak Tree and the Thunderbolt. The Thunderbolt was his main symbol, representing the fact that he was the god of the sky, which included the weather and lightning. The oak tree was Zeus' sacred tree, and therefore became a symbol of Zeus.

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Realm

Because Zeus was the god of gods, he was the king of the heavens. He controlled all things to do with the sky, including lightning and thunder, hence the thunderbolt is often seen with Zeus. he was king of Mount Olympus as well, the home of the gods.
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Family Tree

Zeus' grand parents were the creators of Earth, Uranus and Gaea. Uranus was actually the son of Gaea, but they were married to each other. Uranus was the first ruler, the first sky god. Gaea was the Earth Goddess. Their children were the twelve Titans. The leader of the Titans was named Cronus, who was Zeus' father. Zeus' mother was Rhea, who saved Zeus as a boy. Cronus used to swallow his children, so Rhea tricked him by replacing the baby Zeus with a rock, so Cronus ate the rock instead of Zeus. When Zeus was older, he saved his other brothers and sisters from Cronus' stomach; Hades, Poseidon, Hestia, and Demeter. Eventually, Zeus got married to Hera. Other than these gods and goddesses, all others were children of Zeus and another goddess. (Aside from the Lesser Gods.) With Hera, Zeus had two children, Ares and Hephaestus. Both Zeus and Hera disliked Ares because he was violent, and he was also a coward. Zeus had two children with Leto, Artemis and Apollo. They were twin sisters. Zeus also had a child with Dione, called Aphrodite. She was the goddess of love and beauty. Zeus and Maia had the god Hermes. Zeus' last child, Athena, sprung from Zeus' head, and therefore had no mother. Athena was Zeus' favorite child. Zeus was also father to a fair few of the Lesser Gods and Goddesses, including Persephone, Dionysus, Hebe, Eris, the Three Graces (three daughters known for singing and dancing for the gods), and the Muses (nine children who were known for their music). All other lesser gods were children to any of the gods, goddesses, and Titans listed above.

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Personal Characteristics:

Zeus was known for his anger, and being in control of weather and lightening, he used it to create storms for his enemies. He overthrew his crazed father, and took over the realm. He also had many lovers, his first of which, Metis, he swallowed when he believed she would give birth to a son who threatened his power. Zeus was also called heroic for saving his brothers and sisters, the gods, from his father, Cronus, who swallowed them. He was called "the Lord of Justice" by the Greek poet Hesiod because his job was to insure the laws were followed by the Greeks.

Anecdotes:


Cronus

Cronus, leader of the Titans, believed that his children would grow up to take his power away, and out of fear swallowed all of them, including a rock disguised as Zeus by Zeus' mother, Rhea. Zeus was the only one unswallowed, and he convinced his father to let his children out. Zeus later took over for his father.


Sources:

Hunt, John M "The Principle Gods Family Tree" Edith Hamilton's Mythology. http://www.desy.de/gna/interpedia/greek_myth/godsFT.html

Gill, N.S. "Zeus" Ancient and Classical History. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/zeusmyth/g/Zeus.htm
"Zeus, Greek God Zeus" Ancient / Classical History, 2007. http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/p/Zeus.htm

Papers@greekmythology.com "Zeus" Olympians, 2005. http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Zeus/zeus.html

The British Museum "Zeus" Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece. www.ancientgreece.co.uk/gods/explore/zeu_int.html

Atsma, Aaron "Zeus" Greek Mythology, Exploring Mythology in Classic Literature and Art. http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Zeus.html#Encyclopedia

Leadbetter, Ron. "Zeus". Encyclopedia Mythica. 23 October 2007. <http://www.pantheon.org/articles/z/zeus.html#>