Hi all! It’s been a while since I posted nice and informative article here, luckily we have this guest post from Stacey Cavalari, an experienced journalist for eDrugstore.MD, a leading safe online medication drugstore since 2001. Make sure to visit edrugstore.md’s podcast section, where 400+ expert health specialists give their excellent advice.
Zeus was the ruler of Olympus and the chief of all the Greek Gods and Goddesses. He overthrew his father, Cronus, and upon winning the lot between him and his two brothers, Poseidon and Hades, became the king of the Olympians. His wife was Hera, though he had been married twice before, and his weapon was the thunderbolt. This thunderbolt would be hurled at any mortal who lied or broke an oath, which was ironic, as Zeus, himself, wasn’t known for his truthfulness.
Yes, like most of the Greek gods, Zeus was imperfect. Despite all of his better qualities, Zeus, like so many other men, had a weakness for the ladies. His many affairs are possibly the thing that he is most famous for. His unfaithfulness made Hera a very jealous goddess, and instead of taking it out on her husband, she would usually sate her fury on Zeus’s lovers, even if they had only been a victim of his advances.
But, one good thing that did come out of Zeus’s many affairs are the scores of notable offspring he had with the various goddesses, demi-goddesses, nymphs, dryads and mortal women who caught his fancy. Here are a few of Zeus’s most notable affairs:
Image via Wikipedia (Zeus and Semele)
Semele was a mortal, a princess of Thebes. She was Zeus’s lover and was carrying his child when Hera found out about the affair and went ballistic. She killed Semele and her unborn child would have perished as well if Zeus hadn’t stepped in to save him. The baby was Dionysus, who later became the god of wine and merrymaking. When he was grown, he found a way to free his mother from the underworld and convinced Zeus to allow her to live on Olympus. Semele is very notable, as she is the only mortal woman ever to be the mother of a god (as opposed to a demi-god).
Image via Wikipedia (Zeus and Leda)
One advantage of being a god was the ability to shape shift and gain access to beautiful women without their even suspecting you were near. Zeus used this trick in many situations. One such incident involved him turning himself into a swan, pretending to be running from an eagle, and landing in beautiful Leda’s arms “for protection”. Well how could she resist that? Later that night, however, in the form of a swan, Zeus took advantage of Leda and in time this consummation resulted in two eggs being laid. From these eggs hatched four babies; Helen, Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux. Half of these children were the mortal children of Leda’s husband and half were Zeus’s. Which ones are Zeus’s and which are not is often a matter of debate, however Helen is always stated as being the daughter of Zeus. Later she would be Helen of Troy, over which the Trojan War was fought.
Image via Wikipedia (Zeus and Io)
Zeus could turn into anything he wanted to in order to bed a lovely lady. Once he even turned into a sunbeam! However, once in awhile, one of his lovers had the bad fortune to be transformed to cover up his affair. Io was one such lady. When Hera found out about Zeus’s affair with her, she quickly came down from heaven to investigate. Trying to cover things up, Zeus turned Io into a heifer that just “happened” to be standing there. Hera, who knew what was up, asked for the heifer as a gift and Zeus could not refuse. Once she had poor Io, she set Argus, who had a thousand eyes, to watch her. Zeus set Hermes to lull Argus to sleep, and when he was sleeping, Hermes killed Argus. Hera was heartbroken and as a tribute she placed Argus’s eyes on her favorite bird, the peacock. Io was free, but she was tormented by a terrible gadfly and the ghost of Argus. She traveled all over, and as a result, many geographic areas are now named for her, such as the Ionian Sea and the Bosporus. Later she was restored to her human form, and bore a child to Zeus. One of her descendents was Hercules, who, among other great feats, freed Prometheus, just as Prometheus had predicted.
These are just a few of the notable affairs of Zeus. One thing that stands out about Zeus is that, while he is divine, he holds the same character flaws as most humans. “Relatable” gods and goddesses are a trademark of Greek mythology so it’s no wonder that almighty Zeus also made mistakes.
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