Z is for Zeus, King of the Gods

“Zeus’ most distinctive attribute was his stylized lightning bolt which he wielded in his hand like a javelin.”

There were 12 great gods of the Greeks, known as the Olympians, but Zeus was “the King of the Gods and the god of the sky, weather, law and order, destiny and fate, and kingship.”

In the program guide for the annual St. Sophia Greek Festival in May 2017, there was an article entitled “Greek gods in mythology, part IV,” featuring Zeus. The first three parts were in the previous years’ programs.

“Remember Cronus, the kid who attacked his dad, Uranus and banished him from the Earth because he was an abusive go?… Cronus was even worse… he swallowed each of his own kids… However, one child named Zeus escaped this horrible doom and was hidden by his mother.

“After mom, gave Cronus a potent drink which made him upchuck, the kids that he swallowed were set free… [Zeus, his sibs and uncles] prepared to fight the evil Titans.

“The Cyclopes… made the weapons… They armed Zeus wit a thunderbolt that shook the universe…

“It was a fierce and long 10-year war between the old gods and the new gods, but at last Cronus and the Titans were defeated…”

Zeus‘ “name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. His mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of the Indo-European deities such as Indra, Jupiter, Perun, Thor, and Odin.”

Cronus was not the only person eater in this story line. “Zeus devoured the pregnant goddess Metis when an oracle revealed that her son was destined to replace him as King of the Gods. Their child, Athena, was subsequently born in his belly and birthed directly from his head.”

“Zeus’ most distinctive attribute was his stylized lightning bolt which he wielded in his hand like a javelin. His other attributes included a royal sceptre, a throne, an eagle, a miniature Nike (winged goddess of victory), and the aigis (a goat-skin arm-guard). The god was usually clothed in a long robe (chiton) and cloak (himation) but was sometimes depicted nude. He was often crowned with a wreath of olive leaves.”

For ABC Wednesday, Round 20

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