Zeus: “Father of Gods and Men.” Sound like a grand title to you? This is Zeus. The Olympian who took control of Mount Olympus. I can’t think of a better immortal for our Immortal Monday focus around Father’s Day, can you?
You may recall we covered the birth and rise of Zeus in our Poseidon post in January of this year. If you missed it, the quick notes are that Zeus’ father feared one of his children would overthrow him so much that he swallowed them at birth. Zeus is the youngest of six. His father, Cronus, had swallowed five children before him. These were Zeus’ siblings: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. By the time Zeus was born, Rhea tricked Cronus, hiding Zeus and passing another off in his place.
There are various stories on how the young Zeus was raised, but the favorite version is that Rhea had stolen off to a cave to hide him with Amalthea, a nymph in the form of a goat, to be raised in the company of soldiers known as Kouretes. These soldiers would dance, keeping time with the beat of a drum, hitting their spears against their shields to hide the infant’s cries from Cronus.
Allowed to grow to his full potential, Zeus matured and received all of his divine powers.
When Zeus was of age he drugged Cronus with a special potion provided by Gaia, split open Cronus’ belly and released his siblings. Together the siblings fought against Cronus and his Titans, but more was needed to ensure victory. Gaia promised Zeus the win if he freed her monsters that Cronus had imprisoned in Tartarus, and it became so. Zeus freed the monsters and at the end of a long battle, he and his siblings were victorious, locking up the defeated Titans in the now available Tartarus. (There was never a Mount Tartarus. See post here)
Of course, the special weapons the gods had gifted to them by the Cyclops helped tremendously in the defeat of Cronus. Weapons such as Zeus’ thunderbolt, Poseidon’s trident and Hades’ helm of darkness.
Having defeated Cronus and taking control, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades divided the reign by the luck of the draw. You may already know the outcome. Hades got dominion over the underworld, Poseidon over the seas and Zeus got the heavens. Only Gaia controlled the land, although Poseidon possessed the power to shake the land with his mighty oceans.
Said to be the most powerful god of them all, he favored the golden eagle and often kept one by his side. He also treasured the oak tree for its strength, making the acorn sacred so it is told. He was known as the god of justice and mercy. The protector of the weak, and punisher of the wicked. Of course, this didn’t mean he was a good boy all the time, as we learned in our Hera post. Although he loved his wife, he had a hard time remaining faithful. An epidemic that seemed to run rampant amongst the gods. Zeus spent time with many women, both goddesses and mortal, and had many children of divine, semi-divine and mortal nature. He was a naughty boy. Tisk. Tisk.
It would be Zeus’ many off-spring that would rise up to become the heroes and heroines of written mythology. (See chart below for divine offspring)
Genealogy of the Olympians in Greek mythology
Zeus is known for many things, from his birth and upbringing (previously mentioned), the aforementioned Titan War, his many seductions (Hera among them), the Trojan War (See Hera Post), and various battles and encounters with giants and monsters. But today I thought I’d highlight an event I find rather interesting. Let’s see if you agree.
As it’s been said in the time of old, a Titan god by the name of Prometheus was tasked with the job of molding mankind out of clay. It so happens, Prometheus wanted to make life better for his creations. An attitude that puts him at odds with Zeus. At first Prometheus did this by tricking the gods out of their best portions from the sacrificial feasts. He delivered the meat unto man for their own feasting. And when Zeus withheld fire – Prometheus stole that too! Smuggling it down to mankind inside a fennel-stalk.
Angered, Zeus was shrewd in his punishment. He had Pandora created (the first woman) as a way to deliver misfortune upon man and cheat them out their good spirits. As for Prometheus, he was arrested, bound and staked on Mount Kaukasos where an eagle was to feed upon his continuously regenerating liver (or was it his heart? Depends on which story you read). Anyway, gross!
Does anyone else see the similarities here with the creation of the woman and the temptations for sin? Religions overlapping? Borrowing? Or just a coincidence?
There is so much to know about Zeus, this may only begin to scratch the surface, but it’s a good place to start. So tell me, what would you get a guy like Zeus on Father’s Day?
Now, because it’s Immortal Monday… a quick look at the actors who have played Zeus through the years.
Of all these interpretations, do any of these actors capture the image you hold for the god of gods, father of men?
Quick Note: I am enrolled in an intense writer’s course over the summer and the instructor suggests that I refrain from all social media during this time. In order to give the class my best I will be dropping the summer series I had originally promised for Fridays and will move Wednesday’s picture post to Thursday. Sorry folks. But we are still putting together our fantastic readers’ vacation recommendation post, so send those pictures. In addition, Immortal Monday will be taking two weeks off and drop down to every other Monday starting July 9th.
This blog is shopping real estate. We are looking to move at the end of summer. Keep your eyes peeled for that. Once we’re set up in the new digs we’ll establish a stronger schedule. Let me know how attached you are, or are not, to Immortal Mondays. Should they continue after the move?
I love hearing from you! If you enjoyed this post or any of my previous posts, I’d be delighted to have you hit the follow button or add this blog to your RSS feed! You may also find me on twitter at @DebraKrist. Tootles! Thanks for stopping by!
36 thoughts on “A Father of Fathers : Zeus – Immortal Monday”
good luck with your class, Debra. I too am thinking about moving my blog. I think it’s time. Are you going to a self-hosted site? Do you know where you’re going? thoughts?
Hi Louise! I have been toying with the idea of moving for some time. I just made the decision to make the leap, but no choice has been made yet on the hosting site. I will probably pick Melinda’s brain a lot. What Sue had to say concerns me a lot. I still want the ability to hold the cool WP conversations. I see Melinda in my WP convo pull down menu so I am guessing the plug in works. 😀 But with my lack of ability (Can’t work my photoshop currently *hangs head in shame*) I will probably need help from a website guru.
Hi Louise, what type of class is debra going to have?
Who are you working with? You said we are moving… curious!
I hope you are going to stay with a .com site or it will be harder to have conversation in the comments and you know how I love conversation!
Enjoy your class!
I don’t know who I will be going with yet. It’s still a work in process. I also love the ease of the conversations. It makes a BIG difference. So I will be reading up on the plug-in Melinda mentioned. That is one of the reasons I will most likely stay with WP in some form, be it .com or .org. I now need to find my hosting site.
.org won’t have the notification feature unless WP adds it and it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.
Sounds like a fun project!
Melinda is on .org and she is showing up in the notifications. That’s why I mentioned it. Must be the plug-in. I don’t know about The Reader though. There are lots of things to consider.
I am such a dork! Now that I have taken my shower and am really awake I realize the truth! I see Melinda because she commented on my blog. Duh! Could I be more blonde at this moment? 😀
You don’t use the reader?
Click on the W on the left side of your screen and click on reader. All of the people you subscribe will come up when they post.
See the little bubble like a cartoon icon on the right side? You click on it and then can click view all and comment right on that screen. There is a blue dot on the left side of everyone who has a recent comment.
Hey I have been blonde, and brunette and a redhead….. 🙂
I sometimes use the reader. I find that I like scrolling down the RSS feeds better. It includes everyone I follow, not just WP users and if they are in bold I simply click on them. As for the blonde, that’s my natural color. 😀
Debra, you must be in the same class I’m in. I’m guessing. Because I read the same message about social media *grin*. For what it’s worth, I love Immortal Mondays! But it wouldn’t bother me to have them every other week or even once a month.
Good luck in class! May the force, muse, whatever, be with us both! 😀
Oh, and when you do move, be sure to get the plug in for comments. I’ll post it on Facebook for you. It let’s you have the fun convos and comment love 🙂
I was going to ask you about that. I saw the email attached to one of the comments and it was sooo close to the email you use when emailing me, yet different. 😀 I am really looking forward to this class. I admit that the first week was a bit hectic for me with the kids, and it may continue to be so for the continuation, but I want to get all that I can out of it.
Thanks for the input on Immortal Monday. I like to know who stands where on the topic. I was considering dropping it to the first Monday of the month. Making it an easy date to follow. But for now I will attempt the schedule posted. I have everything mapped out. I will look for your post on FB. We should catch up. I know you’ve been uber busy getting the book ready and all. You need to dish! We can sit at a virtual table with coffee and chat. 😀
So happy to hear that you’re taking time to hone in on other writing, Debra, though we’ll miss your frequency. Hope the class goes wonderfully!
Fun to learn more about Zeus. I see the religious overlap, too. I’m not sure how I’d view “father of fathers.” For some reason, I’m seeing a winged creature. Hmm…
When you say winged creature do you know who that makes me think of? Maybe I should do a post about Lucifer. LOL Anyway…
Thank you, August. That’s what it is all about, right? What is the point of all the blogging if we aren’t moving forward with our manuscripts. Mine slowed to a crawl in the past months. Time to give it a kick start! I get cranky when I’m not working on it.
Hey, you know me, Debra, I’m a super advocate of Immortal Mondays! I vote to keep them on! And if you ever need help, I’m just an e-mail away for another guest post. 😉
Thanks so much Karen. You don’t know how much that means to me. I hate asking people to step in and help as I know we are all so busy. I have to say though, your Aphrodite post still pulls in viewers. Hopefully they follow the links on to your blog. Greek gods are rather popular here on Immortal Monday, all the time.
Love Immortal Mondays!
Thank you, Stephen. That’s really nice to hear.
Keep the Immortal Mondays please; I really enjoy them.
I like Sean Bean as Zeus.
Thanks, Emma! Another one for Immortal Mondays. 😀 You are the first one to answer the question. I like Sean Bean as well. I like the idea of a Zeus that holds on to his youth. 😉 Yummy.
I don’t think you’ll regret making the move. I love my self-hosted site and it’s ability to grow as my career grows.
For what my vote is worth, I hope you keep Immortal Mondays. It’s one I try to never miss.
Thanks, Marcy. I want to make sure IM is something everyone still enjoys and I’m just spinning my wheels. Plus I want to get down to the task of truly tailoring my content to my prospective audience. I have been trying to decide if IM fits into that or not. I get conflicting responses depending on who I talk to.
I am looking forward to customizing the look of the blog. I do not look forward to losing the WP notification feature. It makes following what is said on my blog and other so much easier. I guess that’s why I am considering WP.com. But I still stand undecided.
Wow – that’s a lot of godly information in one day. My eyes glazed over a little bit.
I did name a horse Zeus in one of my books. tThat’s he extent of my ability to discuss anything Greek.
You’ve certainly done your homework though.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Sorry about the eye glazing Patricia. I know it can be rather overwhelming sometimes. Feel free to skim if it suits you. LOL. My knowledge has expanded a lot since taking on Immortal Monday. It has been fun.
I hope the horse in your story was a big strong horse! Although, a little horse with the name Zeus could have been used to imply strength where it wasn’t readily apparent.
Funny that I have taken on a post that requires homework when I so don’t enjoy homework time with the kiddos. LOL. This is different though. 😀 Thanks for stopping by.
I used to own an antique book of mythology published in 1814. [Unfortunately my ex-wife disposed of it together with my other books.] My favorite part was the preface in which the author apologized for writing it. He went on for many pages assuring his readers that there was but one true God and all this hokum about Zeus, et. al. was purely fiction and that he only wrote on the subject so that “educated” folk could interpret literary references to them. I swear it read as though the author expected lightning bolts to destroy him at any moment. [Of course, he wasn’t expecting Zeus to be the author of those lightning bolts.]
That sounds priceless! Too bad you no longer have the book. What a gem that would be in your collection. A real sign of the times from whence it was written, huh? Thank you so much for stopping by Jack. We appreciate your participation in Immortal Monday. 🙂
Good luck with the class. It’s great that you’re giving the full focus to your writing.
I love Immortal Mondays and wish they will continue. But since they propably require a lot of work, I’d be ok with a new post bi-weekly or even once a month.
Like Karen said, you’re not alone. Don’t be shy to ask for guest posts. I could write about some figure of Finnish mythology if you’d be interested 🙂
And ooh, I am thrilled that they are making a movie of Gods Behaving Badly. I loved the book.
As you know, I’m a huge fan of Immortal Monday ~ so I would miss it if it went away entirely 🙂
Great post! Perfect for Father’s Day! If I were Hera I would give Zeus his walking papers for Father’s Day, for all the fathering he did outside of the marriage.
Good luck and enjoy your course, Debra.
I’ll go with Walken…
Love the Immortal Monday series! Keep it going if possible. Good luck with the writing course, hope to hear all about it when you’re done. Happy summer!
Bean’s portrayal went well. A present? Zeus needs a chill pill (divine ecstasy) to get him to stop being such a dick. The ancients were blowing sunshine up his skirt with all the “Law, justice order” bit. Zeus was primarily about “I’m in charge now. My way or suck it.” On the down side, I imagine Z on X would be giving the wink and the nod to absolutely every wiggly hip and breast he came across. “How you doin’?”