Zeus has many nicknames; The King of the Gods and The God of the Skies are the most prominent, but Zeus is also regarded as being the god of Thunder, Law, Order, and Justice in many circles. According to legend, Zeus was the child of Cronus and Rhea and was the youngest of their children to be born.
The tales of how Zeus came to be known as the King of the gods are long and, to some, indecipherably strange; you need to have a very detailed knowledge of both Roman and Norse mythology to fully understand the importance of Zeus.
Nevertheless, there are still many interesting pieces of information and even detailed facts which relate to Zeus and are relevant in the modern-day. We will be exploring ten of these facts today, but there are many more if you care to search for them. Intrigued? We hope so. Let’s get started!
Why Is Zeus The Most Interesting Greek God?
1. Keeper of the Truth
Perhaps one of the most important stories regarding Zeus relates to his firm belief in the importance of honesty, truthfulness, and genuine loyalty. According to legend, Zeus demanded absolute “obedience, loyalty, and respect” from those he engaged in any form of agreement, business, or other personal relationships.
Some are said to have viewed this aspect of his personality as vindictive or tyrannical, whilst others said this behavior was indicative of his desire to be feared and loved in equal measure.
As far as modern times are concerned, there is little debate as to the importance and value of traits such as loyalty and honesty. Perhaps the legend of Zeus is entirely based on the value of beliefs such as these?
2. It’s All in the Name
The modern English term “Zeus” translates to the Ancient Greek verb for “to shine”. The name is believed to have been assigned to the mythological figure long after the stories of his deeds had first been described before the tales were passed verbally from one generation to the next. The English word “Zeus” was originally an Indo-European term meaning sky, heaven, or simply “god”.
3. The Oldest Stories are the Best Stories
Ancient gods including Thor, Poseidon, Apollo, Zeus, and, of course, Artemis, are still being used as codewords for modern missions of great importance. The stories of these people, gods, or perhaps simply mythological figures still resonate with modern people from all walks of life.
Take a look at video and casino games, for example, and you will find dozens of examples of games based on these stories – including many relating to Zeus himself. Williams (WMS) has an entire franchise of slots dedicated to Zeus which you can find at any online casino PA, ensuring that his name will continue to live on for many years to come.
4. A Name of Many Meanings
Whilst Thor is almost always remembered for his hammer and Poseidon for his trident, Zeus has countless symbols associated with his legends. Zeus is frequently represented by an Eagle, especially in the United States; this is unsurprising, given his status as the “King of the Gods” and the Eagle being the “national bird” of the USA.
Elsewhere in the world, Zeus may be represented by an elderly yet wise gentleman with a long white beard, a thunderbolt, a bull, or even a simple Oak tree.
5. Zeus is Said to be Alive Today
In every ancient accounting of the story of Zeus, the deity was always described as being unable to die – a force greater than the mere mortals whom he would regularly walk amongst.
As the god of the sky and a being with control of both thunder and lightning, Zeus was said to be indestructible. If these statements are indeed true then it should go without saying that Zeus should still be living amongst us today.
6. Zeus & Modern Values
In many ancient texts, men are permitted to have several wives; a tradition that has all but ceased in most parts of the world today. As it was considered entirely normal at the time that the stories of Zeus were written, it’s unsurprising to hear that the King of Gods is said to have had several wives.
Some of these relationships were said to be with other gods, whilst others were “mere” mortal humans. It is said that Zeus’ first wife was so angry at his persistent ungentlemanly behaviour that she cursed him in later years.
7. The Modern Olympics are Held in Honor of Zeus
Did you know that the first modern Olympiad was held in honor of Zeus? Before the Olympics became entirely about sporting competition, it was formerly a religious festival held every four years between August 6th and September 19th in honor of Zeus. That’s a seriously long festival! The first games were held in southern Greece at Olympia, from where the games got their name.
8. Zeus’ Personality
Whilst many stories about mythological figures center almost entirely around the supposed deeds committed by the person or figure in question, the tales of Zeus are unusually intimate and descriptive.
For example, Zeus is said to have had a humourous personality and a carefree nature; at the same time, other stories seemingly contradict this by describing him as stern, short-tempered, and arrogant.
Whatever the truth of the matter, the level of detail that has been ascribed to the personality of Zeus suggests he may well have been a real person who grew into his legendary persona in later centuries.
9. Zeus was Raised by Animals
This is a strange one, but many accounts of Zeus early life describe him as having been raised by goats! An alternative retelling of this story describes the figure as having been raised by a shepherd’s family, and having a strong affinity for both animals and people of all kinds.
If the original accounts are to be believed, Zeus was entrusted to his goat-parents as a way of hiding him from Cronus – another mythological figure who sought to kill him before he could fully take control of his powers.
10. Zeus had the Power of Metamorphosis
And finally… Zeus is said to have had the power to transform and shapeshift into any form or face that he desired. Could Zeus be a modern day politician? Perhaps the President of the United States? Or could Elon Musk be Zeus in disguise, whilst Geoff Bezos is the modern incarnation of Cronus? The possibilities truly are endless. Insert your favorite conspiracy theory here!
Like This Post? Checkout More