Zeus, (Δίας in Greek, Ζευς in Ancient Greek) is the God of the Sky, Weather, Thunder, Lightning, Air, Eagles, Law, Fate, Order, and Justice. He is the ruler of Olympus and the king of the Gods. He is the youngest son of the Titans, Kronos and Rhea.
During Zeus's early life he was a lot like Kronos. Like his father he was the youngest and the most powerful of his siblings, and he was asked to defeat his father by his Titan mother, Rhea. Kronos sired five other children by Rhea: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaea that he was destined to become overcome by his own son as he had overthrown his own father; a prophecy that Zeus was to hear and fulfill eventually. But when he was about to be born, Rhea sought Gaea to devise a plan to save him, so that Kronos would get his retribution for his acts against Ouranus and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Kronos a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed without looking or noticing it.
Rhea hid Zeus on Mount Ida in Crete. He was raised by nymphs, who nursed him with goat's milk, honey and ambrosia. After reaching manhood, Zeus plotted with his grandmother, Gaea to trick Kronos into disgorging first the stone, then his siblings in reverse order of swallowing. Metis the Titaness gave Kronos a mixture of mustard and wine to force him to disgorge the babies: Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Hera, Poseidon. Zeus then released the brothers of Kronos and his Titan brethren, the Hekatonkheires and the Cyclops, from their dungeon in Tartarus, killing their guard, Kampê.
As a token of their appreciation, the Cyclopes gave him thunder and the thunderbolt, or lightning, which had previously been hidden by Gaia. Together, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, along with the Hekatonkheires, Metis, Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus and the Cyclopes overthrew Kronos and the other Titans, in the First Titan War called the Titanomachy. The defeated Titans were then cast into a shadowy underworld region known as Tartarus, and Kronos was cut up with his own scythe. Atlas, one of the titans that fought against Zeus (also Prometheus and Epimetheus's brother), was punished by having to hold up the sky on his back for all eternity, because the sky could not hold itself up. After the battle with the Titans, Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky, Poseidon got the sea, and Hades received the land of the dead (the Underworld).
The ancient Earth, Gaea, could not be claimed; she was left to all three, each according to their capabilities, which explains why Poseidon was the "earth-shaker" (the god of earthquakes) and Hades claimed the humans that died. Gaea resented the way Zeus had treated the Titans, because they were her favorite children. It should be noted that it was because of this type of action from both Kronos and Ouranos that Kronos overthrew his father and why Zeus and his siblings followed suit in dethroning Kronos. Soon after taking the throne as king of the gods, Gaea brought forth two to stand against the Olympians, the monsters Typhon and Echidna. He vanquished Typhon and trapped him under Mount Edna, later Mount Saint Helens when Western Civilization moved to America, but left Echidna and her children alive to be a challenge for future heroes.
Zeus and HeraEdit
Zeus was the brother of Hera, and then became her consort. Gaea, their grandmother, gave Hera The Garden of the Hesperides as a wedding gift. Not trusting the Hesperides, Hera also put Ladon (a hundred headed dragon and one of the offspring of Echidna) to guard the apples of immortality in her orchard. With Hera, Zeus sired Ares, Hebe, Eris and Hephaestus. Zeus was also famous by having offspring with nymphs or other Titanesses. Stories of Zeus credit him with unions with Leto, Demeter, Gaea, Dione, and Maia. Many stories render Hera as jealous of his amorous conquests and a consistent enemy of Zeus' lovers and their children by him. For a time, a nymph named Echo had the job of distracting Hera from his affairs by incessantly talking; however, when Hera discovered the deception, she cursed Echo to repeat the words of others.
Despite his own infidelity, Zeus was very jealous of Hera and punished everyone that tried to seduce her. When King Ixion, whom Zeus had absolved of the sin of murdering his father in-law and took to Olympus, fell in love with her and tried to convince her to come to him. To test Ixion, Zeus sent him Nephele, a cloud nymph shaped to look like Hera to Ixion. This union resulted in the Birth of Centauros who went on to mate with the wild mares giving birth to the centaur race. Zeus ended up driving Ixion from Mount Olympus and struck him with a thunderbolt. Then he chained him to a fiery wheel, forever rolling around in Tartarus.