The ruler of the gods Zeus (Jupiter to the Romans) was a son of the Titans (Giants) Cronus and Rhea. Because it was predicted that one of Cronus’ children would overthrow him, he devoured them at birth. Only Zeus escaped this terrible fate. When he reached adulthood, Zeus gave his father a potion that caused him to spew out the other children. He married one of them, his sister Hera. After a ferocious struggle for power, Zeus and his brothers drew lots to determine their domains; Hades became the ruler of the underworld, Poseidon of the sea, and Zeus the supreme god of heaven and earth. Zeus resided on Mount Olympus with the other gods. His attribute was a thunderbolt.

Although Zeus was married he had many love affairs, both with goddesses and mortal women, and sired countless children. To deceive his wife he would sometimes disguise himself as a bull or a swan when he went courting.



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