To read ‘Zeus, God of Thunder – Part 1 – click HERE
In last week’s article, I gave a history of Zeus, God of lightning and thunder, and the crazy family in to which, he bore his roots. See above for link to Part 1 of Zeus but in brief – Zeus’s father Cronus was of the notion that his children would overthrow him as ruler of the universe, and so he would swallow them up, whenever they were born. But Zeus, with the help of his loving mother was able to escape this cruel fate and was able to save his brothers and sisters, who, being immortals, had been trapped alive in their father’s belly.
Now Zeus was an Olympian, a younger and more forward thinking generation of Gods, whilst his father had been a Titan, the older and more retrogressive generation of Gods. With his father defeated, Zeus was set to take over rule, but other Titans that had been loyal to his father would not have it.
And so the great battle of the Titans began. It is also known as the Titanochamy, a great and terrible ten year war that ended up with Zeus’ victory. Now at the time, the young Olympians had their base atop Mount Olympus, while the Titans were based on Mount Othrys. This was a battle between gods, immortal ones, and as such, death was not an option. The capture and imprisonment of the enemy was therefore what was considered a victory. Zeus knew that even with the help of his brothers and sisters fighting alongside him, he would need more help to defeat the more powerful titans. And so he went to the only people whom he was certain would assure his victory; his uncles. I had earlier mentioned that Zeus’ father was a paranoid ruler, and so in his over suspicious mind, he had imprisoned his own brothers Cyclopes and Hecatonchires.
These two obviously held a grudge against their brother and hastily agreed to join Zeus in his rebellion, the reward forthis being their freedom. With his forces much stronger, the battle that would span over a decade began, and Zeus was victorious. Of significance is the fact that Atlas was one of the titans who had fought for Cronus; and as punishment, he was given the task of carrying and holding up the sky on his shoulders. This image is often depicted in forms of art and as part of the fabric of history. The rest of the titans were imprisoned and Zeus’ reign began.
Some recollections postulate that Zeus later on released the imprisoned titans and let them live in his new kingdom. This notion isn’t completely off base as he was considered as the God who brought peace in places of disarray; a God of injustice.
With his brothers Hades and Poseidon, they ruled over the skies and the seas, and the great influences of these brothers, Zeus in particular, trickle down and morph through Greek mythology, as far down as Pandora and her ill fortuned box. To read more posts by Anne, click HERE