I never knew...

Discussion in 'Greek Mythology' started by greekgoddess31, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. greekgoddess31

    greekgoddess31 Active Member

    So after watching the "Percy Jackson" movie the other day, it got me wondering why Zeus was chosen to be the most important God of all. I went on a quest of sorts and found out that he was the only child of his parents whom his father didn't eat, so he hid away and then killed his father to save his brothers and sisters-Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera. I have read a ton of Greek mythology in my lifetime and somehow I missed this story. I thought it was pretty interesting.
  2. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    It's funny. After the gods defeated their enemies the Titans, the big three: Zeus, Poseidon and Hades drew lots to decide who would rule what region.
    Zeus won the heavens, Poseidon the sea and Hades got stuck with the underworld.
    I'm not sure that Zeus would have still been king of the gods if he wound up with the sea. Therefore, he may have just been lucky.
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  3. Libros

    Libros Member

    There's a notion of either the firstborn son or the youngest son being the greatest threat to the father's ambitions, in a lot of world myths.

    One scholar pointed out that Zeus was simultaneously the youngest and oldest of the Olympians by the Titan myth. He was the last of Rhea's children to be born from her, but he was also never regurgitated from Cronus' gut. While the other Olympians are "twice-born," Zeus is not. This status may have superficially cemented a destiny that he was going to become king anyway, lots or no.

    Zeus' cunning that liberated his siblings also speaks to the idea that he deserved a special honour. Note that Rhea, being both woman and Titan, is less praised for her part in saving her children than Zeus himself, a male Olympian, typical of Greek social myth.
    Alejandro likes this.
  4. Wotan

    Wotan Member

    I believe in alternative versions of the myth Poseidon also didn't get eaten, I can just imagine Zeus crouched down dressed as a sheep saying how undignified it is for a god to do such a thing.
  5. Goddess2u

    Goddess2u Member

    These are really interesting reads to me. I thought Cronus had eaten Zeus and he had broken out and then killed his father but I also remember hearing this of a goddess somewhere.
  6. NothingToFear

    NothingToFear New Member

    I find this a very strange thought. After all, who is more powerful than the gods? Why would it be that a God or gods would need 'luck' on their side. Surely, they should be controlling any outcomes of even supposedly random events.
  7. Isis

    Isis Member

    The problem is, everyone else is a god with control too. When fighting amongst themselves, luck would play more of a role. Of course, in the specific instance mentioned, drawing lots, it's all a matter of chance anyway.
  8. NothingToFear

    NothingToFear New Member

    I would have thought that quite contrary to luck, it would come down to a matter of that particular God's strength, and his control over whatever powers he has. No different than wrestlers win based on skill and strength, gods would too.
  9. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    What I meant by luck was the notion of chance and probability. If two equally matched wrestlers fought, then it would be a fifty-fifty chance that either would win. If wrestler A just happened to beat wrestler B when an important promoter was watching in the audience, then I would call that luck for A.
    But getting back to Zeus, fate could have played a role as well, as Libros explained above.
  10. Libros

    Libros Member

    Zeus was the only child Cronus didn't eat. Rhea wrapped a stone in baby clothes and he swallowed it without thinking. Yeah the Titans are a bit of a dim lot in the Olympian myths. Zeus was sequestered and raised by nymphs, shepherds or minor goddesses depending on the version. When he attacked Cronus in adulthood, the stone came up before his siblings. It fell to Delphi where it was revered as the Omphalos, a holy icon.

    The goddess breaking out you're thinking of may be Athena, who was birthed from Zeus alone when he swallowed Metis the personification of wisdom. His head (or his side) was hacked open and Athena sprang out in full armour. So she inherited both the wisdom of Metis and the might of Zeus. No god or mortal could match her in combat or rationality, not even Ares or Apollo.
  11. Goddess2u

    Goddess2u Member

    Yes your right I was thinking of Athena. I love her story too. She didn't care for men very much if I am correct but she was one tough goddess.
  12. LegendofJoe

    LegendofJoe Active Member

    Yes, Athena did abstain from sex. She was one of the three virgin goddess's; the other two being Hestia and Artemis.
    Artemis was prone to falling in love though. For example, with the hunter Orion.
  13. Libros

    Libros Member

    Actually Athena cared very much about men, just not sexually. In mythic and historic context she is very much a man's goddess, more so than any other goddess. Some scholars attribute this metaphorically to her birth from Zeus alone, a man, and not by Zeus and Hera or Zeus and another woman.

    As a warrior, she is the protector of many of the famous heroes, including Perseus, Achilles and Ulysses, and easily defeats Ares in combat in the Iliad. While she helps and rewards men, she most often punishes women who challenge her skill or authority, including Arachne and Medusa. Her roles as warrior and wisdom far overshadowed her influence as goddess of weaving and household crafts, because she was reverently worshipped by the state politicians and the military, which were exclusively male.

    About the only story where she does not punish a woman is the death of her friend Pallas from whom she takes her title Pallas Athena. But more often than other goddesses, Athena does not favour women.

    In worship, unlike Hestia, Artemis, or Aphrodite, she had no group of priestesses or train of female devotees.
  14. Caelus

    Caelus Member

    There are many references to the Olympians being raised, now how could that happen if they were eaten by Cronus? For me the answers simple, when Cronus disgorged them, they were probably still babies, so they had to grow up as Zeus prepared for the war. Many of the original 6 have arcane references to being brought up.
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  15. but there is an account wherein Athena is "nearly-raped" by Hephaestus, luckily she managed to flee. Hephaestus' semen dropped on her leg, so she wiped it off and dropped it on the earth (Gaea), who, in return, went pregnant instead of Athena. when the child was borne, Gaea entrusted the child to Athena, who placed the child on a chest and trusted it to a group of women/nymphs or whatever(just forgot who they are, sorry! :p)
  16. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    You're thinking about Herse, Aglauros and Pandrosos, the three daughters of King Kekrops of Kekropia, which city was later was renamed Athenai [Athens] in honour of Athena. The child, son of Hephaistos [Hephaestus] and Gaia [Gaea], to whom Athena entrusted the three princesses, was called Erikhthonios [Erichthonius]. He would grow up to succeed Kekrops as king of Athenai. There are, however, some obscure myths in which Hephaistos and Athena become the parents of Apollon [Apollo] and of another figure called Lykhnos [Lychnus], whose name means something like "Lamp."
  17. oh, never heard that myth before :|
  18. Alejandro

    Alejandro Active Member

    Yeah, it's not from the mainstream mythology or religion, and since it definitely contradicts the idea that Athena was a perpetual virgin, it clearly was not very popular.
    Myrddin likes this.

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