Zeus (Jupiter) Zeus • As the sky god Zeus had easy access to goddesses and mortal women of the world and took full advantage of it • His power as a supreme god made him difficult to resist • He had 5 marriages before finally marrying his sister, Hera (Juno) • After his final marriage to Hera, the list of affairs is considerable Notable Affairs • Aegina (daughter of river god Asopus), child: Aeacus • Alcmene (mortal), Child: Hercules • Electra (daughter of the Titan Atlas), child: Dardonus (founder of the Royal house of Troy) • Europa (daughter of the King of Phoenicia), children: Minos, Sarpedon, Rhadomanhys • Io (priestess of Hera) • Leda (daughter of King Aetolia), children: Polydeuces, Helen, and some attribute Castor, Phoebe, Timondra and Philonoe • Taygete (Daughter of the Titan Atlas), child: Lacedaemon Cronus m. Rhea Hestia Hades Poseidon Demeter Hera Zeus Zeus m. Hera Hebe Hephaestus Zeus m. Metis Athena Zeus m. Danae Perseus Ares Zeus m. Leto Apollo Artemis Zeus m. Alcmena Heracles Eileithyia Zeus m. Semele Dionysus Zeus m. Io Epaphus Zeus m. Maia Hermes Zeus m. Europa Minos Leto (Latona) • Leto was an early and favorite lover of Zeus. Zeus married Hera while Leto was pregnant. Although the pregnancy began before the marriage, Hera was still jealous of Leto. • Hera pushed Leto out of Olympus. As she wandered, no place would allow her to stay for fear Hera would be offended. Finally, the desolate rocky island of Delos accepted her. Leto Leto first gave birth to Artemis Then, after another nine days of labor, Artemis helped Leto give birth to her twin brother, Apollo. Leto was forced by the anger of Hera to wander carrying her two babies Artemis the Huntress, Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze, ca. 4th cent. BCE Leto As they grew into their full power the twins became willing to avenge Leto's honor as well as to protect her safety. Death of the Children of Niobe, redfigure amphora, ca. 460 BCE Leto As the mother of two powerful gods, Leto returned to Zeus's favor despite Hera's disapproval. Apollo Belvedere, Roman marble, ca 2nd cent. CE Io • Io was loved by Zeus; she was a priestess of Hera and could not avoid detection by the goddess • Zeus failed to deceive Hera in his affair with Io, and Hera turned Io into a white cow in retaliation Another version states that Zeus, in an attempt to avoid the rage and jealousy of Hera, transformed Io into a handsome white cow. Hera, who knew Zeus was up to no good, asked for the cow as a gift, which Zeus could not refuse. Io • To guard the cow, Hera set Argus (with 100 eyes that never slept all at once) to watch her under constant surveillance • Zeus sent Hermes to rescue Io; Hermes lulled Argus to sleep and cut off his head As a memorial, Hera set Argus’ eyes in the tail of the peacock, the bird with which she is especially associated Io Hera then forced Io to wander the earth without rest, plagued by a gadfly to sting her into madness. Her wanderings gave names to many geographical features, including the Ionian Sea, and the Bosporus (meaning ox crossing). Io Io eventually crossed paths with Prometheus, who was chained. He predicted that she would have to wander for many years, but, she would eventually be changed back into human form and would bear a child. He predicted that a descendent of this child would be a great hero and set him free Prometheus, by Gustave Moreau (18261898 Io Eventually she reached the Nile, where Zeus restored her to human form. She bore Epaphus and eleven generations later her descendant (and son of Zeus by Alcmena) Heracles would set Prometheus free. Europa Zeus was captivated by Europa and decided to seduce her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed him, and eventually got onto his back. Europa Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete, where she bore Minos, Zeus’ son. The Rape of Europa, Titian, ca 1487 Europa Zeus later recreated the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus. Europa in a fresco at Pompeii, c. 1st cent. BCE Semele • Disguised as a mortal, Zeus was having an affair with Semele, a daughter of Cadmus (Theban king) • When Hera found out, her jealousy led her to get even • She appeared to Semele disguised as an old woman and convinced her rival that she should ask her lover to appear in the full magnificence of his divinity • Semele first persuaded Zeus to swear that he would grant whatever she might ask of him, and then revealed her demand Semele • Zeus was unwilling but was obliged to comply, and Semele was burned to a cinder by the splendor of his person and the fire of his lightning flash The Death of Semele, Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640 Semele Her unborn child, being divine, was not destroyed in the conflagration; Zeus saved his son form the ashes of his mother and sewed him up in his own thigh, from which he was born again at the proper time Semele • Eventually, Dionysus (Bacchus), who had never seen her, managed to rescue her from the underworld and arrange for her to live on Mount Olympus. • She is the only mortal to be the parent of a god. Leda Leda, the wife of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, bore four children to Zeus, who visited her in the shape of a swan Study for Leda and the Swan, Leonardo da Vinci, ca. 1506 Cyprus Mosaic, c. 3rd cent. CE Leda •The four were born from two eggs – from the one sprang Polydeuces and Helen, from the other Castor and Clytemnestra •Polydeuces and Castor were immortals connected with seafarers •Clytemnestra became the wife of Agamemmnon •Helen grew up to be the most beautiful of women Danae • The King of Argos consulted an oracle about his lack of a male heir and learned that he would be killed by his only daughter's son. His daughter, Danae, was childless and he locked her in a tower to keep her that way. • Zeus loved Danae and came to her bed in the form of a shower of gold, to hide his amorous adventure from Hera. Danae Danae gave birth to the hero Perseus. Upon discovering the child, her father cast the two into the sea in a wooden chest. With the help of Poseidon, Danae and Perseus washed up on the shore of Seriphos and Perseus is raised by Dictys, the brother of the king. Danae • The prophesy became true when Perseus participated in funeral games in Larissa and accidentally struck his grandfather with a discus.