Zeus, the patriarch of Olympus is also known as the father of all the Greek Gods. It seems that he took his title a bit too literally, much to the discomfort of many a Goddess and mortal, and fathered as many Gods as he could! Some say that he had more than a hundred children in and out of wedlock, but no one knows the actual count for sure. Ares, Athena Artemis and Apollo are the names of some of the children of this great patriarch.
The birth of Ares: Of the four children named in this blog, only Ares, the God of War was born of Hera, the wife of Zeus, the rest were the products of his liaison with two other Greek Goddesses Metys and Leto.
The birth of Athena: Zeus was smitten by the beautiful and wise Metys and chased after her in hot pursuit. Metys tried very hard to avoid Zeus. She kept changing forms and turned into a hawk, a fish and even a snake to put him off. But Zeus was not taking no for an answer. He kept changing his form, just as swiftly, into the corresponding male animal and kept up the chase. At last, he had his way with Metys and Metys was with child.
Soon after this it was predicted that Zeus would be killed by a child of his born of Metys. What does the great God do? He swallows Metys whole and gets rid of her. But just before she dies, Metys, manages to shield her unborn daughter with an armour and helmet and the daughter is saved. The daughter continues to grow in Zeus, shielded by the armour her mother made for her with her last breath. When she is a full grown woman, Zeus is wracked with an intense pain in his head, and he asks Hephhaestus, (The Greek God of blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes) to crack open his forehead with a hammer. Hephhaestus obliges and out jumps Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and Wise Counsel, fully formed and in full armour.
The birth of Artemis and Apollo: Leto, yet another Goddess is pursued by the great Zeus and as a consequence of his lust finds herself pregnant with twins Artemis and Apollo. Hera, the wife of Zeus, comes to know of the pregnancy and promptly throws poor Leto out of Olympus, the home of the Gods. Hera also makes sure that no one on earth gives her shelter either. And so poor pregnant Leto, is driven away from every door in heaven and earth. Hera not satisfied with this sends a monster by the name of Python to kill Leto as well. At last Leto finds shelter on a barren rocky island, floating in the ocean in the middle of nowhere and she resigns herself to giving birth to her children here. But Hera is not finished with her as yet. The wife of Zeus in a last attempt tries to stop the Goddess of childbirth, Elleithyia from going to Leto. Her attempts fail and Elleithyia does turn up on the island. Leto first gives birth to her daughter Artemis, who immediately cleans herself up and helps her mother in bringing her twin brother into this world. The twin brother turns out to be the handsome Sun God Apollo, As for Artemis, the ordeal of having to help her mother give birth on a rocky barren island immediately after birth must have been too much for the young Goddess and she becomes the Goddess of Chastity and Virginity amongst other things! She, it seems wants to have nothing to do with men.
Apology: It would have been nice if Zeus had apologised to his wife, or to the many women he impregnated, with or without their consent. But Zeus has no such intention. The apology you are about to receive is from me, a mere amateur mortal for choosing to acquaint myself with Greek Mythology in a space where there are bound to be many scholars on the subject.
ashok on T is for Taranisen from the… modhukori on Z is for Zeus kristin on V is for the Vulnerable S… kristin on Z is for Zeus josna on Z is for Zeus
A to Z Challenge 2015
A to Z Challenge 2016