The patriarch of the clan is Zeus [Roman name = Jupiter]. The other Olympians are his siblings or children. His principal province is the sky, and his weapon is the thunderbolt, by means of which he maintains his position as king of gods and humans. As ruler of the Olympians, he presides over a celestial court, frequently consulting but not necessarily respecting the opinions of his fellow gods. Beyond his job as ruler of the gods, his principal roles in mythology are warrior and lover. He is far and away the most promiscuous of the gods, not to mention the most inventive in his promiscuity.
The gods and goddesses behaved very much like humans. Zeus was usually calm and fair. He punished criminals and helped people who were honest and sincere. He often settled fights between the other gods. But unlike humans, Zeus and other gods and goddesses had magic powers that were almost unlimited. He could turn himself and others into different shapes. Zeus could create storms, objects, people, and monsters. He was immortal. Zeus would never die.
Zeus had many offspring; his wife Hera bore him Ares, Hephaestus, Hebe and Eileithyia, but Zeus had numerous liaisons with both goddesses and mortals. He either raped them, or used devious means to seduce the unsuspecting maidens. His union with Leto (meaning the hidden one) brought forth the twins Apollo and Artemis. Once again Hera showed her jealousy by forcing Leto to roam the earth in search of a place to give birth, as Hera had stopped her from gaining shelter on terra-firma or at sea. The only place she could go was to the isle of Delos in the middle of the Aegean, the reason being that Delos was, as legend states, a floating island.
Before the abolition of monarchies, Zeus was protector of the king and his family. Once the age of Greek kings faded into democracy he became chief judge and peacemaker, but most importantly civic god. He brought peace in place of violence and Hesiod (circa 700 BCE) describes Zeus as "the lord of justice". Zeus was also known as "Kosmetas" (orderer), "Soter" (savior), "Polieos" (overseer of the polis, city) and "Eleutherios" (guarantor of political freedoms). His duties in this role were to maintain the laws, protect suppliants, to summon festivals and to give prophecies (his oldest and most famous oracle was at Dodona, in Epirus, northwestern Greece). As the supreme deity Zeus oversaw the conduct of civilized life. But the "father of gods and men" as Homer calls him, has many mythological tales.
Zeus overthew his Father Cronus. He then drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the gods. He is lord of the sky, the rain god. His weapon is a thunderbolt which he hurls at those who displease him. He is married to Hera but, is famous for his many affairs. He is also known to punish those that lie or break oaths.
When Zeus had grown into a young man he returned to his fathers domain, and with the help of Gaia, compelled Cronus to regurgitate the five children he had previously swallowed (in some versions Zeus received help from Metis who gave Cronus an emetic potion, which made him vomit up Zeus” brothers and sisters). However, Zeus led the revolt against his father and the dynasty of the Titans, defeated and then banished them. Once Zeus had control, he and his brothers divided the universe between them: Zeus gaining the heavens, Poseidon the sea and Hades the underworld. Zeus had to defend his heavenly kingdom. The three separate assaults were from the offspring of Gaia: they were the Gigantes, Typhon (Zeus fought them with his thunder-bolt and aegis) and the twin brothers who were called the Aloadae. The latter tried to gain access to the heavens by stacking Mount Ossa on top of Mount Olympus, and Mount Pelion on top of Mount Ossa, but the twins still failed in their attempt to overthrow Zeus. As he did with the Titans, Zeus banished them all to Tartarus, which is the lowest region on earth, lower than the underworld.
The youngest son of Cronus and Rhea, he was the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and of the Pantheon of gods who resided there. Being the supreme ruler he upheld law, justice and morals, and this made him the spiritual leader of both gods and men. Zeus was a celestial god, and originally worshiped as a weather god by the Greek tribes. These people came southward from the Balkans circa 2100 BCE. He has always been associated as being a weather god, as his main attribute is the thunderbolt, he controlled thunder, lightning and rain. Theocritus wrote circa 265 BCE: “sometimes Zeus is clear, sometimes he rains”. He is also known to have caused thunderstorms. In Homer’s epic poem the Iliad he sent thunderstorms against his enemies. The name Zeus is related to the Greek word dios, meaning “bright.” His other attributes as well as lightning were the scepter, the eagle and his aegis (this was the goat-skin of Amaltheia).
Zeus is the youngest son of Rhea and the titan lord Cronus. Cronus was foretold that one of his children was going to overthrow him. So, to stop this fate, he would eat all of his children. Cronus did this successfully until Rhea was pregnant with Zeus. To protect her son, she went to Crete and gave birth to Zeus in a cave. When Rhea returned to Cronus, she brought back a stone wrapped in cloth for Cronus to eat.
Zeus is "born" in anthropomorphic form in a cave atop Crete's highest mountain. Spends childhood on Crete. Travels to mainland to overthrow his father, Kronos, and other Titans. Establishes rule on Mt. Olympus. Fathers numerous deities as well as the royal lines and heroes of Crete, Mycenae, Argos, Thebes, Macedonia, and Troy.
Zeus, no doubt, was originally a god of a portion of nature, whence the oak with its eatable fruit and the fertile doves were sacred to him at Dodona and in Arcadia (hence also rain, storms, and the seasons were regarded as his work, and hence the Cretan stories of milk, honey, and cornucopia) ; but in the Homeric poems, this primitive character of a personification of certain powers of nature is already effaced to some extent, and the god appears as a political and national divinity, as the king and father of men, as the founder and protector of all institutions hallowed by law, custom. or religion.