Mythology for Children: Zeus

Zeus

Zeus becomes the all-powerful god of the universe with the help of a few other gods and goddesses from mythological history.
Zeus becomes the all-powerful god of the universe with the help of a few other gods and goddesses from mythological history. | Source

Who Was the Mythological God Zeus

Zeus (Zoos)

From the highest mountain top in Greece, the most powerful of all of the gods in mythology sat upon a golden throne, ruling his kingdom. His name was, Zeus. He was the ruler over all creatures high in the sky, and those low in sea. He also ruled over all the other gods, immortals, mortal humans, and even those who found themselves somewhere in between, known as demigods—part god, and part human. He was indeed, the most powerful master of the universe!

The Baby Zeus

Zeus was all-powerful, ruling over every being who lived. But, before he could rule, he had to survive his birth and childhood. You see, his birth came with so much risk swirling around it, that this special new-born king was lucky to become a king at all. It would be up Zeus's Mother, Rhea, to keep him from being swallowed whole by his father who was the reigning master of the universe, known as Cronus. To accomplish saving her child's life, Rhea had to find a little help, and at just the right time.

Rhea (REE-uh) The Mother of Zeus

To prevent her newest born child, Zeus, from being swallowed whole by her husband—the ruler of the Universe, Cronus,— Rhea had to hatch a plan. You see, Rhea was already very sad and depressed because her husband had swallowed whole all five of her previous children. He was afraid that they would grow up and defeat him in battle, as he had done to his father Uranus. This is where Rhea's sadness came from.

How much do you know about Zeus and the gods he lived with?

Rhea and Gaia Plot for Revenge

With all of Rheas children inside her husband, she could never be with them, like her sisters were with their children. She felt so lonely, and she knew that Cronus would just keep swallowing every child she had. However, shortly before she would give birth to Zeus, she devised a plan with her Mother-in-law, Gaia (GY-uh)—also known as Mother Earth, Cronus's Mother, and Zeus's Grandmother.

This was a very happy moment for Gaia, as she had been hoping Rhea would find a way to save her next child. But, Gaia was much more happy because it allowed her to get revenge on Cronus, who did not free her children from being banished earlier by Uranus—Gaia's husband— to the deepest depths of earth, simply because he thought they were too ugly to be Gods.

Gaia's Sickle

Gaia's sickle and the bravery of her son Cronus, defeated Uranus's reign over the universe.
Gaia's sickle and the bravery of her son Cronus, defeated Uranus's reign over the universe. | Source

Gaia Plans to Kill Uranus

Gaia did not see her children as Uranus did, she loved each of them and could only see the beauty each one displayed. Her anger grew as her babies were cast away. She knew she had to kill Uranus before they could be set free again. She needed a fine weapon for killing Uranus, so Gaia forged a mighty sickle1. She thought she could have her other sons, the Titans—who were as tall and strong as volcanoes, and as beautiful as gods should be—use the sickle to defeat Uranus and then free her other children. Unfortunately, things did not work out as Gaia had planned.

1A sickle is an architectural tool that has an extremely curved blade, usually used in the harvesting of grains. They have also been used as viciously damaging weapons throughout history.

Who Are Gaia's Children

Gaia was married to Uranus, the ruler before Cronus, and was Zeus's Grandfather. He was a vain god, who rejected six of Gaia's children because three were one-eyed cyclopes (sy-KLOH-peez)—their names are probably quite familiar to you, Lightening, Thunderbolt (or Vivid), and Thunder—and the other three were born with one-hundred arms and fifty heads. Uranus despised these six children because they lacked the beauty a god should possess. Because of this, he banished them to the deepest part of earth; so deep he was certain they could never escape.

More Mythology for kids, Krishna

Cronus Becomes a King

When Gaia approached her sons, the Titans, telling them of her pan to kill Uranus, they were so afraid to challenge the powerful king that they huddled together with fear. But, when Cronus saw the sickle his mother had forged, he glowed with courage, and went after his father. When Uranus witness the courage and the strength Cronus displayed with the sickle in hand, he knew he could not win the fight. This allowed Cronus to become the new ruler of the universe, while Uranus slipped away into the heavens.

Cronus Ruled as a Good and Bad King

Once Cronus defeated Uranus and took his place on the throne, he ruled very fair and kind, even being referred to as "the Good King Cronus" for a while. During this time all creatures were safe and no crimes were committed. Then things changed; Cronus did not free his brothers as his mother had planned. Gaia grew more and more resentful of Cronus, as she was helpless to save her children without him.

Cronus recalled how he had battled his father, taking over the position of king. Which made him begin to fear that someday his own children would soon do the same to him. Gaia knew this as well, and longed for the revenge of that day. Because of his fear, Cronus decided he would swallow any of his offspring whole, keeping them trapped and unable to grow within his stomach. He was certain this would allow him to rule as the all-powerful king for as long as eternity existed. What he failed to account for was the desire of his mother's revenge, and a child god named, Zeus.

Where Did Gaia Take Baby Zeus?

A markerThe Island of Crete -
Crete, Greece
[get directions]

The Island of Crete is where Gaia took the newborn Zeus to protect him from being swallowed whole by his father, Cronus.

Saving Baby Zeus From Cronus

Gaia Comes up With a Plan

To save the newborn god Zeus from being swallowed whole by Cronus, Gaia had Rhea travel to the island of Crete Just before it was the time for her to give birth to him. There she would find a prepared and very deep cave. This is where she gave birth to Zues. The moment the baby god was born, Gaia took him away to safety. In the mean time, Rhea gathered a smooth rock and dressed it like a baby, then wrapped it in a blanket. This is what she gave to Cronus telling him it was their newest child. He was tricked by the stone, swallowed it whole, thinking he had again stopped one of is children from overpowering him and taking his place as the all-powerful ruler of the universe. Cronus was pleased with his plan and ruled without worry once again.

Check out some History of Minoan Crete

Forest Nymphs Kept Zeus Safe

Forest Nymphs watched over Zeus until he became a beautiful and all-powerful young god.
Forest Nymphs watched over Zeus until he became a beautiful and all-powerful young god. | Source

Where Did Gaia Take Baby Zeus

As quickly as she could, Gaia took her grandson, named Zeus, to one of the precious mountains—either Mount Dicte or Mount Ida—where he was raised by nymphs. Zeus's beautiful golden cradle was hung from a tree limb; this would keep Cronus from finding him in the sea, on the land, or in the heavens. Now, Gaia, being a very smart grandmother, new that baby Zeus was sure to cry, which would make it possible for his father to hear him. To keep Zeus safe, she gave weapons to hundreds of creatures and had them stand guard on all sides of the baby. Their duty was to bang on their shields with their swords making a huge racket so the crying baby would not be discovered by Cronus. Because of Gaia's clever tactics, Cronus never found the baby Zeus.

Zeus Grows to Be a Powerful Young God

Due to the seclusion and protection Gaia and Rhea had provided for Zeus, he was able to grow quickly into a beautiful and powerful young god. He was given wonderful meals of sweet nectar and ambrosia, which were considered to be the food of gods. This godly nutrition would pour from the horns of Amaltheia (Uh-MAL-thee-uh), a goat dedicated to nourishing only the gods with her eternal offerings.

The Goat Amaltheia Fed Baby Zeus from Her Horns

Amaltheia had magic horns that kept Zeus well fed with nectar and Ambrosia, considered the food of gods.
Amaltheia had magic horns that kept Zeus well fed with nectar and Ambrosia, considered the food of gods. | Source

When Zeus was old enough and perfect enough he told the nymphs it was time for him to depart the mountain top. He wanted very much to thank them for taking such good care of him. The only gift Zeus had to offer was the most valuable gift of all. He gave them Amaltheia's horns, which are known as the horns of plenty. The horns were known as such because they provided an endless supply of food. From the hide of the goat he made a sturdy shield to protect him. This shield is known throughout history as Aegis2 (EE-jis), and no arrow or spear could penetrate it.

2An Aegis is known in Mythology to represent the sturdy goatskin shield of Zeus or Athena. It is more modernly used to describe the support or backing of a group or person. It is an indicator of superior protection having an impenetrable defense.

Who Were the Five Deities (Brothers and Sisters) of Zeus

  • Hestia (HES-tee-uh) - Goddess of the hearth and the protector of homes.
  • Hades (HAY-deez) - King of the underworld.
  • Demeter (DIH-mih-ter) - Goddess of agriculture.
  • Hera (Hayr-uh) - Queen of heaven.
  • Poseidon (poh-SY-dun) - God of the sea.

Zeus Becomes a Married God

As Zeus was preparing to defeat his father Cronus, he realized something was missing in his life. He fell in love and married Metis (Mee-tis), who was very smart and extremely logical. She knew that Zeus wanted to defeat Cronus, but also was aware that Cronus would have many supporters to help him in his battle, with the titans being among the many. She told Zeus that, he too would need help from a few allies. But, as most gods have a large ego, Zeus did not see the need. Metis, wanting her husband to succeed, made a plan of her own to aid Zeus in his quest. Once Zeus heard of his wife's well developed plot, he was convinced, and allowed her to go through with the deed.

How Did Metis Trick Cronus

Metis, being as smart as she was, created a plan to trick Cronus by offering him some magic herbs and spices she told him would make him an invincible god. Actually, she gave him a poison that made him very sick, causing him to vomit. As he was vomiting, he coughed up all five of Rhea's children that he had swallowed previously. These five children were known as the deities Hestia (HES-tee-uh), Hades (HAY-deez), Demeter (DIH-mih-ter), Hera (Hayr-uh), and Poseidon (poh-SY-dun).

Zeus the All Powerful God of the Universe

Zeus, with the help of his brothers and sisters, takes his rightful place as Master of the Universe!
Zeus, with the help of his brothers and sisters, takes his rightful place as Master of the Universe! | Source

Zeus's Brothers and Sisters Join in Battle Against Cronus

As soon as they were freed from the belly of their father, the five deity siblings joined Zeus's cause. They worked together, taking time in preparing to defeat Cronus as a unit. When the sibling gods were finally ready to face him, side-by-side they approached the throne where the reigning god was seated. The moment the six youthful gods came within view of Cronus, he realized he could not beat them; his worse fear was upon him.

The six young gods drove Cronus from his place atop his throne, and it is said the defeated god was exiled to a prison somewhere between the earth and the sea. With the complete victory over his father, Zeus achieved his long awaited destiny in life. And so it was; the all-powerful god Zeus, took his rightful place as the ultimate master of the universe. Although he endured many battles, Zeus was never defeated. He remained the ultimate god and master of the universe, forever.

Some Mythology Who's Who

(click column header to sort results)
NAME  
ABOUT THE CHARACTER  
RELATIONS  
MYTH OR LEGEND  
Andromeda
Beautiful Ethiopian Princess, who was saved by Perseus from being eaten by a sea monster as a scarifice.
Daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia
Greek legend
Balder
Norse God. Accidentaly was killed by his blind brother, Hoder.
Son of Frigg and Odin, brother of Hoder.
Norse Myth
Cassiopeia
Queen of Ethiopia who was punished for being vain. Poseidon, the sea God, sent a sea monster to Ethiopia to torture the people and fishermen.
Mother to Andromida, Wife of King Cepheus
Greek legend
Dionysus
Greek God of feasting and drinking.
Patron of Silenus
Greek myth/legend
Daedalus
Greek inventor and architect who built labrynth for King Minos of Crete.
Father of Icarus
 
Frigg
Norse Goddess. Married to Oedin the chief of Norse Gods.
Mother to Balder and Hoder
Norse Myth
Hoder
Was blind and accidentally killed his brother, Balder.
Son of Frigg and Odin, blind brother of Balder
Norse Myth
Icarus
Died after flying to close to the sun, which caused him to plunge into the sea wearing wings made by his father.
Son to Daedalus
Greek legend
Loki
An immortal who was not liked by the other gods. He played pranks, that included the one that got Balder killed by his blind brother, Hoder.
--
Norse Myth
Mars
Roman God of War.
Father to Romulus ans Remus
Roman legend
Minos
King of Crete. Hired Daedalus to build a larynth to hide Minotauro, a half-bull, half-man creature. Then he held Daedalus captive on Crete.
--
Greek legend
Perseus
Greek hero who saved Andromeda from being killed by a sea monster sent by Poseidon. He later married her.
Husband to Andromeda
Greek legend
Poseidon
Greek god of the sea. He sent the sea monster to punish Queen Cassiopia for being vain.
--
Greek legend
Remus
Was the brother of Romulus who was the founder of Rome.
Son of Mars and Sylvia and twin brother of Romulus
Roman legend
Sylvia
Her uncle threw her into the river where a river god saved her life. (She is also known as Rhea Sylvia, and Ilia)
Mother to Remus and Romulus.
Roman legend

What You Think Really Does Matter!

Did you learn something about Zeues?

  • Yes! I learned a lot about Zeus!
  • Yea, I learned a couple of things.
  • Not really. I kind of knew about Zeus already.
  • Not at all. But, Greek mythology is my field of study.
See results without voting

More by this Author

  • The Food Chain For Kids
    5

    Food Chain for children can be used in a classroom setting or for home studies. A lesson on the food chain that defines which creatures fit where, and how the human species stays on top without any sharp teeth or claws....

  • Earth's Atmosphere Layers For kids
    25

    The Earth's atmosphere has lots to teach children and grown-ups alike. Definging the layers of the Earth's air using the fun classroom project sheet is easy!

  • Why Female Dogs Hump
    31

    Discover some pretty common reasons why your female dog is humping. You will also find simple techniques for stopping humping behavior in your k9.


Comments for "Mythology for Kids: Zeus" 17 comments

Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

Oh I love love love this. I have been writing about Greek myths and how they influence word origins and anatomical term origins for a while now. This is rich with all the detail about all the Gods. I like the way this is compiled and written. You've not a got a fan now, but a hub stalker who is gonna stalk your hubs! voted up and away. BTW cool illustrations- I too have made my own pics for my Pooh stories.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Cara~ I hope you are right and teachers use the information to help offer lessons on the topic of Zeus for kids. It would be my honor to have some small part in there efforts. Thank you for leaving your comments!

Huge HubHugs~

Denise~ Thank you for voting up the hub! I truly appreciate the support. I am so giddy that you liked every bit of the hub! Always honored when you make it by for a read!

Super HubHugs~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Global Chica~ Thank you for your glowing remarks! I am a little jealous that you have been to Crete! But, I'm betting there is a really awesome hub about it somewhere in your hub collection! ;) Thank you for sharing your passion for Greek mythology here!

HubHugs~


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

What a great hub! I missed it when it was first posted...hmmm, must have been those darned midnight shifts getting in the way, haha.

Thorough, educational, and enjoyable! I love the charges, the geography, the pronunciations, your illustrations, and the story info. Well done, as usual. :) I Voted it up/ I/ U


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan

Fabulous hub packed with information and great pictures. I must admit that Greek mythology was never my strong suit! This is a great resource for teachers.


Global-Chica profile image

Global-Chica 4 years ago from New York, NY

Brilliant hub! I absolutely love Greek mythology - enjoyed it in school and after visiting Crete, became fascinated with it again and bought some books. Your hub is an awesome refresher. Voted up and awesome!


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

John~ Special HubHugs, Sir! Enjoy your weekend as well.


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

No worries K9keystrokes, Cubans are ethnically very diverse people: I have French, Armenian, Spanish, and even Black - some said Jewish as well. Nevertheless, I enjoyed your writing very much, as you're quite talented.

Take care and enjoy your weekend.

John


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

John, It wasn't made very clear in my comment previously; but, even as I know you are of Cuban descent, the Sar"kis" name sounded very Greek in passing, so this is the meaning in the earlier comment. Thanks again for making it by! :)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

John Sarkis~ When someone with the name "Sarkis" enjoys a hub about anything Greek, I find myself humbled and honored. Thanks John for adding your comments here, I am thrilled you came by today!

HubHugs~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

theclevercat~ LOL! The thought of baby Zeus is indeed a charming one! But, an all-powerful infant makes me a bit nervous! (Just think of a two-year old with endless power...Yikes!) ;) Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the hub. I hope your weekend is lovely, Rachel!

HubHugs~


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

brittanytodd~ Thank you so much ma'am! It was really fun to research and illustrate this hub. I hope the kids find it a fun way to learn a little Greek Mythology about Zeus! I appreciate your stopping by!

HubHugs~


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

K9keystrokes, this is one of the most interesting hubs I've read thus far. I love Greek Mythology very much! This is a great hub for children to read and learn about the wonders of Greek Culture.

Voted up and interesting

John


theclevercat profile image

theclevercat 4 years ago from Massachusetts

Awww, baby Zeus! (Am I the only one who finds that image charming? Lol.)

Excellent hub and I loved the Who's Who list. I voted up and awesome and shared with followers.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

This is an absolutely fabulous hub with such useful tables, quizes and more! K9, I just love your original images! The first one really pulls the reader in--especially those who are younger, who would be researching Zeus for a paper or school project. This is a great hub with so much information. Great work! Voted up, useful, shared (because this is an example of an excellent hub!). Much aloha.


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 4 years ago from Northern, California Author

Teresa~ Thank you stopping by. What a great topic for you and your son to enjoy together! I have always been fascinated by the drama of mythology. I find it interesting how Greek/Roman people perceived the world around. Thanks a bunch for the votes!

HubHugs~


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Interesting hub K9. My youngest son loves Greek and Roman mythology as do I. This hub will be very age appropriate for kids. Voted up!

Submit a Comment
New comments are not being accepted on this article at this time.
Click to Rate This Article
working