Zeus is one of the greatest Olympian gods. He is believed to have been a father of other Greek gods and men, and was parented by Rhea and Cronos. He was a brother to Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hades and Hestia. However, he ended up marrying his own sister Hera. Upon dividing the world amongst his siblings and himself, he ended up getting the heavens and all of the world’s upper regions. Zeus just like all other Olympian gods lived in Thessaly’s Mount Olympus. This mountain was understood to infiltrate with its patronizing summit into heaven. This paper discusses the role of Zeus in faith.
Zeus was believed to be the most powerful amongst all immortals that he was obeyed by all other beings. He was also the utmost ruler who managed everything with his counsel. Apart from that, he founded kingly power in law and order (Durant 23). Cronos is said to have swallowed all his children upon their birth, consequently when Rhea was about to give birth to Zeus she asked Ge and Uranus to advise her on how she could save him. They decided to send her to Crete’s Lyctos where she went on to conceal her infant in Mount Aegaeon’s cave. She later gave Cronos a stone draped in clothes which he swallowed by believing it was her infant. Zeus later was brought up in Crete. He became the king of all gods, the god of law, fate and order, as well as the sky and the weather. He was later instrumental in overthrowing his unruly father upon which he drew lots with his brothers. The draw was won by Zeus who later became their ruler. Though he was married to Hera, he became famous for his illicit affairs (Rohde 45).
Zeus played the role of protecting the meetings of the council and the assembly of the masses. While presiding over the entire state, he also did so over every family and house. In addition, he watched over the oath’s sanctity, protected suppliants and the law of hospitality. He took revenge on all perceived to be wrong and punished those who committed crimes by watching the sufferings and doings of everyone. All prophetic powers stemmed from his being. All good and bad things also stemmed from him. At his own discretion, he assigned both the evil and a good lot to individuals. Fate, in itself, was thus inferior to him (Durant 25).
In addition to lightening, he was armed with thunder, and when his aegis shook it generated tempest and storm. Several Zeus epithets in the Homeric poems define him as the collector of clouds and the thunderer. His marriage to Hera produced two sons Hephaestus and Ares with one additional daughter Hebe. At one point in time, Hera started behaving like an independent divinity. She became so ambitious that she rebelled against Zeus. However, she was still inferior to him and was appropriately punished for her misbehavior. Zeus did not conceal his amour with other mortal women from Hera and these arouse her revenge due to her burning jealousy (Rohde 47).
In his role of personifying nature's operations, he represented the harmonious laws of pleasant and static order by which both the moral and physical world were governed. He thus became the god of synchronized time as noticeable in dynamic seasons and the habitual succession of the day and night. In his role as the father of all gods, he ensured that all deities performed their duties. Settled their disputes and punished their failures by acting towards them at all times as their all knowing mighty friend and counselor (Durant 27).
Zeus in his role as the father of all men took a paternal interest in the well being and actions of mortals. He watched over them with caring solicitude, rewarding uprightness, truth and charity while severely punishing the need for hospitality, perjury and cruelty. Even the most forlorn and poorest wanderer found in him a powerful advocate. For through an astute and compassionate dispensation he ordained that the mighty individuals upon the earth must assist their troubled and disadvantaged brethren (Rohder 48).
In the Trojan War Zeus favored the Trojans upon being requested by Thetis this forced Agamemnon to amend the wrongs he had done to Achilles. Zeus as a god was in charge of a segment of nature. Consequently, the oak and its eatable fruits and fertile doves were sacred to him in Arcadia and Dodona. Apart from that, the seasons, rain and storms were considered one among his works resulting in the Cretan stories of cornucopia, milk and honey (Durant 30).
Even though, in the Homeric poems the archaic character of personifying powers of nature already effaced to certain extend. Zeus appeared as the creator and guardian of all institutions, a national and political divinity as well as the King and father of men allowed by law, religion custom. He had a leading role in the Greek Olympian celebrations. This is because he had fathered most of their heroes and was thus featured in all their cults. Thus becoming an incarnation of the Greek religious believes.
Durant, The Life of Greece the Story of Civilization Part II, New York: Simon & Schuster. 2010:23-. Print.
Rohde, Erwin, Psyche: The Cult of Souls and Belief in Immortality among the Greeks, 2011:45-. Print.
Simon, Elliott M. The Myth of Sisyphus: Renaissance Theories of Human Perfectibility. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2007. Print.