Who is Zeus this mythical character who makes a lot of noise on Instagram and TikTok?
From the Greek gods to the Olympians, there are plenty of fabled and famous characters from ancient mythology. From lusting after women to becoming immortal, these gods and goddesses have been the source of fascination and inspiration for thousands of years.
Zeus is probably the most recognizable of them all. The king of the skies and father to many, Zeus is a powerful figure that still fascinates people today. This mystical jet-setter is also a frequent celebrity on Instagram and TikTok. His mysterious background has led to rumors about his wealth and status.
The son and husband of Uranus (the sky), Gaia (the earth) birthed the Titans, of whom two, Cronus and Rhea (brother and sister) married. They spawned Demeter, Hades, Hestia, Hera, and Zeus among others. When the brothers fought over their control of the world, they drew lots to determine who would rule what. Hades got the underworld and all of the dead folk, Poseidon got the seas and oceans, and Zeus was given the skies—high above anyone else.
It doesn’t take long for the king of the skies to get into trouble. After he falls in love with a woman named Io, Zeus does everything he can to hide his pursuit of her from Hera. In a last-ditch effort, he transforms Io into a white heifer. Unfazed, Hera calls his bluff and tortures the cow-woman in her stead, first keeping her under watch of the hundred-eyed Argus and later by having her constantly followed and stung by a gadfly.
Another object of Zeus’ lust was the sea-nymph Europa, daughter of Callisto and Pontus. He disguised himself as a bull and seduced her in the field, and she ended up marrying Zeus and bearing him many children.
When the god of the sun and the messenger of the gods, Hermes, isn’t busy running around delivering messages, he’s a dashing, wing-heeled lover. In various myths, he has male lovers, including Crocus, the spring flower, and the hero Perseus. He is most often described as being a handsome young man with golden hair and blue eyes, though his color can vary depending on the story.
One of the most notorious monsters from ancient Greek mythology was Cerberus, the three-headed dog that was pet of Hades and guarded the gates of the underworld. With his ferocious three heads and terrifying serpent tail, he was an absolute terror. Only Heracles and Orpheus managed to slay him. The head of Cerberus was said to have the power to turn men to stone, so both Heracles and Orpheus carried it in a kybisis (bag) to protect them from its evil powers. The head is now on display at the Louvre in Paris, although it is believed to have been beheaded by a sculptor during the 19th century. The body was never recovered.