|The Loves Of Zeus|
|After dethroning Cronus, Zeus
ended up gaining mastery of the sky as "top god",
which suited his lustful nature very well since it
allowed him free access to any beauty he could see from
that vantage point.
His first wife was Metis (Wisdom), whom Zeus swallowed just before she gave birth to Athena because he had been told Metis' second child would dethrone him. In order to allow Athena to live he had Hephaestus take an axe and cleave his forehead open, and from his head Athena sprang, fully armed.
His second wife, Themis (Divine Justice), gave birth to the Seasons, to Wise Laws, to Human Justice, to Peace, and to the Fates.
His third wife, Eurynome, an ocean nymph, bore the three Graces.
He then took a shot at his sister Demeter, who resisted his advances, so he violated her in the form of a bull, and from their union came Persephone.
His next wife was the Titaness Mnemosyne (Memory), who produced the Nine Muses.
On the side he consorted with Leto, who gave birth to Artemis and Apollo.
His last wife was Hera, who also initially resisted his advances. So he changed himself into a bedraggled cuckoo bird, and when Hera took pity on this bird and clutched it to her bosom, Zeus assumed his true form and ravished her. Hera then decided to marry him to cover her shame, and that was the start of a truly quarrelsome and unhappy marriage! Their union brought forth Hebe (cupbearer to the gods), Ares (god of war), Ilithyia (goddess of childbearing), and Hephaestus (craftsman of the gods).
Also, through many affairs, Zeus fathered:
1. Hermes, by Maia (one of the Pleiades)
2. Aphrodite, by Dione (a Titaness)
3. Dionysus, by Semele (a Theban princess)
5. Castor, by Leda
6. Polydeuces, by Leda
7 .Helen of Troy, by Leda
8. Clytemnestra, by Leda
10.Epaphus, by Io (founder of Memphis)
11.Arcas (king of Arcadia)
12.Lacedaemon (founder of Sparta)
13.Minos, by Europa
14.Rhadamanthus, by Europa
15.Aeacus, by Aegina
NOTE: According to Anne S. Baumgartner in her book "A Comprehensive Dictionary of the Gods", Zeus was husband to Metis, Themis, Eurynome, Mnemosyne, Demeter, Leto, Maia and Hera; had over 115 mistresses (some mortal); had 140 children. And all this from the guardian of law and upholder of morality!