1. The supreme god of ancient mythology; son of Rhea and Cronus whom he dethroned and husband and sister of Hera; brother of Poseidon and Hades; father of many gods.
2. Type genus of the family Zeidae; Also called: genus Zeus.
In Greek mythology, the chief of the gods (Roman Jupiter). He was the son of Cronus, whom he overthrew; his brothers included Pluto and Poseidon, his sisters Demeter and Hera. As the supreme god he dispensed good and evil and was the father and ruler of all humankind. His emblems are the thunderbolt and aegis (shield), representing the thundercloud. The colossal ivory and gold statue of the seated god, made by Phidias for the temple of Zeus in the Peloponnese, was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Zeus ate his pregnant first wife Metis (goddess of wisdom), fearing their child (Athena) would be greater than himself. However, Athena later sprung fully armed from Zeus' head when Hephaestus split it with an axe. His second wife was Hera, but he also fathered children by other women and goddesses. The offspring, either gods and goddesses or godlike humans, included Apollo, Artemis, Castor and Pollux/Polydeuces, Dionysus, Hebe, Heracles, Hermes, Minos, Perseus, and Persephone.