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Zeus and His Women
The ruler of Olympus, his sexual escapades, both human and beast

Zeus was one very randy god. Few were well behaved, although one must examine the traditions and morals of the day to understand that what constitutes good behavior today is not necessarily how they saw it in the toga-wearing world where Zeus did the big cheese thing on Olympus.

Before we can peek into the bestiality and sexcapades of the ruler of the gods, lets take a quick peek at the little lady he left on the mount when he went off in randy search of a pretty woman. Hera, wife to Zeus and basically the strong, liberated type, put her dear husband through his paces for his many indiscretions. (although indiscretion is not an accurate word for the period as society saw the behavior of the gods in a very different light and without the veil of Christian morals to color it)  Hera, goddess of home and hearth, punished Zeus, his lovers and a few offspring, for her husbandís sexual adventures; one such case being the birth of Hercules to Zeus and Alcmene. Hera relentlessly tortured Hercules throughout his life, all in her bitterness.

Danae, daughter to the king of Argos, was locked away in a bronze chamber because the Oracle at Delphi told her father that he would have a grandson who would take his life. In a kingís infinite wisdom, he separated from men the only womb which could possibly produce a grandson. Zeus saw Danae in her chamber, turned himself into a golden shower (material for another article, níest-ce pas?), poured himself into the chamber, falling into her lap and impregnating her. Perseus was the result of this bizarre union. Later, accidentally, Perseus did indeed kill his grandfather.  


Statue of Olympian Zeus by Pheidias, from a Series of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World"
Statue of...
Ferdinand Knab
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Leda is an interesting study for many reasons. Her children are more famous in myth than she is, but the events of her impregnations are another example of Zeusís overactive imagination. Leda is the mother of Helen, the famous babe whoís beauty started the whole Trojan War episode in history. This beautiful Helen was fathered by Zeus when he came to Leda in the form of a swan. Bizarre, but it explains the beauty of Helen and her regal nature.

Semeleís story is a touch sad, but twisted and a show of just how fed up Hera was getting with Zeusís behavior.  Hera found out about Zeusís affair with Semele and appears to Semele as her favorite and trusted nurse Beroe.  Hera convinces Semele to put Zeus to a test of love. Trusting who she thought was an old friend, Semele asks Zeus to appear to her as he would to Hera. Zeus knows he is busted but has to keep his oath and ends up vaporizing his girlfriend at the same time. Humans cannot withstand the true site of the gods, so she poofs. This leaves Zeus with her unborn child, whom he snatches out of her and implants it in his thigh. Some feat. But heís the ruler of the gods and as such, can think up bizarre solutions. Dionysus is carried to term and born.

Europa was the daughter of the king of Tyre. One day she and her maidens were out picking flowers in a field. Zeus watched as they went about their gathering and was intrigued by her beauty. He orders Hermes to move the herd of her fatherís cattle closer and disguises himself as a great white bull. Europa is enchanted by the beauty of this magnificent beast and decides she must touch him. She gets so carried away that she mounts the great animal and Zeus takes her into the ocean and on to the isle of Crete. He rapes her and ultimately she bears Minos and two other children. As a gift for her, he names the continent after her.

Zeus had affairs with young men as well, Ganymede being one. His homosexual experiences were not thought of with the same structure of moral that they would be today. Be that as it may, one can safely say that Zeus took his godliness very seriously and used it to his advantage in every way he could, often with Hera breathing down his neck. Perhaps it was the thrill of getting caught; perhaps his own ego, or perhaps his oversized libido kept Zeus chasing beautiful women, often disguised as a beast.

The Universe, the Gods,
and Men

Copyright 2002 


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