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
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.
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.
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,