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Zeus was the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods. He overthrew his father, Cronus, and then drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades, in order to decide who would succeed their father on the throne. Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the gods, as well as lord of the sky and rain. His weapon was a thunderbolt which he hurled at those who displeased or defied him, especially liars and oathbreakers. He was married to Hera but often tested her patience, as he was infamous for his many affairs.
Zeus, the presiding deity of the universe, ruler of the skies and the earth, was regarded by the Greeks as the god of all natural phenomena on the sky; the personification of the laws of nature; the ruler of the state; and finally, the father of gods and men.
Hera was Zeus’ wife and sister, and was raised by the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. She was the supreme goddess, patron of marriage and childbirth, having a special interest in protecting married women. Her sacred animals were the cow and the peacock, and she favoured the city of Argos.
Zeus initially courted Hera, but after many unsuccessful attempts, he resorted to trickery. He took the form of a disheveled cuckoo; Hera, feeling sorry for the bird, held it to her breast to keep it warm. Zeus then resumed his normal form and taking advantage of Hera’s surprise, he raped her. Hera then married him to cover her shame; their marriage was turbulent and they often clashed.
Occassionally, Zeus treated the other gods with particular harshness; Hera took advantage of that and asked them to join her in a revolt. They all accepted and set the plan in motion; Hera drugged Zeus, and then, the others bound him to a couch. At that stage, however, they began to argue over what the next step should be. Briareus, one of the Hecatoncheires, overheard the arguments; still full of gratitude to Zeus for saving him and his brothers from a dragon, Briareus sneaked in and quickly untied the knots that held Zeus in place. Zeus sprang from the couch and grabbed his thunderbolt. The gods fell to their knees begging and pleading for mercy. He seized Hera and hung her from the sky with gold chains. She wept in pain all night, but none of the other gods dared to interfere. Her weeping kept Zeus up, so the following morning, he agreed to release her if she swore never to rebel again. She had little choice but to agree. While she never again rebelled, she often interfered with Zeus’s plans and she was often able to outwit him.