Zeus (Roman Jupiter)


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Zeus and Hera, at Olympus1. The most powerful of the Greek gods, the ruler of heaven and earth, lord of the sky, god of thunder and lightning, king of the gods, and known to the Romans as Jupiter, is usually depicted as a great bearded figure carrying a thunderbolt. He obtained his power by overthrowing his father Cronus and the Titans and rules from Olympus.

Notorious for his affairs with human women, Zeus often changed his appearance to seduce them, despite his marriage to Hera. He fathered many other gods with the Titans and other goddesses. The twins Apollo and Artemis were his children by a Titan named Leto. She had given birth to them on the island of Delos, where Hera had chased her in a fit of jealousy.

Zeus favorite daughter was Athena, goddess of wisdom. She had sprung from his head fully grown and fully armed, wearing a shining helmet and a glimmering robe. Zeus's son Hephaestus had split open his father's head with an axe so that Athena could leap out.

When it was time to man to be created, Zeus gave this important work to Prometheus and Epimetheus, the two Titans who had helped him in his battle against Cronus and the other Titans. Zeus also gave them the task of providing men and animals gifts that would insure their survival. For giving men fire, Prometheus was punished by Zeus, who chained him to a rock in the Caucasus mountains, where a vulture would eat his ever-growing liver for eternity...

2. The largest planet (Jupiter) in the solar system and the fifth planet from the Sun, with a diameter of 88,846 miles (142,984 kilometers), more than 11 times that of Earth, and about one-tenth that of the sun. It would take more than 1,000 Earths to fill up the volume of the giant planet. Jupiter has been known since prehistoric times.

When viewed from Earth, Jupiter appears brighter than most stars. It is usually the second brightest planet sometimes Mars appears brighter after Venus. Jupiter is apparently almost entirely gas and liquid, with an internal energy source and enormous magnetic fields. It has 16 satellites, but its 4 largest Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are known as the Galilean moons. The planet also has a ring system, but it is practically invisible.

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