This Zeus research paper will discuss the Greek deity Zeus (Jupiter as he was known to the Romans). The Zeus term paper will give an account of his place in Greek mythology and will show his importance in terms of his being a part of the Greek way of understanding life. We will also discuss his main characteristics and the way in which he has been represented in three works of art. We will discuss what those works accomplished in representing his essential nature and will end by mentioning the way in which the Greeks paid homage to him.
Zeus was the supreme god of the Greco-Roman pantheon. He was, above all, a God of power and his association with the thunderbolt—which only he made use of--signifies, according to Howatson, “his irresistible power over other gods and men”. In Homer’s Iliad it is made clear that his sheer might is sufficient to overpower all of the other gods put together. Homer has him say “Hang a great golden cable down from the heavens,/ lay hold on it, all you gods, all goddesses too:/ you can never drag me down from sky to earth,/ not Zeus, the highest, mightiest king of kings”.
Part of his importance derives from his physical power, but there are other things that contribute to that importance as well. We may say that he has an “historical” importance within the domain of Greek mythology because it was he who was instrumental in instituting the hegemony of the “Olympian” Gods. Prior to the Olympians there had been the Titans, descendents of Uranus and Gaia, heaven and earth respectively. Two of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea parented the original Olympian gods, among them Zeus and Poseidon.