Who were Zeus´Siblings?

Although Zeus was respected as an allfather and the chief of the gods, in fact, many of the other Olympians were his siblings. He was the child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and he was paradoxically both the youngest and the oldest child.

That was because soon after the Creation of the world, Cronos –who was its ruler- swallowed Zeus’ three sisters and two brothers at birth: Demeter, Hera, Hestia, Hades, and Poseidon, because he had learned that one of them would overthrow him.

He would have had the same fortune if his mother Rhea hadn’t slipped Cronus a stone wrapped in baby clothes in his place, hiding the youngest offspring in a cave on the island of Crete. Zeus grew up in secret and he then managed to trick his father into regurgitating all his siblings.

The siblings of Zeus were:

  • Hera
  • Hades
  • Hestia
  • Poseidon
  • Demeter
  • Chiron

Who Were the Brothers and Sisters of Zeus?

Hera

Hera was the goddess of marriage, family, and women, and also the legal wife of Zeus. She presided over weddings, blessing every marital union. Hera was commonly depicted with the animals she considers sacred, including the cow, lion, and peacock.

Although she was always faithful to her husband, Hera was most famous for her jealous nature against Zeus’ numerous lovers and illegitimate offspring, as well as the mortals who dared to insult her. She had four children with Zeus: Ares, the god of war, Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, Hebe, the goddess of eternal youth, and Hephaestus, the god of fire.

Hades

Also known as Pluto (the wealthy one), Hades was one of Zeus’ brothers and the ruler of the Underworld. Hades was the eldest son of Cronus and Rhea, although the last son to be regurgitated by his father.

After Cronus was defeated by the gods, his sons divided his kingdom among them, and the realm of the dead fell by lot to Hades. There he ruled with his wife, Persephone, aided by the Cerberus, a three-headed dog who guarded the gates of death. Hades was the most feared of the gods, and he has been described by both Homer and Hesiod as “pitiless”, “loathsome”, and “monstrous”.

Hestia

Hestia was the firstborn child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, and the goddess of family, the home, the state, and the hearth. When the gods Apollo and Poseidon became suitors for her hand she swore to remain an eternal virgin, and so Zeus bestowed upon her the honor of presiding over all sacrifices.

Customarily Hestia received the first offering at every sacrifice in the household. Hestia was closely connected with Zeus, in his more hospitable form, and with Hermes, the two representing domestic life on the one hand, and business and outdoor life on the other. Philosophers of late antiquity also considered Hestia the hearth goddess of the universe.

Poseidon

Poseidon was one of the twelve Olympians and the brother of Zeus. He ruled over the kingdom of the sea, and he was also the god of storms and earthquakes. In several Greek cities, such as Thebes and Pylos, he was venerated as the chief deity.

He is often regarded as the tamer or father of horses, and with a strike of his trident, he created springs, which are related to the word horse. Poseidon was the protector of seafarers and of several Greek cities and colonies. In Plato’s ‘Timaeus’ and ‘Critias’, the legendary island of Atlantis was Poseidon’s domain.

Demeter

The daughter of Cronus and Rhea, Demeter was also one of the consorts of Zeus, with whom he had one daughter, Persephone. She was also the goddess of agriculture and of vegetation in general. In a wider sense, she was akin to Gaea, with whom she had several epithets in common, and was sometimes identified with the Great Mother of the Gods.

Her cult titles include Sito (Σιτώ), “she of the Grain”, and Thesmophoros (bringer of the divine law), since she presided over the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. Together with her daughter Persephone they formed the central theme of the Eleusinian Mysteries, a religious tradition that predated the Olympian pantheon, and which may have its roots in the Mycenaean period.

Chiron

In Greek mythology, Chiron was one of the Centaurs, the son of the Titan Cronus and Philyra, an Oceanid sea nymph. He was thus a half-brother to Zeus. Unlike other Centaurs, who were considered violent and savage creatures, he was famous for his wisdom and knowledge of medicine.

He was the tutor of several Greek heroes, such as Heracles, Achilles, Jason, and Asclepius. He was raised by the god Apollo, who taught him the art of medicine, archery, prophecy, and music, helping him rise against his beastly nature.

He was accidentally pierced by a poisoned arrow shot by Heracles, he renounced his immortality in favor of Prometheus and was placed among the stars as the constellation Centaurus.

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