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Olympian Zeus

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Olympian Zeus
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Photo Comments

A model of the statue of Zeus at Olympia that was made by Pheidias (5th century B.C.).  The statue was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and was (13 m.) high.  It had a core of wooden beams that were covered with ivory and gold (chryselephantine).  Note the size of the human figure in the lower left portion of the image.

Note the victory that he holds in his right hand and the eagle (his symbol) on top of the staff in his left hand.

In historic times Zeus was considered to be the father/king of the gods who ruled the universe.  In particular he was the god of the sky and thunder.  He "ruled" from Mount Olympus in northern Greece and his symbols were the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak.  Hera was his wife—but he was very unfaithful!  Often disguising himself (as an eagle, satyr, cloud, bull, swan, etc.) in order to have sex with mortal and immortal females.

His children included Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Dionysus . . . .

This model was made by Sophie Kleinschmidt and is on display in the British Museum.