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Zeus

Zeus was the king of the gods. He could control the weather. The ancient Greek poet, Hesiod, called him the "cloud-gatherer" and the "thunderer". His most powerful weapon was the thunderbolt. The ancient Greeks believed that when lightning struck earth, it was a sign of Zeus being present. Zeus was also concerned with hospitality. If you treated a guest or stranger badly you could outrage Zeus.

Kronos was the king of the Titans. He was very afraid that one of his children would kill him just as he had murdered his own father. He was so worried he started to eat his own children after they were born, much to his wife Rhea's horror!

After the birth of their sixth child, Zeus, Rhea played a trick on Kronos. She gave him a stone to swallow instead of the baby. She hid Zeus in a cave and the young god was brought up by a goat. When Zeus was older he asked to become Kronos' cup-bearer. He put a special potion in his father's wine that caused Kronos to vomit up his children. He also vomited up the stone which he was tricked into swallowing. Then Zeus led his brothers and sisters into battle against Kronos and the Titans. Zeus and his brothers and sisters won the battle and Zeus became the king of the gods. When Zeus was growing up, his mother hid him in a cave. This cave was believed to have been on Mount Dikte or Mount Ida in Crete.

The Olympic Games was a festival dedicated to Zeus. It was held every four years in Olympia. The most important part of the festival were the athletic competitions. Men from all over the Greek world competed in many different types of sports. Winners of the games were treated like heroes.

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