Zeus- a Reflection of Ancient Greek Society

Topics: Zeus, Reproduction, Marriage Pages: 1 (399 words) Published: October 20, 2012
Olympian gods were deliberate reflections of the notions embodied in early Greek life. However, amongst all, Zeus had the most prepotent ground. Stories featuring him usually involved fruitful sexual unions with mortals or immortals at all times, under any circumstances- as if accentuating the fact that his forcefulness and promiscuity as a god, king and a husband were superior to any possible obstacle. His positions enclosing the entire hierarchical order as well as supporting his promiscuity were justifications for pederasty, male power to procreate and ascendant male wit in particular. These concepts were central in early Greek society and examples revolving around them prove that the aristocratic males used the myths and actions of gods to advocate their own behavior. In early Greek society, young men gathered at symposiums to court teenage cupbearer boys and admire them. The courtship could lead to copulation, and the aim of this was said to be the refinement of moral qualities. Pederasty could continue even after a man’s marriage. Zeus too was engaged in pederasty, and he kidnapped the Trojan prince Ganymede from Mount Ida to make him his cupbearer. So as a god, he had pederastic relations after marriage- as if legitimizing the concept for the society. The idea of procreation implicated begetting as much offspring as possible, and Zeus had more than three hundred children from hundreds of consorts. Being the “king” of gods, he could have relations with any goddess he wanted to- like his sexual union with his sister Demeter. The right of a man to reproduce with whoever, then, was seen to be coming from the ultimate authority Zeus. The ascendancy of male wit was the principal idea in Greek society and Zeus’s position as a husband reflected it. Throughout his marriage with Hera, his unfaithfulness was well known and his sexual union with mortal Leda in the form of a swan was an example of his creative tricks. He used his wit and changed forms to...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about Ancient Greek vs Ancient Chinese
  • Patriarchy in Ancient Greek Societies Essay
  • The Athenian Society in Ancient Greek Essay
  • Women in Ancient Greek and Biblical Society Essay
  • The Symposium: Staple of Ancient Greek Society Essay
  • Zeus of the Greeks Essay
  • Greek Mythology and Zeus Essay
  • Essay about Greek Mythology and Zeus

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free