The Father of Zeus

In Greek mythology, who was the father of Zeus?

And the answer: Cronus.

In Greek mythology, Cronus was the youngest of the twelve Titans and born to Uranus and Gaea (also known as Heaven and Earth). Cronus became the father of the younger generation of gods, including Hades, Hera, Poseidon, and Zeus.

Photo credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art via 

Though Zeus may occupy the role of father to a swath of powerful Greek gods, he is not the first of his kind. Far from it, in fact – he descended from the Titans, a group of gods considered to be the parents of all the powerful beings in Greek mythology.

As the story goes, two of the primordial deities (the first generation of gods and goddesses), Uranus and Gaea, sired the twelve Titans, one of whom was Cronus. However, Cronus was the black sheep of the family. Born with an intense hatred for his father who ruled with a heavy hand, Cronus was convinced by Gaea (yes, his mother) to kill his father. From the confrontation, races of giants, furies, and nymphs emerged into the world.

After the battle between Cronus and Uranus, Cronus ascended to the throne with his sister Rhea. From the pair, the first Greek gods were born: Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon. Yet, out of jealousy and fear that they would usurp his throne, Cronus swallowed them all whole. Clever Rhea had other ideas. By hiding her last son, Zeus, and replacing his swaddle with a heavy rock, Rhea was able to trick Cronus and save Zeus' life. Later, Zeus would defeat Cronus and claim the throne.

Learn more about the background of the Titans and Greek gods here.

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