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Zeus' earliest form was as a sky god, inhabiting the upper atmosphere and mountain tops. Later, he became the omnipotent supreme god, dispensing both good and evil. He was generally compassionate, punishing only the wicked and acting as the protector of all Greece.
Zeus had a number of wives, who bore him many children, forming much of the Greek Pantheon. His first wife, Metos (Wisdom), bore Athena. Next he married Themis (the law governing physical and moral order) who bore several children including Dike (Justice), Eirene (Peace), Horae (the Seasons), Eunomia (Wise Legislature) and the Fates. His third wife was the Titaness Mnemosyne, whose nine children became the Muses. He next married Leto who bore the twins, Apollo and Artemis. Finally he married Hera who was to become his permanent consort, although he continued to pursue other goddesses and mortal women by whom he had many more children including Heracles (the Roman Hercules).
Phidias sculpted a magnificant statue of Zeus for the temple of Olympus. Unfortunately the statue no longer exists, but we can get some feel for what it must have been like, as it was the inspiration for most of the images of Zeus appearing on ancient Greek coins.
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