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Significant Children of Zeus Part 2

From the goddess of beauty and sex to the fastest of all the gods, Zeus brought into the world an assortment of gods and goddesses that have become well known in Greek mythology. In this article, you will learn about Hermes and Aphrodite, as well as the son who was quite different from all the other gods.

Hermes

Zeus has Hermes with Maia, who is one of seven Pleiades , the daughters of Atlas. Since he is the fastest out of all the gods, Hermes becomes the messenger of Zeus. His attire includes a winged pair of sandals and winged hat. He carries a magic wand around with him. Known as the god of thieves and god of commerce, he is also the guide for the dead when they travel to the Underworld. Hermes is also attributed with coming up with many inventions, such as the lyre, the pipes, the musical scale, astronomy, weights and measures, boxing, gymnastics, as well as the proper care of olive trees.

Hephaestus

While Zeus and Hera are often cited as the parents of Hephaestus, it is often said that Hera produced the god on his own. Perhaps this had something to do with him turning into the only god to show physically ugly characteristics. Another curse on his son was that he was also lame. It is believed that his lameness came as a result for Hera tossing him from Mount Olympus (which broke his legs) or that Zeus tossed him from Mount Olympus after his son took his mother’s side during an argument.

In any event, he became the god of fire and the forge with the smith’s hammer, anvil, pair of tongs, and sometimes, an axe, serving as his symbols. He created all of the armor for the gods and produced his masterpieces inside of a volcano. Kind and peaceful, he would later be granted Aphrodite as his wife , the goddess of love, desire and beauty.

Aphrodite

The parentage of Aphrodite is somewhat of a mystery. Some say that she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. Another tale has the goddess springing from sea foam on a giant scallop out of the severed genitals of Uranus. Some of the Greek myth associations of Aphrodite include the dove, swan, sparrow, and myrtle tree. In Rome, her equivalent is Venus. There is also an ancient Egyptian connection with Aphrodite to their goddess Hathor.

Aphrodite’s marriage to Hephaestus was not by chance. Her beauty caused her a great deal of problems and many of the gods feared that the jealousy they harbored for those that got too close to the goddess could unsettle the peace between then and cause a war to break out. Zeus agreed to give Aphrodite to Hephaestus because he was not viewed as a threat to the other gods , mainly due to his physical features and lameness.

In Greek mythology, Aphrodite makes significant appearances in the legend of Eros and Psyche, as well as becoming Adonis’ lover and surrogate mother.