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Twelve Olympians

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Twelve Olympians are the major deities of the Greek pantheon, commonly considered to be Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and either Hestia or Dionysus. Hades and Persephone were sometimes included as part of the twelve Olympians (primarily due to the influence of the Eleusinian Mysteries), although in general Hades was excluded because he resided permanently in the underworld and never visited Olympus.

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Key items the Twelve Olympians held.

Contributed by Guadalupe Terrones

Zeus was the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods. Zeus overthew his Father Cronus. He then drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the gods. He is lord of the sky, the rain god. His weapon is a thunderbolt which he hurls at those who displease him. He is married to Hera but, is famous for his many affairs. He is also known to punish those that lie or break oaths. He was the rain god, and the cloud gatherer, who wielded the terrible thunderbolt. His breastplate was the aegis, his bird the eagle, his tree the oak. He is represented as the god of justice and mercy, the protector of the weak, and the punisher of the wicked.

Contributed by Kristen Parker

Zeus as so many of the Greeks pictured him.

Contributed by Kristen Parker

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