The Family of Zeus in Early Greek Poetry and Myths


  • Ratko Duev Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia



IE Sky Father, hieros gamos, Διὸς ϑυγάτηρ, Διὸς υἱός, divine family


Family of Zeus in Early Greek Poetry and Myths

In early epic poetry it is evident that certain differences exist in both traditions, mainly due to the fact that Homer’s epic poems were written on the western coast of Asia Minor and the surrounding islands, while Hesiod’s poems were composed on mainland Greece. From the analysis, it becomes clear that the development of the cult of an Indo-European Sky Father differs significantly from the assumed Proto-Indo-European tradition. His family is completely different from that in the Indo-European tradition. His wife is the goddess Hera, whom Homer calls ‘old’, as opposed to the Hesiodic tradition, in which Hestia and Demeter are older than her. Homer makes no mention whatsoever of Hestia. The ‘daughters of Zeus’ are the goddesses Athena and Aphrodite, and the ‘son of Zeus’ is Apollo. The family of Zeus according to Homer also differs from the archaeological findings of the tradition on land. Hera of Samos bears no resemblance to Hera of Argos. The oldest large temples are connected to her, as well as to the memory of Oceanus and Thetis as parents to the gods, which is a direct influence of the Mesopotamian myths of Apsu and Tiamat. Homer’s Zeus from Mount Ida, Hera of Samos, Apollo of Cilla, and Tenedus and Artemis of Ephesus are closer to the Anatolian tradition.


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How to Cite

Duev, R. “The Family of Zeus in Early Greek Poetry and Myths”. Classica Cracoviensia, vol. 22, Oct. 2020, pp. 121-44, doi:10.12797/CC.20.2019.22.05.



Classica Linguistica