Zeus is probably the biggest "ladies' man" of all the Olympians. He generally appears as a very strong middle-aged man with a very full beard and a stern expression on his face. Sometimes he is depicted throwing a lightning bolt, his signature weapon.

Zeus was the sixth and last child of the Titans Cronos and Rhea. After each of Zeus's five siblings was born, Cronos swallowed him or her because of a prophecy that one of his children would overthrow him. However, Rhea resented this, and when Zeus was born she fed Cronos a baby-sized stone and hid Zeus away. The baby god was raised by a swarm of bees and a goat named Amalthea, whose horn (the original cornucopia) could produce any food and drink. A group of soldiers nearby banged their shields and spears every time little Zeus cried so Cronos wouldn't find him. Eventually, when Zeus grew up, Rhea and Gaia (the earth, his grandmother) told him what had happened to his siblings, and the pair prepared revenge. They made a potion that would make Cronos vomit, sent Zeus to the banquet as a serving boy, and fed the potion to Cronos at a banquet. Cronos threw up all the gods (who had grown up by then), but before that happened, he barfed the stone and discovered the long-ago trick. After a great war, the Olympians (Zeus and his siblings) overthrew the Titans and began a new age. Zeus married his older sister Hera (after a brief marriage to Metis that produced Athena). Despite the fact that Zeus was always prodigiously unfaithful, the couple bore Ares (god of war), Hebe (goddess of youth), Eris (goddess of strife), and Eileithyia (goddess of childbirth).

Besides his children by Hera, he "did the deed" with dozens of immortals and mortal women. Here are some of the resultant offspring(see Zeus's Many Girlfriends for full stories of some of these): Athena (Metis), Fates and Horae (3 each, Themis), Graces (3, Eurynome), Muses (9, Mnemosyne), Artemis and Apollo (Leto), Hermes (Maia), Pollux and Helen (Leda), Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Aeacus (Europa), Arcas (Callisto), Heracles (Alcmene), Dionysus (Semele), Epaphus (Io), Perseus (Danae), and Amphion and Zethus (Antiope).

And here are a few other tales concerning Zeus:

The Destruction of (most of) a Phrygian Town

Zeus and his son Hermes, the god of messengers, travelers, and shepherds, once traveled through Phrygia (now in Turkey). Nobody let them in for dinner, unsuspecting that the pair were gods, except an old poor couple, Philemon and Baucis. The couple apologized for their shabby house and rather badly-made food, but then they noticed that the gods' wine glasses weren't getting any emptier no matter how much they drank. Baucis and Philemon instantly praised the pair of "travelers" as gods, so Zeus and Hermes granted them two wishes. Their first was to serve Zeus and Hermes as high priest and priestess for the rest of their lives, and their second, to die together. They also got one unexpected bonus: when they woke up the next morning, most of Phrygia's capital, where they lived, had become a huge lake, but their house had become a majestic temple.

Zeus and Lycaon

Zeus explored Arcadia (on the Peloponnese Peninsula) to see how humankind, the gods' relatively recent creation, was doing. He came to the palace of the king, Lycaon. Lycaon hated the gods, and, like most of the Phrygians described above, was doubtful whether Zeus was a real god. Lycaon traditionally killed any wayfarers to his castle, but since Zeus seemed to have a mite of godhood in him, Lycaon, instead of a poisoned dish, served up one of his Molossian prisoners of war. It just so happened that Molossia, a part of western Central Greece, was one of Zeus's worship hotspots. Zeus recognized the meat, overturned the table, turned Lycaon into a wolf, and struck all but one of his fifty sons with lightning.