Zeus was the proud, imposing, and irritable supreme god of the ancient Greeks. Beginning around 700 B.C., stories by Homer
and other Greek poets described the lives of powerful gods who involved themselves in human affairs. Supreme among these gods was Zeus, who inherited the heavens and earth after overthrowing his father, Cronus. Zeus ruled from Mt. Olympus, rewarding good and punishing evil; his most famous weapon was a thunderbolt. He, like the other gods, enjoyed manipulating human lives just to satisfy his own whims. Zeus also liked the ladies, frequently dropping to earth for amorous adventures with nymphs and mortals. This was often a source of conflict with his wife, the powerful goddess Hera.