Ancient Greek gods and goddesses often had particular traits or symbols that were typically associated with them. In this paper, I will discuss the symbols representing this deity and that people may see on almost every Zeus’ sculpture. In Greek mythology, Zeus is the god of lightning, thunder, and the sky, Mount Olympus’ ruler, and all other gods’ king. It was rather frequent that Greek artists envisaged Zeus in one of two poses. He is either standing, holding a thunderbolt in his right hand, and striding forward, or seated in majesty. While looking at his statues, it becomes evident that his symbols are the oak, bull, and the thunderbolt.
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Thunderbolt is a unique and symbolic representation of lightning when a thunderclap accompanies it. It may be one of the most primary and essential symbols of cosmic order (“Zeus,” n.d.). It is hard to disagree that lightning and thunder are among the most amazing, terrifying, and majestic phenomena of nature. That is why the thunderbolt is the symbol of Zeus – the ruler of Mount Olympus and all other gods. He needs to maintain his power and be able to demonstrate it, and the lightning belt helps him.
In various cultures and religions, a bull is a sacred animal that has to be worshiped. It is a raging, powerful, and furious creature capable of frightening others; at the same time, it is rather smart (“Symbols of Zeus,” n.d.). In Greek mythology, in several stories about Zeus, he appears as a bull, demonstrating his strength and power. That is why it is another symbol of this deity.
Throughout history and in various cultures and religions, the oak has been considered a sacred tree with some mystical powers. In Greek mythology, this tree is a cosmic repository of wisdom embodied in its great strength (“Symbols of Zeus,” n.d.). It is another symbol of Zeus, who is one of the wisest gods. The purpose of this symbol is to show people and other gods that Zeus is indeed a sage and a profound god who deserves his power.
Symbols of Zeus. (n.d.). SJSZeus. 2020, Web.
Zeus. (n.d.). Theoi. 2020, Web.