Zeus’ Greek Names reflect his multi-leveled role in ancient Greek Mythology. Zeus is the King of the Gods , the ruler of the Olympian Gods. Unlike many Greek divinities, the origins of name Zeus are undisputed.
“Zeus” is connected with an ancient Indo-European deity Dyeus, which roughly translates as ‘sky’, ‘day’ (as opposed to night) and ‘clear’. All of these point to his role as a god of the heavens, the sky and thunder. The Ancient Greek name of Zeus is Ζεύς (Zefs) and the modern name is Δίας (Dias).
However, Zeus, like most of the gods of the Greek Pantheon, had many roles and epithets aside from his main function as weather god and king of Olympus.
Many of Zeus’ cult titles were derived from his divine functions, as god of weather, governance, the king of the gods, god of fate, giver of plenty, god of marriage, hospitality, protector of strangers, protector of freedom, defence in war.
Another set of cult titles derived from the towns, mountains and other locales where his shrines were located, as well as the names of cult-founders, and descriptions of their locale. Here are the most known Greek names of Zeus:
Zeus Greek Names
- Zeus Panhellenios: This name shows his applicability to all of Greece as it literally translates as “Zeus of all the Hellenes”.
- Zeus Xenios: Zeus was the lord and enforcer of Xenia, leading to him having the name of , the patron deity of hospitality, guest-friendship and punisher of all those who violated the laws of xenia.
- Zeus Agoraios kept watch over business dealings at the marketplace (agora) and was ready to punish rogues, thieves and unfair traders.
- Zeus Ceneus was a frequent epithet of Zeus’, referring to a temple on Cape Canaeum of Euboea
- Zeus Horkios, he was the keeper of oaths. Exposed liars were made to dedicate a statue to Zeus, often at the sanctuary of Olympia.
- Zeus Aegiduchos or Aegiochos he was the bearer of the Aegis with which he strikes terror into the impious and his enemies.Others derive this epithet from αίξ (“goat”) and οχή and take it as an allusion to the legend of Zeus’ suckling at the breast of Amalthea.
- Zeus Meilichios, “Easy-to-be-entreated”, he subsumed an archaic chthonic daimon propitiated in Athens, Meilichios.
- Zeus Tallaios, or “Solar Zeus”, he was worshiped in Crete.
- Zeus Velchanos, the “boy-Zeus”, often simply the Kouros (name of Zeus – epithet given by Cretans.)
- The epithet Lykaios (“wolf-Zeus”) is associate with Zeus due to his connection with the archaic festival of the Lykaia on the slopes of Mount Lykaion (“Wolf Mountain”), the tallest peak in rustic Arcadia
- Sthenios, i.e. “the powerful,” or ” the strengthening,” a surname of Zeus, under which he had an altar in a rock near Hermione, where Aegeus concealed his sword and his shoes, which were found there by Theseus after he had lifted up the rock.
Other Greek Names of Zeus
- Zeus Hospites – as a protector of guests
- Zeus Philoxenon – as a protector of foreigners
- Olympios – the Olympian Zeus
- Astrapios – literally, “the lightninger”
- Vrontios – the Thunderer
- Kasios – the Zeus of Mount Kasios in Syria