Dear Maria
I am a self-taught teen in Greek Mythology. For a long time, this question has bothered me: Why do people say that Zeus is the most powerful god? Every time I ask this question, the answers are very vague. What I want to know is that,does Zeus have any special power other than his thunderbolts which makes him stand out? As far as I know, Typhon was physically stronger than the Gods and Kronos had power over the flow of time. That was what made them powerful.


before I try to answer your question, I have to point out that the Greeks, like people of all countries, eras, and stages of civilization, at the beginning needed to create gods that explained  the existence and working of natural phenomena or delineated the psychology, customs, or ideals of society.

That's why the Greeks  believed that each God had a specific field of expertise and  thus there was a god of the sky,ZEUS;  a god of the sun, APOLLO; a god of the sea,  POSEIDON; the supreme goddess, HERA; a goddess of  reason, wise counsel, war, the defence of towns, heroic endeavour, weaving, pottery and other crafts, ATHENA;  DEMETER, the goddess of agriculture; ARTEMIS, goddess of chastity,  the hunt, the  moon, and the natural environment; HESTIA,  the goddess of the hearth and home ; ARES, the god of war;  HERMES, god of commerce and messenger of gods; APHRODITE , the goddess of love; HEPHAESTUS, the god of fire ; HADES, the  lord of the underworld, and so on.

Please note that such an attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to deities is called  "anthropomorphism" [from the Greek ánthropos (“man”) and morphé (“form”)], just related to the interpretation of nonhuman things or events in terms of human characteristics that can also be negative as they represent some unpleasant and disagreeable aspects of  the human beings, such as jealousy, envy, arrogance, infidelities, adultery, that  should  have nothing to do with  perfection of any deity.

That being stated, the Greeks  said that Zeus was the most powerful god, “chiefest among the gods and greatest, all-seeing, the lord of all, the fulfiller who whispers words of wisdom to Themis [goddess of law and order ] as she sits leaning towards him” (see Homeric Hymn 23 to Zeus,  ca.7th century B.C.) NOT because he was armed with thunder and lightning, and the shaking of his aegis (shield)produced storm and tempest (Homer’s Iliad, xvii. 593), BUT because he was  the Greek continuation of a Proto-Indo-European god of the daytime sky, just called  “Dieus” in Sanskrit -hence Ζεύς, transliterated as Zeus .

So, as in the earliest times the daylight  was considered the most important natural phenomenon/element whose presence was indispensable for mankind, it is understandable that Zeus was the greatest of the Olympian gods, the king of the gods, the god of sky and weather, law, order and fate, as well as the father of gods and men.
He dwelt in fact on Mount Olympus in Thessaly, which was believed to penetrate with its lofty summit into heaven itself (Homer’s Iliad,passim), i.e. into the  origin of the light.

Therefore, though Typhon - a monstrous storm-daemon with a hundred beastly heads, serpent legs and giant wings,who attempted to capture heaven - was physically stronger than Zeus,  and Kronos - the primeval god of time, a divinity who emerged self-formed at the beginning of creation - had power over the flow of time, they were less important than Zeus in Greek mythology so that both Typhon and Kronos got the worst of it  in their conflict with Zeus who was just the personification of the daylight whose presence was absolutely indispensable for mankind.

Hope this can be helpful to you.
Best regards,


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Greek and Roman mythology are my area of expertise.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

I received my Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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