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Was Zeus identified with the Ram?I know Ares was the Zodiacal Ram (was Ares the son of...

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wattersr | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted April 19, 2012 at 7:39 AM via web

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Was Zeus identified with the Ram?

I know Ares was the Zodiacal Ram (was Ares the son of Zeus), but I am having a hard time accepting he was the Ram.  Was Zeus also identified with the Bull?

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narukami | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted April 19, 2012 at 7:13 PM (Answer #1)

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Zeus is most readily associated with the eagle.  However, Zeus was also famous for his amorous adventures and used several guises to seduce the objects of his desire (including a swan and a shower of gold).  He also took the form of a white bull in his seduction of Europa.

Indeed, Aries (or Mars) was a son of Zeus and the Ram was the animal associated with Aries.  One myth tells us that Zeus placed a ram in the sky (as a constellation) to honor the animal's courage and rams were often sacrificed to Zeus.

Of course, as with all mythology, there are many tales, some of which are the same basic story but given a different coat of paint, as it were, depending upon who is telling the story or where it is from.  It should be noted that the Romans built many temples to Zeus (Jupiter) each dedicated to a different aspect of that god.  There were half a dozen temples dedicated to Zeus as the source of lightning, these temples in addition to the main Roman temple to Jupiter Optimus Maximus.

See: How To Mellify A Corpse by Vicki Leon, c2010, pagers173-76.

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