Zeus Co-opts Authorities, Powers and Dominions
There are many ways to interpret myths. Many ways to interpret the Hesiodic version of the wives of Zeus. Here are a few ways to look at it.
· “The myths about the gods’ seduction of nymphs refers to marriages between (newly-arrived) Hellenic chieftains and local Moon priestesses; bitterly opposed by ‘Hera’, which means by conservative religious feeling” [i]
· The “Pan-Hellenic urge” forces Pan-Hellenic poets like Homer and Hesiod to deal with local myth and local versions on Pan-Hellenic myth; “The familiar Olympian system was then agreed upon as a compromise between Hellenic and pre-Hellenic views: a divine family of six gods and six goddesses, forming a Council of Gods in Babylonian style” [ii]
· “Zeus does not marry her, (Styx) but in a sense he co-opts or adopts her powerful children, (Rivalry, and sweet-stepping Victory, and also Strength and Force) children who could in fact become a threat to his sovereignty if not kept within his control.” [iii]
So by marrying;
1. Metis; Zeus co-opts her Wisdom, daughter Athena, who is “all for the father” and the Athenian Empire
2. Themis; Zeus attains a life-long counselor and control of his daughters’ authority over ; Eunomia (Order), Dike (Justice), and blooming Eirene (Peace) and by claiming fatherhood over Clotho, and Lachesis, and Atropos who are Destiny itself.
3) Eurynome; Zeus attains a foothold in the Orphic Mysteries and fatherhood of the three fair-cheeked social graces, Aglaea, and Euphrosyne, and lovely Thaleia,
4) Demeter; Zeus attains a foothold in the Eleusinian Mysteries.
5) Mnemosyne; Zeus can claim to be the father of the authorities on the arts and sciences, the nine gold-crowned Muses
6) Leto: Zeus has another claim of dominion over Delphi (via Leto’s mother) and can enthrone his mouthpiece and son Apollo there. In addition he can lay claim to Delos and the Ionians. Artemis delighting in arrows enthroned most famously in Ephesus is now subject to Zeus
7) Lastly, he made Hera his blooming wife, giving him dominion over the “islands” of Pelopennsia & Samos along with authority over Immortality (Hebe) and War (Ares) and (Childbirth) Eileithyia.
So whether “Zeus” is this myth represents invading Japhethic chieftains, the “Pan-Hellenic Urge“ or literally the “Father of gods and men” himself, by these marriage (and more) Zeus acquires Wisdom and Counsel, authority and dominion and finally control over immortality which for the gods is “life itself”.