Zeus the Pedophile
Mark Twain: 5 short humorous blasts at religion
Lucian's satire on Zeus
Zeus the Pedophile
THE ANTICHRIST--Freidrich Nietzsche

The God's were not behaving immorally when pursing mortals for sex.  There were powers above the Gods; among them was the power of Love which could be summoned in an ineluctable spell cast by Aphrodite.   See essay at bottom of page. 



Zeus and Ganymede


Ganymede was a strikingly good-looking Trojan boy who tended flocks on Mt. Ida. One day Zeus took the form of an eagle, swooped down, picked the hot1 tip in his talons, and flew him off to heaven to be cupbearer for the gods.


ZEUS. We'll, Ganymede, now that weve reached our des­tination, gives me a kiss. I want you to see I no longer have a curved beak, claws, and wings the way I did when you thought I was a bird.


GANYMEDE. You're a man! But weren't you a bird a little while ago? Didn't you swoop down and snatch me from the middle of my flock? How did those wings fall off you? How were you able to change your appearance just now?


ZEUS. My boy, what you're looking at is neither man nor eagle. I'm king of the gods, thats who I am, and I change into whatever shape the occasion calls for.


GANYMEDE. What? Oh, then you must be Pan.1 But how come you don't have a pipe, horns, and shaggy legs?


ZEUS. Is he the only god you think there is?


GANYMEDE. Yes. We sacrifice a goat to him. We bring it to the cave where his statue is. You are god? You look like a kidnaper to me.


ZEUS. Tell me, havent you ever heard the name Zeus? Haven't you seen his altar on Cargara?2   The god of thunder, lightning, and rain?


GANYMEDE. Oh, sir, you mean youre the one who poured all the hail on us the other clay? The one they say lives in heaven and makes all that noise? The one my father sacrificed the ram to? Oh, King of the Gods, why did you carry me off? What did I do wrong? Now my sheep are all alone and the wolves will probably come down on them and ruin the flock.


ZEUS. You're immortal now. Youre going to live with us.  What are you still worrying about your sheep for?


GANYMEDE. Whats that you say? You mean youre not going to take me back to Mt. Ida today?


ZEUS. I should say not. And waste all the effort it took to turn myself from a god into an eagle?


GANYMEDE. But my father will be looking for me and hell get angry if he doesnt find me. And afterward hell give me a whipping for leaving the flock.


ZEUS. Where's he going to find you?


GANYMEDE. No, no, I want to go home to my father right now. If you take me back, I promise hell pay you for it. He'll sacrifice another ram. We have a three-year-old, the big one that leads the flock to pasture.


ZEUS. How simple and ingenuous this boy is! When you come right down to it, he's still just a child. Ganymede, put all that out of your mind. Forget about your flock, Mt. Ida, and the rest. Why, youre in heaven now, and from here youll be able to do a world of good for your father and your fatherland. And instead of cheese and milk you'll eat ambrosia and drink nectar. Whats more, you'll even pour the nectar and serve it to the rest of us. Best of all, you won't be mortal any longer; youll be immortal, and I'll make your star shine the brightest in the heavens. Oh, you'll be perfectly happy.


GANYMEDE. But if I want to play, who'll play with me? There were lots of boys my age on Mt. Ida.


ZEUS. You'll have a playmate here, tooEros over there. And we have plenty of checkers for you. So cheer up, lets have a smile, and no more sighs for what you left down there.


GANYMEDE. But what use can I be to you? Do you need shepherds here too?


ZEUS. No, but you can pour for us. You can he in charge of the nectar and serve when were having drinks.


GANYMEDE. Thats not hard. I know how to pour milk and hand the mug around.


ZEUS. Listen to that! He's back to milk again! He thinks its mortals hes going to serve. Ganymede, this is heaven. I told you we drink nectar here.


GANYMEDE. Is nectar sweeter than milk?


ZEUS. You'll see for yourself in a little while. Once youve tasted it you'll never want milk again.


GANYMEDE. Where will I sleep at night? With my play­mate Eros?


ZEUS. No. I brought you here so we could sleep together.


GANYMEDE. Can't you sleep alone? You mean its nicer for you to sleep with me?


ZEUS. With someone as beautiful as you are, Ganymede? Oh yes.


GANYMEDE. How can my being beautiful help your sleeping?


ZEUS. Your looks have a lovely magic; they'll make my sleep all the sweeter.


GANYMEDE. But my father used to get angry at me when I slept with him. When dawn came he used to say that, with my twisting and turning and kicking and talking in my sleep, I didn't let him close his eyes for a minute.  So he used to send me to bed with my mother most of the time. If that's the reason you carried me off, youd better take me right back to earth or youll be in trou­ble. I'll get on your nerves, too, with all my twisting and turning. You'll be lying awake all night.


ZEUS. If I can lie awake with you, kissing you and hold­ing you in my arms, thats the nicest thing you can do for me.


GANYMEDE. You'd know about that. But I'll be asleep, even while you're kissing me.


ZEUS. Well see to what has to be done when the time comes. Hermes! Take this boy and give him a drink of the immortal nectar. Then teach him how to serve drinks and bring him to wait on us


Lucian (circa 120-after 180), Greek writer and rhetorician, famed for his development of the satiric dialogue. He was born in Samosata (now Samsat, Turkey) and early devoted himself to the study of rhetoric and philosophy. He traveled throughout the Roman Empire as far as Gaul as a lecturer on literary-philosophical themes and orator and then settled in Athens, turning to the writing of dialogues. His oeuvre runs some 80 pieces, most of which are genuine.  They are literary dialogues that fuse Old Comic and popular and/or literary philosophy to produce a novel blend of comic prose dialogue (for which I have supplied 3 of his best).  His satire is directed chiefly at superstitious beliefs and false philosophical doctrines.  He is also an accomplished miniaturist, essayist, and raconteur exploring the art of prose paraphrase of verse of classics from Homer to Theocritus.  Among the best known of his dialogues are Dialogues of the Gods, Dialogues of the Dead, and The Sale of Lives.  His fantastic tale, True History, is a parody of the fictions put forward as facts by early poets and historians. This work contains a journey to the moon and adventures within the belly of a huge sea monster; it is thus the precursor of such works as Pantagruel by the 16th-century French satirist François Rabelais and Gulliver's Travels by the 18th-century English satirist Jonathan Swift.  Lucian wrote in an easy, fluent Greek prose.[1]  His attack on  the oracle monger Alexander of Abonuteichos (Alexander or the False Prophet) is  the first, detailed expose of a skeptic exposing a religious fraud, one who had a sizeable following around Black Sea and in the Balkans.--JK 


[1]"Lucian," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2000. © 1993-1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.


Aphrodite and Her Pranks--jk


The ancients had realistic Gods.  Yahweh, for example, was jealous, vengeful, more powerful than the Egyptian gods, had a consort Asherah, and was demanding.   Aphrodite was fun-loving, romantic, and full of pranks.  Lucian finds humor n the story of Ganymede and Zeus.  The Greeks and Romans knew that the Gods did not lust for mortals, except when forced by the ineluctable spell cast by Aphrodite. 


It was beneath their station to seek mortals.  Yet Aphrodite, the fun loving Goddess, repeatedly cast ineluctable spells upon the Gods--but not the Goddesses, whom she feared the raft of.  Hera, for example disliked Aphrodite because of the pranks she played upon her husband Zeus.  Hera’s persecution of the mortal lovers of Zeus was appropriate given the difference in status between gods and mortals, for the relationship was like that of a great king to his peasants. 


To pay back Aphrodite for her pranks, Zeus cast an ineluctable urge for mortals (first Adonis and and later anchises).   With her second shaming, this prank of hers was abandoned.  Anchises was the last mortal loved by the Gods and Goddesses. 


The Greek peoples settled Anatolia, and thus the Trojans were their kin.  The connection also is through Zeus and Pleiades Electra, the parents of Dardanus who lived originally in Arcadia (central Peloponnesia).   He established the line of kings which ended with Priam, the last Trojan king.  Aeneas son Aschises (also known as Julius) founded Alba Longa tribe in Italy (who we call the Latins).  He was also the first of a long series of kings.  Romulus and Remus were both descendants of Aeneas though his mother Rhea Silvia, thus making Aeneas progenitor of the Roman people.  Troy fell in 1184 BC and Rome was founded in 753 BC, Julius Caesar and Augustus are of the Julian family and thus trace their lineage to Ascanius Aeneas' son, and thus also Aphrodite.  The legendary kings of Britain traced through a grandson of Aeneas to Brutus.  Another late tale places Brutus as the illegatimate son of Caesar.   




Leda was daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius, and wife of the Spartan king Tyndareus.  Due to an ineluctable spell put on Zeus by Aphrodite, Zeus in the guise of a swan seduced Leda.  That night her husband, Tyndareus also knew his wife.  Various accounts are given of the children born for the two unions. Most often it is Helen (of Zeus) and the Dioscurii (two brothers Castor and Pollux, one of Zeus and the other of Tyndareus) and Clytemnestra also mortal.  A long multi-adventure saga about the fall of Troy with many side tales in which Helen figures prominently.  Helen’s fated abduction/seduction by Paris, the son of the King of Troy, resulted in the Greeks sending a fleet to Troy to reclaim the wife of Menelaus.  From this Troy falls, and Aeneas, a trojan heror and son of Aphrodite, flees.  He founds eventually land in Italy and establish the Latin tribe. 

          Each portion of the tale was fully developed.  For example, Tyndareus, the Spartan King and husband of Lead, had a contest to decide who would marry his daughter Helen.  All the great Achaean princes gathered for this event.  Odysseus had the suitors make a sacred oath that if anyone would violate the sanctity of the victor’s marriage to Helen, that the princes would all contribute an army to punish the offending party. 

      Another tale was told to correct the ungodly behavior of a daughter of Zeus, that of her violating her marriage to Menelaus.  In this tale, Helen never went to Troy, but rather was taken to Egypt, where she resided until by fate Menelaus, blown off course on his return from Troy found her.  Zeus had made a likeness of her whom Paris took to Troy. 

         The tales of faith were told according what was considered proper for their gods—much like the tales about Jesus and Yahweh.  Works of faith, like other folk tales, reflect community beliefs.

Zeus soon put an end to his daughter’s pranks.  Aeneas was the half mortal son of Aphrodite.  This was followed by a second, an ineluctable love for Adonis, who was fated to die shortly they became lovers.  After that the God’s no longer behaved ungodly:  they knew not mortals again.  (The Jewish gods too knew mortals, see Genesis 6:1.  Unfortunate the rest of their folk tale had not survived.)

     It has been assumed that Hera's anger was mainly direct at Zeus over his affairs.  Hera's anger was rather mainly directed at the lowly mortals, and she despised Aphrodite.  Even though the women of Zeus could not resist the god, they nevertheless had offended Hera, and thereby earned her punishment, as did the progeny of this union.  Within this community belief numerous tales were told of the results of the union of gods and mortals. 




             Christian translations are slanted to make the Greek worship seem primitive in comparison to Christianity. I could fill pages about the various ways in which, the common understanding, the flavor of reverence, and the Greek religious works have been slighted. This rewrite has been so through that as to go un-noticed.  Christian writers fail to not their own religions similar primitive foundations. The Greek tales by the 5thcentury were superior to those produced by the Jewish camel jockeys.   By the first century beliefs had progressed, but still the tales of the New Testament are primitive.  One basic doctrine, original sin, and the necessity of Christ to come to earth as a mortal for to through his crucifixion to break this chain is worthy of a cartoon. The people who listened to the Dialogues of Plato for entertainment were more modern 4 centuries earlier than the Hebrews who gave us the New Testament.