Jupiter (Lat. gen. Jovis, whence the English form Jove), called Zeus by the Greeks, the greatest of the Greek and Roman gods, son of Saturn and Rhea, and brother of Neptune, Pluto, Vesta, Ceres, and Juno. As Saturn was wont to devour his children as soon as they were born, his wife Rhea, when she found herself pregnant with Jupiter, entreated Ccelus and Terra (Uranus and Ge) to save the life of the child. On their advice she fled to Crete, and concealed him in a cave of Mt. AEgaeon. As he approached maturity Jupiter gave evidence of the divinity of his nature. He delivered the Cyclops from the bonds with which they had been fettered by Saturn; gave liberty to the hundred-handed giants Briareus, Cottys, and Gyes; subdued the Titans, and shut them up in Tartarus; and finally dethroned his father, and obtained the empire of the universe, which he shared with his brothers Neptune and Pluto, assigning the dominion of the sea to the former, that of the lower regions to the latter, and reserving for his own peculiar realm the heavens and the atmosphere ; while over the earth and earthly beings the whole three exercised a joint rule.
Jupiter fixed his residence on the summit of Olympus, and took successively to wife Metis, by whom he became the father of Minerva; Themis, who bore him the Horse and the Parcae ; Eurynome, who was the mother of the Graces; Ceres and Mnemosyne, whose offspring were Proserpine and the muses; Latona, who became the mother of Apollo and Diana; and Juno, whose children by him were Mars, Hebe, and Vulcan. Jupiter was the most powerful of the gods, the supreme ruler both of mortals and immortals. Everything good or bad proceeded from him, and at his pleasure he assigned a happy or an unhappy destiny to earthly beings. He was armed with thunder and lightning, and at the shaking of his shield the tempest raged, and the rain and the hail descended. His most distinctive epithets were or Olympian, Capitolinus, from his principal temple at Rome on the Capitoline hill, and
or Tonans, "the thunderer." The most celebrated Hellenic temples of Jupiter were those of Dodona and Olympia, the latter of which contained the famous colossal statue of the god by Phidias. The eagle, the oak, and the summits of mountains were sacred to Jupiter, and his favorite sacrifices were goats, bulls, rams, and cows. Jupiter is generally represented sitting on a throne with a thunderbolt in his right hand, a sceptre in his left, and an eagle standing by him.