Zeus swallowed his wife Metis, titan of Wisdom, because he feared the prophecy that a son between the two of them would overrule him. It is then said that Metis became the source of Zeus's wisdom. Perhaps it's just my undeveloped sense, but, from all that I've read, I don't really see any wisdom from him, like, at all.

When has he shown Wisdom in his actions?


When he didn't destroy the world by with lightning bolts after his run-in with Lycaon because of a prophecy that the universe would be destroyed by fire (instead using flood):

And now his thunder bolts would Jove wide scatter, but he feared the flames, unnumbered, sacred ether might ignite and burn the axle of the universe: and he remembered in the scroll of fate, there is a time appointed when the sea and earth and Heavens shall melt, and fire destroy the universe of mighty labour wrought.
SOURCE: Metamorphoses, P. Ovidius Naso, 1.253 ff

I'm sure there are other examples of Zeus being wise, but Zeus was known for scheming more than wisdom, in my recollection.

  • So his only reason for not using his bolts is fear? – Andrew Johnson May 2 '18 at 1:17
  • In this one case, according to Ovid. (Apologies for the limited answer. I'm sure there are more examples, just that very little of my research subsequent to university involves Zeus' stories. [I'd highly recommend the compendium "The Greek Myths" (Graves) because he aggregates all of the stories and includes an extensive index. It's still the best resource in terms of comprehensive treatment of the canon, imho, and my first stop when running down citations for uncited material on the internet.]) – DukeZhou May 3 '18 at 17:42

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