Posts Tagged ‘Leda’

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"Helene glorifee" by Gustave Moreau (1897).

“Hélène glorifiée” by Gustave Moreau (1897).

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Helen of Troy, also known as Helen of Sparta, was the daughter of Zeus and Leda and sister of Clytemnestra, Castor and Pollux.

Pollux shared a father with Helen (Zeus), whilst Castor’s and Clytemnestra’s father was he king of Sparta, Tyndareus.

In Greek myths, Helen was considered the most beautiful woman in the world.

By marriage she was Queen of Laconia, a province within Homeric Greece, the wife of King Menelaus, who was Agamemnon‘s brother.

When it was time for Helen to marry, many princes came to seek her hand.

During the contest, Castor and Pollux had a prominent role in dealing with the suitors, although the final decision was in the hands of King Tyndareus, Helen’s father.

Menelaus, her future husband, did not attend but sent his brother, Agamemnon on his behalf.

Before this, when Helen was a young girl she was kidnapped by Theseus

In most accounts of this event, this happened when Helen was seven years old.

It is said that two athenians, Theseus and Pirithous, thought that since they were both sons of gods, both of them should have divine wives; they thus pledged to help each other abduct two daughters of Zeus.

Thus Theseus chose Helen, and Pirithous vowed to marry Persephone, the wife of Hades.

Hades pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast, but, as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and held them there. Helen’s abduction caused an invasion of Athens by Castor and Pollux, who captured Aethra (Theseus’ mother) in revenge, and returned their sister to Sparta.

After the Judgement of Prince Paris, she was presumably abducted by him and this led to the Trojan War

That is why Helen is also known as the face that launched a thousand ships.

Helen is sometimes depicted as being abducted and even raped by Paris.

However, Sappho argues that Helen willingly left behind Menelaus to be with Paris.

Homer depicts her as a wistful, even a sorrowful, figure, coming to regret her choice and wishing to be reunited with Menelaus.

Paris was killed during the Trojan War, and according to Homer’s “Iliad”, Helen was reunited with Menelaus, though other versions of the legend recount her ascending to Olympus instead, or even getting re-married with Priam’s surviving son Deiphobus, who she will betrayed hiding his sword, immediatly after the sack of Troy had begun.

During the fall of Troy, Homer says that after the Trojan Horse was admitted into the city Helen circled the Horse imitating  the voices of the Greek women left behind at home, almost like the Sirens did. Thus, she tortured  the men inside the wooden horse (including Odysseus and Menelaus) with the memory of their loved ones, and brought them to the brink of destruction.

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"Helen on the Walls of Troy" by Gustave Moreau (1895).

“Helen on the Walls of Troy” by Gustave Moreau (1895).

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The faces that launched a thousand ships. Both Frederick Leighton (left), and Gustave Moreau (right) depict an expressionless Helen; a blank or anguished face.

“Helen on the Walls of Troy”. (Two paintings dated 19th century). Both Gustave Moreau (1) and Frederick Leighton (2) depict an expressionless Helen. Blurry, anguished faces, that precisely “launched a thousand ships”.

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Gallery: “Helen of Troy”:

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The story of Helen began in young life

As Theseus plotted to take a Divine wife

Conflict ensued as her brothers did invade

Capturing Theseus’s Mother, revenged repaid

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Helen of Sparta, Daughter of Zeus

A beauty to behold blooming with youth

She attracted her suitors to ask for her hand

Menelaus won her; Becoming Queen of his land

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Abducted by Paris, or did she willingly run?

As Oaths to her King another battle was begun

Her face did launch a thousand ships to sea

As Helen of Troy, another legend began to be

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Helen of Troy, a beauty to behold,

A Trojan Horse, a plan so bold

Queen of Laconia, Menelaus her King

Now coupled with Paris, more tragedy to bring

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Who can say what heartache transpired?

Daughter of Zeus, extremely desired

Did she find Happiness? Who can tell?

But what we do know- Men fell under her spell..

 ©2015 Sue Dreamwalker.-

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►About Sue Dreamwalker:

Sue Dreamwalker is a Mother, a Wife, a Poet, a writer, and an Artist.
She hosts a wonderful blog, Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary
You can also connect with Sue at Google Plus.

►Sue Dreamwalker Dixit: 

“I am an ordinary woman who sees beyond this Vale,
Who wants to share her light and knowledge with others
I walk my path trying to help others along the way,
I hold a Dream of life that will end decay 
My path is long and the road may be tough 
But each of us has to try and give back and say enough is enough
So I share my visions through poems and thought
of hopes and Dreams in this life we get caught”.~
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Sue Dreamwalker. Visit her Blog: https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/

Sue Dreamwalker. Visit her Blog: https://suedreamwalker.wordpress.com/

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I would like to thank Henar de Andrés from “Pensando en la Oscuridad” for nominating me for a Black Wolf Blogger Award.

I would also like to thank  José Sala and Millie Thom for both nominating me for two Very Inspiring Blogger Awards (OMG & Puppy Versions).

please make sure to check out their blogs and to follow them, If you haven’t still done so!. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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►Rules for these Three Awards:

♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
♠ Add the logo to your post.
♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform your nominees by commenting on their blogs. 

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►I) Nominees~ Black Wolf Blogger Award (Sparkles Version):

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1. Souldier Girl 2. Uninteresting Calc Equations 3. The Main Focus 4. Fedpoint86 5. Jully’s Blog 6. The Bégel’s Blab 7. It’s Jieyang! 8. Kintal 9. Underground Energy 10. Eye will not cry.

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►II) Nominees~Very Inspiring Blogger Award (OMG Version):

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1. Caminando 2. Collage a la Intemperie 3. Milam Ahard 4. Mimoreliadospuntocero 5. VivalaViv 6. Americana Injustica 7. All Out of Excuses 8. Bear Trainer 9. My red abyss 10. Perso in Poesia 2015.

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►III) Nominees~Very Inspiring Blogger Award (Puppy Version):

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1. Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings 2. Desertsunsaga 3. 4. The wind horse blog 5. The Cvillean 6. Ana Linden 7. Coming Out Crooked 8. Captain’s Log 9. The Dark Night Chronicles 10. Spahr Plops.

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►Links Post:
http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/g_l/hd/abouthelen.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_of_Troy
http://whitedragon.org.uk/articles/troy.htm
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/ElAnt/V10N2/
http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/JudgementParis.html
http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/troyilium/a/helenoftroybasc.htm

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Leda and the Swan” by Gustave Moreau. (1865-1875). On the Right: “Leda” by Gustave Moreau (1875-1880).

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Leda was daughter of the aetolian King Thestius and wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta.

Zeus took the form of a swan to seduce Leda. 

In Greek tradition, the Swan is the symbol of the Muses. The swan also has erotic connotations, such as in the love affair between Zeus and Leda. Also, the Greek Goddess of Beauty and Love, Aphrodite, had a swan-drawn chariot. Besides The swan, as a symbol of music, is also dedicated to Apollo, who was said to transform into a swan.

Back to the retelling: Zeus and Leda had sexual relationships the same night she had slept with her husband. 

Their consummation, on the same night as Leda lay with her husband Tyndareus, resulted in two eggs from which hatched the four children. (Zeus’ s and Tyndareus’).

According to later Greek mythology, Leda bore Helen (later known as Helen of Troy) and Polydeuces, children of Zeus, while at the same time bearing Castor and Clytemnestra, children of her husband and King of Sparta Tyndareus.

According to other sources, Nemesis, the Goddess of Revenge, produced the egg from which hatched the two sets of twins: Helen of Troy and Clytenmestra and the Discouri Castor and Pollux. Worth noting that these set of twins are supposedly from different fathers….

Clytenmestra and Helen were problematic women. The Trojan War will be provoked by the abduction of Helen.

And Clytemnestra will later on kill his own husband, Agamemnon and this is another incident related to the Trojan War.

Saying it briefly, the Greek Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, was kidnapped by the Trojans, so the Greeks besieged the city of Troy; after the war, Clytemnestra, the wife of the Greek leader Agamemnon, murdered him, with teh help of her lover, Aegistus.

Leda’s twin-sons, Castor and (Polydeuces or) Pollux, were renowned for their tender attachment to each other. They were also famous for their physical accomplishments, Castor being the most expert charioteer of his day, and Pollux the coward brother.

Their names appear both among the hunters of the Calydonian boar-hunt and the heroes of the Argonautic expedition.

Zeus wished to confer the gift of immortality upon Polydeuces as he was his son but he refused to accept it unless allowed to share it with Castor.

Zeus gave the desired permission, and the faithful brothers were both allowed to live, but only on alternate days. Castor and Polydeuces, also known as The Dioscuri received divine honours throughout Greece, and were worshipped with special reverence at Sparta.

Leda also had other daughters by Tyndareus: Timadra, Phoebe and Philonoe.

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Helen on the Walls of Troy” by Gustave Moreau. (1885). On the Right: Up: “Castor and Pollux, The Heavenly Twins”, by Giovanni Battista Cipriani. (1783). On the Right: Down: “Clytemnestra” by Frederick Leighton. (19th century).

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On the Left:

On the Left: “Leda and The Swan” by Leonardo da Vinci (1510). On the Right: Detail, “Leda and the Swan”: The children of Leda.

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On the Right:

On the Left: “Leda” by Leonardo da Vinci (1510 -1515). On the Right: “Leda and the Swan” by Francesco Melzi (16th century).

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►Reading: W. B. Yeats’ Poem “Leda and the Swan”:

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 ►Analysis of W. B. Yeats’ Poem “Leda and the Swan”:

William Butler Yeats (1865/1939).

William Butler Yeats (1865/1939).

“Leda and the Swan” (1924) is a Petrarchan Sonnet (*), a traditional fourteen-line poem predominantly written in Iambic Pentameter (**). [See notes below].

The poet retells a story from Greek mythology, the rape of the Princess of Sparta, Leda by the god Zeus, who had assumed the form of a swan.

Yeats combines words indicating powerful actions (sudden blow, beating, staggering, beating, shudder, mastered, burning, mastered) with adjectives and descriptive words that indicate Leda’s weakness (“caressed”, “helpless”, “terrified”, “vague”, “loosening”). By doing this, he increases the sensory impact of the poem.

The first eight lines of “Leda and the Swan” describe the act of rape from Leda’s perspective. The ninth line, appropriately enough, ends the description of the sexual act.

The last six lines of the poem, then, narrate the consequences of the it, for Leda, personally, and those ones related to the Trojan War.

“Leda and the Swan” looks a little different than other sonnets. It has three stanzas and 14 verses.

But, verse 11 appears to be broken off into two lines. Yeats probably divided this verse in order to heighten the drama of Agamemnon being dead and to show how the poem shifts back to Leda’s perspective.

•The first stanza is characterized by violent beats and pauses.

•The second stanza shifts to more flowing lines as Yeats philosophically reflects on the events. The verses here are structured by the question “how,” and there are many adjectives (“terrified,” “vague,” “feathered,” “loosening,” “white,” “strange”).

•In the third stanza, the adjectives pile up as the poem builds to the solemn declaration, “And Agamemnon dead”. 

The rhythm comes to a screeching halt as verse 11 is fractured over two lines, in order to reach emotional height. This stanza connects Leda’s hymenal wall with the walls of  the city of Troy.

The last verses of the poem become calm again. Yeats  returns to his percussive gentle beats, incorporating some alliteration (“brute blood”). Yeats will then wonder whether Leda, through her contact with Zeus, would be able to foresee how the result of their union—Helen—would bring about the fall of a great city. Hence, the poem ends with a rhetorical question, introduced as a sort of irresolvable doubt

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(*) The Petrarchan Sonnet is named after Petrarch, a 14th century Italian poet who made the form popular throughout Europe. Like all sonnets, the Petrarchan sonnet has 14 lines. Unlike all sonnets, it also has a major thematic shift after the eighth line. At this point, the poem introduces a new subject or shifts its perspective in some way.
(**) Iambic Pentameter is closely associated with Blank Verse, Iambic is an adjective. Iamb is the noun and is short for Iambus. Iambus is from the Greek and refers to two. Therefore, Iamb refers to a foot, or any two syllable“unit”, referred to as a foot by metrists, consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (or ictus).  An example of Iambic Pentameter in Yeats’ poem “Leda and the Swan” is: “He holds her help-less breast u-pon his breast“.

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►Gallery Of Paintings: “Leda and The Swan” (Leda and Zeus):

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“Leda and the Swan” by William Shackleton. (1928).

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 ►Links Post:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_and_the_Swan

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leda_(mythology)

http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/myth-stories/lovers-of-zeus.ht

http://aliisaacstoryteller.com/2015/06/15/irish-mythology-the-swan/

http://www.druidry.org/library/animals/swan

http://www.sparknotes.com/poetry/yeats/section7.rhtml

http://www.shmoop.com/leda-and-swan/poem-text.html

http://www.betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com/leda-and-the-swan-warning-necessary/

https://poemshape.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/what-is-iambic-pentameter-the-basics/

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I would like to thank José Sala for nominating me for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

I also want to thank  Optimista Blog for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger Award.

Last but not least thanks to Janet Wertman for nominating me for another Versatile Blogger Award.

Thanks to these three bloggers and please make sure to check out their blogs and to follow them, If you haven’t still done so!.~ 🙄  

Note: For the three awards, I will nominate blogs I have recently came across and like, recent followers and/or plussers. Also, I am changing the logos so that way I can include new awards among mine… And, finally, I will follow the nomination process without answering questions or mentioning facts about me…. 

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►Rules for these Three Awards:

♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
♠ Add the logo to your post.
♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform your nominees by commenting on their blogs. 

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►I) Nominees~Very Inspiring Blogger Award (Monkey & Sunflower Version):

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1. The Wayward Warrior 2. MidiMike 3. The Spendy Pencil 4. Unbolt 5. Yadadarcyyada 6. José Sala 7. Sunshine and Shadows 8. Optimista Blog 9. Pomad 10. The Daily Rant.

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►II) Nominees~Versatile Blogger Award (Purple Version):

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1. Carole Migalka 2. JoHanna Massey 3. Lightwalker’s Blog 4. Bibliobulimica 5. Life, the Universe and Lani 6. A Beautiful Mess 7. The Vanessa Chronicles 8. Allyson Lee Adams 9. Kerry’s loft 10. Mountaintop Talk.

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►III) Nominees~Versatile Blogger Award (Bird Version):

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1. Cadence4life 2. The Perceptions Square 3. Arwenaragornstar  4. The Chaos Realm 5. Shehanne Moore 6. Janet Wertman 7. Extravaganza Beading 8. Autumn Melody 9. The More I Learn the More I Wonder 10. Emily Lichtenberg

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Jupiter and Europe by Gustave Moreau (1868

“Jupiter and Europe” by Gustave Moreau (1868).

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Zeus was the supreme god in Ancient Greece, the father of the Olympian gods and the ruler of mankind. He was identified with the Roman god Jupiter and associated with other deities, such as the Egyptian god Ammon and the Etruscan god Tinia. 

He was regarded by the Greeks as the god of all natural phenomena on the sky; the personification of the laws of nature; the ruler of the state; and finally, the father of gods and men.

Zeus was the last child of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Zeus had five older siblings. Two brothers (Poseidon and Hades), and three sisters (Hestia, Hera and Demeter).

Cronus had learnt that he was destined to be overthrown by his son as he had previously overthrown Uranus, his own father. His wife Rhea, knew that he would kill the baby so she sought Gaia to devise a plan to save him.

Finally, Rhea she gave birth to Zeus in Crete and hid him in a cave and he was raised by Gaia. 

As mentioned previously, Zeus’ father, Cronus, had sired several five children by Rhea, but he swallowed them all as soon as they were born.  After reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge his  siblings in reverse order of swallowing.

Then he released the brothers of Cronus, the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus.

Zeus married his own sister, Herathe goddess of marriage and monogamy, but was giving her plenty of reasons to be jealous, since Zeus was renowned of his numerous lovers As a result, Zeus fathered plenty of children.

By Hera, Zeus sired Ares and Hephaestus (who would be both Aphrodite’s lovers) and Hebe, the goddess of youth. 

He had love affairs with Demeter (the Goddess of the Harvest and Perspehone’s mother), Leto (the Goddess of Motherhood), Dione (the personification of a more ancient Mother Goddess), Maia (a Nymph) and Thetis (A Sea Nymph and leader of the Fifty Nereids). Also Metis, (one of the Okeanides and the Titan goddess of good counsel and advise) was his lover and his first wife and Athena (the goddess of wisdom) was their daughter.

Among mortals she had several lovers such as Io, Leda, Europa, and even the handsome young man Ganymede, to whom Zeus granted him eternal youth and immortality. Seleme was also among them and with her Zeus sired Dionysus (The god of Wine).

Zeus was the god of regulated time as marked by the changing seasons and the regular succession of day and night, in contrast to what his father Cronus represented before him; absolute time, meaning eternity.

As the personification of the operations of nature, he represented the glaws of unchanging order, by which both the natural and the spiritual world were governed.

As the father of the gods, Zeus ascertained that each deity perform their individual duty, punished their misdeeds, settled their disputes, and acted towards them on all occasions.

The symbols of Zeus were the scepter, the throne and the thunderbolt, which was as a gift from the Cyclopes after he liberated them. Zeus’ tree was theoak tree and his sacred animal was the eagle. Using his shield, the Aegis, he could create all natural phenomena related to the air and the sky, such as storms and tempests.

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Jupiter and Semele by Gustave Moreau (1895).

“Jupiter and Semele” by Gustave Moreau (1895).

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Zeus and Ganymede. (theft of fire) by Christian Griepenkerl (1878) .

“Zeus and Ganymede. (Ttheft of fire)” by Christian Griepenkerl (1878) .

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Jupiter and Thetis, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. 1811.

“Jupiter and Thetis”, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. (1811).

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“O Zeus, much-honoured, Zeus supremely great, to thee our holy rites we consecrate, our prayers and expiations, king divine, for all things to produce with ease through mind is thine. Hence mother earth (Gaia) and mountains swelling high proceed from thee, the deep and all within the sky. Kronion king, descending from above, magnanimous, commanding, sceptred Zeus; all-parent, principle and end of all, whose power almighty shakes this earthly ball; even nature trembles at thy mighty nod, loud-sounding, armed with lightning, thundering god. Source of abundance, purifying king, O various-formed, from whom all natures spring; propitious hear my prayer, give blameless health, with peace divine, and necessary wealth”. [Orphic Hymn 15 to Zeus. (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)]~

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Zeus at Olympia, One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”:

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“Zeus at Olympia”, sculture by Phidias. Drawings.

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On the Left: A fanciful reconstruction of Phidias’ statue of Zeus, in an engraving made by Philippe Galle in 1572. On the Right: Coin from Elis district, Greece illustrating the Olympian Zeus statue.

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The Statue of “Zeus at Olympia” was a giant seated figure, about 42 ft (13 m) tall, made by the Greek sculptor Phidias around 435 BC at the sanctuary of Olympia, Greece, and erected in the Temple of Zeus. It  It was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, until its eventual destruction for unknown causes during the 5th century AD.
In the 2nd century AD, the geographer Pausanias gave a detailed description. The statue was crowned with a sculpted wreath of olive sprays. It had gold sandals, and a golden robe carved with animals and lilies. In its right hand was a small chryselephantine statue of crowned Nike, goddess of victory. Its left hand held a sceptre inlaid with many metals, supporting an eagle. The throne was decorated in gold, precious stones, ebony, and ivory. 
The Roman “Seated Zeus” sculpture is considered a copy of the original Statue of Zeus, and it was created following the type established by Phidias.
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Zeus enthroned holding a royal sceptre and winged Nike (Victory), and with an eagle by his side. Roman copy inspired by Greek ivory and gold statue of Zeus at Olympia by Pheidias. Marble & Bronze . Imperial Roman. C1st AD Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.

“Zeus at Olympia”. Zeus enthroned holding a royal sceptre and winged Nike (Victory), and with an eagle by his side. Roman copy inspired by Greek ivory and gold statue of Zeus at Olympia by Phidias. Marble & Bronze . Imperial Roman. C1st AD Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.

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Zeus enthroned holding a royal sceptre and winged Nike (Victory), and with an eagle by his side.  Roman copy inspired by Greek ivory and gold statue of Zeus at Olympia by Pheidias. Marble & Bronze . Imperial Roman. C1st AD Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.

“Zeus at Olympia”. Roman copy inspired by Greek ivory and gold statue of Zeus at Olympia by Phidias. Marble & Bronze . Imperial Roman. C1st AD Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia.

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Gallery: “Zeus, The Ruler of Gods”:

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Links Post: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeus
http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/GreekGods/Zeus/
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hi/hi_fidegze.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Zeus_at_Olympia
http://www.greek-gods.info/greek-gods/zeus/#zeus-family
http://www.talesbeyondbelief.com/roman-gods/jupiter.htm
http://www.greekmythology.com/Olympians/Zeus/zeus.html
http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/sevens-wonders-of-the-ancient-world

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I would like to thank Purple Anais from Arwenaragornstar for nominating me for a Lovely Blog Award.

I also want to thank The Chaos Realm for nominating me for a Versatile Blogger Award.

Finally I appreciate that Unbolt nominated me for a Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.

Thanks to these three bloggers and please make sure to check out their blogs and to follow them, If you haven’t still done so!.~ 😎  

Note: In this ocassion and for the three awards, I will nominate blogs I have recently came across and like, recent followers and plussers. Also,  I will follow the nomination process without answering questions or mentioning facts about me…. 

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►Rules for these Three Awards:

♠ Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
♠ Add the logo to your post.
♠Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform your nominees by commenting on their blogs. 

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►I) Nominees~Lovely Blog Award (True Colors Version):

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1. Tina Frisco 2. The Golden Echo 3. The Peacock Feather 4. For the love of Nike  5. Speculations Impressed 6. Poet Charms 7. The Rose Hotel 8. Margaret Langstaff 9. June Kearns  10. An Honest Sinner

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►II) Nominees~Versatile Blogger Award (Flowers Version):

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versatile-blogger-award (flowers)

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1. Echoes and Reflections 2. Eudaimonia 3. The Haute Mommy Handbook 4. Into the forgotten 5. Words of No Wisdom 6. Welcome to my World 7. Chronicle Me 8. Fifty Shades of Reality 9. Hiddenaltar 10. Jakariabulbul

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►III) Nominees~Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award (Cool Version):

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1. Drifting through my Open Mind 2. Naponteaerea 3. Lenkalaskoradova 4. The return of the Modern Philosopher 5. 101 Half Connected Things 6. Everyday People 7. Catalina Trujillo 8. The Book Haven 9. Robin’s Real Life 10. Kultur Post

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