Jupiter was king of the gods and lord of the heavens in Roman mythology. His name in Greek mythology was Zeus. Both the Romans and the Greeks considered him the wisest and most glorious of the gods. They believed that he controlled the winds, clouds, and seasons. Lightning and thunder were thought to be caused by Jupiter hurling his thunderbolts across the sky.

Jupiter was the son of the Titan, Saturn or (Cronus) and Rhea. Saturn was the lord of all the heavens and of earth. But a prophecy told him that one of his children would overthrow him. He tried to prevent this by swallowing each child as it was born. Rhea, however, tricked her husband by substituting a rock wrapped in baby clothes for him to swallow in place of Jupiter. After Jupiter had become a man, he attacked Saturn and defeated him. He freed his brothers and sisters and became king of the gods. One of his sisters, Juno, became his wife.

The children of Jupiter and Juno were the gods Mars and Vulcan and the goddess Hebe. His other children included the goddess Minerva, who sprang full-grown from his brain, the gods Apollo and Mercury, and the goodness Diana and Venus. Jupiter was also the father of Hercules whose mother was Alcmene.(The Golden Home and High School Encyclopedia, Golden Press, New York, 1961)

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