By Ken Dowden

© 2004 – Routledge

192 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415305037
pub: 2005-12-09
Hardback: 9780415305020
pub: 2005-12-13

e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

The first book to capture a complete picture of the most important of Greek gods in one reliable volume for almost seventy years, this masterly and comprehensive study brings a new-millennium examination of the fascinating god Zeus.

Broad in scope, the book looks at myth, art, cult, philosophy, drama, theology and European painting amongst much more, and allows us to take seriously what it was to worship and respect the greatest of Greek gods, and to live through the aftershock of the Middle Ages and modern times.

Showing the evidence along the way, Zeus is student-friendly and includes:

  • a range of illustrations and maps
  • translated passages from ancient authors
  • a chronology and excellent indexing.

Looking at the ancient Greeks their predecessor and their successors – the Romans and beyond – the book is engagingly written and speaks to a modern audience: this is Zeus from our remote ancestors to Wagner, and into the computer age.


'[This book] fizzes with ideas on every page' - The Anglo-Hellenic Review

"[Dowden's] careful presentation and analysis of the previous large bibliography makes this book a good introduction even to the study of ancient religion. Good illustrations add to its appeal. [This] is the best introduction to his image and cult"-Oxford Bibliographies Online

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Origins of Zeus 2. The Worship of Zeus 3. The Portrait of Zeus (Archaic and Classical) 4. Hellenistic and Roman Zeus 5. Zeus and Jupiter in a Modern World

About the Series

Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World

The gods and heroes of classical antiquity are part of our culture, functioning as sources of creative inspiration for poets, novelists, artists, composers, filmmakers and designers alike. This series is concerned with how and why these figures continue to fascinate and intrigue. But it has another aim too, namely to explore their strangeness. The familiarity of the gods and heroes risks obscuring a vital difference between modern meanings and ancient functions and purpose.  

The diversity of the Gods and Heroes is recognised and the series consists not of biographies of each god or hero but of investigations into their multifaceted aspects within the complex world of ancient paganism. Gods and Heroes of the Ancient World sheds new light on many of the most important religious beings of classical antiquity and provides a route into understanding Greek and Roman polytheism in the twenty-first century.  

The series is geared to the needs of students in a wide range of fields from Greek and Roman religion and mythology, classical literature and anthropology, to Renaissance literature and cultural studies. 

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Ancient / Greece
HISTORY / Civilization