Rheia   Ree ah

Mother to the Olympians

Rheia was the wife of devious Kronos (Cronos) and mother to the Olympians: Zeus, Hestia, Hades, Poseidon, Hera and Demeter. Without her help, Zeus would never have come to power. As Kronos was about to slay his father, Ouranos (Heaven), he was warned that his own son would someday depose him. In fear and greed, Kronos swallowed his first children as they were born, but Rheia tricked Kronos and when the sixth child, Zeus, was born, she substituted a stone for the infant and Kronos swallowed it down, not knowing that his father’s prophecy was coming to fruition. Zeus was hidden by Rheia and raised in secret until he was old enough to fulfill his destiny. One day Zeus ambushed Kronos while he out hunting. Zeus kicked Kronos in the stomach so hard the aged god vomited up the stone and the five divine, undigested gods and goddesses.

Kronos was punished and sent to the Underworld. Rheia was rewarded for her kindness and held in high regard by all the Olympians.

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Rheia in The Iliad (listed by book and line)

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