Who Was the Son of Zeus?

While Heracles is arguably Zeus’s most famous son, the chief god had many others as well, including Asopus, Hephaestus, Perseus, Phasis, Minos, Aeacus, Aegipan, Ares, Apollo, Dardanus, Dionysus, Hermes, Herse, the Palici and Zagreus. Some daughters of Zeus include Agdistis, Athena, Artemis, Aphrodite, Britomartis, Caerus, the Horae, Hebe, Helen of Troy, the Litae, Melinoe, the Muses, Pandeia and the Graces. The parentage and even the names of Greek gods vary by source, so there is no definitive list of all of Zeus’s children.

Heracles was born to the mortal woman Alcmene after a tryst with Zeus. When Hera, Zeus’s wife, discovered Heracles, she sent two serpents to kill the infant. However, Heracles was strong even as a baby, and he managed to strangle the serpents with one in each hand. As Heracles grew up, he proved himself to be an exemplary warrior, archer and wrestler, and eventually he had a family of his own.

However, Hera still despised Heracles, and she used her power to send him into a rage that caused him to slaughter his wife and children. To repent for this crime, he embarked on what became known as the Labors of Heracles, a series of quests including his famous fight against the Hydra. Afterward, Heracles continued to engage in various quests, including helping Jason and his Argonauts, and when he finally died, his mortal half was burned away and he became a full-fledged god.