The Greek god of the skies is Zeus. As Greek god of the skies, Zeus is responsible for lightning, thunder, clouds, and rain. Most stories of Greek mythology describe Zeus as using his thunderbolt, but one myth, in particular, tells us how Zeus gave mortals rain.
Zeus Becomes God of the Skies
After the war between the Olympians and the Titans, the victorious Olympians had to decide who among them would become god of the skies, god of the seas, and god of the underworld.
In his wisdom, fairness, and mediation that would be seen throughout his life, Zeus proposed that he and his brothers Poseidon and Hades, draw lots to determine which area each would rule.
Zeus drew the skies, Poseidon drew the seas, and Hades drew the underworld.
Zeus Gives Mortals Rain
As Greek god of the skies, Zeus could control the weather, though he often used his lightning and thunderbolt to let those know he was displeased with something they had done.
After the war with the Titans and Zeus became the god of the skies, mortals slowly stopped praying to the gods. Mortals felt like they had everything they needed and did not need to pray to the gods for anything.
Eventually, Zeus decided that mortals needed to remember to pray to the gods and not take things they had on earth for granted; food being one of them.
To persuade mortals to pray to the gods, Zeus took away the rain that allowed vegetation to grow, resulting in a famine.
At first, mortals were unaware that there was a shortage of food because there was plenty of food available before the famine began. After a while, the food ran out, and mortals began to pray. Because of their prayers, Zeus gave mortals rain to restore their harvest.
Mortals Need a Sign when Rain is Coming
Titan Prometheus was responsible for making mortals, so he was very close to them. Any time he could help mortals, Prometheus would do it, and this includes letting them know when rain is coming.
Mortals never knew when Zeus would send them rain, so they had no way to prepare for it or plan to store it when it came. Prometheus saw this struggle and decided to help them, so he asked his brother Epimetheus to assist him.
As Zeus is the god of the sky and the sky is where rain comes from, Prometheus decided that mortals should look for a sign in the sky when rain is coming.
Prometheus Creates the Clouds
Prometheus saw a lamb and decided that he would use its wool as the sign of rain. Prometheus took the wool from the lamb and kept it until Zeus would send rain. When Zeus would send rain to the mortals, Prometheus would throw the lamb’s wool into the sky as a sign that rain was coming.
Zeus Punishes Prometheus and Epimetheus
Zeus did not appreciate Prometheus interfering with his method of providing rain to mortals. Zeus could not take the clouds from the sky and decided he would need to punish Prometheus and Epimetheus for their interference.
Zeus understood that Prometheus was bound to mortals and desired to help them, so he punished him just and fair. The gods agreed in Zeus’s decision of punishment for Prometheus and Epimetheus and helped him execute his plan.
Zeus and the gods turned Prometheus into the sun and Epimetheus into the moon. This way, they could continue to help mortals while being far away from one another.