Zeus was the greatest of the Greek gods. He ruled over all the others. Sometimes, he was a wise and loving father. Other times, he was a stern ruler.
The Greeks believed Zeus lived on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. It was about 175 miles from Olympia. For over 1,000 years, Greeks came to Olympia to worship Zeus. About 450 B.C., the people of Olympia began building a temple for Zeus. It took 15 years to finish. Once it was done, the simple rectangular building looked kind of plain. So the people asked Phidias of Athens, one of Greece’s best sculptors, to make a statue of Zeus. The statue was awesome. It stood 40 feet tall and was covered with ivory and gold. It filled the whole temple! No one called it ordinary after that.