Zeus is a figure in Greek mythology and the leader of the Olympians—the gods and goddesses who were worshiped by the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that Zeus and his followers defeated an earlier race of gods—the Titans—in a battle that burned the Earth s surface. Zeus established a home for himself and the other Olympian gods and goddesses above Mount Olympus, the tallest mountain in Greece. From that height, he kept a close eye on human affairs and when he felt it was necessary, he punished rule–breakers. Because he controlled thunder and lightning, punishment often took the form of his throwing a blazing thunderbolt at the offenders. In addition, Zeus pursued women—divine and human alike—and his wife (the goddess Hera) was often jealous. She used her powers to try to stop Zeus from fooling around. But he had many children with his mistresses, including the mighty hero Heracles (called Hercules by the Romans).