circa 1677 BCE — Zeus seduces Maia

The eldest and most beautiful of the seven Pleiades (also known as the Atlantides), Maia had a tryst with Zeus in a cave of Cyllene (where Maia herself had been born) in the middle of the night – Zeus was trying to avoid the jealous attentions of Hera, and the protectiveness of Maia’s father, the Titan Atlas.

Maia gave birth to Hermes, who would become one of the twelve great Olympians. She also cared for another of Zeus’ offspring, Arcas, the son of Callisto – Callisto herself had been transformed into a bear by Hera and could not raise her own child.

Referenced in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1677 BCE — Zeus seduces Leto

Leto was a cousin of Zeus – the daughter of his uncle Coeus and aunt Phoebe, Titans like his own parents. Not that this – or indeed, anything else – would have stopped the god of sleeping with anyone, anytime. Unusually, he didn’t take the form of anything on this occasion – he was just his godly self.

Hera, as usual, was unimpressed, and also as usual, took it out on the woman rather than her husband. She proclaimed that Leto would not be allowed to give birth on “terra firma”, the mainland, any island at sea, or any place under the sun. She eventually gave birth to the twins Artemis and Apollo on the isle of Delos.

Referenced in:

When You Sleep — Cake

circa 1677 BCE — Zeus seduces Metis

Apparently determined to prove that he would sleep with anyone or anything, the Greek God Zeus seduced the Titan Metis in his youth, prior to his marriage to Hera. In fact, he went so far as to marry her, even though she was his aunt. Metis was a patron of wisdom, and it was known that her gifts in this area would be inherited by her offspring. In fact, it was prophesised that the union of Metis and Zeus would produce a son even more powerful than Zeus himself, and to forestall this, Zeus swallowed Metis whole.

Demonstrating the importance of chewing one’s food, Metis carried her child to term inside Zeus, which caused him a terrible headache. When his head was split open to relieve the pressure, the child of Zeus and Metic, grey-eyed Athena, new patron of wisdom, burst forth fully grown and fully armoured.

It’s best not to think about the mechanics of all this too much.

Referenced in:

When You Sleep — Cake