King of the Gods

Indra, the Hindu king of gods

In polytheistic systems there is a tendency for one divinity, usually male, to achieve pre-eminence as King of the Gods. This tendency is paralleled with the growth of hierarchical systems of political power, in which a monarch eventually comes to assume ultimate authority for human affairs. Other gods come to serve in a Divine Council or pantheon, usually linked by family ties from union of a single husband or wife, or else from an androgynous divinity who is responsible for the creation.

Historically, subsequent social events, such as invasions or shifts in power structures sees the previous "King of the Gods" displaced by a new divinity, who assumes the previous God's attributes and functions.

Examples of this displacement of Kings of the Gods include:

There is also a tendency for kings of the Gods to assume more and more importance, syncretistically assuming the attributes and functions of lesser divinities, who come to be seen as aspects of the single supreme deity. Examples of this include:

List of rulers of pantheons

The leaders of the various pantheons include:


The following are the characteristics shared by virtually all Kings of the Gods:

See also

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