The Titans, also known as the elder gods, ruled the earth before
the Olympians overthew them.
The ruler of the Titans was Cronus
who was de-throned by his son Zeus.
Most of the Titans fought with Cronus against Zeus and were punished
by being banished to Tartarus.
During their rule the Titans were associated with the various
Gaea is the Earth goddess. She mated with her son Uranus
to produce the remaining Titans. Gaea seems to have started as a
neolithic earth-mother worshipped before the Indo-European invasion that
eventually lead to the Hellinistic civilization.
Uranus is the sky god and first ruler.
He is the son of Gaea, who created him without help.
He then became the husband of Gaea and together they had many offspring,
including twelve of the Titans.
His rule ended when when Cronus, encouraged by
Gaea, castrated him. He either died from the wound or withdrew from
Cronus was the ruling Titan who came to power by castrating his Father
Uranus. His wife was Rhea.
There offspring were the first of the
Olympians. To insure his safety
Cronus ate each of the children as they were born. This worked until
Rhea, unhappy at the loss of her children, tricked
Cronus into swallowing a rock, instead of
Zeus. When he grew up Zeus would
revolt against Cronus and the other Titans, defeat them, and banish
them to Tartarus in the underworld.
Cronus managed to escape to Italy, where he ruled as Saturn.
The period of his rule was said to be a golden age on earth, honored by the
Rhea was the wife of Cronus. Cronus made it a
practice to swallow their children. To avoid this, Rhea tricked Cronus
into swallowing a rock, saving her son Zeus.
Oceanus is the unending stream of water encircling the world.
Together with his wife Tethys produced
the rivers and the three thousand ocean nymphs.
Tethys is the wife of Oceanus. Together they
produced the rivers and the three thousand ocean nymphs.
Hyperion is the Titan of light, the father of the sun, the moon, and
Mnemosyne was the Titan of memory and the mother of
Themis was the Titan of justice and order. She was the mother of the
Fates and the Seasons.
Iapetus was the father of Prometheus,
Epimetheus, and Atlas.
Titan of Intelligence. Father of Leto.
No details available.
Titan of the Moon. Mother of Leto.
No details available.
Prometheus was the wisest Titan. His name means "forethought" and he was
able to foretell the future. He was the son of Iapetus.
revolted against Cronus Prometheus deserted the
other Titans and fought on Zeus side.
By some accounts he and his brother
Epimetheus were delagated by Zeus to create
man. In all accounts, Prometheus is known as the protector and benifactor
of man. He gave mankind a number of gifts including fire. He also
tricked Zeus into allowing man to keep the best part of the animals scarificed
to the gods and to give the gods the worst parts.
For this Zeus punished
Prometheus by having him chained to a rock with an eagle tearing at his
liver. He was to be left there for all eternity or until he agreed to
disclose to Zeus which of Zeus children would try to replace him.
He was eventually rescued by Hercules without
giving in to Zeus.
Epimetheus was a stupid Titan, whose name means "afterthought".
He was the son of Iapetus.
In some accounts he is delegated, along with his brother
Prometheus by Zeus
to create mankind.
He also accepted the gift of Pandora
from Zeus, which lead to the introduction of evil into the world.
Atlas was the son of Iapetus. Unlike his brothers
Prometheus and Epimetheus,
Atlas fought with the other Titans supporting Cronus
against Zeus. Due to Cronus's advance
age Atlas lead the Titan's in battle. As a result he was singled out by
Zeus for a special punishment and made to hold up the world on his back.
Metis was the Titaness of the forth day and the planet Mercury.
She presided over all wisdom and knowledge. She was
seduced by Zeus
and became pregnant with Athena.
Zeus became concerned over prophecies
that her second child would replace Zeus. To avoid this Zeus ate her.
It is said that she is the source for Zeus wisdom and that she still
advises Zeus from his belly.
It may seem odd for Metis to have been pregnant with Athena but, never
mentioned as her mother. This is because the classic greeks believed that
children were generated soley from the fathers sperm. The women was
thought to be nothing more then a vessal for the fetus to grow in.
Since Metis was killed well before Athena's birth her role doesn't count.
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