Children

War of the gods

This month, we’re going back in time to the beginnings of Greek mythology. Today’s story is going to be about the Titanomachy, or the war between the Titans and the Olympians. The Titans were the original Greek gods and were led by Cronus, the god of time. Rhea, the goddess of motherhood and fertility, was Cronus’ wife. There were 12 Titans, including Oceanus, the god of sea; Hyperion, the god of light; and Lapetus, the god of Mortality.

Cronus was the son of Uranus (heaven) and Gaia (Earth). Uranus had imprisoned the Cyclops (one-eyed giants) and the Hecatonchires (creatures with 100 hands and 50 heads) and this made Gaia furious. She encouraged Cronus to overthrow his father.

When the blood of Uranus fell on earth, the Gigantes (huge monsters), the Erinyes (three female goddesses who punished anyone who took a false oath or did something evil) and the Meliae (the nymphs of the ash tree) were born. Some of the blood fell into the sea and Aphrodite, the goddess of love, was born.

Before he died, Uranus made a prophecy that Cronus would also be overthrown by his child. To prevent this, Cronus swallowed the babies Rhea gave birth to. In this way, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon disappeared.

When the sixth child, Zeus, was born, Rhea hid the child and gave Cronus a stone swathed in baby clothes to swallow instead. With Gaia’s help, the child was hidden in the caves of Mt Ida. Here he was looked after by a nymph called Amalthea. To hide him from Cronus, who ruled over the earth, the heavens and the sea, Amalthea tied a rope to the child and suspended him from a tree so that he was neither on earth, the heavens or the sea. Every time the child cried, young warriors called the Curetes would make a noise with their weapons so that he wouldn’t be heard.

When Zeus grew up, he became Cronus’s cup bearer but the latter was unaware that this was the son who would overthrow him. With the help of Metis, a Titan goddess, Zeus fed his father a mixture of wine and mustard. This caused Cronus to vomit out the children he had swallowed. Zeus now convinced his sisters and brothers to take his side and rebel against their father. He also released the Cyclops and the Hecatonchires and took them into his side. Thus began the Titanomachy or the Titan wars, which lasted for 10 years. Of the Titans, only Themis and Prometheus helped the Olympians. Finally the Titans were overthrown and Zeus became the new king of Gods. The defeated Titans wer jailed and guarded by the Hecatonchires. Zeus became the king of gods, Poseidon of the sea. Hades became the ruler of the underworld.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 7:08:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/what-is-the-titanomachy-in-greek-mythology-find-out/article32257234.ece

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