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TITANS
Τιτᾶνες

6809: Atlas, relief from c. 460 BC (detail). Temple of Zeus at Olympia. Archaeological Museum, Olympia.


The TITANS ruled the world, having dethroned their father Uranus, the first ruler of the universe. It was their mother Gaia who persuaded them to attack their father and overthrow him. This she did because she grieved at the destruction of her children, the CYCLOPES and the HECATONCHEIRES, whom Uranus had been cast into Tartarus. The Titan Cronos then ambushed his father and castrated him with a sickle, being himself appointed by the TITANS to be their sovereign. However, once in power, Cronos behaved like his father, and again shut the CYCLOPES and the HECATONCHEIRES up in Tartarus.

And since both Gaia and Uranus foretold to Cronos that he would be dethroned by his own son, he decided to swallow his children as they were born. But Zeus escaped this fate, and leading the OLYMPIANS, he waged war against the TITANS, taking the CYCLOPES and the HECATONCHEIRES, whom he had liberated, as allies. This is how Cronos was dethroned and shut up in Tartarus along with the other TITANS. But later Zeus gave them their freedom again.


First generation of TITANS—offspring of Uranus and Gaia

Coeus. Father by Phoebe 1 of Asteria 1 and Leto (Apd.1.1.3, 1.2.2; Hes.The.134-136, 405ff.).

Crius 1. Father by Eurybia 1 of Astraeus 1, Pallas 1, and Perses 1 (Apd.1.1.2-3; Hes.The.134).

Cronos. Ruler of the universe.

Dione 1. Some have said that Dione 1 is one of the OCEANIDS. Mother by Zeus of Aphrodite (Apd.1.1.3, 1.3.1; Hom.Il.5.370; Hes.The.350ff.).

Hyperion 1 has been identified with the sun. He is said to have been the first to understand the movement of the sun, moon and stars. His offspring is remarkable but no myths are attached to him. He shares the common fate of all of his race (see Titanomachy). He is father, by Thia, of Eos (Dawn), Helius (Sun), Selene (Moon), and Titan (Apd.1.1.3, 1.2.2; Dio.5.67.1; Hes.The.134; Pau.2.11.5; Pin.Oly.7.39).

Iapetus 1. Father, either by Clymene 1 or Asia 2, of Menoetius 1, Atlas, Prometheus 1, Epimetheus, and Hesperus 2 (Apd.1.1.3, 1.2.3; Dio.4.27.1; Hes.The.134, 506ff.; Hom.Il.8.479ff.).

Mnemosyne is Memory, the mother of the MUSES.

Oceanus.

Phoebe 1. See Coeus above.

Rhea 1. The mother of the gods.

 

Tethys. See Oceanus (Apd.1.1.3, 1.2.2; Hes.The.136, 338ff.; Ov.Fast.5.81; Pla.Tim.40e.).

Themis.

 

Thia is also called Euryphaessa. It is said that for her sake men set a stamp upon gold, using it as current coin. See Hyperion 1 above (Apd.1.1.3, 1.2.2; Hes.The.135; Hom.Hel.31.4; Pin.Isth.5.1).


Second generation

 

 

Asteria 1 was loved by Zeus, and some say that in order to escape him, she turned into a quail and flung herself into the sea. Others have said that it was Zeus who turned her into a quail. Asteria 1 was daughter, either of Coeus and Phoebe 1, or of Titan and someone unknown.

Mates

Offspring

Notes

Heracles 6

Heracles 6 was worshipped in Tyre. He is the father of Carthago, one of the NYMPHS.

Perses 1

Perses 1 is a Titan; see below.


Apd.1.2.2-4, 1.4.1; Cic.ND.3.42; Hes.The.409-411; Hyg.Fab.53.

Astraea (Dike). Astraea is Justice, the same as Dike.

Astraeus 1 is called the father of the stars. No particular tales are attached to him, but his offspring is most remarkable. He is the father, by Eos, of the WINDS, Eosphorus (see below), and Dike (Ara.Phae.97, 105; Apd.1.2.2; Hes.The.375, 378ff.; Hyg.Ast.2.25; Nonn.6.33ff.; Ov.Met.1.149).

Atlas.

Eos is Dawn.

 
Eosphorus, also called Hesperus 1, Phosphorus or Lucifer, is the morning and evening star (Venus). Parentage: Astraeus 1 & Eos or Cephalus 2 & Eos.

Mates

Offspring

Notes

Philonis

Philonis is daughter of Daedalion, but he is called son of Eosphorus. Philonis is also said to be the mother of Autolycus 1 by Hermes, and of Philammon by Apollo. But some of her children are also attributed to Chione 2, also daughter of Daedalion.

?

Daedalion

Daedalion was a cruel ruler that delighted in war was. Yet, when his daughter Chione 2 (or perhaps Philonis?) died he could not find consolation, and kept ever bewailing his lost child. So finally he gained Mount Parnassus and hurled himself from its top. But Apollo turned him into a hawk.

Cleoboea 2

Philonis

According to Conon, Philonis was daughter of Eosphorus (rather than her mate).


Apd.1.7.4; Con.7; Hes.The.381; Hyg.Ast.2.42; Hyg.Fab.65, 161; Nonn.6.18; Ov.Met.11.271, 11.295; QS.5.132.

Epimetheus. It is said that when the time arrived for mortal creatures to be created, the gods, after moulding their forms, charged Prometheus 1 and his brother Epimetheus to deal faculties to each creature. Epimetheus, they say, persuaded Prometheus 1 to let him do the dealing himself, saying that afterwards Prometheus 1 could examine what he had done. And to some creatures Epimetheus gave strength, and to others speed; some he armed and others he left unarmed, though giving them some other faculty so that they could survive. To some he gave wings, so that they could escape, and to others he gave the capacity to live underground. And while he distributed all capacities he took the precaution that no species should be extinguished. Likewise Epimetheus took into consideration the seasons, giving to all creatures the faculty of resisting both cold and heat. In similar manner he furnished each kind of creature with its proper food, so that some should feed on grass, others on fruits, and still others on creatures which they could devour.

This is how Epimetheus, lacking in wisdom, distributed all properties suited for survival among animals, leaving unequipped the race of men. Now the day had arrived for the emergence of all creatures and Prometheus 1 came to examine his brother's work. And so, noticing that Epimetheus had not devised anything for the preservation of humans, he stole wisdom in arts from Hephaestus and Athena, along with fire, so that men could exercise those crafts, and gave all these gifts to humanity.

This is why, Prometheus 1, for having corrected Epimetheus' mistake in such a way, was later accused of theft.

It is also said that Prometheus 1 had told his brother Epimetheus never to take a gift from Zeus, but Epimetheus, a man without foresight, accepted Zeus' gift (Pandora 1), and only later understood what happened. For until that time men lived free from ills, toil and sicknesses, but Pandora 1 opened a jar containing all kinds of evils and these flew out, ever since afflicting mankind. Only Hope remained there.

Parentage (two versions)

Mates

Offspring

Notes

Iapetus 1 & Clymene 1

Iapetus 1 & Asia 2


For Iapetus 1 see above. Clymene 1 and Asia 2 are OCEANIDS.

Pyrrha 1

Pyrrha 1 married Deucalion 1, the man who survived the Flood.


Apd.1.2.3, 1.7.2; Hes.The.511; Hes.WD.81; Plato.Pro.320d et seq.

Helius.

Hesperus 2. Son of Iapetus 1 & Clymene 1, daughter of Oceanus. Father of Hesperis, one of the HORAE (Dio.4.27.1-2).

Leto.

Menoetius 1. This Titan Zeus smote with a thunderbolt and hurled down to Tartarus during the Titanomachy.

Parentage (two versions)

Iapetus 1 & Clymene 1

Iapetus 1 & Asia 2


For Iapetus 1 see above. Clymene 1 and Asia 2 are OCEANIDS.


Apd.1.2.3; Hes.The.510, 515.

Pallas 1. Son of Crius 1 and Eurybia 1. He is father, by Styx, of Nike, Cratos (Power), Zelos (Emulation), and Bia (Force) (Apd.1.2.2; Hes.The.375, 383ff.).

Perses 1. Son of Crius 1 and Eurybia 1. Father by Asteria 1 of Hecate (Apd.1.2.2-4; Hes.The.375, 409-411; Hom.Dem.2.25).

Prometheus 1.

Selene.

Titan. Son of Hyperion 1 & Thia, and father of Asteria 1. The place Titane near Corinth was named after him (Hyg.Fab.53; Pau.2.11.5).


Some belonging to the second generation but usually not called TITANS:

Caanthus is called brother to Melia. He was commissioned by his father to seek his sister, who had been carried away. Finding that Apollo had Melia, and being unable to get her from him, he set fire to the precinct of Apollo, and consequently he was shot by Apollo for burning his shrine (Pau.9.10.5).

Chiron

Dione 1, seen above in the first generation, could be an Oceanid.

The OCEANIDS

Picus (see Circe).

RIVER GODS


Uncertain generation

 

Anytus. One of the TITANS who reared the Mistress, daughter of Demeter (Pau.8.37.5).

Lelantus.

Mates

Offspring

Notes

Periboea 8

Aura 2

Periboea 8 is one of the OCEANIDS and Aura 2 is a Phrygian huntress.


Nonn.48.242ff.


Titanis. Themis is called daughter of Titanis (Hyg.Fab.183).


Related sections Castration of Uranus, Titanomachy, Table: Theogony, The Era of Zeus, Epimetheus (One-Act Play) 
Sources
Abbreviations

See above.

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