liebpro01: Before becoming the ruler of heaven, Zeus had to defeat his predecessor Cronos and the TITANS. In this war (the Titanomachy), Prometheus 1, though being a titan, sided with Zeus, who is seen brandishing the thunderbolt. Liebig sets.
Cronos dethroned his
father, but as he ruled with the same evil spirit
he was himself dethroned by his own son.
It is told that Uranus, the first ruler
of the universe, hated his own offspring and kept
the CYCLOPES and the HECATONCHEIRES imprisoned in the depth of the earth. This cruelty grieved their mother Gaia who encouraged the TITANS to revolt against
their father. They did overthrow him, but the new
ruler Cronos abstained from restoring justice, and shut his brethren up in the same dark depth again. Revolt breeds revolt in ever swifter succession,
and that may be the reason why both Gaia and Uranus foretold Cronos that in turn he would be dethroned by his own son.
Having heard the prophecy, Cronos began to swallow
his children at birth, a method that, while seeming
to prevent fate, enraged his wife Rhea 1, who saw herself
always pregnant and yet never a mother. So while
expecting Zeus, she went to Crete, and gave him birth
in a cave, giving Cronos a stone wrapped in clothes to swallow, as if it were the newborn child. This is how Zeus escaped being devoured by his father. When he had grown up, he asked Metis 1 to help him against his father, and she gave Cronos a drug that forced him to disgorge first the stone, and then the children he had previously swallowed. Some affirm that Cronos did not swallow
all of them, but cast Hades in Tartarus, and Poseidon under the sea.
Others assert that Rhea 1,
having given birth to Poseidon, declared to Cronos that she had given birth to a horse, and gave him a foal to swallow instead of the child.
When Zeus grew to
maturity, he decided to wage the war against Cronos and the TITANS, declaring that he
who was without office or right under Cronos, should be raised
to both office and rights. And on becoming the
ruler of the universe, Zeus did not deprive Hecate of the privileges either. So Styx came first to Olympus, and together with
her children rallied to his side. This is why Zeus granted her special honours, and appointed her to be the great oath of the gods (see Underworld for details about the oath), and her children Nike, Zelos, Cratos, and
Bia, to live near him always.
The TITANS fought from Mount Othrys, and the gods from Mount Olympus, but after ten years of continuous fight, the issue of the war hung evenly balanced. It was then that Gaia prophesied victory to Zeus if he should have as allies those who had been
hurled down to Tartarus by Cronos: the CYCLOPES and the HECATONCHEIRES. Cronos had imprisoned the HECATONCHEIRES because he was jealous of their manhood and
comeliness, as they say. He made them live beneath
the earth, being set to dwell under the ground for
a long time and with great suffering. But Zeus and his brothers
decided to bring them up again at Gaia's advising.
Consequently, Zeus slew their jailoress Campe, and freed them. Zeus then provided the HECATONCHEIRES with nectar and ambrosia, and their spirit revived.
Then he addresed them:
bright children of Earth and Heaven, that I may say what my heart
within me bids. A long while now have we, who are
sprung from Cronos and the Titan gods, fought with
each other every day to get victory and to prevail.
But show your great might and unconquerable
strength, and face the Titans in bitter strife; for remember our
friendly kindness, and from what sufferings you are
come back to the light from your cruel bondage
under misty gloom through our counsels." (Zeus to the HECATONCHEIRES.
Hesiod, Theogony 645).
The CYCLOPES gave Zeus thunder and lightning and a thunderbolt, with which the god smote Menoetius 1 (brother of Atlas and Prometheus 1). And
they gave Hades a helmet,
and Poseidon a trident.
It is told that during this great war the sea rang terribly, the earth crashed loudly, heaven was shaken, and Olympus reeled from its foundation: The HECATONCHEIRES held huge rocks with their hundred arms, and Zeus hurled his lightning,
while the earth burned and the woods crakled with
fire. The streams of Ocean seethed, and the vapor
lapped round the TITANS.
A huge flame rose to the upper air, and that the
glare of thunderstone and lightining blinded the
eyes of the TITANS. And
it is said that heat seized Chaos, and that it seemed as if earth and heaven came together in a mighty crash, amid earthquakes and dust storms. But the HECATONCHEIRES overshadowed the TITANS with the many rocks that their hundred arms hurled
at them, and having defeated them, they chained
them as far beneath the earth as heaven is above
earth. That is, in Tartarus, a place of deep
darkness with a bronze fence around it that even
the gods abhor.
Two TITANS who sided
The titaness Themis sided with Zeus because she
knew that neither the brute nor the violent would
prevail, but the clever. Prometheus 1 listened to her words, and sided with Zeus too. However, after
the war, when Zeus had Prometheus 1 chained
for having given fire to mortals, he lamented his
"Thus I helped
the tyrant of the gods and with this foul payment
he has responded; for it is a disease that is
somehow inherent in tyranny to have no faith in
friends." (Prometheus 1. Aeschylus, Prometheus
The victors divide the spoil
Zeus appointed the HECATONCHEIRES to
guard them, and in time Poseidon gave the hecatoncheire Briareus his daughter Cymopolea as wife. Having thus won victory, the gods cast lots for
the sovereignty, and to Zeus was allotted the
dominion of the sky, to Poseidon the dominion
of the sea, and to Hades the dominion of the Underworld. It is also told that, as time went by, Zeus issued an amnesty and
set the TITANS free,
except for Atlas, who still holds the sky. A rumour has it that the TITANS, encouraged by Hera who was jealous on
account of Io, once tried to
mount to heaven and restore the kingdom to Cronos, but that Zeus aided by Athena, Apollo, and Artemis, cast them back
to Tartarus. It is said that it was then that the
gods put the vault of the sky on Atlas, for having been