THEIA was the Titan goddess of sight (thea) and shining light of the clear blue sky (aithre). She was also, by extension, the goddess who endowed gold, silver and gems with their brilliance and intrinsic value. Theia married Hyperion, the Titan-god of light, and bore him three bright children--Helios the Sun, Eos the Dawn, and Selene the Moon.
Under the title Ikhnaie, "the tracing goddess," Theia possessed an oracular shrine in the region of Phthiotis in Thessaly. Her sister-Titans were likewise oracular goddesses--Phoibe held Delphoi, Mnemosyne Lebadeia, Dione Dodona, and Themis shared the four.
Hesiod, Theogony 132 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"She [Gaia the Earth] lay with Ouranos (Sky) and bare deep-swirling Okeanos, Koios and Krios and Hyperion and Iapetos, Theia (Sight) and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne (Memory) and gold-crowned Phoibe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Kronos."
Hesiod, Theogony 371 ff :
"And Theia was subject in love to Hyperion and bare great Helius (Sun) and clear Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn)."
Homeric Hymn 31 to Helius (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Helios (the Sun) whom mild-eyed Euryphaessa (Wide Shining), the far-shining one (phaithonta), bare to the Son of Gaia (Earth) and starry Ouranos (Heaven). For Hyperion wedded glorious Euryphaessa, his own sister, who bare him lovely children, rosy-armed Eos (Dawn) and rich-tressed Selene (Moon) and tireless Helios (Sun)."
Homeric Hymn 3 to Delian Apollo 89 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Leto [on the island of Delos] was racked nine days and nine nights with pangs beyond wont. And there were with her all the chiefest of the goddesses, Dione and Rheia and Ikhnaie and Themis and loud-moaning Amphitrite and the other deathless goddesses. Then the child leaped forth to the light, and all the goddesses raised a cry. Straightway, great Phoibos [Apollon], the goddesses washed you purely and cleanly with sweet water, and swathed you in a white garment of fine texture, new-woven, and fastened a golden band about you." [N.B. The "chiefest of the goddesses" are the Titanides. Amphitrite stands in place of Tethys, Dione is equivalent to Phoibe, and Ikhnaie "the tracing goddess" is Theia.]
Pindar, Isthmian Ode 5. 1 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Mother of Helios (the Sun), Theia, goddess of many names, thanks to thee men ascribe to gold a strength exceeding all other powers that are. For ships that sail the seas in rivalry and racing chariot steeds for thy honour, O queen, rise to the height of wondrous deeds amidst the whirling wheels of struggle. And in the contests of the Games, he reaps that prize of glory that all hearts desire."
Stesichorus, Fragment S17 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric III) (C7th B.C.) :
"[Helios] went down into the cup of solid gold, so that he might cross over Okeanos and reach the depths of holy, dark night and his mother [Theia] and wedded wife and dear children."
"Ouranos (Sky) ... fathered other sons on Ge (Earth), namely the Titanes: Okeanos, Koios, Hyperion, Kreios, Iapetos, and Kronos the youngest; also daughters called Titanides: Tethys, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe, Dione, and Theia." - Apollodorus, The Library 1.2
"The Titanes had children ...Hyperion and Theia had Eos, Helios, and Selene." - Apollodorus, The Library 1.8-9
Strabo, Geography 9. 5. 15 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Ikhnai [in Phthiotis, Thessalia], where Themis Ikhnaia is held in honor."
[N.B. Ikhnaia is Theia. Themis is paired with her as she was with the Titanesses Phoibe and Dione at Delphoi and Dodona.]
Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Hyperion and Aethra [were born] : Sol [Helios], Luna [Selene], Aurora [Eos]."
Senin, 09 November 2009
In Greek mythology, Tethys (Greek Τηθύς), daughter of Uranus and Gaia was an archaic Titaness and aquatic sea goddess, invoked in classical Greek poetry but no longer venerated in cult. Tethys was both sister and wife of Oceanus. She was mother of the chief rivers of the world known to the Greeks, such as the Nile, the Alpheus, the Maeander, and about three thousand daughters called the Oceanids. Considered as an embodiment of the waters of the world she also may be seen as a counterpart of Thalassa, the embodiment of the sea.
Although these vestiges imply a strong role in earlier times, Tethys plays virtually no part in recorded Greek literary texts, or historical records of cults. Walter Burkert notes the presence of Tethys in the episode of Iliad XIV that the Ancients called the "Deception of Zeus", where Hera, to mislead Zeus, says she wants to go to Oceanus, "origin of the gods" and Tethys "the mother". Burkert  sees in the name a transformation of Akkadian tiamtu or tâmtu, "the sea," which is recognizable in Tiamat. Alternatively, her name may simply mean "old woman"; certainly it bears some similarity to ἡ τήθη, meaning "grandmother," and she is often portrayed as being extremely ancient (cf. Callimachus, Iamb 4.52, fr. 194).
One of the few representations of Tethys that is identified securely by an accompanying inscription is the Late Antique (fourth century CE) mosaic from the flooring of a thermae at Antioch, now at the Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachussetts after being moved from Dumbarton Oaks. In the Dumbarton Oaks mosaic, the bust of Tethys—surrounded by fishes—is rising, bare-shouldered from the waters. Against her shoulder rests a golden ship's rudder. Gray wings sprout from her forehead, as in the mosaics illustrated above and below.
Roman mosaic of Tethys from Antakya, TurkeyDuring the war against the Titans, Tethys raised Hera as her god-child, but there are no records of active cults for Tethys in historic times.
Tethys has sometimes been confused  with another sea goddess who became the sea-nymph Thetis, the wife of Peleus and mother of Achilles during Classical times. Some myths imply a second generation relationship between the two, a grandmother and granddaughter.
Indicative of the power exercised by Tethys, one myth relates that the prominent goddess of the Olympians, Hera, was not pleased with the placement of Callisto and Arcas in the sky, as the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, so she asked her nurse, Tethys, to help. Tethys, a marine goddess, caused the constellations forever to circle the sky and never drop below the horizon, hence explaining why they are circumpolar. Robert Graves interprets the use of the term nurse in Classical myths as identifying deities who once were goddesses of central importance in the periods before historical documentation.
Tethys, a moon of the planet Saturn, and the prehistoric Tethys Ocean are named after this goddess.
Children of TethysAchelous
Clitunno (Roman mythology)
Tiberinus (Roman mythology)
Tibertus (Roman mythology)
Volturnus (Roman mythology)
Oceanus (Greek: Ὠκεανός, lit. "ocean") was believed to be the world-ocean in classical antiquity, which the ancient Romans and Greeks considered to be an enormous river encircling the world. Strictly speaking, Okeanos was the ocean-stream at the Equator in which floated the habitable hemisphere (oikoumene οἰκουμένη). In Greek mythology, this world-ocean was personified as a Titan, a son of Uranus and Gaia. In Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, this Titan was often depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and horns (often represented as the claws of a crab), and the lower torso of a serpent (cf. Typhon). On a fragmentary archaic vessel (British Museum 1971.11-1.1) of ca 580 BC, among the gods arriving at the wedding of Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis, is a fish-tailed Oceanus, with a fish in one hand and a serpent in the other, gifts of bounty and prophecy. In Roman mosaics he might carry a steering-oar and cradle a ship.
Some scholars believe that Oceanus originally represented all bodies of salt water, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the two largest bodies known to the ancient Greeks. However, as geography became more accurate, Oceanus came to represent the stranger, more unknown waters of the Atlantic Ocean (also called the "Ocean Sea"), while the newcomer of a later generation, Poseidon, ruled over the Mediterranean.
Oceanus' consort is his sister Tethys, and from their union came the ocean nymphs, also known as the three-thousand Oceanids, and all the rivers of the world, fountains, and lakes. From Cronus, of the race of Titans, the Olympian gods have their birth, and Hera mentions twice in Iliad book xiv her intended journey "to the ends of the generous earth on a visit to Okeanos, whence the gods have risen, and Tethys our mother who brought me up kindly in their own house."
In most variations of the war between the Titans and the Olympians, or Titanomachy, Oceanus, along with Prometheus and Themis, did not take the side of his fellow Titans against the Olympians, but instead withdrew from the conflict. In most variations of this myth, Oceanus also refused to side with Cronus in the latter's revolt against their father, Uranus.
In the Iliad, the rich iconography of Achilles' shield, which was fashioned by Hephaestus, is enclosed, as the world itself was believed to be, by Oceanus:
Then, running round the shield-rim, triple-ply,
he pictured all the might of the Ocean stream.
When Odysseus and Nestor walk together along the shore of the sounding sea (Iliad ix.182) their prayers are addressed "to the great Sea-god who girdles the world." It is to Oceanus, not to Poseidon, that their thoughts are directed.
Invoked in passing by poets and figured as the father of rivers and streams, thus the progenitor of river gods, Oceanus appears only once in myth, as a representative of the archaic world that Heracles constantly threatened and bested. Heracles forced the loan from Helios of his golden bowl, in order to cross the wide expanse of the Ocean on his trip to the Hesperides. When Oceanus tossed the bowl, Heracles threatened him and stilled his waves. The journey of Heracles in the sun-bowl upon Oceanus was a favored theme among painters of Attic pottery.
Rhea (pronounced /ˈriː.ə/; ancient Greek Ῥέα) was the Titaness daughter of Ouranos, the sky, and Gaia, the earth, in classical Greek mythology. She was known as "the mother of gods." In earlier traditions, she was strongly associated with Gaia and Cybele, the Great Goddess, and later seen by the classical Greeks as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses, though never dwelling permanently among them on Mount Olympus. In Apollonius of Rhodes' Argonautica, the fusion of Rhea and Phrygian Cybele is complete. "Upon the Mother depend the winds, the ocean, the whole earth beneath the snowy seat of Olympus; whenever she leaves the mountains and climbs to the great vault of heaven, Zeus himself, the son of Kronos, makes way, and all the other immortal gods likewise make way for the dread goddess," the seer Mopsus tells Jason in Argonautica; Jason climbed to the sanctuary high on Mount Dindymon to offer sacrifice and libations to placate the goddess, so that the Argonauts might continue on their way. For her temenos they wrought an image of the goddess, a xoanon, from a vine-stump. There "they called upon the mother of Dindymon, mistress of all, the dweller in Phrygia, and with her Titias and Kyllenos who alone of the many Cretan Daktyls of Ida are called 'guiders of destiny' and 'those who sit beside the Idaean Mother'." They leapt and danced in their armour: "For this reason the Phrygians still worship Rhea with tambourines and drums".
Rhea was wife to Kronos and mother to Demeter, Hades, Hera, Hestia, Poseidon, and Zeus.
In art, Rhea is usually depicted seated in a throne flanked by lions or on a chariot drawn by two lions, and is not always distinguishable from Cybele. In Roman mythology, her counterpart Cybele was Magna Mater deorum Idaea and identified with Opis or Ops.
Kronos, Rhea's Titan brother and husband, castrated their father, Uranus. After this, Kronos re-imprisoned the Hekatonkheires, the Gigantes and the Cyclopes and set the monster Kampê to guard them. He and Rhea took the throne as King and Queen of the gods. This time was called the Golden Age.
Kronos sired several children by Rhea: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon, but swallowed them all as soon as they were born, since he had learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own child as he had overthrown his own father. When Zeus was about to be born, however, Rhea sought Uranus and Gaia to devise a plan to save him, so that Kronos would get his retribution for his acts against Ouranos and his own children. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in Crete, handing Kronos a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed.
Then she hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. According to varying versions of the story:
He was then raised by Gaia,
He was suckled by a goat named Amalthea, while a company of Kouretes, soldiers, or smaller gods, shouted and clashed their swords together to make noise so that Kronos would not hear the baby's cry,
He was raised by a nymph named Adamanthea, who fed him goat milk. Since Kronos ruled over the earth, the heavens, and the sea and swallowed all of the children of Rhea, Adamanthea hid him by dangling him on a rope from a tree so he was suspended between earth, sea, and sky and thus, invisible to his father. Later Rhea married and had two children with the god Olympous.
He was raised by Rhea during the time she had alone
Zeus forced the Titan Kronos to disgorge the other children in reverse order of swallowing: first the stone, which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, then the rest. In some versions, Metis gave Kronos an emetic to force him to disgorge the babies, or Zeus cut Kronos' stomach open. Then Zeus released the brothers of Kronos, the Gigantes, the Hecatonkheires and the Cyclopes, who gave him thunder and lightning, which had previously been hidden by Gaia. Zeus and his siblings, together with the Gigantes, Hecatonkheires, and Cyclopes, overthrew Kronos and the other Titans. Similarly, in later myths, Zeus would swallow Metis to prevent the birth of her child, Athena, but she was born unharmed, out of a wound made in his head by one of the other gods.
In Homer, Rhea is the mother of the gods, though not a universal mother like Cybele, the Phrygian Great Mother, with whom she was later identified. The original seat of her worship was in Crete. There, according to myth, she saved the new-born Zeus, her sixth child, from being devoured by Kronos, by substituting a stone for the infant god and entrusting him to the care of her attendants the Curetes. These attendants afterwards became the bodyguard of Zeus and the priests of Rhea, and performed ceremonies in her honor. In historic times, the resemblances between Rhea and the Asiatic Great Mother, Phrygian Cybele, a manifestation of the Great Goddess, were so noticeable that the Greeks accounted for them by regarding the latter as their own Rhea, who had deserted her original home in Crete and fled to the mountain wilds of Asia Minor to escape the persecution of Kronos. A reverse view was held by, and it is probably true that cultural contacts with the mainland brought to Crete the worship of the Asiatic Great Mother, who became the Cretan Rhea.
Most often Rhea's symbol is a pair of lions, the ones that pulled her celestial chariot and were seen often, rampant, one on either side of the gateways through the walls to many cities in the ancient world. The one at Mycenae is most characteristic, with the lions placed on either side of a pillar that symbolizes the goddess.
The second largest moon of the planet Saturn is named after her.
In ancient myths, Cronus envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Ouranos. Ouranos drew the enmity of Cronus' mother, Gaia, when he hid the gigantic youngest children of Gaia, the hundred-armed Hecatonchires and one-eyed Cyclopes, in Tartarus, so that they would not see the light. Gaia created a great adamant sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to persuade them to castrate Ouranos. Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in ambush. When Ouranos met with Gaia, Cronus attacked him with the sickle by cutting off his genitals, castrating him and casting the severed member into the sea. From the blood (or, by a few accounts, semen) that spilled out from Ouranos and fell upon the earth, the Gigantes, Erinyes, and Meliae were produced. From the member that was cast into the sea, Aphrodite later emerged. For this, Ouranos threatened vengeance and called his sons titenes (according to Hesiod meaning "straining ones," the source of the word "titan", but this etymology is disputed) for overstepping their boundaries and daring to commit such an act.
In an alternate version of this myth, a more benevolent Cronus overthrew the wicked serpentine Titan Ophion. In doing so, he released the world from bondage and for a time ruled it justly.
After dispatching Ouranos, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hecatonchires, the Gigantes, and the Cyclopes and set the dragon Campe to guard them. He and his sister Rhea took the throne of the world as king and queen. This period of Cronus' rule was called the Golden Age, as the people of the time had no need for laws or rules; everyone did the right thing, and immorality was absent.
Cronus learned from Gaia and Ouranos that he was destined to be overcome by his own son, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hera, Hades, Hestia, and Poseidon by Rhea, he swallowed them all as soon as they were born to preempt the prophecy. When the sixth child, Zeus, was born Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save them and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his father and children. Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, also known as the Omphalos Stone, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his son.
Rhea kept Zeus hidden in a cave on Mount Ida, Crete. According to some versions of the story, he was then raised by a goat named Amalthea, while a company of Kouretes, armored male dancers, shouted and clapped their hands to make enough noise to mask the baby's cries from Cronus. Other versions of the myth have Zeus raised by the nymph Adamanthea, who hid Zeus by dangling him by a rope from a tree so that he was suspended between the earth, the sea, and the sky, all of which were ruled by his father, Cronus. Still other versions of the tale say that Zeus was raised by his grandmother, Gaia.
Once he had grown up, Zeus used a poison given to him by Gaia to force Cronus to disgorge the contents of his stomach in reverse order: first the stone, which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Mount Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, then the goat, and then his two brothers and three sisters. In other versions of the tale, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the children, or Zeus cut Cronus' stomach open. After freeing his siblings, Zeus released the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires, and the Cyclopes, who forged for him his thunderbolts. In a vast war called the Titanomachy, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, with the help of the Gigantes, Hecatonchires, and Cyclopes, overthrew Cronus and the other Titans. Afterwards, many of the Titans were confined in Tartarus. Some Titans were not banished to Tartarus. Atlas, Epimetheus, Menoetius, Oceanus and Prometheus are examples of Titans who were not imprisoned in Tartarus following the Titanomachy. Gaia bore the monster Typhon to claim revenge for the imprisoned Titans, though Zeus was victorious. Accounts of the fate of Cronus after the Titanomachy differ. In Homeric and other texts he is imprisoned with the other Titans in Tartarus. In Orphic poems, he is imprisoned for eternity in the cave of Nyx. Pindar describes his release from Tartarus, where he is made King of Elysium by Zeus. In another version, the Titans released the Cyclopes from Tartarus, and Cronus was awarded the kingship among them, beginning a Golden Age.
Other children Cronus is reputed to have fathered include Chiron, by Philyra.
Cronus is again mentioned in the Sibylline Oracles, particularly book three, which makes Cronus, 'Titan' and Iapetus, the three sons of Ouranos and Gaia, each to receive a third division of the Earth, and Cronus is made king over all. After the death of Ouranos, Titan's sons attempt to destroy Cronus' and Rhea's male offspring as soon as they are born, but at Dodona, Rhea secretly bears her sons Zeus, Poseidon and Hades and sends them to Phrygia to be raised in the care of three Cretans. Upon learning this, sixty of Titan's men then imprison Cronus and Rhea, causing the sons of Cronus to declare and fight the first of all wars against them. This account mentions nothing about Cronus either killing his father or attempting to kill any of his children.
In Greek mythology, the Titans (Greek: Τιτάν - Ti-tan; plural: Τιτᾶνες - Ti-tânes), were a race of powerful deities that ruled during the legendary Golden Age. Their role as Elder Gods was overthrown by a race of younger gods, the Olympians, which effected a mythological paradigm shift that the Greeks may have borrowed from the Ancient Near East.
There are twelve Titans from their first literary appearance, in Hesiod, Theogony; Pseudo-Apollodorus, in Bibliotheke, adds a thirteenth Titan Dione, a double of Theia. The six male Titans are known as the Titanes, and the females as the Titanides ("Titanesses"). The Titans were associated with various primal concepts, some of which are simply extrapolated from their names: ocean and fruitful earth, sun and moon, memory and natural law. The twelve first-generation Titans were ruled by the youngest, Cronus (Saturn), who overthrew their father, Oranos ('Sky'), at the urgings of their mother, Gaia ('Earth').
Several Titans produced offspring who are also known as "Titans." These second-generation Titans include the children of Hyperion (Helios, Eos, and Selene), the daughters of Coeus (Leto and Asteria), and the sons of Iapetus (Prometheus, Epimetheus, Atlas, and Menoetius).
The Titans preceded the Twelve Olympians, who, led by Zeus, eventually overthrew them in the Titanomachy ('War of the Titans'). The Titans were then imprisoned in Tartarus, the deepest part of the underworld, with a few exceptions, most being those who did not fight against Zeus.
In Hesiod's Theogony the twelve Titans precede the Hecatonchires (the "Hundred-handers") and Cyclopes as the oldest set of children of Uranus, and Gaia:
"Afterwards she lay with Uranus and bore deep-swirling Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Cronus the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire."
Uranus kept all of Gaia's children trapped within her womb, and Gaia groaned from the strain. Eventually, Cronus (Kronos), her youngest child at the time, volunteered to set upon his father, castrating him with a sickle, thereby freeing Gaia's children and setting himself up as king of the titans with Rhea as his wife and queen.
Rhea gave birth to a new generation of gods to Cronus, but, in fear that they too would eventually overthrow him in turn, he swallowed them whole one by one; Hades he flung into Tartarus, Poseidon into the sea. Only Zeus was saved: Rhea gave Cronus a stone in swaddling clothes in his place, and placed the infant Zeus in Crete to be guarded by the Kouretes. Hyginus'version of the myth has Zeus raised by the nymph Amalthea, who hid Zeus by dangling him by a rope from a tree so that he was suspended between the earth, the sea, and the sky, all of which were ruled by his father, Cronus. Still other versions of the tale say that Zeus was raised by his grandmother, Gaia.
Once Zeus reached adulthood, he subdued Cronus by wile rather than force, using a potion concocted with the help of Metis, goddess of prudence, to force Cronus to vomit up Zeus's siblings. A war between younger and older gods commenced, in which Zeus was aided by the Hecatonchires and Cyclopes, who had once again been freed from Tartarus. Zeus won after a long struggle, and cast many of the Titans down into Tartarus.
Yet the older gods left their mark on the world: Oceanus continued to encircle the world, and the name of "bright shining" Phoebe was attached as an epithet to effulgent Apollo, "Phoebus Apollo". The epithet was also associated with his sister, Artemis, who has also been called Phoebe. Some of the Titans had not fought the Olympians and became key players in the new administration: Mnemosyne as a Muse, Rhea, Hyperion, Themis, or the "right ordering" of things and Metis.
TitanomachyMain article: Titanomachy
Greeks of the Classical age knew of several poems about the war between the gods and many of the Titans, the Titanomachy ("War of the Titans"). The dominant one, and the only one that has survived, was in the Theogony attributed to Hesiod. A lost epic Titanomachy attributed to the blind Thracian bard Thamyris, himself a legendary figure, was mentioned in passing in an essay On Music that was once attributed to Plutarch. The Titans also played a prominent role in the poems attributed to Orpheus. Although only scraps of the Orphic narratives survive, they show interesting differences with the Hesiodic tradition.
These Greek myths of the Titanomachy fall into a class of similar myths of a War in Heaven throughout Europe and the Near East, where one generation or group of gods largely opposes the dominant one. Sometimes the Elder Gods are supplanted. Sometimes the rebels lose, and are either cast out of power entirely or incorporated into the pantheon. Other examples might include the wars of the Æsir with the Vanir and Jotuns in Scandinavian mythology, the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish, the Hittite "Kingship in Heaven" narrative, and the obscure generational conflict in Ugaritic fragments. The rebellion of Lucifer from Christianity could also fall under this category.
In Orphic sources
Hesiod is not, however, the last word on the Titans. Surviving fragments of Orphic poetry in particular preserve some variations on the myth.
In one Orphic text, Zeus does not simply set upon his father violently. Instead, Rhea spreads out a banquet for Cronus, so that he becomes drunk upon fermented honey. Rather than being consigned to Tartarus, Cronus is dragged — still drunk — to the cave of Nyx (Night), where he continues to dream and prophesy throughout eternity.
Rhea, Cronus' wife, one of the TitansAnother myth concerning the Titans that is not in Hesiod revolves around Dionysus. At some point in his reign, Zeus decides to give up the throne in favor of the infant Dionysus, who like the infant Zeus is guarded by the Kouretes. The Titans decide to slay the child and claim the throne for themselves; they paint their faces white with gypsum, distract Dionysus with toys, then dismember him and boil and roast his limbs. Zeus, enraged, slays the Titans with his thunderbolt; Athena preserves the heart in a gypsum doll, out of which a new Dionysus is made. This story is told by the poets Callimachus and Nonnus, who call this Dionysus "Zagreus", and in a number of Orphic texts, which do not.
One iteration of this story, reported by the Neoplatonist philosopher Olympiodorus, writing in the Christian era, says that humanity sprung up out of the fatty smoke of the burning Titan corpses. Other earlier writers imply that humanity was born out of the blood shed by the Titans in their war against Zeus.
Pindar, Plato and Oppian refer offhandedly to man's "Titanic nature". Whether this refers to a sort of "original sin" rooted in the murder of Dionysus is hotly debated by scholars
In the 20th century
Some scholars of the past century or so, most eloquently Jane Ellen Harrison, have argued that an initiatory or shamanic ritual underlies the myth of Dionysus's dismemberment and cannibalism by the Titans.
She also points out that the word "Titan" comes from the Greek τιτανος, signifying white earth, clay or gypsum, and that the Titans were "white clay men", or men covered by white clay or gypsum dust in their rituals. Other scholars believe the word to be related to the Greek verb τέμνω (to stretch), a view which Hesiod himself appears to share: "But their father Ouranos, who himself begot them, bitterly gave to them to those others, his sons, the name of Titans, the Stretchers, for they stretched out their power outrageously." (Hesiod, Theogony, 207-210).
The scholar M.L. West also points this out in relation to shamanistic initiatory rites of early Greek religious practices.
Out of confusion with the Gigantes, various large things have been named after the Titans, for their "titanic" size, for example the RMS Titanic or the giant predatory bird Titanis walleri.
In the animated film Hercules there are four Titans ,each based on an element. They terrorized the earth until Zeus imprisoned them.
In classic mythology, below Heaven, Earth, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). It is a deep, gloomy place, a pit, or an abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the underworld. In the Gorgias, Plato (c. 400 BC) wrote that souls were judged after death and those who received punishment were sent to Tartarus. As a place of punishment, it can be considered a hell. The classic Hades, on the other hand, is more similar to Old Testament Sheol.
Like other primal entities (such as the earth and time), Tartarus is also a primordial force or deity.
Tartarus in Greek mythology
In Greek mythology, Tartarus is both a deity and a place in the underworld even lower than Hades. In ancient Orphic sources and in the mystery schools Tartarus is also the unbounded first-existing entity from which the Light and the cosmos are born.
In Hesiod's Theogony, c. 700 BC, the deity Tartarus was the third force to manifest in the yawning void of Chaos.
As for the place, the Greek poet Hesiod asserts that a bronze anvil falling from heaven would fall 9 days before it reached the Earth. The anvil would take nine more days to fall from Earth to Tartarus. That would make 7625651,04 meters, so the distance between the Heaven to Earth or Earth to Tartarus would also be 7625,65 kilometers. Heaven to Tartarus would be the double: 15.251,8 kilometers. That would be a 3/100 of Moon to Earth distance, though, but much more than the earth atmosphere edge.
In The Iliad (c. 700), Zeus asserts that Tartarus is "as far beneath Hades as heaven is high above the earth." As a place so far from the sun and so deep in the earth, Tartarus is hemmed in by three layers of night. It is a dank and wretched pit engulfed in murky gloom. It is one of the primordial objects that sprung from Chaos (along with Gaia (Earth) and Eros (Sex)).
While, according to Greek mythology, The Realm of Hades is the place of the dead, Tartarus also has a number of inhabitants. When Cronus, the ruling Titan, came to power he imprisoned the Cyclopes in Tartarus. Some myths also say he imprisoned the three Hecatonchires (giants with fifty heads and one hundred arms). Zeus released them, and defeated Kampe, to aid in his conflict with the Titan giants. The gods of Olympus eventually defeated the Titans. Many, but not all of the Titans, were cast into Tartarus. Epimetheus, Metis, and Prometheus are some Titans who were not banished to Tartarus. Cronus was imprisoned in Tartarus. In Tartarus, the Hecatonchires guarded prisoners. Later, when Zeus overcame the monster Typhon, the offspring of Tartarus and Gaia, he threw the monster into the same pit.
Persephone supervising Sisyphus in the Underworld, Attic black-figure amphora, ca. 530 BC.Originally, Tartarus was used only to confine dangers to the gods of Olympus. In later mythologies, Tartarus became the place where the punishment fits the crime. For example Sisyphus, who was punished for telling the father of Aegina, a young woman kidnapped by Zeus for one of his sexual gratifications, where she was and who had initially taken her. Zeus considered this an ultimate betrayal and saw to it that Sisyphus was forced to roll a large boulder up a mountainside, which, when he reached the crest, rolled back down, repeatedly.
Also found there was Ixion, one of the mortals invited to dine with the gods. Ixion began to lust after Zeus' wife, Hera, and began to caress her under the table, but soon ceased at Zeus' warning. Later that night, having given Ixion a place to sleep, Zeus felt the need to test the guest's tolerance and willpower. Constructing a cloud-woman to mirror Hera in appearance, Zeus sent her, known as Nephele, to Ixion's bed. He promptly slept with and impregnated the false Hera. As his punishment, he was banished to Tartarus to forever roll strapped to a wheel of flames, which represented his burning lust.
Tantalus who was also graciously invited to dine with the gods, felt he should repay them for their kindness and hospitality, but in his pride, decided to see if he could deceive the gods. Tantalus murdered and roasted his son Pelops as a feast for the gods. Demeter, one of the goddesses who preferred to walk with the mortals, graciously accepted the food, but was immediately repulsed when she bit into the left shoulder. The gods all became violently ill and immediately left for Mt. Olympus. As his punishment for such a heinous act, Tantalus was chained to a rock in the middle of a river in Tartarus with a berry bush hanging just out of reach above his head. Cursed with unquenchable thirst and unending hunger, Tantalus constantly tried to reach the water or food, but each time, the water and berries would recede out of his reach for eternity. It is from Tantalus's name and torment that we derive the English word "tantalise".
According to Plato (c. 400), Rhadamanthus, Aeacus and Minos were the judges of the dead and chose who went to Tartarus. Rhadamanthus judged Asian souls; Aeacus judged European souls and Minos was the deciding vote and judge of the Greek.
Plato also proposes the concept that sinners were cast under the ground to be punished in accordance with their sins in the Myth of Er. Cronus (the ruler of the Titans) was thrown down into the pits of Tartarus by his children.
There was a number of entrances to Tartarus in Greek mythology.One was in Aornum.
Tartarus in Roman mythology
In Roman mythology, Tartarus is the place where sinners are sent. Virgil describes it in the Aeneid as a gigantic place, surrounded by the flaming river Phlegethon and triple walls to prevent sinners from escaping from it. It is guarded by a hydra with fifty black gaping jaws, which sits at a screeching gate protected by columns of solid adamantine, a substance akin to diamond - so hard that nothing will cut through it. Inside, there is a castle with wide walls, and a tall iron turret. Tisiphone, one of the Erinyes who represents revenge, stands guard sleepless at the top of this turret lashing a whip. There is a pit inside which is said to extend down into the earth twice as far as the distance from the lands of the living to Olympus. At the bottom of this pit lie the Titans, the twin sons of Aloeus and many other sinners. Still more sinners are contained inside Tartarus, with punishments similar to those of Greek myth.
The term "Tartarus" is found only once in the Bible, at 2 Peter 2:4: "God did not hold back from punishing the angels that sinned, but, by throwing them into Tartarus, delivered them into pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment." It would seem to be a synonym of the "Abyss". In Luke 8:31, the Legion of demons begs Jesus not to send them to the Abyss. "The Beast" of Revelation, will come up out of the Abyss (Revelation 11:7; 17:8). Satan will be thrown into the Abyss for 1000 years (Revelation 20:3).
The term "Hades" appears in the religious texts of New Testament times as a translation of the Old Testament Sheol.
In most English Bibles, the word Tartarus is simply translated as Hell, even though early Christian writers usually used the term Gehenna, the Hinnom Valley, to mean hell. In some sense, this dark place matches the term's traditional meaning, a dark pit in which the Supreme God has cast his spirit enemies. However, it is separate from the Lake of Fire, which is the place of eternal fiery punishment that most people think of when they think of "Hell". This is evidenced in Revelation 20, where Satan is released from the Abyss (v. 3) and later thrown in the "Lake of Burning Sulfur" (v. 10), where he will be "tormented day and night forever and ever".