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War of the Gods and the Titans

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Author Topic: War of the Gods and the Titans  (Read 695 times)
the Oblique Madness
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« on: September 29, 2016, 10:18:57 pm »

 Zeus then waged a war against his father with his disgorged brothers and sisters as allies: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Zeus released the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes from the earth (where they had been imprisoned by Cronus) and they allied with him as well. The Hecatonchires hurled stones, and the Cyclopes forged for Zeus his iconic thunder and lightning. Fighting on the other side allied with Cronus were the other Titans with the important exception of Themis and her son Prometheus who allied with Zeus.
Atlas was an important leader on the side of Cronus. The war lasted ten years, but eventually Zeus and the other Olympians won, the Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus, and the Hecatonchires were made their guards. Atlas was given the special punishment of holding up the sky. In some accounts, when Zeus became secure in his power he relented and gave the Titans their freedom.
According to Hyginus, the cause of the Titan War is as follows: "After Hera saw that Epaphus, born of a concubine, ruled such a great kingdom (Egypt), she saw to it that he should be killed while hunting, and encouraged the Titans to drive Zeus from the kingdom and restore it to Cronus, (Saturn). When they tried to mount heaven, Zeus with the help of Athena, Apollo, and Artemis, cast them headlong into Tartarus. On Atlas, who had been their leader, he put the vault of the sky."
Following their final victory, the three brothers divided the world amongst themselves: Zeus was given domain over the sky and the air, and was recognized as overlord. Poseidon was given the sea and all the waters, whereas Hades was given the Underworld, the realm of the dead.
Each of the other gods was allotted powers according to the nature and proclivities of each. The earth was left common to all to do as they pleased, even to run counter to one another, unless the brothers were called to intervene.
These Greek stories of the Titan War fall into a class of similar myths throughout Europe and the Near East, where one generation of a race or group of gods by and large opposes the dominant one, often the parent civilization.
Sometimes the Elder Gods are supplanted. Sometimes the rebels gods lose, and are either cast out of power entirely or incorporated into the existing pantheon.
Other examples might include the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian creation epic Enuma Elish, the Hittite "Kingship in Heaven" Kumarbi narrative, the struggle between the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians in Celtic mythology, The Æsir–Vanir War in Scandinavian Norse mythology, and the obscure generational conflict documented in Ugaritic fragments.

In the Cretan tradition, the Titans were portrayed as agrarian gods who lived in the vicinity of Knossos in Crete where they ruled over mankind during the Golden Age. At this time the Earth produced an endless bounty, and presented the Titans with the first sickle for the harvest. The Sicilian myths also speak of the Titans harvesting the first grain.
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