Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Greek Mythology: The Olympian Theogony and Rule of Zeus

Origin of gods and goddesses and the rule of Zeus

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In the beginning, Gaia or Mother Earth rose out of Chaos which was a yawning nihility. She gave birth to the sky, Uranus, who was the first one to rule the cosmos. images-73 Uranus married Gaia and fathered three Hecatoncheires, who were giant creatures having hundred hands and fifty heads. They were named Briareus (the vigorous one), Cottus (the furious one) and Gyges (the big-limbed). They had unsurpassable strength and were of great size, and hence represented the earthquake and huge ocean waves.
Next, Gaia bore the Cyclopes who were one eyed, giant master-smiths. Their names were Arges, Brontes and Steropes each one symbolizing thunderbolt, thunder and lightning respectively. However, out of hatred, Uranus threw them into the depths of Tartarus (dark dungeon far beneath the Underworld). maxresdefault
Soon after, Uranus fathered upon Gaia, the Titans- six males: Oceanus, Coeus, Hyperion, Crius, Iapetus, and Cronus, who was the youngest and most wicked of them all, and six females: Tethys, Rhea, Theia, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Themis. But Gaia was enraged by losing her children who had been hurdled into Tartarus. So, she convinced the Titans to attack Uranus, their father, and gave Cronus an adamantine sickle. While Uranus was in deep sleep, Cronos mercilessly castrated him, and with his left hand, Cronus threw his father’s genitals and the sickle right into the sea, next to Cape Drepanum. And since then the left hand is considered inauspicious.
From the blood drops that flowed upon Gaia, the earth, the three Erinnyes were born. They were called Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera, who were the infernal goddess of vengeance. The nymphs of ash tree, Meliae also emerged. While Aphrodite sprang from the blood that fell on the sea foam. images-76
The Titans then liberated the Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes from Tartarus and awarded the supreme authority of the universe to Cronus. Nevertheless, as soon as Cronus acquired the sovereignty he imprisoned them back in Tartarus, and married his sister, Rhea, the mother of all gods. Since then, both Gaia and Uranus had predicted to Cronus that his power would be taken away by his own son. Knowing this, Cronus devoured his children as soon as they were born. He swallowed the firstborn daughter Hestia, next Demeter, then Hera, after that Hades and Poseidon. images-10 Aggravated by this, the wife of Cronus, Rhea fled to Crete, when she was expecting Zeus. There, Zeus was born in a cave of Dicte on Mount Ida. He was nursed by the Ash-nymphs Adrasteia and Io, daughters of Melisseus and by Goat-nymph Amalthea. images-9 Zeus was very please and grateful for the kindness of the three nymphs and so when he became the lord of the cosmos he placed Amaltheia among the stars as the constellation Capricorn. unnamed-1 He also acquired one of Amalthea’s horns and gave it to the daughters of Melisseus which became the famous Cornucopia. Also known as the horn of plenty, which is forever filled with food and drink. thanksgivingcornucopia_blogphoto When Zeus attained adulthood he with the help of Metis, daughter of Oceanus, conspired to overthrow Cronus. Metis gave an emetic potion to Cronus which compelled him to regurgitate the children whom he had consumed. And, with their help, Zeus waged war against Cronus and the Titans. They fought the war for ten years, and Gaia, at last, prophesied that Zeus would be victorious if he unites with those who were hurdled to Tartarus. images-8 So Zeus killed Campe, who was guarding Tartarus and freed Cyclopes and Hecatonchires. The Cyclopes therefore gave thunder,lightning and thunderbolt to Zeus as his weapon, gave Hades a helmet of darkness, and to Poseidon a trident. images-7 Equipped with these powerful weapons, they overturned the Titans, confined them in Tartarus and appointed Hecatonchires as the guard. Hence they enjoyed communal power among themselves. Zeus hence enjoyed sovereignty over the heaven and sky, Poseidon over the sea, and Hades over the underworld. images-5

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