First beginnings and the Age of the Titans

Authored by: Robin Hard

The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  December  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138652606
eBook ISBN: 9781315624136
Adobe ISBN:


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Chapter 2 examines the standard Greek mythical account of the earlier history of the universe and of the origins of the gods and the divine order, in accordance with the pattern first established in Hesiod’s Theogony. After initial consideration of the four primal realities, it is explained how the three great divine families were brought into being, two descended from Earth through her self-generated sons Sky (Ouranos) and Sea (Pontos), and one from Chaos through her daughter Night. The second part of the chapter deals with the marriage of Earth and Sky and examines the first proper myth in Hesiod’s theogony. An account is then offered of the Cyclopes and Hundred-Handers. The final part of the chapter is devoted to the mythology of Cronos and of his brothers and sisters the Titans, in their nature as the former ruling gods. In this connection, it is discussed why the reign of Cronos came to be imagined as a golden age, and an account is offered of Hesiod’s myth of progressive decline in Works and Days.

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