SHORT STORY: THEOGONY: Clash of the Titans


    Theogony is the genealogy, birth, and the making of the pedigree of Greek Gods. It is a poem by Hesiod, an ancient Greek poet who lived during 8th – 7th century BC, describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods. It is written in the Epic dialect, a form of ancient Greek language, developed and used, as a literary language in the epic poems of ancient Greek.

    According to Hesiod’s Theogony, at the outset of time, there was only Chaos. Dense darkness, covered everything, until the Earth was born out of Chaos and with the Earth came the mountains, the sea, and then the sky (Uranus) along with the sun, the moon and the stars. Later Uranus and Earth came together and gave birth to the Titans. But Uranus was scared that one of his children would take over his throne. So he enclosed each one of them in the depths of the Earth. But his son, Cronus, the strongest of the Titans, defeated him and became the world leader. He married Rhea, who gave birth to two gods and three goddesses: Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia and Demeter.

    But Cronus inherited the same fear as his father. In a manner, just like the “Kans Mama” in Mathura, who killed Devaki’s children, because he was scared that he might be killed by them? Cronus believed that one of his offspring would later take over his throne. So, when they were born, he swallowed them. (Just like the Nigas swallowing Lord Vishnu but in a different context). However, Rhea was also expecting a sixth child, but fearing, it would share the same fate as her other children, she secretly gave birth on a mountain in Crete (a Greek island in the Mediterranean), and hid the new born there. She named the child Zeus. She also tricked Cronus into thinking he swallowed this child too, by giving him a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which Cronus swallowed thinking it was his new born.

    The Nymphs, as mentioned in the Greek mythology, took care of Zeus and fed the baby with milk of a goat. When Zeus grew up, he found his father and tricked him into drinking a mixture of wine and mustard, which caused him to disgorge the contents of his stomach. And with that, Zeus’ older brothers and sisters came out of Cronus fully grown! This is how the great Titanomachy (a series of battles) began—the war between the Titans and the Gods, with Zeus as their leader. This titanic battle lasted for ten years. The gods defeated the Titans and threw them into Tartarus, a dark and gloomy place, as far from the earth as earth is from the sky. Then the Gods fought with the Giants for the dominance of the world. The Gigantomachy lasted a long time as well. But the gods were again victorious. Thus, Zeus became the ruler of the whole world and he and the other Gods settled in Olympus. 

    The Gigantomachy was probably the most important battle that happened in the Greek mythology. It was a fight between the Giants or Gigantes, sons of Rhea and Uranus, and the Olympian gods who were trying to overthrow the old religion and establish themselves as the new rulers of the cosmos.

    Difference between Gods and Titans. In short, they are all deities, but of different generations. The word “Titan” is used to denote a class of mythological entities that existed, before Gods were born, and Titans are usually used, to describe, the creation of the world. … Gods are the children of the Titans.

By Kamlesh Tripathi



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