Titan (mythology)

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Fall of the Titans ( Cornelis van Haarlem , 1588)

The Titans ( ancient Greek Τιτᾶνες Titânes , singular: Titan , ancient Greek Τιτάν ) are giants in human form in Greek mythology and a powerful family of gods that ruled in the legendary Golden Era . Like the Cyclops and Hekatoncheirs , they are descendants of Gaia and Uranus . The female titans are also called titanides ( ancient Greek Τιτανίδες ). The lost epic Titanomachy tells of the titan fight between the Olympians , Hekatoncheirs and a number of titans , in which they are finally defeated after a hard fight and driven into the depths of the underworld, the Tartaros .

The Greek word τιταίνω titaínō means “to stretch”.


chaos Gaia Uranus
Family of gods of the titans

The titans

Fallen Titan ( François Dumont , 1712)

The titans form the oldest family of gods in the theogony of Greek mythology . This is how Hesiod names twelve titans, six sons and six daughters, who later form six couples:

  1. Hyperion - light and sun god begat wife Theia the sun god Helios , the moon goddess Selene and the goddess of the dawn Eos , which is often considered the most beautiful goddess at all or schönstmögliche woman described
  2. Iapetus - husband of the nymph Klymene (daughter of Oceanus ), was banished to the Tartaros after the defeat against the Olympian gods
  3. Koios - was pushed in the Tartaros after losing to the Olympian gods
  4. Kreios - spouse of Eurybia
  5. Kronos - father of Zeus , became the ruler of the world after the emasculation of the father Uranus ; Husband of Rhea ; was ousted by his son Zeus and now rules the islands of the blessed.
  6. Mnemosyne - mother of the nine muses
  7. Okeanos - lord of the ocean, strongest of the titans, fathered the river gods and the sea and spring nymphs with his sister and wife Tethys
  8. Phoibe - wife of Koios , moon goddess
  9. Rhea - mother of Hestia , Demeter , Hera , Hades , Poseidon and Zeus; ruled with his husband Kronos since his disempowerment on the island of the blessed
  10. Themis - goddess of justice and order, second wife (after Metis ) of Zeus; it knows the future and thus enables Deucalion and Pyrrha to survive the flood and to repopulate the earth
  11. Tethys - sea goddess, wife of Oceanus; As Hera's wet nurse, she cursed the constellations for her sake, always wandering across the sky
  12. Theia - wife of Hyperion

Titan Iapetus begets more titans with Clymene:

  1. Atlas the tough (carries the sky)
  2. Epimetheus , Pandora's man
  3. Menoitios , the arrogant
  4. Prometheus , the friend of the people

Titan Kreios also sired other titans with Eurybia :

  1. Asterios - Titan of the evening glow
  2. Pallas
  3. Perses

Incidentally, four sisters of the Titans bond with four brothers:

  • Theia gives birth to Hyperion, Helios (the sun), Selene (the moon) and Eos (the dawn).
  • Phoibe becomes an ancestor of a family of gods through Koios, to which Leto , Artemis and Hecate as well as Apollo belong
  • Rhea takes Kronos as husband and gives birth to Hestia , Demeter and Hera as well as Hades, Poseidon and Zeus.
  • Tethys and Oceanus are the parents of the Oceanids .


Emasculation of Uranus

The first children that Gaia bore to Uranus , the Cyclops and Hekatoncheiren (hundred-armed men), were hated by him from the beginning, so that he banished them to the Tartaros and took pleasure in this terrible work. Since Gaia suffered and was angry, she hid the following children, brought out the gray adamant , made a sickle out of it, and gave it to them to punish him. She incited the Titan Sons to rebel, led by Kronos , the youngest of the Titans, the five of them ambushed their father. They grabbed him while he was lying on earth to hold him at the four corners of the world, while Kronos emasculated the titan father Uranos in the middle.

The genitals of Uranus threw Kronos into the sea. The blood from Uranus' penis falling on Gaia fertilized her; Gaia gave birth to the giants , the Erinyes and the Melian nymphs . Aphrodite ("the foam-born") grew out of the white foam that was created by mixing Uranos' blood and semen . According to other authors, Okeanos was the only one of the titans who was not involved in the castration and who also remained neutral in the titanium battle.


Hesiod tells that after the victory of Kronos over Uranos a fierce battle broke out between the Titans and the later Olympian gods , which could only be decided when Gaia revealed to the latter how the victory was to be achieved: The Hekatoncheiren imprisoned by Kronos (“Hundertarmigen “) Should be called in to help the gods in battle. When the battle between gods and titans broke out again, the hundred-armed men threw stones at the titans so that they were buried under them. Finally, tied up, they were pushed into the Tartaros , from where they can never escape, as Poseidon built a bronze door and the hundred-armed men are now guarding it.

According to other information, Oceanus and all Titanids should not have been involved in this fight or only passively. Some of the younger titans, including Helios , are said to have sided with Zeus.

See also


Web links

Commons : Titan  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Titan  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 66.1 (Greek historian C1st BC)
  2. Hesiod, Theogony 424 and 133-138
  3. Hesiod , Theogony 133-210
  4. ^ Pseudo-Apollodor, Libraries 1.3
  5. Hesiod: Theogony 617-719
  6. ^ Diodor, Library for History, 5. 71.2
  7. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 221 ff
  8. Ptolemaios Hephaistion, New History Book 4 (summary by Photius, Myriobiblon 190)