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Earth (Gaia)
Sky (Ouranos/Uranus)
The Underworld
The Titans
• The children of Gaia and Uranus are called the
• Their first children were giants and monsters
like the Cyclops.
• Uranus hated his monstrous children and
banished them to the Underworld. (Gaia could
not forgive him).
The Titans
• Next, Uranus and Gaia had six sons and six
daughters. Among them were:
• Cronus (the god of time)
• Rhea (the goddess of mothers)
• Oceanus (the god of water)
• And others
The Titans
• Gaia secretly hated her husband for what he
did to her first children, so she plotted to have
her son Cronus rule in his place.
• Cronus and his brothers and sisters could not
defeat their father alone, so Cronus released
the monsters from the earth.
• After the defeat of Uranus, however, Cronus
trapped the giants back in the earth.
The Rule of Cronus
• Cronus married his sister Rhea.
• After their first son was born, Cronus began to
fear that what he did to his father would be
revisited on him.
• So he took his baby son and swallowed him
• Rhea was angry, but said nothing.
The Rule of Cronus
• When their next child was born, Cronus also
quickly swallowed the baby.
• Finally, after giving birth to two sons and three
daughters, Rhea was fed up.
• After giving birth to her sixth child, a boy she
named Zeus, she hid him on the Earth and
gave her husband a rock wrapped in a blanket.
• He swallowed it.
The Rule of Cronus
• When Zeus was old enough, he defeated his
father – cutting open his belly to release his
(now also fully grown) brothers and sisters.
• But you cannot kill a god – they are immortal
– so Zeus and his brothers Poseidon and
Hades chopped their father up into little
pieces and threw them in the ocean.
• Even now the pieces of Cronus writhe in pain.
The Rule of Zeus
• Zeus, his two brothers, and their sisters Hestia,
Demeter, and Hera made their home on Mt.
Olympus, the mountain of the gods.
• But who should rule? Zeus and his brothers
drew straws – Zeus became king of the gods
and ruler of the sky and the Earth. Poseidon
became god of the sea, and Hades god of the
The Rule of Zeus
• Zeus married his sister Hera, goddess of
• However, he was not always faithful and had
many children with different mothers.
The Olympians
• There are twelve gods who live on Mt.
Olympus (plus a few more). They are:
1. Zeus (Jupiter) king of the gods and god
of the sky and lightning.
2. Hades (Pluto) god of the dead and lord
of the Underworld (he does not live on
3. Poseidon (Neptune) god of the sea and
of horses.
The Olympians
4. Some say that Hestia (Vesta) goddess of
the hearth chose not to live on Olympus.
5. Hera (Juno) goddess of marriage and
Queen of the gods.
6. Ares (Mars) son of Zeus and Hera and
god of war.
7. Athena (Minerva) the battle-goddess,
daughter of Zeus alone, she was also
goddess of crafts.
The Olympians
8. Apollo, son of Zeus and Leto, god of
music, light, and healing.
9. Artemis (Diana) Apollo’s twin sister and
goddess of the moon and of hunting.
10. Aphrodite (Venus) goddess of love and
beauty, daughter of Zeus and Dione
(although some say she was born of sea
The Olympians
11. Hermes (Mercury) the messenger of
the gods, son of Zeus and Maia (the
daughter of Atlas, a Titan).
12. Hephaestus (Vulcan) son of Zeus and
Hera (or of Hera alone) god of fire and of
The Lesser Gods of Olympus
• Eros (Cupid) the god of love
• Demeter (Ceres) goddess of grain and growth
• Persephone (Proserpina) her daughter,
goddess of spring and Queen of the
• Dionysus (Bacchus) god of wine
• And others
You Need to Know About…
• Hybris is what it is called when someone
thinks he or she is better than the gods.
• People with hybris usually get punished.
• Many myths feature someone who does
something wrong and then gets punished.
• The punishment usually fits the crime.
• Myths often explain the mysteries of nature.
• For example, the myth of Demeter and
Persephone (which we will read later) explains
why the leaves turn brown and fall off of the
trees in the autumn.
• Many Greek and Roman myths were born
from a time when Matriarchal societies and
Patriarchal societies began to live together.
• For this reason (which we will cover in more
depth later) myths often try to make you think
that women are bad.
• Many myths have a theme, moral, or lesson.
• These myths try to teach you something about
• We will go over these another day.
The End