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Titan Gods

The Battle Between the Gods and the TitansBefore the Olympian gods came into being and power, all was ruled by the Titans. Among other things during their rule, they established the cycles of the Heavens and were responsible for all that had to do with time.

The Titans were the offspring of Uranus and the Earth mother Gaea and were considered "The First Race" even though they were siblings of the Hecatonchires and the one-eyed Cyclopes.

Originally, there were twelve elder Titans consisting of six males; Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Oceanus, and six females; Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Rhea, Tethys, Theia, and Themis.

Because Uranus, their father, was both horrified and jealous of his children, he shut the male Titans, the Hecatonchires, and the Cyclopes away deep inside their mother, the Earth. The imprisonment of her children caused Gaea great pain, both mentally and physically. As a result, she encouraged her Titan sons, led by Cronus, to overthrow their father and free themselves and their brothers from captivity.

According to plan, the male Titans managed to ambush and overpower their father Uranus and Cronus became the "High God of the World." However, while they did release their brothers, the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from the belly of the Earth, the Titans later imprisoned them again in the underworld pit of Tartarus.

For not keeping their word to Gaea, it was foretold that a son of Cronus would one day overthrow the Titans much in the same manner as they had done to Uranus. Fearful, Cronus swallowed each of his offspring as soon as they were born and presented to him. However, when Zeus, his youngest, was about to be born, Rhea, Zeus' mother, sought Gaea's help in devising a plan to save him. This way, Cronus would get his retribution for the acts committed against his father, his brothers, and his own children.

Upon the birth of Zeus, Rhea hid him. Then, instead of handing Cronus the newborn baby, she handed him a rock wrapped in swaddling clothes. As he had done with all the other children, Cronus promptly swallowed it.

Upon reaching manhood, Zeus forced Cronus to disgorge first the stone, then his siblings in reverse order of swallowing them. After, Zeus released Cronus' brothers the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, from their dungeon in Tartarus.

Together, Zeus, his brothers, his sisters, the Hecatonchires, and the Cyclopes overthrew Cronus and the other Titans, in an eleven year battle called the Titanomachy. The defeated Titans were then cast into the shadowy underworld of Tartarus.

As many of the younger Titan gods had allied themselves with Zeus they retained their divine rights under the new Olympian regime. However, subsequently, some of these Titan allies became rebellious and were sentenced to very harsh punishment by Zeus.

The female Titans, (a.k.a. Titanides) remained neutral during the War of the Titans, and thus retained their positions as prophetic goddesses. Several of these goddesses became wives and consorts of Zeus and received a place on Mount Olympus as mothers of the gods.

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