These were the 12 original titans in Hesiod’s Theogony in accordance with Greek mythology.

Ancient Greeks had great roles to play in shaping what the modern world looks today. They are bar none one of the greatest civilizations to have survived on Earth thousands of years Before the Common Era (B.C.E). Talk of mythology and philosophy, and all will tip their hats in respect. The Theogony, from the Greek word theogonia, which translates as “generations of the gods” in English, is an epic poetry of 1,022 hexameter lines by Hesiod describing the origin and genealogy of the Greek pantheon written around 700 B.C.E.

The Theogony, as composed by Hesiod, is a large-scale synthesis of a vast variety of Greeks traditions in relation with their deities, organized as a narrative that tell the story of their origin and how they took control of the universe. It is the first known Greek mythical cosmogony. The universe is said to have began with chaos — a dark indefinite void considered a divine primordial condition from which everything else appeared. Theogonies in Greek mythology are essential for understanding how the universe itself got meaning by the influence of their deities. Here are the original 12 titans of the Greek pantheon.

Related media: Miscellaneous Myths: The Theogony (Greek Creation Myth)

The Clash Of The Titans

In Greek mythology, the Titans were the pre-Olympian gods; and according to Hesiod’s Theogony, they were the twelve children of the primordial parents Uranus, god of the Sky, and his mother Gaia, goddess of the Earth, with six male Titans: Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Cronus, and six female Titanesses: Thea, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys.

Here are the 12 titans of Uranus and Gaia from Hesiod’s Theogony:

Male Titans

#1. Oceanus was the first and oldest titan sibling and son of Uranus and Gaia, who was the husband of his own titaness sister, Tethys (Incest Alert!), and the father of the river gods and the Oceanids, as well as being the great river which encircled the entire world. Seems like they love pool parties.

#2. Coeus was the second titan sibling (and son), who was associated with the inquisitive mind, his name literally means “query” or “questioning.” He was probably the god of the northern axis of heaven around which the constellations revolved, also known as polos in Greek.

#3. Crius was the third titan sibling (and son), who is the least individualized among the Titans, he was overthrown in the Titanomachy.

#4. Hyperion was the fourth titan son (and sibling), who with the help of Cronus, overthrew their father and were themselves later overthrown by the Olympians. He was the consort of his own titaness sister Thea (Incest Alert!), who were the parent of Helios, god of the sun, Selene, god of the moon, and Eos, god of the dawn.

#5. Iapetus was the fifth titan son (and sibling), who was the father of Atlas, the god who held up the Pillar of the Earth on his shoulders, Prometheus, the god of fire, Epimetheus, the god of afterthought and excuses, and Menoetius, the god of violent anger and rash action. (Never pray to him, ever). 

#6. Cronus was the sixth titan son (and youngest sibling), who eventually became the leader of the first generation of the Titans, overthrowing his father and taking rule during the mythological Golden Age. He mated with his older sister Rhea (Incest Alert!), who became the parents of the first generation of Olympians: the six siblings Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. But like father like son, he was also overthrown by his own son Zeus, god of the heavens, and was imprisoned in Tartarus.

Female Titanesses

#7. Thea was the sixth sibling (and first titaness daughter), who had sight by extension the goddess who endowed gold, silver and gems with their brilliance and intrinsic value. Aforementioned, she was the consort of his brother Hyperion.

#8. Rhea was the seventh sibling (and second titaness daughter), who was seen as “the mother of gods,” as most classic Greeks saw her as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses, but not as an Olympian goddess in her own right. She also happens to be the consort of Cronus. Why is incest so common among gods?

#9. Themis was the eighth sibling (and third titaness daughter), who was often described as “the Lady of good counsel,” and was the personification of the divine order, fairness, law, natural law, and custom. She is the symbol of the Scales of Justice — a tool used to remain balanced and pragmatic.

#10. Mnemosyne was the ninth sibling (and fourth titaness daughter), who’s name was derived from the same source as the word mnemonic, that being the Greek word mnēmē, which means “remembrance,” or “memory.” You better remember this one. 

#11. Phoebe was the tenth sibling (and fifth daughter), who’s associated with “shining” and is the grandmother to Apollo, god of the sun, and Artemis, goddess of the moon. 

#12. Tethys was the eleventh sibling (and the last daughter), who aforementioned, was wife of Oceanus, and the mother of the river gods and the Oceanids. Although she plays no active role in Greek mythology and wasn’t worshipped, yet she’s depicted in all baths and pools throughout Greece, particularly in Antioch. Anyone ready for a pool party?

Which of these titans are you really familiar with?

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Thu, Jan 14, 2021.



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