God of the Harvest
|Member of Titans|
|Abode|| Mount Othrys (formerly)|
|Symbol||Snake, grain, sickle, scythe|
|Parents||Uranus and Gaia|
|Offspring||Zeus, Hera, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Poseidon, Chiron|
|Slavic equivalent||Rod, Рід, Род|
In Greek mythology, Cronus, Cronos, or Kronos ( // or // , US: /-/ , from Greek : Κρόνος, Krónos) was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of the primordial Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Father Sky). He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus. According to Plato, however, the deities Phorcys, Cronus, and Rhea were the eldest children of Oceanus and Tethys.
Cronus was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of the harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.
In an ancient myth recorded by Hesiod's Theogony , Cronus envied the power of his father, Uranus, the ruler of the universe. Uranus drew the enmity of Cronus's mother, Gaia, when he hid the gigantic youngest children of Gaia, the hundred-handed Hecatoncheires and one-eyed Cyclopes, in Tartarus, so that they would not see the light. Gaia created a great stone sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to persuade them to castrate Uranus.
Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in ambush.When Uranus met with Gaia, Cronus attacked him with the sickle, castrating him and casting his testicles into the sea. From the blood that spilled out from Uranus and fell upon the earth, the Gigantes, Erinyes, and Meliae were produced. The testicles produced a white foam from which the goddess Aphrodite emerged. For this, Uranus threatened vengeance and called his sons Titenes for overstepping their boundaries and daring to commit such an act.
After dispatching Uranus, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hecatoncheires and the Cyclopes and set the dragon Campe to guard them. He and his older sister Rhea took the throne of the world as king and queen. The period in which Cronus ruled was called the Golden Age, as the people of the time had no need for laws or rules; everyone did the right thing, and immorality was absent.
Cronus learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own sons, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades and Poseidon by Rhea, he devoured them all as soon as they were born to prevent the prophecy. When the sixth child, Zeus, was born, Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save them and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his father and children.
Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, also known as the Omphalos Stone, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his son.
Rhea kept Zeus hidden in a cave on Mount Ida, Crete. According to some versions of the story, he was then raised by a goat named Amalthea, while a company of Kouretes, armored male dancers, shouted and clapped their hands to make enough noise to mask the baby's cries from Cronus. Other versions of the myth have Zeus raised by the nymph Adamanthea, who hid Zeus by dangling him by a rope from a tree so that he was suspended between the earth, the sea, and the sky, all of which were ruled by his father, Cronus. Still other versions of the tale say that Zeus was raised by his grandmother, Gaia.
Once he had grown up, Zeus used an emetic given to him by Gaia to force Cronus to disgorge the contents of his stomach in reverse order: first the stone, which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Mount Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, and then his two brothers and three sisters. In other versions of the tale, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the children.
After freeing his siblings, Zeus released the Hecatoncheires, and the Cyclopes who forged for him his thunderbolts, Poseidon's trident and Hades' helmet of darkness. In a vast war called the Titanomachy, Zeus and his older brothers and sisters, with the help of the Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes, overthrew Cronus and the other Titans. Afterwards, many of the Titans were confined in Tartarus. However, Oceanus, Helios, Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius were not imprisoned following the Titanomachy. Gaia bore the monster Typhon to claim revenge for the imprisoned Titans.
Accounts of the fate of Cronus after the Titanomachy differ. In Homeric and other texts he is imprisoned with the other Titans in Tartarus. In Orphic poems, he is imprisoned for eternity in the cave of Nyx. Pindar describes his release from Tartarus, where he is made King of Elysium by Zeus. In another version,[ citation needed ] the Titans released the Cyclopes from Tartarus, and Cronus was awarded the kingship among them, beginning a Golden Age. In Virgil's Aeneid , it is Latium to which Saturn (Cronus) escapes and ascends as king and lawgiver, following his defeat by his son Jupiter (Zeus).
In yet another account referred to by Robert Graves,(who claims to be following the account of the Byzantine mythographer Tzetzes) it is said that Cronus was castrated by his son Zeus just as Uranus had earlier been castrated by his son Cronos. However the subject of a son castrating his own father, or simply castration in general, was so repudiated by the Greek mythographers of that time that they suppressed it from their accounts until the Christian era (when Tzetzes wrote).
In a Libyan account related by Diodorus Siculus (Book 3), Uranus and Titaea were the parents of Cronus and Rhea and the other Titans. Ammon, a king of Libya, married Rhea (3.18.1). However, Rhea abandoned Ammon and married her younger brother Cronus. With Rhea's incitement, Cronus and the other Titans made war upon Ammon, who fled to Crete (3.71.1–2). Cronus ruled harshly and Cronus in turn was defeated by Ammon's son Dionysus (3.71.3–3.73) who appointed Cronus' and Rhea's son, Zeus, as king of Egypt (3.73.4). Dionysus and Zeus then joined their forces to defeat the remaining Titans in Crete, and on the death of Dionysus, Zeus inherited all the kingdoms, becoming lord of the world (3.73.7–8).
Cronus is mentioned in the Sibylline Oracles , particularly in book three, which makes Cronus, 'Titan' and Iapetus, the three sons of Uranus and Gaia, each to receive a third division of the Earth, and Cronus is made king over all. After the death of Uranus, Titan's sons attempt to destroy Cronus's and Rhea's male offspring as soon as they are born, but at Dodona, Rhea secretly bears her sons Zeus, Poseidon and Hades and sends them to Phrygia to be raised in the care of three Cretans. Upon learning this, sixty of Titan's men then imprison Cronus and Rhea, causing the sons of Cronus to declare and fight the first of all wars against them. This account mentions nothing about Cronus either killing his father or attempting to kill any of his children.
Cronus was said to be the father of the wise centaur Chiron by the Oceanid Philyra, who was subsequently transformed into a linden tree.The Titan chased the nymph and consorted with her in the shape of a stallion, hence the half-human, half-equine shape of their offspring; this was said to have taken place on Mount Pelion.
Two other sons of Cronus and Philyra may have been Dolopsand Aphrus, the ancestor and eponym of the Aphroi, i.e. the native Africans.
In some accounts, Cronus was also called the father of the Corybantes.
During antiquity, Cronus was occasionally interpreted as Chronos, the personification of time.The Roman philosopher Cicero (1st century BCE) elaborated on this by saying that the Greek name Cronus is synonymous to chronos (time) since he maintains the course and cycles of seasons and the periods of time, whereas the Latin name Saturn denotes that he is saturated with years since he was devouring his sons, which implies that time devours the ages and gorges.
The Greek historian and biographer Plutarch (1st century CE) asserted that the Greeks believed that Cronus was an allegorical name for χρόνος (time). The philosopher Plato (3rd century BCE) in his Cratylus gives two possible interpretations for the name of Cronus. The first is that his name denotes "κόρος" (koros), the pure (καθαρόν) and unblemished (ἀκήρατον) nature of his mind. The second is that Rhea and Cronus were given names of streams (Rhea – ῥοή (rhoē) and Cronus – Xρόνος (chronos)). Proclus (5th century CE), the Neoplatonist philosopher, makes in his Commentary on Plato's Cratylus an extensive analysis on Cronus; among others he says that the "One cause" of all things is "Chronos" (time) that is also equivalent to Cronus.
In addition to the name, the story of Cronus eating his children was also interpreted as an allegory to a specific aspect of time held within Cronus' sphere of influence. As the theory went, Cronus represented the destructive ravages of time which devoured all things, a concept that was illustrated when the Titan king ate the Olympian gods—the past consuming the future, the older generation suppressing the next generation.
During the Renaissance, the identification of Cronus and Chronos gave rise to "Father Time" wielding the harvesting scythe.
H. J. Rose in 1928observed that attempts to give "Κρόνος" a Greek etymology had failed. Recently, Janda (2010) offers a genuinely Indo-European etymology of "the cutter", from the root *(s)ker- "to cut" (Greek κείρω (keirō), cf. English shear ), motivated by Cronus's characteristic act of "cutting the sky" (or the genitals of anthropomorphic Uranus). The Indo-Iranian reflex of the root is kar, generally meaning "to make, create" (whence karma ), but Janda argues that the original meaning "to cut" in a cosmogonic sense is still preserved in some verses of the Rigveda pertaining to Indra's heroic "cutting", like that of Cronus resulting in creation:
RV 10.104.10 ārdayad vṛtram akṛṇod ulokaṃ
he hit Vrtra fatally, cutting [> creating] a free path.
RV 6.47.4 varṣmāṇaṃ divo akṛṇod
he cut [> created] the loftiness of the sky.
This may point to an older Indo-European mytheme reconstructed as *(s)kert wersmn diwos "by means of a cut he created the loftiness of the sky". The myth of Cronus castrating Uranus parallels the Song of Kumarbi , where Anu (the heavens) is castrated by Kumarbi. In the Song of Ullikummi , Teshub uses the "sickle with which heaven and earth had once been separated" to defeat the monster Ullikummi, establishing that the "castration" of the heavens by means of a sickle was part of a creation myth, in origin a cut creating an opening or gap between heaven (imagined as a dome of stone) and earth enabling the beginning of time (chronos) and human history.
A theory debated in the 19th century, and sometimes still offered somewhat apologetically,holds that Κρόνος is related to "horned", assuming a Semitic derivation from qrn . Andrew Lang's objection, that Cronus was never represented horned in Hellenic art, was addressed by Robert Brown, arguing that, in Semitic usage, as in the Hebrew Bible, qeren was a signifier of "power". When Greek writers encountered the Semitic deity El, they rendered his name as Cronus.
Robert Graves remarks that "cronos probably means 'crow', like the Latin cornix and the Greek corōne", noting that Cronus was depicted with a crow, as were the deities Apollo, Asclepius, Saturn and Bran.
When Hellenes encountered Phoenicians and, later, Hebrews, they identified the Semitic El, by interpretatio graeca , with Cronus. The association was recorded c. 100 CE by Philo of Byblos' Phoenician history, as reported in Eusebius' Præparatio Evangelica I.10.16. Philo's account, ascribed by Eusebius to the semi-legendary pre-Trojan War Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, indicates that Cronus was originally a Canaanite ruler who founded Byblos and was subsequently deified. This version gives his alternate name as Elus or Ilus, and states that in the 32nd year of his reign, he emasculated, slew and deified his father Epigeius or Autochthon "whom they afterwards called Uranus". It further states that after ships were invented, Cronus, visiting the 'inhabitable world', bequeathed Attica to his own daughter Athena, and Egypt to Taautus the son of Misor and inventor of writing.
While the Greeks considered Cronus a cruel and tempestuous force of chaos and disorder, believing the Olympian gods had brought an era of peace and order by seizing power from the crude and malicious Titans,[ citation needed ] the Romans took a more positive and innocuous view of the deity, by conflating their indigenous deity Saturn with Cronus. Consequently, while the Greeks considered Cronus merely an intermediary stage between Uranus and Zeus, he was a larger aspect of Roman religion. The Saturnalia was a festival dedicated in his honour, and at least one temple to Saturn already existed in the archaic Roman Kingdom.
His association with the "Saturnian" Golden Age eventually caused him to become the god of "time", i.e., calendars, seasons, and harvests—not now confused with Chronos, the unrelated embodiment of time in general. Nevertheless, among Hellenistic scholars in Alexandria and during the Renaissance, Cronus was conflated with the name of Chronos , the personification of "Father Time",wielding the harvesting scythe.
As a result of Cronus's importance to the Romans, his Roman variant, Saturn, has had a large influence on Western culture. The seventh day of the Judaeo-Christian week is called in Latin Dies Saturni ("Day of Saturn"), which in turn was adapted and became the source of the English word Saturday. In astronomy, the planet Saturn is named after the Roman deity. It is the outermost of the Classical planets (the astronomical planets that are visible with the naked eye).
In Greco-Roman Egypt, Cronus was equated with the Egyptian god Geb, because he held a quite similar position in Egyptian mythology as the father of the gods Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys as Cronus did in the Greek pantheon. This equation is particularly well attested in Tebtunis in the southern Fayyum: Geb and Cronus were here part of a local version of the cult of Sobek, the crocodile god.The equation was shown on the one hand in the local iconography of the gods, in which Geb was depicted as a man with attributes of Cronus and Cronus with attributes of Geb. On the other hand, the priests of the local main temple identified themselves in Egyptian texts as priests of "Soknebtunis-Geb", but in Greek texts as priests of "Soknebtunis-Cronus". Accordingly, Egyptian names formed with the name of the god Geb were just as popular among local villager as Greek names derived from Cronus, especially the name "Kronion".
A star (HD 240430) was named after him in 2017 when it was reported to have swallowed its planets.The planet Saturn, named after the Roman equivalent of Cronus, is still referred to as "Cronus" in modern Greek.
"Cronus" was also a suggested name for the dwarf planet Pluto, but was rejected and not voted for because it was suggested by the unpopular and egocentric astronomer Thomas Jefferson Jackson See.
|Descendants of Cronus and Rhea|
The Theogony is a poem by Hesiod describing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods, composed c. 700 BC. It is written in the Epic dialect of Ancient Greek.
In Greek mythology, the Titans were the pre-Olympian gods. According to the Theogony of Hesiod, they were the twelve children of the primordial parents Uranus (Sky) and his mother, Gaia (Earth), with six male Titans: Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Cronus, and six female Titans, called the Titanides : Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys. Cronus mated with his older sister Rhea and together they became the parents of the first generation of Olympians – the six siblings Zeus, Hades, Poseidon, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. Some descendants of the Titans, such as Prometheus, Helios, and Leto, are sometimes also called Titans.
In Greek mythology, Oceanus was a Titan son of Uranus and Gaia, the husband of his sister the Titan Tethys, and the father of the river gods and the Oceanids, as well as being the great river which encircled the entire world.
In Greek mythology, Tartarus is the deep abyss that is used as a dungeon of torment and suffering for the wicked and as the prison for the Titans. Tartarus is the place where, according to Plato's Gorgias, souls are judged after death and where the wicked received divine punishment. Tartarus is also considered to be a primordial force or deity alongside entities such as the Earth, Night, and Time.
Rhea or Rheia is a goddess in Greek mythology, the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus, Gaia's son. She is the older sister of Cronus, who was also her consort. In early traditions, she is known as "the mother of gods" and therefore is strongly associated with Gaia and Cybele, who have similar functions. The classical Greeks saw her as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses. The Romans identified her with Magna Mater, and the Goddess Ops.
In Greek mythology, the Titanomachy was a ten-year series of battles fought in Thessaly, consisting of most of the Titans fighting against the Olympians and their allies. This event is also known as the War of the Titans, Battle of the Titans, Battle of the Gods, or just the Titan War. The war was fought to decide which generation of gods would have dominion over the universe; it ended in victory for the Olympian gods.
In Greek mythology, Phorcys or Phorcus is a primordial sea god, generally cited as the son of Pontus and Gaia (Earth). According to the Orphic hymns, Phorcys, Cronus and Rhea were the eldest offspring of Oceanus and Tethys. Classical scholar Karl Kerenyi conflated Phorcys with the similar sea gods Nereus and Proteus. His wife was Ceto, and he is most notable in myth for fathering by Ceto a host of monstrous children. In extant Hellenistic-Roman mosaics, Phorcys was depicted as a fish-tailed merman with crab-claw forelegs and red, spiky skin.
In Greek mythology, Coeus was one of the Titans, the giant sons and daughters of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth). His equivalent in Latin poetry—though he scarcely makes an appearance in Roman mythology—was Polus, the embodiment of the celestial axis around which the heavens revolve.
In Greek mythology, Hemera was the personification of day and one of the Greek primordial deities. She is the goddess of the daytime and, according to Hesiod, the daughter of Erebus and Nyx.
In Greek mythology, Porphyrion was one of the Gigantes (Giants), who according to Hesiod, were the offspring of Gaia, born from the blood that fell when Uranus (Sky) was castrated by their son Cronus. In some other versions of the myth, the Gigantes were born of Gaia and Tartarus.
In Greek mythology, the Telchines were the original inhabitants of the island of Rhodes and were known in Crete and Cyprus.
In Greek mythology, Tethys was a Titan daughter of Uranus and Gaia, a sister and wife of the Titan Oceanus, and the mother of the river gods and the Oceanids. Although Tethys had no active role in Greek mythology and no established cults, she was depicted in mosaics decorating baths, pools, and triclinia in the Greek East, particularly in Antioch and its suburbs, either alone or with Oceanus.
In Greek mythology, Iapetus, also Japetus, is a Titan, the son of Uranus and Gaia and father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Menoetius. He was also called the father of Buphagus and Anchiale in other sources.
In Greek mythology, Pontus was an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god, one of the Greek primordial deities. Pontus was Gaia's son and has no father; according to the Greek poet Hesiod, he was born without coupling, though according to Hyginus, Pontus is the son of Aether and Gaia.
In Greek mythology, Aether is one of the primordial deities. Aether is the personification of the "upper sky". He embodies the pure upper air that the gods breathe, as opposed to the normal air breathed by mortals. Like Tartarus and Erebus, Aether may have had shrines in ancient Greece, but he had no temples and is unlikely to have had a cult.
In Greek mythology, the primordial deities are the first generation of gods and goddesses. These deities represented the fundamental forces and physical foundations of the world and were generally not actively worshipped, being largely unanthropomorphized personifications of places or abstract concepts.
The harpē (ἅρπη) was a type of sword or sickle; a sword with a sickle protrusion along one edge near the tip of the blade. The harpe is mentioned in Greek and Roman sources, and almost always in mythological contexts.
In Greek mythology, Gaia, also spelled Gaea, is the personification of the Earth and one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia is the ancestral mother—sometimes parthenogenic—of all life. She is the mother of Uranus, from whose sexual union she bore the Titans, the Cyclopes, and the Giants; as well as of Pontus, from whose union she bore the primordial sea gods. Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.
Uranus, sometimes written Ouranos, was the primal Greek god personifying the sky and one of the Greek primordial deities. Uranus is associated with the Roman god Caelus. In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, the primordial Earth Mother. According to Hesiod's Theogony, Uranus was conceived by Gaia alone, but other sources suggest he was born from Nyx, or Aether and Hemera. Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the first generation of Titans, and the ancestors of most of the Greek gods, but no cult addressed directly to Uranus survived into Classical times, and Uranus does not appear among the usual themes of Greek painted pottery. Elemental Earth, Sky, and Styx might be joined, however, in solemn invocation in Homeric epic.
In Greek mythology, the Hecatoncheires, or Hundred-Handers, also called the Centimanes,, named Cottus, Briareus and Gyges, were three monstrous giants, of enormous size and strength, with fifty heads and one hundred arms. In the standard tradition they were the offspring of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth), who helped Zeus and the Olympians overthrow the Titans in the Titanomachy.