Powers of the Titans in Greek Mythology

Written by marilla mulwane
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Powers of the Titans in Greek Mythology
The wife of Cronus, Rhea, gave birth to the first Olympians, who would later destroy him. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The 12 Titans of Greek mythology were ruling gods and goddesses of the earth that were destroyed by the Olympians during the War of the Titans, also known as Titanomachy. All 12 Titans were children of Gaea and Uranus. Gaea was the goddess of the Earth, and Uranus was the sky god and Gaea's son. They married, and Gaea gave birth to the 12 Titans. The six male Titans were involved in the War of the Titans and in the castration of their father. Each of the Titans controlled an aspect of the cosmos, and all of them were powerful gods.

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Oceanus, as his name implies, was the ocean. The Greeks believed that there was an unending river that spanned the entire earth. To them, that river was Oceanus. He was the source of all fresh water in the world. Not only did he have the ability to control the water, but he also controlled the setting and rising of the sun and moon. Despite having such powers, Oceanus did not get involved in the War of the Titans.


Hyperion is the god of light. He had the power of the sun and was considered the pillar of the east. From the sky, Hyperion could see all of the earth. His name means "water from above." Hyperion helped his brothers castrate their father, Uranus. He stood in the wast, with three brothers standing in other directions. They held their father in place, and their brother Cronus castrated him with a sickle made by their mother.


Coeus was the god of knowledge and had the power of intelligence. He was the pole of the north in the castration of his father. Coeus had little to do with the War of the Titans. His greatest achievement was being the grandfather of Artemis, goddess of the hunt, and Apollo, god of light and music.


Cronus was the most powerful and all-devouring Titan god. He was the patron god of the harvest and carried a large sickle. The sickle was made by his mother, and Cronus was the only son willing to use the sickle to castrate his father. He became the Titan ruler and used the sickle to wreak destruction on the cosmos. He was called all-devouring because he ate his children so that they would not be able to destroy him. One child survived because Cronus was tricked into eating a rock instead of his child. That child, Zeus, would later lead the War of the Titans.


Crius was the god of the constellations and had power over the stars and night sky. He held the south pole in the castration of Uranus. He fought in the War of the Titans, but there is no mention of any important part he might have played during the war. After losing the war, Crius was banished to Tartarus along with his brothers.


As the god of mortality, Iapetus held power of the lifespan of mortals. His sons, Prometheus and Epimetheus, created man and animals while Iapetus controlled their lifespans. Iapetus helped in the castration of his father by being the pillar of the west. His son, Atlas, would later take that position.


The six daughters of Gaia and Uranus were not as involved in the Titanomachy or the castration of their father, but they all had powers. Mnemosyne was the goddess of memory and mother of the muses. Tethys was the goddess of the sea and wife (and sister) to Oceanus. Theia was the goddess of heavenly light and gave gold, silver and gemstones their value. The goddess of fertility and motherhood was Rhea. She protected her son, Zeus, from being eaten by his father. As the holder of Oracles, Themis was the goddess of divine law and voice. Phoebe was the goddess of the moon and controlled the Oracle of Delphi.

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