TITANS - TITÁNÆS - ΤΙΤΑΝΕΣ
Who Stretch the Soul


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TITÁNÆS: OPENING STATEMENTS

Titánæs (Titans, Τιτᾶνες [plural]. Τιτάν is singular. Τιτανίς is feminine singular. Τιτανίδες is feminine plural. Note: We are generally using the term Titánæs to refer to both the female and male deities, but the word is actually masculine. Etym. from the verb τιταίνω "stretch," "exert" [Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 207]; the Titánæs stretch the soul.)

The Titánæs are great Gods of Ællînismόs (Hellênismos, Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion. They are the forefathers of everything. They are the powers of the natural world. It is critical to have some grasp of their function, since they are central to the kozmology, the functioning of the universe. They play a significant role in the mythology of Orphismós (Orphism, Ορφισμός), which is the teachings of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς), the great Thæólogos (Theologist, Θεόλογὁς) of Ællînismόs, and by extension, they play a significant role in the Mystíria (Mysteries, Μυστήρια), the deepest meaning of the religion, for Orphéfs is the founder of the Mysteries.

The Elder Titánæs are members of the Ouranídai (Uranidae, Οὐρανίδαι), the sons (Τιτᾶνες) and daughters (Τιτανίδες) of Yaia (Gaia, Γαῖα) and Ouranós (Uranus, Οὐρανός). The Titánæs exercised dominion over the Kózmos (Cosmos, Κόσμος) during the Silver Age (according to the Orphic view), and had as their rulers majestic Rǽa (Rhea, Ῥέα) and Krónos (Cronus, Κρόνος), all this before Zefs (Ζεύς) and the Olympians assumed power. The Titánæs are connected with the seven centers of the soul and with the Toys of Diónysos, which represent the Mystíria. In the Mysteries, we talk of seven pairs of Titánæs, but in the writings of various mythographers, you will find lists of sometimes six or sometimes seven of the Elder Titánæs, along with their Goddess consorts.

Promîthéfs (Promêtheus, Προμηθεύς), the Younger Titán, is often thought of as the great benefactor of mankind, for in his mythology, he gave to man the gift of fire and other wondrous things, with no regard for his own comfort. But it is not just Promîthéfs; all of the Titánæs have given mankind great gifts, as is stated in Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορικὴ Διοδώρου Σικελιώτου 5.66.3:
 

ὧν ἕκαστόν τινων εὑρετὴν γενέσθαι τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, καὶ διὰ τὴν εἰς ἅπαντας εὐεργεσίαν τυχεῖν τιμῶν καὶ μνήμης ἀενάου.

 

“Every one of them was an inventor producing things for mankind, and by means of such great liberality, they have gained honors and everlasting renown.” (trans. by the author)

Therefore, when the mythology at times depicts the Titánæs in ways which could be construed as unfavorable, remember that the Greeks very much enjoy telling a good story, and they are not at all afraid to take poetic liberties, sometimes of a grand nature. They relish their embellishments, using considerable ingenuity to conceal things from the ears of those who would be inappropriate for the precious content which lies at the heart of the tales they tell, wonderful tales which are frequently misunderstood.

 

THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE TITÁNÆS

The Titánæs and the Titanídæs each have their own individual stories which tell of their births and magnificent qualities, but there are two narratives in which these deities act as a group:

 

The Defeat of Ouranós and the Reign of Rǽa and Krónos

According to the Orphic theogony, two groups of children were born to Yaia and Ouranós; these were the Kýklôpæs (Cyclôps, Κύκλωπες, plural), each of which had but one eye, and the Ækatóngkheiræs (The Hundred-handers, Ἑκατόγχειρες), each of whom had one-hundred arms and fifty heads. They were an unruly bunch and hated by their father who hid them in the deep recesses of Earth. This greatly displeased their mother who plotted against him. In secret, she conceived seven mighty sons and lovely daughters, the great Titánæs. Yaia made an adamantine sickle and conspired with her sons to execute her plan, with Krónos as their leader. When Ouranós came to lie with Yaia and stretched out his great body, the Titánæs bound him while Krónos took the sickle and severed his father's genitals, casting them into the sea; a foam formed from which emerged beautiful Aphrodíti (Ἀφροδίτη).

The Titánæs now assumed dominion over the Kózmos during the period known as the Silver Age, with Rǽa and Krónos as rulers. Isíodos (Hesiod, Ἡσίοδος) calls this the Golden Age but it is different in the Orphic literature.

  

The Sacrifice of Zagréfs

The second narrative in which the Titánæs act as a group concerns the life of Zagréfs (Zagreus, Ζαγρεύς). This story is told in its most complete form in the Διονυσιακὰ Νόννου and what is missing from this narrative can be reconstructed from the Orphic fragments collected by Otto Kern.

Zefs produced a son with Pærsæphónî (Persephonê, Περσεφόνη) (Orphic Frag. 58, Νόννος 6.155-168). He named this son Zagréfs and presented him to the Titánæs and all the Gods. He then gave Zagréfs his thunderbolts and declared him king (O.F. 208). The Titánæs smudged their faces with chalk (Νόννος 6.169) and lured the God with a basket of toys (O.F. 34). Zagréfs picked up from this basket a mirror, which mesmerized him, giving the Titánæs their opportunity. They seized little Zagréfs and with knives dismembered him (Νόννος 155-205). Into seven parts did they divide him (O.F. 34, 35, 210) and Athîná (Athêna, Ἀθηνᾶ) was sent to retrieve his still beating heart, which she delivered to her father in a silver casket. The limbs were taken to Mount Parnassós (Παρνασσός) by Apóllôn (Apollô, Ἀπόλλων) (O.F. 35). Zefs blasted the Titánæs with a thunderbolt (O.F. 35) and from this blast came forth soot from which he fashioned a new generation (O.F. 140, 220) in which the souls of all the creatures are immortal, for these souls are born from the aithír (aethêr, αἰθήρ) (O.F. 228) of the child-God. And from the heart of Zagréfs was soon to be born Diónysos (Νόννος 24.48), the liberator of world.

This mythology conceals deep meaning. The Titánæs are introduced to Zagréfs. He is presented as their king. They invite the little God with symbolic toys, beginning with the Mirror. They "stretch" the centers of his soul, preparing him for the influence of mighty Zefs, a great metamorphosis.

Next comes the great holy ritual. When mortals do sacrifice, it is a holy act, but when Gods do sacrifice, it is monumental. The victim is not an animal. The victim is not human. The Titánæs are going to sacrifice Zagréfs, who is a God. They prepare the victim by cutting him into pieces, leaving aside his limbs and heart. Next they place the meat on spits, roast it and partake of the offerings by eating some.

The offering is received by the king of Gods and men. Zefs then blasted the Titánæs with his thunderbolts, which indicates an enormous metamorphosis. From the ashes, Zefs creates a new generation of man infused with the divinity of Zagréfs, infused with the divine aithír, and infused with the essence of the Titánæs, the powers of the natural world. The little beating heart of Zagréfs is later conceived in Sæmǽlî (Semelê, Σεμέλη), later to be sewn into the leg of Zefs and transformed into Diónysos.

The sacrifice of Zagréfs and the eating of his flesh is echoed in our ritual when we make offerings. The offerings are given to the Gods, they become the property of the Gods. When we share in the offerings, such as consume some of the libation, we are sharing in the possession of the Gods, and taking part in what belongs to them. It is a form of communion. We drink the ikhóhr (ichôr, ἰχώρ), the blood of Diónysos. When we eat our portion of the food offerings, we eat the body of Diónysos.

 

IDEAS ABOUT THE TITÁNÆS

Having heard these stories about the Titánæs, it would be easy to assume that they are some kind of evil beings, castrating fathers and slicing apart children, but the reality is the exact opposite. The mythology is symbolic. We know the Titánæs are Gods and that the nature of all Gods is benevolent. In the words of Plátôn (Platô, Ρλάτων):
 

"Whereas, the truth is that God is never in any way unrighteous--he is perfect righteousness..." (Θεαίτητος Πλάτωνος 176, trans. Benjamin Jowett, 1892.)

When you examine the individual qualities of the Titánæs, you will find that they are the source of all good things: the great streams and rivers of the world; the sun, the moon, and the constellations; law and justice; as well as the very existence of mankind itself, because they are said to have created mortal beings. Indeed, the Titánæs are the source of all these gifts and many others as well.

There is an interpretation of the mythology of the castration of Ouranós which considers the image of Sky (Ouranós means "sky"), laying down on Earth, with the Titánæs at the four corners, holding him down, such that the entire Kózmos is held in place by the Titánæs, like pillars, with Kíos (Coeus, Κοῖος) in the north, Kreios (Crius, Κρεῖος) at the south, Iapætós (Iapetus, Ἰαπετός) in the east, Ypæríôn (Hyperiôn, Ὑπερίων) in the west, and Krónos (Cronus, Κρόνος), as Time, at the center. Surrounding all this, the mighty river Ôkæanós (Ôceanus, Ὠκεανός) flows.

Another interpretation is that the castration of Ouranós is the transference of the generative power in the procession of kingship, the progression of Aithír (Αἰθήρ), the active and productive element, the unfolding known as the Six Vasileis (Basileis = Kings, Βασιλεῖς), with the generative power at last being transferred to Zefs (Ζεύς).

Yet another way to understand the magnificence of the Titánæs is to consider their very antique and venerable place in the generation of the Kózmos, and their position in the family-line of the Gods. What is called the first generation of deities are the primordial Gods, those mighty ones such as Phánîs (Phanês, Φάνης), Nyx (Νύξ), Yaia and Ouranós. The Titánæs follow directly after and are the second generation of Gods. The third generation is that of the glorious Olympians. The Titánæs generate and have control over natural phenomena, while the Olympians have dominion over the underlying natural laws which govern these phenomena and all existence. Every God in the universe is worthy of worship, but these early generations of Gods are deserving of the greatest veneration and awe.

 

The Elder and Younger Titans

The Elder Titans are all members of the Ouranídai, that is, progeny of Ouranós and Yaia. The most important are six of the Seven Pairs of Titans, but there are others. In some lists of Titánæs, you may find names such as Phórkys (Phorcys, Φόρκυς), and less familiar deities such as Óstasos (Ostasus, Ὄστασος), Ádanos (Adanus, Ἄδανος), Ándîs (Andês, Ἄνδης), Ólymvros (Olymbrus, Ὄλυμβρος), and Ánytos (Anytus, Ἄνυτος)...but we will not be discussing most of these.

The descendants of the Elder Titánæs are called the Younger Titánæs, deities such as Dióhnî and Promithéfs, Litóh, and Astæría, to name just a few. Even Zefs and Íra are Younger Titans. And the children of the Younger Titans are also given the name Titanic, deities such as Ækáti, because she descends in the genealogy from the Titans.   

 

THE SEVEN PAIRS OF TITANS

The first six pairs of Titans in this list are members of the Ouranídai (Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου134. The last pair, Dióhni (Διώνη) and Promithéfs (Προμηθεύς), are younger Titans. Taken together, they are known as the Seven Pairs of Titans. There are other lists of pairs of Titans, but the below list is what was given to this author in this lineage.

1. Rǽa and Krónos

Krónos (Κρόνος) is the youngest (last-born) of the Titánæs (Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 137) and the greatest. Krónos deposed his father Ouranós by castrating him, thus becoming the fourth in the progression of Aithír (Αἰθήρ) known as the Six Kings. He had dominion over the Kózmos in the Silver Age (Orphic frag. 140. σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Πολιτείας Πλάτωνος II 74, 26 Kr. Hesiod calls this the Golden Age.) Ouranós is a pre-form of Krónos as Krónos is a pre-form of Zefs, his son.

Rǽa (Rhea, Ῥέα, meaning "easily" or "effortlessly." Etym. ῥέω "to flow, stream." [Κρατύλος Πλάτωνος 402] Also, ῥᾶ "easily."), according to Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 133, is the daughter of Ouranós (Οὐρανός) and Yî (Gê, Γῆ), like her brother and husband Krónos. To Krónos she bore Æstía (Ἑστία), Íra (Ήρα), Ploutôn (Πλούτων), Poseidóhn (Ποσειδῶν), and Zefs (Ζεύς). There was an oracle warning Krónos that one of his children would usurp him, so he devoured them as each was born, and would have done so to Zefs as well, but for a trick of Rǽa. When Zefs was born, Rǽa became Dîmítîr (Δημήτηρ) (Orphic frag. 145 σχόλιον Πρόκλου επί Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 403e). She deceived Krónos by wrapping a rock in swaddling clothes. He swallowed the rock and vomited up all the children. When Zefs grew sufficiently in strength, he deposed and castrated Krónos (Orphic frag. 154: ὃ καὶ πάσχει ὁ Κρόνος καὶ δεθεὶς ἐκτέμνεται ὡς ὁ Οὐρανός). The Olympians, under the rule of Zefs, have assumed power over the Kózmos forever.

Rǽa is equated with the Mother of the Gods, the Phrygian Kyvǽlî (Κυβέλη), who taught Diónysos the Mysteries (Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου Book 3.5.1). Diónysos imparted the Mystíria to Khárôps (Χάρωψ), to whom he gave the kingdom of Thrákî (Θράκη). Khárôps gave them to his son Íagros (Οἴαγρος), who in turn taught them to his son, Orphéfs (Ὀρφεύς). Orphéfs disseminated the Mysteries throughout the world and thereby provides the means to be freed from the sorrowful circle of births (κύκλος γενέσεως).

Rǽa is the second in the progression of Earth known as the Three Vasíleiai (βασίλειαι), the Three Queens: Yaia, Rǽa, and Íra. Rǽa is, therefore, a pre-form of Íra.

2. Tîthýs and Okæanós

Okæanós (Oceanus or Ocean, Ὠκεανός) is the God of the great river which surrounds the earth; Tîthýs (Tethys, Τηθύς. Etym. τήθη "grandmother."), his sister and wife, is its Goddess.

By Okæanós, Tîthýs gave birth to the mighty fresh-water rivers (Ποταμοί). She gave birth to her daughters the Nýmphai (Νύμφαι) of the streams, springs, and fountains who are called the Okæanídæs (Ὠκεανίδες) [Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 337-370]; and she gave birth to the Clouds (Νεφέλαι) [Orphic Hymn 22, line 7].

Okæanós, according to the mythology, is the first-born of the Titánæs, as said in Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου. The opening of the Orphic Hymn to Okæanós attributes to him an intimate connection to the birth of the Gods:

"Ocean I call, whose nature ever flows, From whom at first both Gods and men arose." (Trans. Thomas Taylor, 1792.)


This same thought occurs in Ἰλιάς as Íra (Ἥρα) speaks (line 200):

"I am going to the world's end, to visit Oceanus, from whom all we Gods proceed..."

(Ἰλιὰς Ὁμήρου 14.200, trans. Samuel Butler 1898.)

Amongst many other children of these Gods, Okæanós bore by Tîthýs the river Styx (Στύξ) by which the Gods swear oaths which may not be broken.

3. Phívî and Kíos

Phívî (Phoebê, Φοίβη, "the bright one.") is the great deity by whose means oracular ability is passed down. To her husband Kíos (Κοῖος), Phívî bore Astæría (Ἀστερία, the "starry one") who, in turn, bore Ækátî (Ἑκάτη) [Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 409-412], the great Goddess of Virtue who gives oracles concerning areas which are hidden to us, as though in darkness. And Phívî and Kíos also brought forth Lîtóh (Λητώ) [Ἡσίοδος Θεογονία 404-406], who coupled with Zefs and gave birth to Ártæmis (Ἄρτεμις) and Apóllôn (Ἀπόλλων). Apóllôn is the mighty God of light, who speaks the oracles of his father. Phívî had possession of the oracle at Dælphí (Δελφοί). Yaia (Γαῖα) held it first, but Yaia gave it to Thǽmis (Θέμις), who in turn gave it to Phívî. Finally, Phívî made a present of the Dælphic Oracle to Apóllôn (Ὀρέστεια Εὐμενίδες Αἰσχύλου opening verse), who, thereby, is in possession of the oracle of both Earth (through Phívî) and Heaven (through Zefs).

Κοῖος is the Ionic spelling of ποῖος, which is a word of querying; hence, Kíos is thought of as a God of the intellect, the questioning mind. The Latin mythographer Hyginus calls him Polus, after the Greek Pólos (Πόλος), which is the axis of the celestial sphere. His wife, Phívî (Φοίβη), had dominion over Dælphí (Δελφοί); Dælphí is the axis of the earth, corresponding to the celestial axis of her husband Kíos.

4. Theia Evrypháæssa and Ypæríohn

Theia (Theia Euryphaessa, Θεία Εὐρυφάεσσα. Etym. θεία means "aunt," or from θειάζω, which means “inspired” or “oracular,” also θέα, “sight.” Εὐρυφάεσσα is an epithet of the Goddess meaning "far-shining.") Theia is the Titan Goddess of light and is associated with glittering gold, the color most associated with the Gods. Her light illuminates not only the precious metals of gold and silver, but it shines through and glorifies the precious gems of the world. Theia is bound in love to her husband, Ypæríôn, by whom she bore illustrious children of light: Sælínî (Σελήνη), the Goddess of the Moon; Ióhs (Ἠώς), the Goddess of the Dawn; and Ílios (Ἥλιος), the God of the Sun [Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 371].

Ypæríôn: (Hyperiôn, Ὑπερίων. Etym. ὑπέρ “above,” “the high one.”) As stated above, Ypæríôn and Theia are the parents of the Sun, the Moon, and Dawn. Ypæríôn is the source of these heavenly bodies, admirable not only for their light, but also for how they assist mankind in the measurement of time, in particular, the months and days.

5. Thǽmis and Iapætós

Thǽmis (Themis, Θέμις. Etym. θέμις is "law and justice as established by custom.") was the wife of Zefs before Íra (Ἥρα). By him she bore the Órai (Ὧραι): Evnomía (Good Order, Εὐνομία), Díki (Justice, Δίκη), and Eiríni (Peace, Εἰρήνη), which is indicative of the nature of Thǽmis as being the great Goddess of divine Law. Thǽmis also bore by Zefs the Mírai (Μοῖραι): Klôthóh (Κλωθώ), Lákhæsis (Λάχεσις), and Átropos (Ἄτροπος). All this can be found in Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου at 901-906. After these events, Thǽmis is bound in marriage to Iapætós.

Thǽmis reveals the will of the Gods and divine law and justice to mankind by means of her oracular ability (Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορικὴ Διοδώρου Σικελιώτου Book V. 67. 4). Yaia (Γαῖα) held the oracle at Dælphí (Δελφοί) and gave it to Thǽmis; Thǽmis gave the oracle to Phívî, who then made a present of it to Apóllôn (Ὀρέστεια Εὐμενίδες Αἰσχύλου opening verse).

Iapætós (Iapetus or Japetus, Ἰαπετός. Etym. ἰάπτω meaning “to wound,” “pierce,” “spear”) is a great benefactor and ancestor of mankind and all things mortal, for his son, Promîthéfs is said to have created the race of men (Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου 1.7.1).

The sons of Iapætós are all by Klymǽni (Κλυμένη) [Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 371] who is always listed as his wife. Nonetheless, there is an interesting confusion with this mythology where, for instance, in Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης Αἰσχύλου (8, 211, and 873) it says that Thǽmis or Yaia is the mother of Promîthéfs. This author was taught that the pair of Iapætós is Thǽmis, whom he loved, but that she rejected him for Zefs. My teacher also taught me the more common view of Klymǽni being the wife of Iapætós, so perhaps the idea of Thǽmis as the pair of Iapætós is more the view of the Mystíria. The sons of Iapætós are:

Átlas (Ἄτλας,"endurance")

Promîthéfs (Προμηθεύς, “forethought”)

Æpimîthéfs (Ἐπιμηθεύς, “hindsight”)

Mænítios (Μενοίτιος, "doomed might")

6. Mnimosýni and Kriós 

Mnîmosýnî (Mnêmosynê, Μνημοσύνη) is the great Goddess of Memory, by which we can understand the past, with even the possibility of remembering past lives.
 

"...everything is worn and withered away by time, whereas time itself never ages, but remains immortal because of memory." (Τὰ ἐς τὸν Τυανέα Ἀπολλώνιον Φιλοστράτου 1.14, trans. F. C. Conybeare, 1912.)

Kriós (Crius, Κριός; "ram.") loved Mnîmosýnî but she rejected him and accepted Zefs by whom she is the mother of the Mousai (Μοῦσαι) (Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 53). She is the great Titanís who discovered the use of reason and the power of using names, thereby enabling us to use speech (Βιβλιοθήκη ἱστορικὴ Διοδώρου Σικελιώτου 5. 67. 3).

Kriós is the father by Evryvía (Εὐρυβία) of Astraios (Ἀστραῖος), Pállas (Πάλλας), and Pǽrsîs (Πέρσης).

Kriós is connected with the constellation which bears his name (Κριός/Aries), which is associated with the beginning of spring and the agricultural year, and standing at the beginning, he is thought of as representing and conducting all the great constellations of the heavens and the measurement of the temporal portions of the year.

7. Dióhnî and Promithéfs

Dióhnî (Dione, Διώνη; feminine of Διός, the genitive of Ζεύς) is not one of the Ouranídai (although Hyginus in the preface to his book of mythology and Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου 1.2 disagrees), for she is the daughter of Okæanós and Tithýs (Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 353).

Ἰλιὰς Ὁμήρου Book 5.370 says that Dióhnî is the mother of Aphrodítî by Zefs (also Orphic frag. 183 σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Κρατύλου Πλάτωνος 406c), who Plátôn calls Pándîmos (Πάνδημος) Aphrodítî, the common or popular Aphrodítî of sexual union (Συμπόσιον 180 d-e). Dióhnî accompanies Zefs in his oracular ability (Γεωγραφικὰ Στράβωνος 7.7.12) as his temple-associate. Dióhnî is a pre-form of Dîmítîr.

Promîthéfs (Prometheus, Προμηθεύς. Etym. from προμήθεια “foresight,” “forethought.”) is actually a Younger Titán, being a son of Iapætós and Klymǽnî (Κλυμένη), according to Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 507 (As stated above, Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης Αἰσχύλου [8, 211, and 873] says that Thǽmis or Yaia is the mother of Promîthéfs). There are various stories about Promîthéfs but they can be summarized thus: he is said to have created the human race out of Earth and Water (Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου 1.7.1 [Frazer]). He is the father of Defkalíôn (Δευκαλίων) (Βιβλιοθήκη Ἀπολλοδώρου 1.7.2 [Frazer]), and, thus, is a direct ancestor of the human race. Following this, Promîthéfs proved to be a great friend to mankind, bestowing great benefits on us while often suffering greatly for his efforts on our behalf.

Aiskhýlos (Αἰσχύλος), the tragedian, describes the importance of Promîthéfs to mankind:

Promîthéfs: Through me mankind ceased to foresee death.

 

Leader of Chorus: What remedy could heal that sad disease?

 

Promîthéfs: Blind hopes I made to dwell in them.

 

Leader of Chorus: O merciful boon for mortals.

 

Promîthéfs: And more than all I gave them fire.

 

Leader of Chorus: And so in their brief life they are lords of flaming fire?

 

Promîthéfs: Through it they will learn many arts.

 

(Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης Αἰσχύλου 250-256, trans. Paul Elmer More, 1899.)

 And in a passage commonly referred to as the Catalog of the Arts:

Promîthéfs speaks: "...listen to the sad story of mankind, who like children lived until I gave them understanding and a portion of reason; yet not in disparagement of men I speak, but meaning to set forth the greatness of my charity. For seeing they saw not, and hearing they understood not, but like as shapes in a dream they wrought all the days of their life in confusion. No houses of brick raised in the warmth of the sun they had, nor fabrics of wood, but like the little ants they dwelt underground in the sunless depth of caverns. No certain sign of approaching winter they knew, no harbinger of flowering spring or fruitful summer; ever they labored at random, till I taught them to discern the seasons by the rising and the obscure setting of the stars. Numbers I invented for them, the chiefest of all discoveries; I taught them the grouping of letters, to be a memorial and record of the past, the mistress of the arts and mother of the Muses. I first brought under the yoke beasts of burden, who by draft and carrying relieved men of their hardest labors; I yoked the proud horse to the chariot, teaching him obedience to the reins, to be the adornment of wealth and luxury. I too contrived for sailors sea-faring vessels with their flaxen wings. Alas for me! such inventions I devised for mankind, but for myself I have no cunning to escape disaster....

 

(Προμηθεὺς Δεσμώτης Αἰσχύλου 444-471, trans. Paul Elmer More, 1899.)

 

ONE MORE PAIR OF TITÁNÆS

Phórkys and Kîtóh

Phórkys (Phorcys, Φόρκυς) is the son of Póndos (Πόντος) and Yaia (Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 237). He is a great God of the Sea who fathered many giant sea-monsters by Kîtóh (Cêtô, Κητώ). In Orphic fragment 114 (σχόλιον Πρόκλου επὶ Τιμαίου Πλάτωνος) he is included in the list of Titánæs rather than Promithéfs (as in our list of the seven above). This author was taught that Promîthéfs holds the seventh seat.

 

THE YOUNGER TITÁNÆS

The following list does not pretend to be complete.

Ækáti - (Hecate, Ἑκάτη) Ækátî is the daughter of Astæría (Ἀστερία) and Pǽrsîs (Πέρσης). Her mother Astæría is the daughter of the Elder Titans Phívî and Kíos. Her father Pǽrsîs was the son of Evryvía (Εὐρυβία) and the Elder Titan Kriós.

Astæría - (Asteria, Ἀστερία; “of the stars”) Astæría is one of the Younger Titanídæs (Τιτανίδες), the daughter of Kíos and Phívi. Astæría is the sister of Litóh (Λητώ) and the mother of Ækáti (Ἑκάτη). With these close relationships to Phívi, Apóllôn (Ἀπόλλων), and Ækáti, Astæría is connected with oracular power.

Following the battle of the Titánæs, Astæría was pursued by Zefs (Ζεύς) and avoided him by transforming herself into a quail, falling into the sea and becoming the island Astæría, later called Ortiyía (Ορτυγία. Etym. ὄρτυξ "quail."), and finally called Dílos (Δήλος "famous"), where she agreed to be the birthplace of Apóllôn, but there is confusion regarding the island, whether there were two islands (Ortiyía and Dílos) with Ártæmis (Ἄρτεμις) born on Ortiyía previous to her brother.

Átlas - (Ἄτλας) Átlas is the son of Iapætós and Klymǽni, according to Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου 507. He led the Titánæs in their war against Zefs, thereby being condemned to carry the heavens on his shoulders. According to Ὀδύσσεια Ὁμήρου I.51-54:
 

νῆσος δενδρήεσσα, θεὰ δ᾽ ἐν δώματα ναίει,

Ἄτλαντος θυγάτηρ ὀλοόφρονος, ὅς τε θαλάσσης

πάσης βένθεα οἶδεν, ἔχει δέ τε κίονας αὐτὸς

μακράς, αἳ γαῖάν τε καὶ οὐρανὸν ἀμφὶς ἔχουσιν.

 

“Tis a wooded isle (the island of Ὠγυγίη), and therein dwells a Goddess (Καλυψώ), daughter of Atlas of baneful mind, who knows the depths of every sea, and himself holds the tall pillars which keep earth and heaven apart.” (trans. A. T. Murray, 1919.)

Díki – See Órai.

Dióhnî - (Διώνη) the daughter of Okæanós and Tithýs

Eiríni – See Órai.

Evnomía – See Órai.

Ílios - (Hêlios, Ἥλιος) Ílios is the God of the Sun, the daughter of Theia and Ypæríôn.

Ióhs - (Eôs, Ἠώς) Ióhs is the Goddess of Dawn, the daughter of Theia and Ypæríôn.

Kalypsó – (Calypsô, Καλυψώ) daughter of Átlas and Pleiónî (Pleionê, Πλειόνη), who delayed the journey of Odysséfs (Ὀδυσσεύς) on his way back home.

Kourítæs - (Curêtes, Κουρῆτες) According the Orphic theogony, the Kourítæs are sons of Rhǽa (Ῥέα):

μόνη δὲ ἡ Ῥέα τους Κούρητας ἀπογεννᾶι

 

"where Rǽa alone generated the Kourítæs"

(Orphic fragment 150 ἀπορίαι καὶ λύσεις περὶ τῶν πρώτων ἀρχῶν Δαμασκίου 278) (trans. by the author)

Thus, being progeny of an Elder Titanís, they are members of the Younger Titánæs.

Mírai - (Moirae, Μοῖραι): The Mírai or the Fates are daughters of Thǽmis and Zefs. They are: Klôthóh (Κλωθώ), Lákhæsis (Λάχεσις), and Átropos (Ἄτροπος).

Mousai - (Muses, Μοῦσαι) The Mousai, nine great Goddesses of the arts, are daughters of Mnimosýnî and Zefs. They are the companions of Apóllôn, who is their leader. The Mousai are: Kleióh (Κλειώ), Eftǽrpî (Εὐτέρπη), Tháleia (Θάλεια), Mælpomǽnî (Μελπομένη), Tærpsikhóra (Τερψιχόρα), Æratóh (Ἐρατώ), Polýmnia (Πολύμνια), Ouranía (Οὐρανία), and Kalliópî (Καλλιόπη).

Lîtóh - (Lêtô, Λητώ) The daughter of Phívî and Kíos. Lîtóh is the mother of twins: Ártæmis and Apóllôn.

Næphǽlai - (Nephelae, Νεφέλαι) The water-Nýmphai of the clouds, daughters of Tîthýs and Okæanós.

Okeanídæs – (Oceanides, Ὠκεανίδες) The three-thousand water Nýmphai daughters of Tîthýs and Okæanós.

Olympians - Because they are the progeny of the Elder Titánæs Rǽa and Krónos, the following Olympians are Younger Titánæs: Æstía, Dîmítîr, Íra, Ploutôn, Poseidóhn, and ZefsBecause they are the progeny of the Younger Titánæs Íra and Zefs, the following Olympians are also Younger Titánæs: Árîs and ÍphaistosBecause they are the progeny of the Younger Titán Zefs, the following Olympians are also Younger Titánæs: Athîná and Ærmís, Ártæmis, and Apóllôn.

Órai - (Horae, Ὧραι) The Órai are daughters of Thǽmis and Zefs. They are: Evnomía (Good Order, Εὐνομία), Díkî (Justice, Δίκη), and Eirínî (Peace, Εἰρήνη).

Potamí – (Potamoi, Ποταμοί) The Gods of the rivers and streams, children of Tîthýs and Okæanós.

Promîthéfs - (Promêtheus, Προμηθεύς) Promîthéfs is the son of Klymǽnî and Iapætós. Aiskhýlos says he is the son of Thǽmis or Yaia.

Sælínî - (Selênê, Σελήνη) Sælínî is the Goddess of the Moon, the daughter of Theia and Ypæríôn.

 

THE ORPHIC HYMN TO THE TITÁNÆS (trans. by Thomas Taylor, 1792.)


37. Titánæs [Titans, Τιτᾶνες]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.

O Mighty Titans, who from heav'n and earth
Derive your noble and illustrious birth,
Our fathers sires, in Tartarus profound
Who dwell, deep merg'd beneath the solid ground:
Fountains and principles, from whom began
Th' afflicted, miserable, race of man:
Who not alone in earth's retreats abide,
But in the ocean and the air reside;
Since ev'ry species from your nature flows,
Which all prolific, nothing barren knows:
Avert your rage, if from th' infernal seats
One of your tribe should visit our retreats.

37. Τιτάνων, θυμίαμα λίβανον.

Τιτῆνες, Γαίης τε καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀγλαὰ τέκνα,
ἡμετέρων πρόγονοι πατέρων, γαίης ὑπένερθεν
οἴκοις Ταρταρίοισι μυχῶι χθονὸς ἐνναίοντες,
ἀρχαὶ καὶ πηγαὶ πάντων θνητῶν πολυμόχθων,
εἰναλίων, πτηνῶν τε καὶ οἳ χθόνα ναιετάουσιν·
ἐξ ὑμέων γὰρ πᾶσα πέλει γενεὰ κατὰ κόσμον.
ὑμᾶς κικλήσκω μῆνιν χαλεπὴν ἀποπέμπειν,
εἴ τις ἀπὸ χθονίων προγόνων οἴκοις επελάσθη.

 

GLOSSARY OF THE TITÁNÆS

Ouranídai - (Uranidae; Gr. Οὐρανίδαι, ΟΥΡΑΝΙΔΑΙ. Noun. Οὐρανίδης is singular.) Ouranídai is another name for the Ouraníônæs (Οὐρανίωνες), the children of Ouranós.

Ouraníônæs - (Uraniônes; Gr. Οὐρανίωνες, ΟΥΡΑΝΙΩΝΕΣ. Noun. Fem. is θεαὶ Οὐρανιῶναι.) Ouraníônæs is another name for the Ouranídai, the children of Ouranós; it can also be used as a general term for the Gods.

Titán - (Gr. Τιτάν, ΤΙΤΑΝ. Noun. Plural is Τιτᾶνες. Etym. τιταίνω "to stretch," as in stretching the string of a bow, also it can be the act of gathering one's energy to put something into action; the Titánæs "stretch" and thereby open the centers of the soul and help us gather energy to do so.) Titan. Cf. Titánæs.

Titánæs - (Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες, ΤΙΤΑΝΕΣ. Noun. Plural) Titans. Cf. Titán.

Titánia - (Gr. Τιτάνια, ΤΙΤΑΝΙΑ. Noun.) Titánia is a festival of the Titánæs.

Titanídæs - (Gr. Τιτάνιδες, ΤΙΤΑΝΙΔΕΣ. Noun. Feminine plural.) Titan Goddesses. Cf. Titanís.

Titanís - (Gr. Τιτανίς, ΤΙΤΑΝΙΣ. Noun. Feminine singular.) Titan Goddess. Cf. Titanídæs.

Titanographía - (Gr. Τιτανογραφία, ΤΙΤΑΝΟΓΡΑΦΙΑ. Noun.) Titanographía is a history of the Titánæs.

Titanomakhía - (Titanomachia, Gr. Τιτανομαχία, ΤΙΤΑΝΟΜΑΧΙΑ. Noun.) Titanomakhía is the battle of Titánæs. This is a story which can be found in the Θεογονία Ἡσιόδου but is absent from the Orphic fragments. This does not mean that a similar story was not originally present in the Orphic theogony, simply that there are no extant fragments which support it, but there are some scholars (such as M. L. West) who think that it would be illogical for the Τιτανομαχία to have been included because the Titans would need to have been condemned to Tartaros (Τάρταρος) and then restored again in order to participate in the sacrifice of Zagréfs (Ζαγρεύς).

Titanóömai - (Gr. τιτανόομαι, ΤΙΤΑΝΟΟΜΑ. Verb. Etym. τίτανος, a white earth, likely gypsum) Titanóömai is to be whitened or plastered. The Titánæs whitened their faces with chalk and offered the basket of toys to Diónysos.



The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.
How do we know there are Gods? Experiencing Gods.


The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The Pætilía (Petelia, Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase (Γῆς παῖς εἰμί καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀστερόεντος) are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara, κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo, Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus, Ὀρφεύς).

 

PLEASE NOTE:
 

 Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

 

, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

Pronunciation of Ancient Greek        

 

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