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Transcript of Greek Theogony
http://lexingtongda.deviantart.com/art/Coordinates-of-Chaos-301636165 2 Then, Gaia (Ge) arose.
She came from chaos self-formed.
She represents the Earth in Greek Mythology. Image from http://www.universallinkonline.com/gaia1.jpg 3 Gaia gave birth to Uranus by herself. Uranus is the "Heavens" in Greek Mythology - the sky and beyond the stars. He immediately fell in love with Gaia, and mated with her. Image from http://cosmicpsychic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Uranus.jpg Uranus and Gaia had children - the Titans, mighty gods. However, Uranus smothered Gaia so closely that they could not be born, and instead languished inside the earth. Image by unknown, from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_VbSdb2F2kUI/TAJNllji8WI/AAAAAAAAAAc/XYmkdzRwfrw/s1600/Uranus.jpg Cronos (Kronos), the youngest of their children, conspired with Gaia to free the other Titans. His mother provided him with a scythe forged deep in the earth... Image from http://www.rebellesociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Chronos_oeuvre_grand1.jpg Cronos used the scythe to castrate his father, separating Uranus from Gaia and diminishing his power. The Titans escaped from the Earth's womb, and Cronos (also known as Saturn) overthrew his father to become the new sky god and the king of the gods. The reign of the Titans began. 6 Image: Vasari and Gherardi 16th C.
Image from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HwR00Nmmbhk/TeYQxkGnmuI/AAAAAAAAB1M/U0G7mzuCOz0/s1600/Castration_of_Uranus.jpg Cronos mated with his sister, Rhea, another Earth goddess. Learning from his father's mistakes, Cronos did not attempt to trap his children in the Earth; instead, he devoured them, trapping them in himself. Rhea could not sit back and watch her children be devoured: she conspired to hide her youngest son, Zeus, from Cronos. Instead, she fed him a stone. Fearing the infant Zeus' strength, he gobbled it up in one bite, and thus didn't notice it was not his son. Zeus grew up in hiding, and then returned to force his father to disgorge his siblings. He and his brothers and sisters then waged a mighty war against the previous generation of deities - the Titanomachy.
With the help of the mighty Hecatonchieres (giants with 100 arms and 100 heads) and the enormous Cyclopes (who made him the lightning bolts with which he became associated, Zeus and his siblings overthrew the Titans and threw most of them into Tartarus (one of the pre-Titan deities who represents a torturous spiritual realm. Image from: http://pstevensfhs.wikispaces.com/file/view/Tartarus.jpg/55469216/Tartarus.jpg Image : Peter Reuben
Image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Rubens_saturn.jpg 7 Zeus and his brothers and sisters took up residence atop Mount Olympus, becoming the first generation of gods to be known as Olympians Zeus Hera Poseidon Demeter
(Replaced by Dionysus) Hestia Hades
(Leaves Olympus) Humanity is Recreated The Age of Silver The Age of Bronze The Age of Heroes 5 Humanity is Created The Age of Gold The humans of the age of gold were created by the Titans (and they weren't MADE of gold - it was just a "golden age"). These beings didn't suffer, lived in peace, and walked freely among the gods. This is roughly equivalent to prelapsarian Adam and Eve in the Bible. Image by Nyako Nakar
Image from http://www.artofimagination.org/Pages/Nakar.html This was not as idyllic as the previous age of man. Zeus' first attempt at creating humans resulted in creatures who lived at home for a century, and then died quickly thereafter in brutal fights. They refused to worship the gods, and Zeus destroyed them because of their impiety and hubris. Image from http://deal.mrthang.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/SilverMan.jpg Sadly, Zeus' next attempt at creating humans didn't work out, either. These barbaric people waged mighty and fearsome wars against each other, cutting each other down in endless bloodshed. The humans of this age eventually destroyed themselves as a result (though some sources mark the end of this age with a great flood from the gods). Image from http://www.angtcm.com/images/Bronze%20man.jpg Zeus got it pretty much right with his next try: the Heroic Age. The generations of this age included the names of legend in Greek mythology: Heracles, Perseus, Theseus, Achilles, etc.
It's useful to note that Greek mythology to the Greeks was similar to what the Bible is to Christians, in that the events recounted in both happened long, long before the contemporary believers were born. Hesiod writes of an age well before his own existence.
The heroes of this age were demi-gods - a blend of mortal and divine heritage that allowed them to perform supernatural feats (including the siege of Troy). Eventually, the last of the heroes died out, although their spirits were rewarded with residence in the Elysian Fields Black Figure Vase of Heracles fighting the Nemean Lion. From the Louvre (Image used under Creative Commons) 10 The Titans were not the last threat to Zeus' power that he would have to face. Early on during the Age of Heroes, the race of Giants (who were not like we think of "giants" today - these were godlike beings of tremendous power) rose up to try to topple the rule of the Olympian gods. Zeus and his kin went to war against the Giants. A prophecy declared that only with the help of a mortal could the Olympians prevail; fortunately, Zeus' semi-divine son, Heracles, came to their aid, adding his unstoppable might to the Olympian war effort. The Olympians retained their power through their victory in this war (which was called the Gigontomachy). 9 8 Zeus and a variety of mates gave rise to the second primary generation of Olympians - these deities became increasingly involved in the daily activities of humans as the ages progressed. Image from http://genedorr.com/patches/images/Apollo/Ap17ApolloBelvedere.jpg Image from http://greecetaxivip.gr/useful_info/athens_athena_phidias.jpg Image by Boticelli Ares Aphrodite Apollo Athena Hephaestus Hermes Dionysus Artemis 11 The last age of humanity (the one in which Hesiod believed that he existed) was the Iron Age. In this age, mortals suffered many woes, lacked the admirable morality of their heroic predecessors, and lived miserably and died alone. There's not a lot going for this age, either for individual enjoyment or social stability - family relationships are forsaken (though there's plenty of this in the heroic age that Hesiod conveniently overlooks), and agreements between individuals are dubious at best. Still, this is the age that produced the apex of Greece's might (well after Hesiod)... and ultimately led to us! The Age of Iron