Crius was one of the first Titans in Greek mythology and the offspring of Gaia and Uranus. A shadowy, obscure figure, Crius was best known for fathering the wind god Astraeus as well as the fiery and warlike brothers Pallas and Perses. Crius joined forces with the other Titans in the cataclysmic war against the Olympians known as the Titanomachy. Following their defeat, Crius and his brethren were consigned to the dark underworld of Tartarus for all eternity.
The name “Crius” was derived from the ancient Greek word krios, meaning “ram.”
Crius’s association with the ram suggests a figure of masculine strength and virility. While Crius’s relative absence from the Greek texts has made it difficult to confirm these attributes, it should be noted that they were also associated with Crius’s sons Pallas and Perses.
Crius was among the first generation of Titans—those born to mother Gaia, the personification of the earth, and father Uranus, the incarnation of the heavens. This primordial union brought forth not only Crius, but his brothers and sisters as well: Coeus, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, Oceanus, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, Thea, Themis, and Rhea. Crius has monstrous siblings as well, including the one-eyed Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires, who had one-hundred hands each.
In later life, Crius took his half-sister Eurybia as his lover. The daughter of Gaia and Pontus, a primordial personification of the seas, Eurybia was thought to control the winds that blew across the seas as well as the constellations that rose from them.
Crius and Eurybia had three male children: Astraeus, a wind god; Perses, whose name meant “to ravage and sack;” and Pallas, a god of war and strategy.
Crius’s sons would eventually bless him with a number of grandchildren. Astraeus fathered several children with the dawn goddess Eos, and, with his lover Asteria, Perses fathered Hecate, a goddess associated with boundaries, crossroads, and liminality. With Styx—a goddess known for patrolling the river flowing between the worlds of the living and the dead—Pallas had Nike, a victory goddess revered by Greeks and Romans alike; Scylla, the sea monster who nearly consumed Odysseus; Kratos, a god of strength; and Zelus, a god of jealousy whose legacy lives on in the modern English words “zeal” and “jealousy.”
Crius was a mysterious figure rarely mentioned in Greek mythology. What few appearances he did have established him as Eurybia’s lover, as well as the father of Astraeus, Perses, and Pallas. As Hesiod wrote in his Theogony: “And Eurybia, bright goddess, was joined in love to Crius and bare great Astraeus, and Pallas, and Perses who also was eminent among all men in wisdom.”1
Despite his relative obscurity, Crius has made appearances in several modern incarnations of the Greek mythos. He appeared in an episode of the television show Xena: Warrior Princess, and, as Krios, was featured in Rick Riordan’s The Last Olympian. In this final installment of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians book series, Krios defended the Titan’s base as they mounted their final assault on Manhattan. Crius was also featured as the protagonist of the 1962 Italian film Arrivano I Titani, or The Coming of the Titans.
“Crius.” Wikipedia. Accessed January 30, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crius.
Hesiod. Theogony. Translated by Hugh Evelyn-White. Internet Sacred Text Archive. Accessed February 4, 2020. https://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm.
Hesiod, Theogony, translated by Hugh Evelyn-White, 375-77. https://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm. ↩