Greek Gods

Greek Titans

The Titans were the first children of the primordial Greek deities Uranus and Gaia. Two of these Titans, Cronus and Rhea, became the parents of the original generation of Olympians, who overthrew the Titans, just as the Titans had overthrown Uranus before them.

By Avi KapachLast updated on Nov. 28th, 2021
Greek Titans Hero
  • Where did the Titans come from?

    The original twelve Titans were children of Gaia, the primordial goddess of the earth, and her consort Uranus, the primordial god of the sky. After Cronus, the youngest child, castrated and overthrew Uranus, the Titans briefly ruled the cosmos before being overthrown in turn by the Olympians. Some of the children of the original twelve Titans are occasionally also called “Titans.”

  • Were the Titans giants?

    Though the etymology of the Greek title “Titan” is uncertain, it did not originally describe the Titans’ size. It was only much later, in English and other modern languages, that “titan” came to mean “giant.” The Greek Titans were, however, much more powerful than ordinary mortals.

  • Did the Olympians kill the Titans?

    The Olympians defeated and overthrew the Titans in a decade-long war known as the Titanomachy. But because the Titans were immortal, the Olympians could not kill them. Instead, they cast those who had fought against them into Tartarus, the deepest and darkest part of the Underworld.

The Titans were immortal deities who ruled the cosmos before the Olympians. The original twelve Titans—the children of the primordial gods Gaia (earth) and Uranus (heaven)—assumed power by overthrowing their tyrannical father, only to become tyrants themselves.

Cronus, the youngest Titan, became king after usurping Uranus. Fearing a similar fate, he attempted to prevent any revolts against his own power by swallowing his children as soon as they were born. But Zeus, Cronus’ youngest son, managed to escape, and he eventually freed his siblings. Together, they waged a ten-year war against Cronus and the other Titans known as the Titanomachy. In the end, the Titans were defeated; most of them were imprisoned in Tartarus by the new gods, the Olympians—so called because they dwelled atop Mount Olympus.

The Titans included not only the original twelve children of Gaia and Uranus but also some of their descendants, such as Prometheus, Atlas, Metis, and Leto. Though they were sometimes represented as cruel in Greek mythology, the period during which the Titans ruled was nonetheless regarded as a Golden Age. Unlike the Olympians, however, the Titans were almost never worshiped in ancient Greece (an exception is Rhea, the mother of Zeus and the Olympians, who was sometimes worshiped as “Mother of the Gods” or “Great Mother”).

Explore the Titans of ancient Hellenic civilization below, including Cronus, Rhea, Prometheus, and more.

List of Greek Titans

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