Greek theogony

Greek Gods Family Tree


Le colosse

Atlas illustration

Atlas illustration by Frederick de Witt, circa 1680

In the beginning was Chaos (Primal Emptiness). It had been there forever, when grew out of him Gaïa (Mother-earth), Eros (God of love and force of creation), Erebus (Deep Darkness) and Nyx (Night). Aether (Upper Sky) and Hemera (Day) were born out of the union of Nyxand Erebus. Gaïa gives birth to Ouranos (the Sky), Pontus (the Sea) and Ouréa (the Mountains).

Gaïa and Ouranos then give life to Titans, Cyclops and Hecatonchires, who have a hundred arms and fifty legs. But Ouranos cannot bare the sight of his monstrous children, and decides to hide them within their mother, Gaïa, in the depths of the earth.

To save her children, Gaïa helps her son Chronos in defeating Ouranos, god of the sky. As he comes down to earth in the evening, Chronos wounds him, and Ouranos goes back, high up in the sky.

The separation between Earth and Sky creates a space where Chronos can reign over allTitans. He weds his sister Rhea. A prophecy warns him that he will be slain by one of his own sons. He eats up his own children (Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon) as soon as they are born. At Zeus’s birth, Rhea gives Chronos a rock wrapped in linen, instead of her newborn son. The child is hidden, and raised by Nymphs of the island of Crete.

Once Zeus has grown up, he makes Chronos vomit his five other children (the Olympians)back out. Together, they fight Chronos till victory. Atlas, is the son of a Titan, and thus he is forced to carry the sky where it touches the earth, and where the sun disappears.

Zeus becomes the master of the sky, Poseidon the master of the sea, and Hades the master of the underworld.


1. Because he has lost the war, Atlas is forced to:


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