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In Greek mythology, the Titans (Greek: Τιτανες, Titanes, "straining gods") and Titanides (Greek: Τιτανίδες) were the second generation of divine beings, descending from the primordial deities and preceding the Olympian deities. They were based on Mount Othrys and were comprised of the twelve children of Uranus and Gaea, the personified deities of the sky and earth respectively. Their rule was denoted as the Golden Age.

The original twelve Titans were named: Cronus, Hyperion, Coeus, Crius, Iapetus, Oceanus, Rhea, Theia, Phoebe, Tethys, Mnemosyne, and Themis. However, there was also a second set of Titans who were the children of some of the original twelve Titans. These second generation Titans were named: Helios, Selene, Eos, Lelantos, Leto, Asteria, Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius, Metis, Clymene, Eurynome, Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses.

TitanomachyEdit

The Titanomachy was a ten-year series of battles fought in Thessaly, consisting of most of the Titans fighting against the Olympians and their allies. The war was fought to decide which generation of gods would have domain over the universe; it ended in victory for the Olympians.

Cronus, the ruler of the Titans and fearing the end of his rule, now turned into the terrible king his father Uranus had been and swallowed each of his children whole as they were born from his sister-wife Rhea. Rhea, however, managed to hide her youngest child Zeus by tricking Cronus into swallowing a rock wrapped in a blanket instead.

Rhea brought Zeus to a cave in Crete where he was raised by Amalthea. Upon reaching adulthood, he masqueraded as Cronus' cupbearer. Once Zeus had been established as a servant of Cronus, Metis gave him a mixture of mustard and wine which would cause Cronus to vomit up his swallowed children. After freeing his siblings, Zeus led them in the rebellion against the Titans.

Zeus then waged a war against his father with his disgorged brothers and sisters as allies. Zeus released the Hecatoncheires and the Cyclopes from Tartarus and they allied with him as well. The Hecatoncheires hurled stones and the Cyclopes forged the weapons of the gods. Fighting on the other side allied with Cronus were the other Titans with the exception of Themis and Prometheus, who both allied with Zeus. The war lasted ten years but, eventually, Zeus and the other Olympians won, the Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus, and the Hecatoncheires were made their guards. Since Atlas was a leader of the Titans, he was given the special punishment of holding up the sky.

Orphic traditionEdit

At some point in his reign, Zeus decided to give up the throne in favor of the infant Dionysus, who was guarded by nymphs. The Titans decided to slay the child and claimed the throne for themselves; they painted their faces white with gypsum, distracted Dionysus with toys, then dismembered him and boil and roast his limbs. Enraged, Zeus slayed the Titans with his thunderbolt and Athena preserved the heart in a gypsum doll, out of which a new Dionysus is made. This story is told by the poets Callimachus and Nonnus, who call this Dionysus "Zagreus".

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