History and background on cronus

Cronus hated Uranus, envious of the power his father enjoyed as the ruler of the universe. Uranus' feelings for Cronus were reciprocal, as he hated each of the children Gaia had bore him. Fed up, Uranus hid their youngest children, the hundred-armed Hecatonchires and the one-eyed Cyclopes, in the underworld of Tartarus so that they would not be able to see the light of day. This evoked Gaia's enmity and prompted her to create a massive iron sickle so that she and her children could orchestrate their revenge.

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She gathered together Cronus and his brothers and tried to persuade them to kill Uranus with the sickle. All of them were afraid of Uranus' power, save for Cronus, who was more than willing to undertake the task. Gaia placed the sickle in the hands of Cronus and positioned him for an ambush.

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  5. When Uranus met with Gaia that night, Cronus attacked him with the sickle, cutting off his testicles then casting them into the sea. From the drops of blood or, by a few accounts, semen that fell from Uranus' wound and onto the earth, the Gigantes, Erinyes, and Meliae were produced. Aphrodite later emerged from the vital fluids which fell in the sea, drifting into shore on the severed member. As a result of these acts, an infuriated Uranus threatened vengeance and labeled his sons the titenes or "straining ones" for overstepping their boundaries and daring to commit such an act.

    This is the source of the name Titan. Shortly after dispatching Uranus, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hecatonchires, the Gigantes, and the Cyclopes and commanded the dragon Campe to guard them. He and Rhea assumed the title of king and queen of the universe. The period in which Cronus ruled was called the Golden Age, because all of humanity restrained from immorality and performed only good deeds.

    The Titan God Cronus in Greek Mythology

    As such, there was no need for laws or rules in this age. Although Cronus now held dominion over the gods, he was plagued by the burden of assault he had perpetrated against his father. His worries were only exacerbated by the prophecy delivered by his parents that he too was destined to be overcome by his own son. As a result, Cronus promptly swallowed each of the first four children Rhea bore him as soon as they were born in hopes of preventing the prophecy from being actualized.

    When the fifth and six children, Poseidon and Zeus , were born, Rhea sought Gaia in order to devise a plan to save the newborns, and also to gain retribution on Cronus for his acts against their father.


    Rhea covertly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, hiding him in a cave on the northern slope of Mount Ida. In place of the actual child, she handed Cronus a stone also known as the Omphalos Stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallowed greedily, thinking that it was his son. Rhea used a similar ruse to save Poseidon, this time tricking Cronus to swallow a goat instead of his actual son. Rhea kept Zeus hidden in a cave on Mount Ida, Crete. According to some versions of the story, he was then raised by a goat named Amalthea, while a company of armored male dancers called the Kouretes shouted and clapped their hands to render the baby's cries inaudible, thereby preventing the arousal of Cronus' suspicions.

    Other versions of the myth claim that Zeus was raised by the nymph Adamanthea, who hid Zeus by dangling him by a rope from a tree so that he was suspended between the earth, the sea, and the sky, all of which were ruled by his father, Cronus.

    Once he had grown up, Zeus used an emetic given to him by Gaia to force Cronus to vomit. Up came the contents of his stomach in reverse order: first the stone which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Mount Parnassus , then the goat, and then Zeus' two brothers and three sisters. In other versions of the tale, Zeus cuts Cronus' stomach open. After freeing his brothers and sisters, Zeus released the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires, and the Cyclopes from Tartarus. This incited an epic war called the Titanomachy, wherein Zeus and his siblings, with the help of the Gigantes, Hecatonchires, and Cyclopes, overthrew Cronus and the other Titans.

    Afterwards, many of the Titans were confined in Tartarus, though not all of them.

    Meaning, origin and history of the name Cronus - Behind the Name

    Cronus was among those who escaped imprisonment, fleeing instead to relative obscurity. Considering his fallen mythological status, it is not surprising that Cronus was not widely celebrated in the popular religious activity of the ancient Greeks. However, he was not entirely forgotten. In Athens , on the twelfth day of the Athenian month of Hekatombaion , a festival called Kronia was held in honor of Cronus.

    The nature of the festival was decidedly agrarian, as it occurred after the final grain harvest, therefore Cronos as the god of agriculture was closely connected to this event. During Kronia, social mores were temporarily dissolved. For example, slaves were emancipated from their duties, and permitted to participate in the festivities alongside their masters.

    This was done to commemorate the Golden Age under Cronus, when slavery and oppression did not exist. Furthermore, in its acknowledgment of the tenuous nature of dominion, the festival paid homage to the myth in which Cronus overthrew his father, only to be overthrown himself by Zeus.


    Some modern Neopagans still celebrate this festival, although it is not particularly popular in North America due to the fact that its occurrence in mid-summer does not correspond the time of the harvest in the Western world. The Cronus Chronicles , written by Anne Ursu and illustrated by Eric Fortune, is a series about two modern-day kids who become caught up in a supernatural world of Greek myths. In the first volume of the series, The Shadow Thieves , the kids—Charlotte Mielswetzki and her cousin Zee—must stop Philonecron, the grandson of Poseidon, from stealing the shadows of children in order to build an army and take over the underworld.

    Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. November 6, Retrieved November 06, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. Cronus seized power from his father, the sky god Uranus, and was later ousted by his own children.

    The Romans adopted Cronus as a member of their pantheon, renamed him Saturn, and worshiped him as a god of agriculture. Rhea, however, managed to save their youngest child, Zeus, by feeding Cronus a stone wrapped in infants' clothing.

    She then arranged for the baby to be raised in secret. Zeus then banished the Titans to Tartarus, a place deep in the underworld. Cronus in Greek mythology , the supreme god until dethroned by Zeus. The youngest son of Uranus Heaven and Gaia Earth , Cronus overthrew and castrated his father and then married his sister Rhea. Because he was fated to be overcome by one of his male children, Cronus swallowed all of them as soon as they were born, but when Zeus was born, Rhea deceived him and hid the baby away.

    Cronus: see Kronos. Cronus All Sources -. Updated Media sources 1 About encyclopedia. Cronus gale. Major Myths According to legend, Uranus had imprisoned several of his children in the body of his wife, the earth goddess Gaia. Learn more about citation styles Citation styles Encyclopedia.

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