Ancient Greek Titans and Lesser Gods


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The Titans and the Lesser Gods of Greek Mythology

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For the ancient Greeks, the very first gods were called the Titans. They were the gods before the Olympians were born.

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Uranus (like the planet!) was the god of the sky,

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and Gaea was the Goddess of the Earth—in fact, she was the Earth itself, sometimes called Mother Nature. Say JEE-uh

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Gaea and Uranus were the parents of the other Titans.

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The titan Atlas had the job of holding up the world!

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Prometheus was another titan, brother of Atlas. He created man, that is, he made human beings. Say pro-ME-thee-us

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He was also famous for giving fire to human beings—for the very first time.

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But Zeus did not want humans to have fire—so he punished Prometheus.

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Prometheus had a brother, Epimetheus, who gave each animal its own special power. Say ep-ee-ME-thee-us

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Now, Zeus made the first woman, named Pandora, and gave her to Epimetheus—who fell in love with her.

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But Zeus also gave Pandora a box, called Pandora’s Box. When she opened it, all the evils (bad things) of the world flew out.

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Cronus and Rhea were two important titans. Say KROH-nuss and REE-uh

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Originally, Uranus was the king of the gods. Then Cronus became king of the gods.

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The Roman name for Cronus was Saturn (like the planet!).

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Cronus and Rhea were mother and father of Zeus and his brothers and sisters.

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But Zeus fought against Cronus and the other titans. Zeus became king of the gods and the Olympians became the most powerful gods.

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Aphrodite had a son, named Eros, who was the God of Love. (The Romans called him Cupid.) Say AIR-oss

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Eros fell in love with a beautiful woman, Psyche. Say SIGH-kee

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Helios was the God of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day. Say HE-lee-us

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Helios had a son, Phaethon, who drove the chariot when he shouldn’t have. Say FAY-uh-tun

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Aeolus was another god—the God of Winds. His winds blew Odysseus’ ship far away. Say EE-uh-luss

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The Erinyes (or Furies) were three goddesses who punished anyone who did anything very, very wrong. Say ear-IN-ee-eez

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The three Charites (Graces) were goddesses of beauty, laughing, and joy. Say KAR-ih-teez

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The Moirae (Fates) were the three goddesses of life—when it began, how long it was, and how it ended. Say MOY-ree

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Some say there were three Muses, goddesses of literature and the arts.

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But others say there were nine muses.

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Nymphs were female spirits, who lived in and protected special places like rivers and forests. They looked like beautiful young women.

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Calypso was a sea nymph who made Odysseus stay on her island.

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Echo was a nymph, too, who fell in love with a handsome young man named Narcissus.

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Maybe the Sirens were dangerous bird-women, with beautiful singing voices.

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But sometimes they are just beautiful young women, or half-women, half-fish, like mermaids, who lived in the sea. They were also dangerous.

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The End

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