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Cronus, the Leader of the Titans

Last Update: 06 Apr 2021

Cronus, the leader of the Titans and father of the Olympian Gods, was the god of time in its sense of eternal duration.

Family of Cronus

Cronus was a child of Uranus, the Titan of Heaven, and his wife Gaea. According to Apollodorus [1], Cronus was the youngest and weakest, but cleverest of the Titans.

Cronus was married to his own sister Rhea, and after casting their father into the depths of the underworld, they ascended the throne of the world together as king and queen.

The Birth of the Olympian Gods

Cronus and Rhea gave birth to six of the fourteen Olympian Gods, including Zeus, the King of the Gods; Hera, the goddess of marriage and wife of Zeus; Poseidon, the god of the seas; Hestia, the goddess of the hearth; Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld.

The Downfall of Cronus

Like his father Uranus, Cronus was a very envious deity and devoured his children because he had been told that one of his descendants would one day dethrone him.

So when Rhea was expecting her last child Zeus, her parents advised her to cross the seas and reach the island of Crete. Rhea obeyed and gave birth to Zeus in a cave in Lyktos on Crete, far away from her husband. She then left her child to be raised by Gaea and the Nymphs and soon returned alone to Mount Olympus alone.

There she deceived Cronus by giving him a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to swallow.

In this way Zeus escaped the threat and remained in Crete until he was mature enough to fight his father and claim the kingdom of the world.


The Library of Apollodorus (born c. 180 BCE)

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