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The Ancient Gods

Tales beyond belief

Who were the Ancient Gods?
Discover the names, story, legends and myths surrounding the Ancient Gods, the first deities of Ancient Greece. Who were the Ancient Gods? The Ancient Gods of Greece were the first deities or divinities who appeared in the Creation Myth that was developed by the ancient Greeks.
 

The ancient gods were supernatural beings were worshipped as the powerful forces who controlled the world and the lives of mortals (humans). The Ancient Gods were eternal and had an unlimited existence - they did not die.

The Ancient Gods of Greek Mythology
All of the ancient gods of Greek mythology and legend were immortals, they could not die. However, they were vulnerable and could be wounded or replaced by stronger gods. The Greek Creation myth creates a supernatural world in which various generations of gods supplanted the elder gods who were confined in the depths of the Underworld. The ancient gods of Greece formed three major groups:

  • The Primeval Gods
  • The Titans
  • The Olympian Gods

The Ancient Gods - the Creation Myth
The Creation myth of the ancient Greeks started with Chaos, a careless god who inhabited a dark, chaotic void in which all things were a confused mass. There was no solid land, no sun, no moon, no fluid sea, no flowing rivers or fresh water, no mountains and no pure air. Chaos created Nyx out of the darkness and they produced Erebus whose province was the Underworld. Erebus then took his mother Nyx as his wife. The offspring of Erebus and Nyx were Aether and his sister Hemera who brought light and day. Chaos, Erebus, and Nyx were deprived of their power by Aether and Hemera. The union of Aether and Hemera produced Gaia (Earth), Tartarus (Hell), Pontus (sea) and Eros (Love). These were the first primeval deities who were initially born out of chaos. Gaia, the Earth Mother then created Uranus and together they overthrew the elder gods and produced twelve gigantic children who became collectively known as the Titans.

The Ancient Gods Creation Myth - the Titans
Uranus was frightened of the strength of his gigantic children and to prevent their ever making use of their strength against him, he seized them immediately after their birth and hurled them down into a dark abyss, below the Underground, called Tartarus, where he kept this generation of the ancient gods in chains.

The Ancient Gods Creation Myth - the Titans
The names of the Ancient Gods referred to as the Titans were:

  • Male Titans: Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius and Iapetus
  • Female Titanides: Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea and Themis

The Ancient Gods Creation Myth - the Cyclopes and the Centimani
Following the imprisonment of the 12 Titans Uranus and his wife Gaia produced another three giant sons, the Cyclopes. The Cyclopes were one-eyed giants called Brontes (Thunder), Steropes (Lightning), and Arges (Sheet-lightning). Once again Uranus threw them into Tartarus with the 12 captive Titans. In due time their number was again increased by three more sons of Uranus called the Centimani (Hundred-Handed Ones), who were giants of incredible strength and ferocity that surpassed that of all Titans. The names of the Centimani were Cottus, Briareus, and Gyes.

The Ancient Gods Creation Myth - Cronus defeats Uranus
Gaia hated the treatment that her children had received at the hands of Uranus. She pleaded with him to release them from Tartarus but Uranus refused.  Gaia swore revenge on her husband, and descended into Tartarus, where she convinced the Titans to conspire against Uranus and take his throne. Cronus, the youngest of the Titans, hated Tartarus and hated his cruel father for his cruelty. Cronus showed courage and agreed to face his father. Gaia released him from his chains, and gave him a weapon, an incredibly sharp scythe, to attack his father. Cronus vanquished his father and bound him in chains. Cronus then took possession of the vacant throne, intending to rule the universe forever. Uranus cursed his son, and made the prophecy that a day would come when Cronus would also be supplanted by his children and suffer just punishment for his rebellion.

The Ancient Gods Creation Myth - The Rule of the Titans
Cronus released his brothers and sisters from the horrors of Tartarus and ruled as the king of these ancient gods. Each of his siblings were given a portion of the world to govern.

  • Cronus was the Titan god of time and the ages

  • Coeus was the god of Intelligence

  • Rhea was the goddess of fertility and the mother of gods

  • Phoebe goddess of the Moon

  • Oceanus lord of the ocean

  • Tethys goddess of the rivers

  • Iapetus was the god of Mortal Life

  • Hyperion was the lord of light

  • Mnemosyne was the goddess of memory and the inventor of words

  • Theia was the Mother of the Sun and goddess of all that glitters

  • Crius was the god of the constellations

  • Themis was the goddess of justice and order

The Ancient Gods
Their powers were legendary and seemingly limitless. But how did the ancient Greeks perceive the Ancient Gods? What were the Ancient Gods like?

  • The Ancient Gods lived forever - they were vulnerable, they could be wounded but they could not be killed
  • They lived in beautiful golden palaces, golden chariots drawn by fabulous creatures.
  • They had mechanical servants similar to robots but who could talk and think
  • They had fabulous weapons such as the thunderbolts hurled by Zeus
  • They could control the weather
  • They had the magical power of transformation - the gods and goddesses could transform themselves into animals or inanimate objects. They also had the power to transform others in terrible monsters or objects such as trees
  • Their blood was a bright unearthly fluid called Ichor that had the power of producing new life
  • The Immortal gods were perceived as resembling mortals, but they were superior in every way
    • They were more beautiful
    • They were taller
    • They were stronger
    • They had superior mental capabilities
  • The Immortal gods married and had families
  • The Immortal gods needed food, drink and sleep to nourish their bodies
  • The Immortal gods wore the same styles of clothes to mortals but were made of finer materials
  • The Immortal gods used similar styles of weapons as humans
  • The Immortal gods had the same emotions as mortals and displayed feelings of love, gratitude, jealousy, hate and revenge
  • In Ancient Greek mythology the Immortal gods and deities visited humans. fell in love and their children were called 'demigods' or 'Heroes' who were famous for their courage and great strength

The Ancient Gods in Greek Mythology - The First Ancient Gods
The first Ancient Gods came from Chaos and Nyx and emerged self-formed at the beginning of the creation of Earth who would create 'Order out of Chaos'.  The names of the first Ancient Gods were Gaia (Earth), Tartarus (Hell) and Eros (Love) and Erebus (Darkness). The first Ancient Gods included Earth, Air, Sea, Sky, Darkness, Night, Light, Day, Fresh Water, Underworld, Procreation and Time. These primeval, immortal gods were inseparable from their native elements but also had genders and domains assigned to them.

Ancient Gods in Greek Mythology - The Titans
The first Ancient Gods were overthrown by their offspring, led by Cronus, who became known as the Titans. The names of the Ancient Gods referred to as the Titans were:

  • Male Titans: Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius and Iapetus
  • Female Titanides: Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea and Themis

The Children of the Titans - Ancient Gods
Each of the first generation of males joined with one of his sisters (the Titanides) to produce children. The second generation of Ancient Gods consisted of:

  • Eos, Helios, and Selene, Leto, Asteria, Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius, Metis, Astraeus, Pallas, Perses, Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus

The Ancient Gods - The Olympians
Some of the children of the Titans rebelled against the first Ancient Gods starting a ten year conflict called Battle of the Titans (the Titanomachy). In Greek mythology the first generation of the Ancient Gods, the Titans, used Mount Othrys as their base. This was was assaulted by the younger Ancient Gods, led by Zeus, who used Mount Olympus as their base. The younger Ancient Gods were victorious and became known as the Olympians. The names of the principle Olympian gods, who were also Ancient Gods, were:

  • Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes

Other Ancient Gods
There were many other lesser deities who were also classed as Ancient Gods such as the Nymphs, Dryads and Sirens. The children of unions between the gods and mortals were called Demigods and many of these were also considered as Immortal.

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods Mythology

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