The Ancient Greeks developed a story which explained where the main Gods and Goddesses of their religion came from and what their relationships were to each other. The Greek Creation Myth started with Chaos, then the primeval gods who produced the Titans from whom the 12 Olympian gods descended. The Titans were imprisoned by both their father Cronus, and then by Zeus, in Tartarus, a terrible abyss of torment and suffering, located beneath the Underworld.
The Titans - Descendents of the first gods who were born out of Chaos
The Titans were the descendents of the first gods or divinities, called the Immortals, who were born out of Chaos. The primordial gods were a race of giants associated with a place or a realm and had genders assigned to them. The 'elder gods' were Gaia, aka Gaea (the Earth Mother), Erebus (darkness and the Underworld), Tartarus ( the abyss beneath the Underworld), Eros (procreation - not to be confused with the later god Eros who was the son of Aphrodite), Pontus (the sea) and Uranus (the sky and the heavens). The union of Gaia and Uranus produced the Titans and the children of the Titans became known as the Olympians.
The Titans and the Giants or Gigantes were born from the union of Gaia and her son Uranus and were the first born of the immortals. The names of the first generation of 12 Titans were:
Male Titans: Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius and Iapetus
Female Titanides: Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea and Themis
The Roles & Realms of the Titans
The roles and realms of the Titans were as follows:
Cronus was the youngest son of Gaia and Uranus and ruler of the Titans. He married his sister Rhea. Their children were Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. Cronus who was de-throned by his son Zeus
Rhea was the daughter of Gaia and Uranus and one of the Titanides (female Titans). She married her brother Cronus. Their children were Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus
Coeus was a son of Gaia and Uranus, the Titan of Intelligence. He was the husband of Phoebe, the father of Leto and Asteria. The grandfather of Apollo and Artemis
Phoebe was the wife of Coeus, the mother of Leto and Asteria, and the grandmother of Apollo and Artemis.
Oceanus was the eldest son of Gaia and Uranus who married his sister Tethys. Their children were the Oceanides (three thousand daughters who were goddesses and water nymphs) and the Potamoi (three thousand sons who were river-gods)
Tethys was one of the Titanides, the wife of Oceanus.
Iapetus married Clymene, one of the Oceanides (daughters of Tethys and Oceanus). The names of their children were Atlas, Epimetheus and Prometheus.
Hyperion was the lord of light, brother of Cronus and the Titan of the east. He married Theia, his wife and sister. Their children were Helios, Eos and Selene. Meaning of his name "he who goes before the sun."
Mnemosyne was the goddess of memory and the inventor of words, a daughter of Gaia and Uranus and the mother of the nine Muses by Zeus
Theia was a daughter of Gaia and Uranus and the wife and sister of Hyperion. Children - Helios, Eos and Selene
Crius was the the god of the constellations, a son of Uranus and Gaia. His consort was Eurybia, daughter of Gaia and Pontus. Children: Astraeus, Pallas and Perses
Themis was the god of justice and order. One of the six daughters of Gaia and Uranus, she was the lover of Zeus. Children: the Horae and the Fates
The Second Generation of Titans
Each of the first generation of male Titans joined with one of his sisters (the Titanides) to produce children. The second generation of Titans consisted of:
The children of Hyperion and Theia: Eos, Helios, and Selene
The daughters of Coeus and Phoebe: Leto and Asteria
The sons of Iapetus and Clymene (an Oceanide sea goddess): Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus and Epimetheus
The daughters of Oceanus and Tethys: The Oceanides and Potamoi
The sons of Crius and Eurybia (a sea goddess): Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses
The children of Cronus and Rhea: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus
The Rise of the Titans
The first Titans were the sons and daughters of Gaia and Uranus. Cronus had been warned by his parents, Gaia and Uranus, that he would be betrayed and replaced by his own children. To prevent this prophecy from coming true Cronus swallowed each of his and Rhea's children as they were born - Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. As the children were immortal, this did not kill them, they remained trapped inside the body of Cronus. Rhea grieved for the loss of her children and when she gave birth to Zeus she tricked Cronus by substituting the baby Zeus with a swaddled rock. Cronus swallowed the rock believing he had disposed of another threat to his rule. Zeus released his siblings, who were still living in the stomach of Cronus.
The Fall of the Titans - The Battle of the Titans (the Titanomachy)
The children of Cronus, the New Titans, engaged in a ten year conflict with the elder gods and the Battle of the Titans (the Titanomachy) began. The New Titans fulfilled the prophecy and would be referred to as the Olympians as their base was on Mount Olympus. For additional information about the Titans refer to the Battle of the Titans - the Titanomachy.
The Titanomachy - The Battle of the Titans
The Titanomachy, meaning the Battle of the Titans, was a fierce ten year struggle between the 12 young Olympians and their older predecessors, the Titans. In Greek mythology Mount Othrys was the base of the Titans during the Titanomachy. which was assaulted by the 12 Olympians, led by Zeus.
The Main Combatants in the Battle of the Titans - The Titanomachy
The family of supreme beings and Immortals, called the Titans, took sides. According to Hesiod’s description of the Titanomachy in “The Theogony” the main combatants for the Titans were:
They were opposed by the main combatants who were:
Hyperion, Helios, Eos, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Prometheus, Epimetheus and the Cyclopes
The Battle of the Titans - The Titanomachy
The Battle of the Titans lasted for ten years with the elder Titans on Mount Othrys and their combatants were based on Mount Olympus. All of the Titans were immortal so no permanent casualties were possible. The Olympian gods eventually triumphed with the help of the three Cyclopes and three giants called the 'Hundred-handed', who Zeus had released from Tartarus. The Cyclopes gave thunderbolts to Zeus to use as weapons, and the three giants kept the Titans under a constant barrage of rocks. The defeated Titans who had fought against the Olympians were imprisoned in Tartarus and the 'Hundred-Hander' giants became their jailors. The Titans who did not fight against the Olympians joined them on Mount Olympus.