Lesson 1, Reading 2:
 Hesiod, Theogony (Generations of the Gods)
 
composed cir 600 BCE, central Greece
excerpts freely adapted from The Theogany of Hesiod  translated by Hugh G. Evelyn-White (1914).

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Hesiod and the Muses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chaos

 

 

The First Generation of Gods (Titans)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cyclopes

 

 

 

 

Volcanos

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Shamed Earth's revenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birth of Aphrodite

 

(ll. 1-103) One day when I was minding sheep high on Helicon, I was taught to sing glories by the Muses of Olympus. That's right, the great goddesses of fine words, the daughters of mighty Zeus the lightning-thrower, they taught me, Hesiod, a country bumpkin, a poor shameful thing, all stomach. They wanted me to sing about the families of the glorious eternal ones, including even themselves: Cleio and Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polyhymnia, Urania and Calliope, who is their leader, for she holds court with noble kings.

"We know how to make lies sound true," they said, "but we also can tell the truth at times, if we feel like it."

They cut a good branch of living laurel, and that's what they used to breathe into me a voice like a god's--you know, one that can tell the future or say what happened ages ago. Happy is anyone that they love, for when they come to you, even if you're only just newborn, it's like they coat your tongue with sugar syrup so that sweet words begin to pour from your lips. They bring us cures, even if we have fresh sorrows or new griefs in mind, and even if we long have lived in dread or distress. We forget our heaviness and cares when any true servant of theirs begins to chant the glorious deeds of the people of old or the eternal gods of Olympus.

(ll. 104-115) So visit again, daughters of Zeus! Let's have a good song now to celebrate the families of the deathless ones: those that were born of Earth and starry Heaven, and those that came from gloomy Night and the briny Sea. Tell how at the beginning gods and earth came to be, and rivers, and the boundless sea with its raging surfs, and the gleaming stars, and the broad heaven above, and the gods who were born there, and how these givers of good things divided their kingdoms and shared honors among themselves, and also how they first won the many-folded mountain where you Muses now live. Tell all these things from the beginning. Say what happened first.

(ll. 116-138) Chaos was the first to be, before big-breasted Earth birthed her first life, before there were any deathless ones on the peaks of snowy Olympus, before dim Tartarus lay in the depths under foot, and even before Eros, the fairest among the ever-living, unnerved anybody or made any god or man act stupid.

Out of Chaos, Dark and Night united, and Night conceived Space, then Light, then starry Heaven, so much more than Earth to cover her on every side, and to secure durable homes for long living gods. Earth, while yet mateless, brought forth long hills and glens to be graceful haunts of goddess-Nymphs, and the fruitless sea with his raging swell. But then Heaven impregnated her, and she bore deep-swirling Ocean, and the Titans: Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Lapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, the one who hated his lusty dad.

(ll. 139-146) And again, she gave birth to the Cyclopes, over-bearing in spirit: Brontes, and Steropes and stubborn-hearted Arges, who gave Zeus the thunder and crafted the thunderbolt. They were like gods except that they had only one eye, and it was set in the middle of their fore-heads. (Cyclopes means round-eyed.) They were strong but skillful, too.

(ll. 147-163) And again, three other sons were born of Earth and Heaven, great and powerful beyond telling. These were the upstarts Cottus and Briareos and Gyes. From their shoulders sprang an hundred strong arms, as if there had been fifty heads apiece on them. They could not  be approached, their huge limbs irresistible with long-lasting strength.

Of all the children that were born of Earth and Heaven, these were the most terrible, but all of them were despised by their father from the first. He shoved them back down in a secret place within Earth as soon as each was born, and he tried to keep them from coming out into the light. Heaven rejoiced in these deeds, but swollen Earth groaned in pain, being over filled, and so she made the element of grey flint and shaped a great sickle, and told her plan to her dear sons. And she spoke, cheering them, while she was vexed in her dear heart:

(ll. 164-166) `Children, your father is no good. He treats us like dirt. We will get even with him,.if you will obey me.'

(ll. 167-169) Their dear mother spoke, but fear seized them all, and none of them at first could utter a word. Then only  Cronos, the great trickster, found the courage to answer:

(ll. 170-172) `Mom, I'll handle this. I have no love for Dad, since he treats you and us so bad.'

(ll. 173-175) So he said: and vast Earth rejoiced in spirit. She hid him for an ambush, and put in his hands the jagged sickle, and told him what to do.

(ll. 176-206) Heaven longed for sex. He soon brought on night and spread himself full over Earth. That's when the son from his hiding place took in his right hand the great long sickle with jagged teeth, and he stretched out his left hand and grabbed his father's testicles. He lopped them off with a swift stroke and tossed them away behind him. All the bloody drops that gushed out fell all over Earth, and later as the seasons moved round she bore everywhere the strong Erinyes and the great Giants with gleaming armor, holding long spears in their hands, and the Nymphs known as Meliae.

Nor were the balls themselves fruitless. They fell into the sea, which surged, but the immortal flesh floated and remained adrift for a very long time, and a white foam eventually overspread it, and it was within this frothy nest that gradually grew a maiden. First she came ashore at sea-sided Cyprus, then later at holy Cythera, where she emerged fully formed as an awsome lovely goddess, grass instantly sprouting up around her shapely feet wherever she went. Gods and men call her Aphrodite. She is also known as the foam daughter because she grew in the foam, and Cyprogenes because she was seen first at billowy Cyprus, and rich-crowned Cytherea because she landed first at Cythera, and Philommedes (or lover of balls) because of obvious reasons. Eros and beautiful Desire always go with her everywhere, even when she enters an assembly of gods. These powers over mortals and immortals have been hers from the start -- the whisperings of maidens and smiles and deceits with sweet delight and love and graciousness.

(ll. 207-210) The rebellious children he had begotten great Heaven called "Titans," which is a sarcatic term meaning strainers, for he said that he would restrain them forever in times to come, in revenge for the fearful thing done to him.

 

Hesiod is a prophet of the goddess Muses who live on Mount Olympus. Mount Helicon is in Boeotia, in the central Greek peninsula, near the Gulf of Corinth. On Helicon there were shrines to the Muses and to Eros (Love) as well as an altar to Zeus.
Calliope is the Muse who inspires heroic poetry.

 

 

Music and the entertainment power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hesiod loses his personal voice at this point and sings the Music.


 

 

 

 

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Cronos is son of Heaven and Earth who will take his father's place as king of gods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How earth split from heaven

 

 

 

 

Erinyes are spirits of revenge. Meliae are the nymphs in Ash trees; they account for the properties of the wood which was used in Greek spears.

 

Aphrodite the love goddess brings creation down to earth

 

 

Children of Cronos: Zeus and siblings

 

 

 

 

(ll. 211-225) Meanwhile, the murky goddess Night bore hateful Doom and black Fate and Death, and she bore Sleep and the tribe of Dreams. And though she loved none, she bore Blame and painful Woe, and the Hesperides who guard the rich, golden apples and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Ocean. The deadly goddess also bore the Destinies and ruthless avenging Fates, Clotho and Lachesis and Atropos, who at the births of human beings, give them fortunes evil and good, and they avenge  the bad deeds of men and of gods: and they never stop their dread anger until they punish the sinner with a painful penalty. Also she bore Nemesis to afflict mortals, and after her, Deceit and Friendship and hateful Age and hard-hearted Strife.

(ll. 226-232) But abhorred Strife bore painful Toil and Forgetfulness and Famine and tearful Sorrows, Fights also, Battles, Murders, Manslaughters, Quarrels, Lying Words, Disputes, Lawlessness and Ruin, all of one nature, and Oath who most troubles men upon earth when anyone wilfully swears a false oath .  . .

[Many other evils are born in this age of Cronos and Night, until finally the song gets around Cronos' children.]

(ll. 453-491) Rhea was subjected to the love of Cronos and she bore splendid children: Hestia, Demeter, gold-shod Hera, strong Hades who lives with pitiless heart underground, the loud-crashing Earth-Shaker, and last of all wise Zeus, father of gods and men, whose thunder shakes the wide earth. Yet the great trickster swallowed them whole as each one came out of the womb. He did this so that none of them would take over as king of the deathless gods. Cronos feared from the case of Earth and starry Heaven that he, strong though he was, would some day be overcome by the trick of one of his own sons. So he kept his eyes open.

His continual watching and baby-swallowing brought endless sorrow to Rhea, until she was about to bear Zeus, the father of gods and men. That's when she finally dared to ask her own dear parents, Earth and starry Heaven, to help her hatch some plan to hide the birth of her next dear child, and stop the abuses.

They readily heard and agreed with their dear daughter. They told her all that was destined to happen to Cronos and his strong-hearted son who would replace him as king. They sent her to Lyetus, in the rich land of Crete, where she waited to bear great Zeus, the youngest of her children. There in wide Crete vast Earth would receive the infant from Rhea, and nourish him and raise him.

Swiftly through the dark of night Earth came to Lyetus, and she took the infant in her arms and hid him in a remote cave beneath the secret places of the holy land on thick-wooded Mount Aegeum. To the mighty ruling son of Heaven, king of the gods, she then delivered a great stone wrapped in swaddling clothes. He took this baby in his hands and gulped it down whole into his belly! Fool! He never realized that his son was left unswallowed and untroubled, and that he would soon be driven by force from his reign over the deathless gods.

(ll. 492-506) The young prince grew quickly in strength and glorious limbs, and after a few years had rolled around, great Cronos the wily was tricked by the subtle suggestions of Earth and by the arts and might of his son. They made him vomit up everything, beginning with the stone that he had swallowed last, which Zeus set it fast in the wide-pathed earth at goodly Pytho under the glens of Parnassus, to be a sign and a wonder to mortals.

Later Zeus freed his uncles from their deadly prison. These were the sons of Heaven that Cronos had bound. Some were grateful to Zeus for his kindness, and gave him thunder and the glowing thunderbolt and lightning. For before that time, huge Earth had hidden these. With the new weapons Zeus trusted to maintain his rule over mortals and immortals.  [However, war breaks out. Zeus defeats Cronos and the Titans in battle and drives them down into the depths of the earth where he binds them.]

 

 

 Clotho (the Spinner) is she who spins the thread of a person's life; Lachesis (the Disposer of Lots) assigns to each person a destiny; Atropos (She who cannot be turned) is the `Fury with the abhorred shears' who cuts the thread of life.

 

 

 

Hestia is goddess of the hearth or household. Demeter is goddess of crops. The Earth-Shaker is Poseidon who along with his brother Zeus controls earth quakes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aegeum became known as Mount Ida, famed for its temple cave of Zeus.

 

 

 

Pytho is a former name for Delphi in central Greece, the place of the famous temple of Pythian Apollo.

 

 

(ll. 507-543) Now the titan Lapetus took to wife the neat-ankled mad Clymene, daughter of Ocean, and he took her to bed. She produced a big-hearted son, Atlas; then  flashing bright Menoetius and then clever Prometheus, full of various tricks. She also bore scatter-brained Epimetheus who later was to cause so much trouble for the first men who ate bread, for it was Epimetheus who accepted from Zeus the first woman that Zeus created [Pandora].

When Menoetius blew up outrageously, with mad arrogance he arose in pride, far-seeing Zeus struck him down with a flashing thunderbolt and drove him into Erebus [underground] where Atlas strains to uphold the wide universe with steady head and arms, as he stands at the base of the earth beyond the clear-voiced Hesperides--for that is the place that wise Zeus assigned to him.

Zeus bound strong headed Prometheus with escape proof chains and drove a stake through his middle, and above him sent a long-winged eagle, which ate his immortal liver by day, but by night the liver grew back as much again as the great bird had consumed.

That bird later was slain by Heracles, the valiant son of neat-ankled Alcmene. Heracles was able to release Prometheus from his affliction, because Zeus wanted the fame of his son, Theban-born Heracles, to grow yet greater than it was before over all the plenteous earth. Zeus so honored his famous son, even though Prometheus had angered him by daring to outwit him. For once when the gods and mortal men were came together at Mecone to settle accounts, Prometheus came forward to sacrifice a great ox, but he tried to trick Zeus with the portions of the meal. Before the others he set out all the meat and giblets thick with fat hidden within a sausage skin; but for Zeus' portion Prometheus put only the white bones and some shining fat, dressed up cunningly to look like real food. Then the father of men and of gods asked him:

(ll. 543-545) `Son of Lapetus, most glorious among lords, good sir, how unfairly have you divided the portions?' So asked Zeus whose wisdom is everlasting.

(ll. 545-558) Wily Prometheus answered him, smiling as he thought of his joke: `Zeus, most glorious and greatest of the eternal gods, take which ever of these portions your heart pleases.' So he said, thinking trickery. Zeus saw the trick, and in his heart he considered how his wrath should be fulfilled against all who might ever try such deceit. Angry at heart, with both hands he took up the white fat, and his wrath grew as he saw that nothing more than white ox-bones had been hidden inside. After that occasion, tribes of men upon earth learned to offer white bones to the deathless gods upon good-smelling altars, but Zeus who drives the clouds was exceedingly angry.

(ll. 559-560) `Son of Lapetus, deceitful above all!' Zeus said. "So, sir, you are still up to your tricks!'

(ll. 561-584) So spoke Zeus in anger, whose wisdom is everlasting; and from that time he always remembered the trick, and he would not give the power of unwearying fire to the Melian race of mortals. But the big son of Lapetus tried to trick Zeus yet again. He used a hollow fennel stalk to steal a far-seen stream of unwearying fire, and Zeus who thunders on high was pained in spirit, and his dear heart was angered when he saw the distant fire among the men. That is when he made an evil thing, so that men paid dearly for the theft of fire. The son of Cronos got the very famous Limping God [Hephaistos, the blacksmith of the gods] to form of earth the likeness of a shy maiden. And the goddess bright-eyed Athena [goddess of weaving] made showy garments and clothed her. Down from the girl's head Athena spread with her hands a broidered veil, a wonder to see. She crowned the maid's head with lovely garlands, flowers of new-grown herbs, and also a crown of gold, which Hephaistos made and worked with his own hands as a favor to his father Zeus. On it was much curious work, wonderful to see; for of the many creatures which the land and sea rear up, he put most upon it, wonderful things, like living beings with voices. Splendid was the beauty that radiated out from it.

(ll. 585-589) When this beautiful creation was completed, he brought her out, delighting in the finery which the bright-eyed daughter of a mighty father had given her, into the sight of the other gods and men. And wonder took hold of the deathless gods and mortal men when they saw that which was sheer guile but not to be withstood.

(ll. 590-612) This was the first of the female mortals: from her mold come all women who live among mortal men and cause big trouble, no helpmates in hateful poverty, but sharers only in wealth. And as in thatched hives bees feed the drones whose nature is to do mischief -- by day and throughout the day until the sun goes down the bees are busy and lay the white combs, while the drones stay at home in the covered nests and reap the toil of others into their own bellies -- even so Zeus who thunders on high made women with bad natures to be burdens to men.

And he gave men a second evil also to offset whatever good they had: the man that avoids marriage and escapes the sorrows that bad women cause, and will not wed, he will reach wretched old age without anyone to care for him at all. He may earn a decent living while he lives, but for whose benefit? When he dies others will divide his possessions among them.

The man who chooses marriage and manages to take a good wife who is suited to his mind, also may find that his life is a mixed blessing. If he has mischievous children, he will live with unceasing grief in his spirit and heart within him, for this evil will never go away.

(ll. 613-616) So it is not possible to deceive Zeus or to escape his will. Not even the son of Lapetus, kindly Prometheus, escaped the anger of Zeus, and the strong chains continued to bind him up, even though he knew so many tricks .  . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Evil thing: Zeus makes Pandora; the first woman. Athene and Hephaistos dress her up.

 

 

 

 

[The Titans stir up a fight with the Zeus.]

(ll. 664-686) Then the gods, givers of good things, longed for war greater than any before, and all of them, both male and female, stirred up painful battle against the Titan gods, and all that were born of Cronos. To the battle, Zeus raised up many of those dread, mighty ones that he had previously put down from the light into dark Erebus beneath the earth. An hundred big arms sprang from each of their shoulders, as if fifty heads should appear above those shoulders and stout limbs. They rose against the Titans in grim strife, holding huge rocks in their strong hands.

On their side the Titans also strengthened their ranks, and both sides at the same time showed all the work they could do with all of the might of their hands. The boundless sea rang terribly around, and the earth crashed loudly: wide Heaven was shaken and groaned, and high Olympus reeled from its foundation under the charge of the undying gods, and a heavy quaking reached dim Tartarus and the deep sound of their feet in the fearful onset and of their hard missiles. So, then, they launched their grievous shafts upon one another, and the cry of both armies as they shouted reached to starry heaven; and they met together with a great battle-cry.

(ll. 687-712) Then Zeus no longer held back his might; but straight his heart was filled with fury, and he displayed all of his power. From heaven and Olympus he came hurling flashes: the bolts flew thick and fast from his strong hand together with thunder and lightning, whirling in awesome flame. The life-giving earth crashed around and burned, and the vast wood crackled loud with fire everywhere. All the land seethed, and Ocean's fruitless streams also as the hot vapor lapped round the earthborn Titans. Flame indescribable rose up to the bright upper air where the flashing glare of the thunder, stone and lightning blinded their eyes, no matter how strong. Astounding heat seized Chaos: and to see with eyes and to hear the sound with ears it seemed even as if Earth and wide heaven above came together; for such a mighty crash would have come if Earth were being destroyed, and heaven from on high were hurling her down; so great a crash was there while the gods were battling. Also the winds brought rumbling earthquake and dust storm, thunder and lightning and the lurid thunderbolt, which are the shafts of great Zeus, so the the clangor was the war cry carried between the two great armies. A horrible uproar, terrible strife, mighty deeds were shown in that fight, and they kept at one another and fought continually in cruel war.

(ll. 713-735) Among the foremost Cottus and Briareos and Gyes insatiable for war raised fierce fighting. Three hundred rocks, one upon another, they launched from their strong hands and crushed the Titans with their missiles, and buried them beneath the wide-pathed earth, and bound them in bitter chains when they had conquered them by their strength for all their great spirit, as far beneath the earth to Tartarus. For a bronze anvil falling down from heaven nine nights and days would reach the earth upon the tenth: and again, that bronze  anvil falling from earth nine nights and days would reach Tartarus upon the tenth. Round it runs a fence of bronze, and night spreads in triple line all about it like a necklace, while above grow the roots of the earth and fruitless sea. There by the counsel of Zeus who drives the clouds the Titan gods are buried under misty gloom, in a dank place at the ends of the huge earth. And they may not escape as long as Poseidon fixed gates of bronze are shut, for the wall runs all round it on every side. There Gyes and Cottus and great-souled Obriareus live, for Zeus who keeps the lightning bolt above trusts them to be the guards below.

(ll. 736-744) And there, all in their order, are the beginnings and ends of gloomy earth and misty Tartarus and the fruitless seas and starry heavens, places so loathsome and dank that even the gods are disgusted by them. It is a great gulf, and if once a man were within the gates, he would not reach the floor until a whole year had reached its end, but cruel blast upon blast would carry him this way and that. And this marvel is awful even to the deathless gods.

(ll. 744-757) There stands the awful home of murky Night wrapped in dark clouds. In front of it, Atlas stands immovably upholding the wide heaven upon his head and unwearying hands, where Night and Day draw near and greet one another as they pass the great threshold of bronze: and while the one is about to go down into the house, the other comes out at the door.

And the house never holds them both within; but always one is without the house passing over the earth, while the other stays at home and waits until the time for her journeying come; and the one holds all-seeing light for them on earth, but the other holds in her arms Sleep the brother of Death, even evil Night, wrapped in a vaporous cloud.

(ll. 758-766) And there the children of dark Night have their dwellings, Sleep and Death, awful gods. The glowing Sun never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven, nor as he comes down from heaven. And the former of them roams peacefully over the earth and the sea's broad back and is kindly to men; but the other has a heart of iron, and his spirit within him is pitiless as bronze: whomsoever of men he has once seized he holds fast: and he is hateful even to the deathless gods.

(ll. 767-774) There, in front, stand the echoing halls of the god of the lower-world, strong Hades, and of awful Persephone. A fearful hound guards the house in front, pitiless, and he has a cruel trick. On those who go in he fawns with his tail and both is ears, but suffers them not to go out back again, but keeps watch and devours whomsoever he catches going out of the gates of strong Hades and awful Persephone.

(ll. 775-806) And there dwells the goddess loathed by the deathless gods, terrible Styx, eldest daughter of back-flowing Ocean. She lives apart from the gods in her glorious house vaulted over with great rocks and propped up to heaven all round with silver pillars. Rarely does the daughter of Thaumas, swift- footed Iris, come to her with a message over the sea's wide back . . .

 

 

Hesiod seems to describe a major eruption involving many simultaneous volcanoes and earth quakes.

 

 

Dust clouds given off by volcanoes are generally accompanied by intense and sometimes continuous lightning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eruption lasts eighteen days and nights.


Zeus and Poseidon protect the world from further outbreaks.

 

 

(ll. 820-868) But when heavenly Zeus had driven down the Titans, huge Earth bore her youngest, Typhoeus, conceived of the love of Tartarus induced by golden Aphrodite. Strength was always in his hands, and the feet of the strong god were untiring. From his shoulders grew a hundred heads of a snake, a fearful dragon, with dark, flickering tongues, and from under the brows of his eyes in his marvelous heads flashed fire, and fire burned from his heads as he glared. And there were voices in all his dreadful heads which screamed sounds unspeakable; for at one time they made sounds like those that the gods understand, but at another, the noise like a bull bellowing aloud in proud ungovernable fury; and at another, the sound like a lion, relentless of heart; and at another, sounds like whelps strange to hear; and again, at another, he hissed, so that the high mountains re-echoed.

And truly a thing past help would have happened on that day, and he would have come to reign over mortals and immortals, had not the father of men and gods been quick to react, but he thundered hard and mightily: and the earth around resounded terribly and the wide heaven above, and the sea and Ocean's streams and the nether parts of the earth. Great Olympus reeled beneath the divine feet of the king as he arose and earth groaned thereat. And through the two of them heat took hold on the dark-blue sea, through the thunder and lightning, and through the fire from the monster, and the scorching winds and blazing thunderbolt. The whole earth seethed, and sky and sea: and the long waves raged along the beaches round and about, at the rush of the deathless gods: and there arose an endless shaking. Hades trembled where he rules over the dead below, and the Titans under Tartarus who live with Cronos, because of the unending noise and the fearful strife.

So when Zeus had raised up his might and seized his arms, thunder and lightning and lurid thunderbolt, he jumped from Olympus and hit him, and burned all the marvelous heads of the monster about him. But when Zeus had struck him with blows, Typhoeus fell, a maimed wreck, so that the whole huge earth groaned. And flame shot forth from the thunder- stricken lord in the dim rugged glens of the mountain, when he fell. A great part of huge earth was scorched by the terrible vapor and melted as tin melts when heated by men's art in burnt crucibles; or as iron, which is hardest of all things, is softened by glowing fire in mountain glens and melts in the divine earth through the power of Hephaestus. Even so, then, the earth melted in the glow of the blazing fire. And in the bitterness of his anger Zeus cast him into wide Tartarus . . .

(ll. 869-880) And from Typhoeus come boisterous damp winds. Unlike Notus and Boreas and clear Zephyr, which are god-sent winds and great blessings to men, these others blow gales fitfully upon the seas. Some rush upon the misty sea and work great havoc among men with their evil, raging blasts; for varying with the season they blow, scattering ships and destroying sailors. And men who meet these upon the sea are helpless against the mischief. Blowing over the boundless, flowering earth then they spoil the fair fields of men, filling them with dust and cruel uproar.

(ll. 881-885) But when the blessed gods had finished their work, and settled by force their struggle for supremacy with the Titans, they pressed far-seeing Olympian Zeus to reign and to rule over them and support by Earth. So he divided their dignities amongst them.

{The last part of the Theogony, which is fragmentary, tells of the many children of Zeus, some born of gods and some born of mortal women.  All of these are relatives of the Muses.}


Then when all seems safe comes another disaster, Typhoeus, perhaps a comet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hephaestus is the blacksmith of the gods, the patron of metal workers.

 

 

 

The loves and progeny of Zeus

(ll. 886-900) Now Zeus, king of the gods, made Metis his wife first, and she was wisest among gods and mortal men. But when she was about to bring forth the goddess, bright-eyed Athene, Zeus craftily deceived her with cunning words and put her in his own belly, as Earth and starry Heaven advised. For they advised him so, to the end that no other should hold royal sway over the eternal gods in place of Zeus; for very wise children were destined to be born of her, first the maiden bright-eyed Tritogeneia, equal to her father in strength and in wise understanding; but afterwards she was to bear a son of overbearing spirit, king of gods and men. But Zeus put her into his own belly first, that the goddess might devise for him both good and evil.

(ll. 901-906) Next he married bright Themis who bare the Horae (Hours), and Eunomia (Order), Dike (Justice), and blooming Eirene (Peace), who mind the works of mortals, and the Moerae (Fates) to whom wise Zeus gave the greatest honour, Clotho, and Lachesis, and Atropos who give mortals evil and good.

(ll. 907-911) And Eurynome, the daughter of Ocean, beautiful in form, bore him three fair-cheeked Graces: Aglaea, and Euphrosyne, and lovely Thaleia, from whose eyes as they glanced flowed love that unnerves the limbs. Gorgeous is their glance beneath their brows.

(ll. 912-914) Also he came to the bed of all-nourishing Demeter, and she bore white-armed Persephone whom Aidoneus carried off from her mother; but wise Zeus gave her to him.

(ll. 915-917) And again, he loved Mnemosyne with the beautiful hair:and of her the nine gold-crowned Muses were born who delight in feasts and the pleasures of song.

(ll. 918-920) And Leto was joined in love with Zeus who holds the aegis, and she bore Apollo and Artemis delighting in arrows, children lovely above all the sons of Heaven.

(ll. 921-923) Lastly, he made Hera his blooming wife: and she was joined in love with the king of gods and men, and they brought forth Hebe and Ares and Eileithyia.

(ll. 924-937) But Zeus himself gave birth from his own head to bright-eyed Tritogeneia, the awful, the strife-stirring, the host-leader, the unwearying, the queen, who delights in tumults and wars and battles. But Hera without union with Zeus -- for she was very angry and quarreled with her mate -- bore famous Hephaestus, who is skilled in crafts more than all the sons of Heaven .  . .

(ll. 938-942) And Maia, the daughter of Atlas, bore to Zeus glorious Hermes, the herald of the deathless gods, for she went up into his holy bed.  And Semele, daughter of Cadmus was joined with him in love and bare him a splendid son, joyous Dionysus, -- a mortal woman with an immortal son. And now they both are gods.

(ll. 943-944) And Alcmene was joined in love with Zeus who drives the clouds and she bare mighty Heracles. . . And mighty Heracles, the valiant son of neat-ankled Alcmene, when he had finished his grievous toils, made Hebe (the child of Zeus and Hera) his shy wife in snowy Olympus. Happy he! For he has finished his great works and lives amongst the dying gods, untroubled and unaging all his days.

(ll. 956-962) And Perseis, the daughter of Ocean, bore to tireless Helios Circe and Aeetes the king. And Aeetes, the son of Helios who shows light to men, took to wife fair-cheeked Idyia, daughter of Ocean the perfect stream, by the will of the gods: and she was subject to him in love through golden Aphrodite and bore him neat-ankled Medea.



Tritogeneia is the goddess Athena; the name refers to her birthplace (shrine) on the banks of the river Trito.

 

 
























































Circe and Medea are witches with special powers to raise the dead and control nature.
 

[The song continues, addressing the generations of demi-gods. They are beings created by the union of goddesses with moral men. The fragment then breaks off.]

Instructor: gutchess@englishare.net 
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