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In the most classic and well known version of Greek mythology, Cronus /ˈkroʊnəs/ or Kronos /ˈkroʊnɒs/ (Greek: Κρόνος [krónos]) was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus. Cronus was usually depicted with the harpe, a sickle which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.
1 Greek mythology and early myths 1.1 Libyan account by Diodorus Siculus 1.2 Sibylline Oracles 2 Name and comparative mythology 3 El, the Phoenician Cronus 4 Roman mythology and later culture 5 Genealogy of the Olympians in Greek mythology 6 References 7 External links
Abode Symbol Consort Parents Siblings
Earth Sickle/Scythe Rhea Gaia and Uranus Rhea, Oceanus, Hyperion, Theia, Coeus, Phoebe, Iapetus, Crius, Mnemosyne, Tethys and Themis Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, Chiron
Greek mythology and early myths
In ancient myth recorded by Hesiod's Theogony, Cronus envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Roman equivalent Saturn Uranus. Uranus drew the enmity of Cronus' mother, Gaia, when he hid the gigantic youngest children of Gaia, the hundred-handed Hecatonchires and one-eyed Cyclopes, in the Tartarus, so that they would not see the light. Gaia created a great stone sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to persuade them to castrate Uranus.
Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in ambush. When Uranus met with Gaia, Cronus attacked him with the sickle castrating him and casting his testicles into the sea. From the blood that spilled out from Uranus and fell upon the earth, the Gigantes, Erinyes, and Meliae were produced. The testicles produced a white foam from which the goddess Aphrodite emerged. For this, Uranus threatened vengeance and called his sons Titenes (Τιτῆνες; according to Hesiod meaning "straining ones," the source of the word "titan", but this etymology is disputed) for overstepping their boundaries and daring to commit such an act. In an alternate version of this myth, a more benevolent Cronus overthrew the wicked serpentine Titan Ophion. In doing so, he released the world from bondage and for a time ruled it justly. After dispatching Uranus, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hecatonchires, the Gigantes, and the Cyclopes and set the dragon Campe to guard them. He and his sister Rhea took the throne of the world as king and queen. The period in which Cronus ruled was called the Golden Age, as the people of the time had no need for laws or rules; everyone did the right thing, and immorality was absent.
Giorgio Vasari: The Mutilation of Uranus by Saturn (Cronus)
Cronus learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own sons, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades and Poseidon by Rhea, he devoured them all as soon as they were born, to prevent the prophecy. When the sixth child, Zeus, was born Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save them and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his father and children. Another child Cronus is reputed to have fathered is Chiron, by Philyra. Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, also known as the Omphalos Stone, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his son. Rhea kept Zeus hidden in a cave on Mount Ida, Crete. According to some versions of the story, he was then raised by a goat named Amalthea, while a company of Kouretes, armored male dancers, shouted and clapped their hands to make enough noise to mask the baby's cries from Cronus. Other versions of the myth have Zeus raised by the nymph Adamanthea, who hid Zeus by dangling him by a rope from a tree so that he was suspended between the earth, the sea, and the sky, all of which were ruled by his father, Cronus. Still other versions of the tale say that Zeus was raised by his grandmother, Gaia. Once he had grown up, Zeus used an emetic given to him by Gaia to force Cronus to disgorge the contents of his stomach in reverse order: first the stone, which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Mount Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, and then his two brothers and three sisters. In other versions of the tale, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the children, or Zeus cut Cronus' stomach open. After freeing his siblings, Zeus released the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires, and the Cyclopes who forged for him his thunderbolts, Poseidon's trident and Hades' helmet of darkness. In a vast war called the Titanomachy, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, with the help of the Gigantes, Hecatonchires, and Cyclopes, overthrew Cronus and the other Titans. Afterwards, many of the Titans were confined in Tartarus, however, Atlas, Epimetheus, Menoetius, Oceanus and Prometheus were not imprisoned following the Titanomachy. Gaia bore the monster Typhon to claim revenge for the imprisoned Titans.
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is said to have reigned over Italy.wikipedia. where he is made King of Elysium by Zeus." This may point to an older Indo-European mytheme reconstructed as *(s)kert wersmn diwos "by means of a cut he created the loftiness of the sky". Poseidon Sibylline Oracles Cronus is again mentioned in the Sibylline Oracles. the personification of time. 'Titan' and Iapetus. Rose in 1928 observed that attempts to give Kronos a Greek etymology had failed. indicates that Cronus was originally a Canaanite ruler who founded Byblos and was subsequently deified. Poseidon and Hades and sends them to Phrygia to be raised in the care of three Cretans. Recently. Asclepius. He cites as evidence the heights in Sicily that were in his time known as Cronia. as in the Hebrew Bible qeren was a signifier of "power". the older generation suppressing the next generation. Andrew Lang's objection.org/wiki/Cronus Accounts of the fate of Cronus after the Titanomachy differ. Upon learning this. assuming a Semitic derivation from qrn. arguing that in Semitic usage.16. he is imprisoned for eternity in the cave of Nyx. each to receive a third division of the Earth. and Cronus was awarded the kingship among them.47. Saturn and Bran. he emasculated. As the theory went.104. the Titans released the Cyclopes from Tartarus.Cronus . English shear).f. and Northern Africa. AD 100 by Philo of Byblos' Phoenician history. The Indo-Iranian reflex of the root is kar. Philo's account. from the root *(s)ker. a concept that was definitely illustrated when the Titan king devoured the Olympian gods . an island on the river Triton. cutting [> creating] a free path" RV 6. the Phoenician Cronus When Hellenes encountered Phoenicians and. and his brotherin-law Hammon. Titan's sons attempt to destroy Cronus' and Rhea's male offspring as soon as they are born. During the Renaissance. Jupiter Olympus. it is Latium to which Saturn (Cronus) escapes and ascends as king and lawgiver. A theory debated in the 19th century.10 ārdayad vṛtram akṛṇod ulokaṃ "he hit Vrtra fatally. the free encyclopedia http://en. and states that in the 32nd year of his reign. noting that Cronus was depicted with a crow. Cronus was occasionally interpreted as Chronos. they identified the Semitic El. generally meaning "to make. who reigns in Crete. In Orphic poems. which makes Cronus. in origin a cut creating an opening or gap between heaven (imagined as a dome of stone) and earth enabling the beginning of time (Chronos) and human history. the three sons of Uranus and Gaia. according to Plutarch the Greeks believed that Cronus was an allegorical name for Chronos. One other account referred by Robert Graves (who claims to be following the account of the Byzantine mythographer Tzetzes) it is said that Cronus was castrated by his son Zeus just like he had done with his father Uranus before. This account mentions nothing about Cronus either killing his father or attempting to kill any of his children. Cronus represented the destructive ravages of time which consumed all things. Pindar describes his release from Tartarus. c. ascribed by Eusebius to the semi-legendary pre-Trojan War Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon. Teshub uses the "sickle with which heaven and earth had once been separated" to defeat the monster Ullikummi. the identification of Cronus and Chronos gave rise to "Father Time" wielding the harvesting scythe. later. Jupiter Olympus inherits all the kingdoms. but Janda argues that the original meaning "to cut" in a cosmogonic sense is still preserved in some verses of the Rigveda pertaining to Indra's heroic "cutting". was so repudiated by the Greek mythographers of that time that they suppressed it from their accounts until the Christian era (when Tzetzes wrote). joined by the Titans. becoming lord of the world. El. create" (whence karma). related to the Ancient Greek word corōnē (κορώνη) "crow". In Virgil's Aeneid. makes war against and eventually defeats his brother Jupiter. somewhere in Africa. establishing that the "castration" of the heavens by means of a sickle was part of a creation myth.Wikipedia. Cronus in turn is defeated by Hammon's son Bacchus or Dionysus. Cronus or Saturn. with Cronus. Robert Graves proposed that cronos meant "crow". Janda (2010) offers a genuinely Indo-European etymology of "the cutter". During antiquity. The association was recorded c. and Cronus is made king over all. The myth of Cronus castrating Uranus parallels the Song of Kumarbi.the past consuming the future. Cronus takes his sister Rhea from Hammon. In another version. son of Uranus and Titea. Sicily. the story of Cronus eating his children was also interpreted as an allegory to a specific aspect of time held within Cronus' sphere of influence. like that of Cronus resulting in creation: RV 10. In Homeric and other texts he is imprisoned with the other Titans in Tartarus. However the subject of a son castrating his own father. they rendered his name as Kronos. and on the death of Bacchus. motivated by Cronus' characteristic act of "cutting the sky" (or the genitals of anthropomorphic Uranus). that Cronus was never represented horned in Hellenic art. sixty of Titan's men then imprison Cronus and Rhea. as reported in Eusebius' Præparatio Evangelica I. as governor over Egypt. Name and comparative mythology H. Bacchus and Jupiter Olympus then join their forces to defeat the remaining Titans in Crete. After the death of Uranus. In addition to the name. where Anu (the heavens) is castrated by Kumarbi. Cronus. Book III) Painting by Peter Paul Rubens of Cronus devouring one of his children. by interpretatio graeca. as were the deities Apollo. When Greek writers encountered the Levantine deity El. but at Dodona. It further states that after ships were invented. J. bequeathed 2 of 4 1/4/2014 6:44 PM . This version gives his alternate name as Elus or Ilus. particularly book three. Libyan account by Diodorus Siculus In a Libyan account related by Diodorus Siculus (1st century BC).4 varṣmāṇaṃ divo akṛṇod "he cut [> created] the loftiness of the sky. In the Song of Ullikummi. beginning a Golden Age. following his defeat by his son Jupiter (Zeus).10. holds that Kronos is related to "horned". Cronus. to be his own wife. causing the sons of Cronus to declare and fight the first of all wars against them."to cut" (Greek κείρω (keirō). and sometimes still offered somewhat apologetically. or simply castration in general. slew and deified his father Epigeius or Autochthon "whom they afterwards called Uranus". (Diodorus. who appoints Cronus' and Rhea's son. was addressed by Robert Brown. Hebrews. visiting the 'inhabitable world'. Rhea secretly bears her sons Zeus. who reigns at Nysa.
Lewy. 11. Die semitischen Fremdwörter in Griechischen. which indeed he became. in Cosmic and Meta-cosmic Theology in Aristotle's Lost Dialogues. ^ "Philôn. p. Thomas Marier. the unrelated embodiment of time in general. by conflating their indigenous deity Saturn with Cronus. Saturn. New Series. as Robert Brown observed in Semitic Influence in Hellenic Mythology.21. p. 13. the personification of "Father Time". 54 and passim. 8. believing the Olympian gods had brought an era of peace and order by seizing power from the crude and malicious Titans. with the note "From krn. 1989:11 note 26. and at least one temple to Saturn already existed in the archaic Roman Kingdom. Cronus was conflated with the name of Chronos. as late as 1989.edu/hopper /text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999. 5. Semitic Influence in Hellenic Mythology. his Roman variant. On Isis and Osiris.04. who of course regarded Kronos as an Hellenic divinity. It is the outermost of the Classical planets (those that are visible with the naked eye). 17.wikipedia.Cronus .. Alexander Hislop had previously asserted in The Two Babylons. ^ Michael Janda. Greek Myths.0057%3Aentry%3D*kro%2Fnos) 9. wielding the harvesting scythe. 38–39. London: Penguin. The Saturnalia was a festival dedicated in his honour. Hislop. ^ Andrew Lang habitually called him Cronos. 7. 1895:216. Bos. ii.perseus.127. ^ Janda 2010. 1898:112-13.Wikipedia. Theogony. ^ "We would like to consider whether the Semitic stem q r nmight be connected with the name Kronos. ^ As in H. "Kronos signifies 'the Horned one'". The Great Dionysiak Myth. http://en. Modern Mythology 1897:35. 2010. calendars. 1862 (p. 2. the planet Saturn is named after the Roman deity. Innsbruck.4 4. P. pp. 4th-century Temple of Saturn in the Roman Forum. "Five or Seven Recesses?" The Classical Quarterly. 88. which in turn was adapted and became the source of the English word Saturday. 3 of 4 1/4/2014 6:44 PM . 14. Die Musik nach dem Chaos. The epithet Carneus applied to Apollo is just a different form of the same word.org/wiki/Cronus Roman mythology and later culture Main article: Saturn (mythology) While the Greeks considered Cronus a cruel and tempestuous force of chaos and disorder. and Egypt to Taautus the son of Misor and inventor of writing. Hebrew Myths. Robert. 15. has had a large influence on Western culture. a horn. the Romans took a more positive and innocuous view of the deity. 79. 12. His association with the "Saturnian" Golden Age eventually caused him to become the god of "time". The quote stands as Philo Fr. Greek mythology: an introduction. ^ Walcot. The papal worship proved to be the worship of Nimrod and his wife. the free encyclopedia Attica to his own daughter Athena. among Hellenistic scholars in Alexandria and during the Renaissance. 1898:112ff. 16. the Rev. in which usage we have a lingering feeling of the real meaning of the name" (Brown 1898:116) 15. and harvests—not now confused with Chronos. 1877." suggests A. trans. 2nd ed. Thomas Marier. ^ Graves. ^ GRAVES. A Handbook of Greek Mythology 1928:43.1 (May 1965). ^ Rose. The seventh day of the Judaeo-Christian week is called in Latin Dies Saturni ("Day of Saturn"). In the Orphic Hymns. a form neither Greek nor Latin.46). Robert (1955). ^ a b LSJ entry Κρόνος (http://www. ^ a b Hesiod. Genealogy of the Olympians in Greek mythology Genealogy of the Olympians in Greek mythology Uranus Gaia Oceanus Hyperion Coeus Crius Iapetus Mnemosyne Cronus Rhea Tethys Theia Phoebe Themis Zeus Hera Hestia Demeter Hades Poseidon Ares Hephaestus Hebe Eileithyia Enyo Eris Metis Maia Leto Semele Aphrodite Athena Hermes Apollo Artemis Dionysus References 1. 3. In astronomy. "The Castration of Uranus". 54-56. 2. 6. Chapter 10. ^ Fritz Graf. i. ^ Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica Book 1. 32 10. p. and Robert Brown. 1996 ISBN 978-0-8018-5395-1. always renders the name of the Semitic god Îl or Êl ('the Powerful') by 'Kronos'. Consequently. ISBN 0-14-001026-2. ^ Plutarch. or. Apollo is addressed as 'the Two-Horned god'".tufts.e. ^ Lang. while the Greeks considered Cronus merely an intermediary stage between Uranus and Zeus. 188ff. nevertheless. ^ Brown. he was a larger aspect of Roman religion. seasons. As a result of Cronus' importance to the Romans.