Chapter 4 - Zeus' rise to power: The creation of mortals

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Published on 3 Jan 2012
School
UTSG
Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Chapter 4 - Zeus' rise to power: The creation of
mortals
The titanomachy: Zeus defeats his father, Cronus
-When Zeus has grown into maturity, Cronus decided to bring up all
the children that he had swallowed. Zeus then waged war against his
father with his siblings as allies. Allied with him as well were the
Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes for he had released them from the
depths of the earth where their father Uranus had imprisoned them.
Allied with Cronus were the Titans with the exception of Themis
(Clymene) and her son Prometheus. Atlas, the brother of
Prometheus was an important leader on the side of Cronus. The
struggle is said to have lasted ten years. In the end, Cronus was
conquered and the Hecatochires guarded the Titans imprisoned in
Tartarus. Atlas was punished with the task of holding up the sky.
The Gigantomachy: Zeus defeats the Giants and Typhoeus
-Another threat Zeus had to face came from giants that Earth
produced to challenge the new order of the gods, or that had been
born when the blood from the mutilation of Uranus fell upon the
ground; these creatures are called Gegeneis (earthborn). The fight
ended with the imprisonment of the giants under the earth. One of
the most vicious of the monsters who opposed Zeus was the dragon
Typhoeus.
The creation of Mortals
-There are many versions. Very often they are the creations of Zeus
alone or of Zeus and the other gods. Sometimes immortals and
mortals spring from the same source. A dominant tradition depicts
Prometheus as the creator of man; and sometimes woman is created
later and separately through the designs of Zeus. Ovid describes the
creation of the universe and animal life out of the elements of Chaos.
He tells about the birth of mortals, depicting the superiority and lofty
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ambition of this highest creature in the order of things.
The four or five ages
-Ovid describes the four ages: gold, silver, bronze and iron. Hesiod
however includes the age of heroes.
The Age of Gold
-At the very first the immortals made a race of mortal humans. They
existed at the time when Cronus was king in heaven and they lived as
gods with carefree hearts completely trouble. Old age did not come
upon them at all and they died as overcome with sleep. They lived in
harmony and in peace managed their affairs with many good things,
rich in flocks and beloved of the gods. But then earth covered over
this race yet they inhabit the earth and are called holy spirits who are
good and ward off spirits and are protectors of mortal beings.
The Age of Silver
-The immortals made a second race of silver, worse than the one of
gold and unlike it both physically and mentally. They could not
restrain their arrogance against one another and they did not wish to
worship the immortals or sacrifice at the altars as is customary and
right for human beings. Then in his anger, Zeus hid them away so
the earth covered over this race too. They dwell under the earth and
are also honored.
The Age of Bronze
-They were terrible and mighty and pursued the painful and violent
deeds of Ares. Their world was made of bronze and they had been
destroyed by their own hands. They went down into the dark house
of Hades without leaving a name.
The age of Heroes
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Document Summary

Chapter 4 - zeus" rise to power: the creation of mortals. When zeus has grown into maturity, cronus decided to bring up all the children that he had swallowed. Zeus then waged war against his father with his siblings as allies. Hecatonchires and the cyclopes for he had released them from the depths of the earth where their father uranus had imprisoned them. Allied with cronus were the titans with the exception of themis (clymene) and her son prometheus. Prometheus was an important leader on the side of cronus. The struggle is said to have lasted ten years. In the end, cronus was conquered and the hecatochires guarded the titans imprisoned in. Atlas was punished with the task of holding up the sky. The gigantomachy: zeus defeats the giants and typhoeus. The fight ended with the imprisonment of the giants under the earth. One of the most vicious of the monsters who opposed zeus was the dragon.

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