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monsters, their father Uranus feared and attempted to destroy, by thrusting them into Tartarus, the profound abysm of the earth. Whereupon Mother Earth, or Gaea, indignant, called for help upon her elder children, the Titans. None dared espouse her cause save Cronus, the crafty. With an iron sickle he lay in wait for his sire, fell upon him, and drove him, grievously wounded, from the encounter. From the blood of the mutilated Uranus leaped into being the Furies, whose heads writhe with serpents; the Giants, a novel race of monsters; and the Melic Nymphs, invidious maidens of the ashen spear.
§ 18. The Rule of Cronus. — Now follows the reign of Cronus, lord of Heaven and Earth. He is, from the beginning, of incalculable years. In works of art his head is veiled, to typify his cunning and his reserve; he bears the sickle not only as memento of the means by which he brought his father's tyranny to end, but as symbol of the new period of growth and golden harvests that he ushered in.
For unknown ages Cronus and Rhea, his sister-queen, governed Heaven and Earth. To them were born three daughters, Vesta, Ceres, and Juno, and three sons, Pluto, Neptune, and Jupiter. Cronus, however, having learned from his parents that he should be dethroned by one of his own children, conceived the well-intentioned but ill-considered device of swallowing each as it was born. His queen, naturally desirous of discouraging the practice, — when it came to the turn of her sixth child, palmed off on the insatiable Cronus a stone carefully enveloped in swaddling clothes. Jupiter (or Zeus), the rescued infant, was concealed in the island of Crete, where, nurtured by the nymphs, Adrastea and Ida, and fed on the milk of the goat Amalthea, he in due season attained maturity. Then, assisted by his grandmother Gaea, he constrained Cronus to disgorge the burden of his cannibal repasts. First came to light the memorable stone, which was placed in safe keeping at Delphi; then the five brothers and sisters of Jupiter,
§ 19. The War of the Titans. — In the war which ensued Iapetus and all the Titans, except Oceanus, ranged themselves on the side of their brother Cronus against Jupiter and his recently recovered kinsfolk. Jupiter and his hosts held Mount Olympus. For ages victory wavered in the balance. Finally Jupiter, acting again under the advice of Gaea, released from Tartarus, where Uranus had confined them, the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires. Instantly they hastened to the battle-field of Thessaly, the Cyclopes to support Jupiter with their thunders and lightnings, the hundred-handed monsters with the shock of the earthquake. Provided with such artillery, shaking earth and sea, Jupiter issued to the onslaught. With the gleam of the lightning the Titans were blinded, by the earthquake they were laid low, with the flames they were well-nigh consumed: overpowered and fettered by the hands of the Hecatonchires, they were consigned to the yawning cave of Tartarus. Atlas, the son of Iapetus, was doomed to bear the heavens on his shoulders. But a more famous son of the same Titan, Prometheus, who had espoused the cause of Jove, acquired dignity hereafter to be set forth.
§ 20. The Division of Empire. — In the council of the gods that succeeded, Jupiter was chosen Sovereign of the World. He delegated to his brother Neptune (or Posidon) the kingdom of the sea and of all the waters; to his brother Pluto (or Hades), the government of the underworld, dark, unseen, mysterious, where the spirits of the dead should dwell, and of Tartarus, wherein were held the fallen Titans. For himself Jupiter retained Earth and the Heaven, into whose broad and sunny regions towered Olympus, the favored mountain of the greater gods.1
§ 21. The Reign of Jupiter. — New conflicts, however, awaited this new dynasty of Heaven — conflicts, the subject of many a tale among the ancients. G?ea, though she had aided her grandson Jupiter in the war against Cronus, was soon seized with compunctions of conscience; and contemplating the cruel fate of her
1 On signification of Uranus, Cronus, Zeus, see Preller, I. 37, 38, and Commentary. h\ '7. 33
sons the Titans, she conceived schemes of vengeance upon their conqueror. Another son was bor n to her — Typhon, a monster more awful than his predecessors — whose destiny it was to dispute the sway of the almighty Zeus. From the neck of Typhon dispread themselves a hundred dragon-heads; his eyes shot fire, and from his black-tongued chaps proceeded the hissing of snakes, the bellowing of bulls, the roaring of lions, the barking of dogs, pipings and screams, and, at times, the voice and utterance of the gods themselves. Against Heaven this horror lifted himself; but quailing before the thunderbolt of Jove, he too descended to Tartarus, his own place and the abode of his brethrenTo this day, however, he grumbles and hisses, thrusts upward a fiery tongue through the crater of a volcano, or, breathing siroccos, scorches trees and men.
Later still, the Giants, offspring of the blood that fell from the wounded Uranus, renewed the revolt against the Olymey were creatures nearer akin to men than were the Titans, or the Cyclopes, or Typhon. They clothed themselves in the skins of beasts, and armed themselves with rocks and trunks of trees. Their bodies and lower limbs were of snakes. They were awful to encounter or to look upon. They were named, like men, the earth-born; and their characteristics would suggest some prehistoric brutish race, hot-headed, not amenable to reason.1 Of the Giants the more mighty were Alcyoneus of the winter storms and
1 Roscher: Ausf. Lex., Article Giganten [J. Ilberg].
icebergs, Pallas, and Encelacjus, and Porphyrion the fire-king,— leader of the crew. In the war against them, Juno and Minerva, divinities of the new dynasty of Heaven, took active part, — and Hercules, an earthly son of Jupiter, whose arrows aided in their
defeat. It was from the overthrow of Pallas that Athene (or Minerva) derived, according to certain records, her proud designation of Pallas-Athene.1 In due course, like the Titans and Typhon, the Giants were buried in the abyss of eternal darkness. What other outcome can be expected when mere physical or brute force joins issue with the enlightened and embattled hosts of heaven?
§ 22. The Origin of Man was a question which the Greeks did not settle so easily as the Hebrews. Greek traditions do not trace all mankind to an original pair. On the contrary, the generally received opinion was that men grew out of trees and stones, or were produced by the rivers or the sea. Some said that men and gods were both derived from Mother Earth, hence both autocthonous; and some, indeed, claimed an antiquity for the human race equal to that of the divinities. All narratives, however, agree in one statement, — that the gods maintained intimate relations with men until, because of the growing sinfulness and arrogance of mankind, it became necessary for the immortals to withdraw their favor.
Prometheus, a Creator. — There is a story which attributes the making of man to Prometheus, whose father Iapetus had, with Cronus, opposed the sovereignty of Jupiter. In that conflict, Prometheus, gifted with prophetic wisdom, had adopted the cause
l The name more probably signifies Brandisher [of the Lance].
of the Olympian deities. To him and his brother Epimetheus was now committed the office of making man and providing him and all other animals with the faculties necessary for their preservation. Prometheus was to overlook the work of Epimetheus. Epimetheus proceeded to bestow upon the different animals the various gifts of courage, strength, swiftness, sagacity; wings to one, claws to another, a shelly covering to a third. But Prometheus himself made a nobler animal than these. Taking some earth and kneading it with water, he made man in the image of the gods. He gave him an upright stature, so that while other animals turn their faces toward the earth, man gazes on the stars. Then since Epimetheus, always rash, and thoughtful when too late, had been so prodigal of his gifts to other animals that no blessing was left worth conferring upon the noblest of creatures, Prometheus ascended to heaven, lighted his torch at the chariot of the sun, and brought down fire. With fire in his possession man would be able, when necessary, to win her secrets and treasures from the earth, to develop commerce, science, and the arts.
§ 23. The Age of Gold. — Whether in this or in other ways the world was furnished with inhabitants, the first age was an age of innocence and happiness. Truth and right prevailed, though not enforced by law, nor was there any in authority to threaten or to punish. The forest had not yet been robbed of its trees to yield timbers for vessels, nor had men built fortifications round their towns. There were no such things as swords, spears, or helmets. The earth brought forth all things necessary for man, without his labor in ploughing or sowing. Perpetual spring reigned, flowers sprang up without seed, the rivers flowed with milk and wine, and yellow honey distilled from the oaks. This Golden Age had begun in the reign of Cronus.1 And when these heroes fell asleep in death, they were translated in a pleasant dream to a spiritual existence, in which, unseen by mortal eyes, they still attended men as monitors and guardians.
1 Consequently the creation of these men could not be assigned to Prometheus, — unless they were made by him before the war of the Titans.