Cronus (also spelled Kronos) is a character in Hesiod's myth. He débuts, with his appearance in around 700 B.C. and usually ends at around the 9th Century.
Cronus is the greek titan of the harvest (and sometimes the deity of time) in Greek Mythology.
In Greek mythology, Cronus, also known as Kronos, was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of Ouranos (or Uranus), the sky, and Gaia (or Gaea), the earth. 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 a harpe, scythe or 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.
In an ancient myth recorded by Hesiod's Theogony, Cronus envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, 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, the Titans (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, 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.
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 Hestia, Demeter, 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. (Cronus also fathered 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 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 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.
In some other accounts, Cronus and the other titans were swallowed and gobbled up by Zeus, to show Cronus what it was like for his brothers and sisters, but that etymology is usually discarded and dismissed as the main one is them being sent to Tartarus.
- Solid lines denote parent-child blood relationships
- Dashed lines denote marriage relationships that result in offspring
- † denotes the deceased
- Sorry for the closeness of the names of the children
|Greek Mythology Appearances|
|"Disney's Hercules":||"Clash of the Titans (2010)":||"Wrath of the Titans":||"Once Upon a Time":||"Hercules 2014":||"Immortals":||"Myths":|
|"Rain of the Furies":||"Clash of the Titans (1981)":||"For the Love of Zeus":||"PJO & the Lightning Thief":||"PJO & the Sea of Monsters":||"Strange Case":||"More in Heaven and Hell":||"Alternate Realities":|
|Appears||Absent||Absent||Mentioned||Appears||Will Appear||Will Appear||TBA|
- Cronus was the titan of the harvest and in some accounts also the titan of time.
- But that can be redirected to the personification of time, Chronos.