Greek Mythology

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The Greeks believed that the earth was formed before any

of the gods appeared. The gods, as the Greeks knew them,

all originated with Father Heaven, and Mother Earth. Father

Heaven was known as Uranus, and Mother Earth, as Gaea.

Uranus and Gaea raised many children. Among them were

the Cyclopes, the Titans, and the Hecatoncheires, or the

Hundred- Handed Ones. Uranus let the Titans roam free,

but he imprisoned the Cyclopes and the Hundred- handed

Ones beneath the earth. Finally, Gaea could not bear

Uranus's unkindness to the Cyclopes and the

Hundred-Handed Ones any longer. Gaea joined Cronos,

one of the Titans; and together, they overcame Uranus,

killed him, and threw his body into the sea. Aphrodite,

goddess of love and beauty, later rose from the sea where

Uranus's body had been thrown. Now Cronus became king

of the universe. Cronos married his sister, Rhea, and they

had six children. At the time of Cronos's marriage to Rhea,

Gaea prophesied that one of his children would overthrow

Cronos, as he had overthrown Uranus. To protect himself,

Cronos swallowed each of his first five children -- Hestia,

Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon -- immediately
after

birth. After the birth of her sixth and last child, Rhea tricked

Cronos into swallowing a rock and then hid the child -- Zeus

-- on earth. Zeus grew up on earth and was brought back to

Mount Olympus as a cupbearer to his unsuspecting father.

Rhea and Zeus connived against Cronos by mixing a noxious

drink for him. Thinking it was wine, Cronos drank the

mixture and promptly regulated his five other children, fully

grown. Then Zeus and his brothers waged a mighty battle

against Cronos and the other Titans. Cronos and the Titans

were defeated when Zeus ambushed them with the help of

the Cyclopes and the Hundred-Headed Ones, and they

panicked and retreated. Cronos and the Titans were

imprisioned in the Earth where their...
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