ST.CAMILLUS COLLEGE OF MANAOAG
Brgy. Licsi, Manaoag, Pangasinan
ROSELYN A. BAGTULAYMYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE
THE TITANS AND THE TWELVE GREAT OLYMPIANS
The Titans, often called the Elder Gods, were for untold ages supreme in the universe. They were of enonnous size and of incredible strength. There were many of them, but only a few appear in the stories of mythology. The most important was CRONUS, in Latin SATURN. He ruled over the other Titans until his son Zeus dethroned him and seized the power or himself. The Romans said that when Jupiter, their name for Zeus, ascended the throne, Saturn fled to Italy and brought in the Golden Age, a time of perfect peace and happiness, which lasted As long as he reigned.
The other notable Titans were OCEAN, the river that was supposed to encircle the earth; his wife TETIlYs; HYPERION, the father of the sun, the moon and the dawn; MNEMOSYNE, which means Memory; THEMIS, usually translated by Justice; And IApE'I1JS, important because of his sons, ATLAS, who bore the world on his shoulders, and PROMETIIEUS, who was the savior of mankind. These alone among the older gods were not banished with the coming of Zeus, but they took a lower place. The twelve great Olympians were supreme among the gods who succeeded to the Titans. They were called the Olympians because Olympus was their home. What Olympus was, however, is not easy to say. There is no doubt that at first it was held to be a mountain top, and generally identified with Greece's highest mountain, Mt. Olympus in Thessaly, in the northeast of Greece. But even in the earliest Greek poem, the Iliad, this idea is beginning to give way to the idea of an Olympus in some Mysterious region far above all the mountains of the earth. In one passage of the Iliad Zeus talks to the gods from "the top most peak of many-ridged Olympus," clearly a mountain. But only a little further on he says that If he willed he could hang earth and sea from a pinnacle of Olympus, clearly no longer a mountain. Even so, it is not heaven. Homer makes Poseidon say that he rules the sea, Hades the dead, Zeus the heavens, but Olympus is common to all three. Wherever it was, the entrance to it was a great gate of clouds kept by the Seasons. Within were the gods' dwellings, where they lived and slept and feasted on ambrosia and nectar and listened to Apollo's lyre. It was an abode of perfect blessedness. No wind, Homer says, ever shakes the untroubled peace of Olympus; no rain ever falls there or snow; but the cloudless firmament stretches around it on all side and the white glory of sunshine is diffused upon its walls. The twelve Olympians made up a divine family: -
(1)ZEUS (JUPITER), the chief; his two brothers next, (2)POSEIDON (NEPTUNE), and (3)HADES, also called PLUTO; (4) HESTIA (VESTA), their sister; (5) HERA (JUNO), Zeus's wife, and (6) AREs (MARS),their son; Zeus's children: (7) ATHENA (MINERVA) (8) APOLLO, (9) APHRODITE (VENUS), ( 10) HERMES (MERCURY), and (11)ARTEMIS(DIANA); and Hera's son (12) HEPHAESTUS (VULCAN),sometimes said to be the son of Zeus too
Zeus and his brothers drew lots for their share of the universe. The sea fell to Poseidon, and the underworld to Hades. Zeus became the supreme ruler. He was Lord of the Sky, the Rain-god and the Cloud-gatherer, who wielded the awful thunderbolt. His power was greater than that of all the other divinities together. In the Iliad he tells his family, "I am mightiest of all. Make trial that you may know. Fasten a rope of gold to heaven and lay hold, every god and goddess. You could not drag down Zeus. But if I wished to drag you down, then I would. The rope I would bind to a pinnacle of Olympus and all would hang in air, yes, the very earth and the sea too“. Nevertheless he was not omnipotent or omniscient, either. He could be opposed and deceived. Poseidon dupes him in the Iliad and so does Hera. Sometimes, too, the mysterious Mythology power,...