Theogony, The Clash of the Titans- how well do you understand?
A large number of the culture of people and the land prospered and gone around the world left only a handful of stories in abundance. Greek history is one such legacy of histories full of myths and legends. Greek mythology itself is a vast subject and one might need tons of books to understand each part coherently. Because they left us with astonishing tales of Great leaders, furious Gods, romance, courageous heroes, epic adventures, and stories of vengeance that take one down the tour of contemplations, restless imaginations, and immense resilience.
One such story is ‘The Clash of The Titans’ in Theogony, a great battle that took place between the gods and the titans. The clash of the Titans is one of the famous tales that have been produced in several movies, dramas, poems, and stage plays.
The Clash Of The Titans
In Greek mythology, the Titans were the kids of Uranus and Earth-the pre Olympian gods. According to the Theogony of Hesiod, they were the twelve children of the Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth), with six male Titans: Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, and Cronus, and six female Titans called the Titanides Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, and Tethys. Uranus believed that one of his kids would take his thrown away when grown. Thus, in order to protect his throne, Uranus abandoned them underground. However, Cronus defeated his father and acquired the throne. Unfortunately, the curse of fear of the throne runs down the family, and Cronus himself could not be spared out. He swallowed his kids right after they were born- Hades, Poseidon, Hera, Hestia, and Demeter. When the wife of Cronus, Rhea was about to give birth to her sixth child, she tricked Cronus by giving him a stone wrapped in baby cloth as their child to be swallowed. Whereas the newborn child, Zeus, was hidden in the mountains under the supervision of the nymphs and a goat named Amalthea.
Zeus when grown defeated his father and tricked him into drinking the mixture of wine and mustard which ultimately caused the contents of Cronus’s stomach to come out. Zeus siblings, now all fully grown came out of his stomach alive. And from then on began the great battle between the titans and the gods, led by Zeus. He talked to his siblings and started the war Titanomachy– The Clash of the Titans. Zeus and his brothers and sisters rebelled against his father, Cronus. Zeus also set his father’s brothers free from the underground and convinced them to join the war. Hecatonchires and Cyclopes agreed because it was Cronus who locked them inside in fear of overthrowing. The Hecatonchires used rocks as weapons, and the Cyclopes made Zeus’ thunderbolts. Together they also made Poseidon‘s trident and Hades helm of darkness.
Several leaders fought from the side of Zeus while many others from Titans. Atlas was a major leader on the side of the Titans and Cronus. The war lasted for ten years and finally, Zeus defeated the Titans and banished them to Tartarus, an underworld prison. Atlas received a special punishment of holding up the world.
After the Titan’s war and The Curse Of Curiosity
When the 10 years long The Clash of the Titans ended, Zeus, his brothers Hades and Poseidon decided to divide the universe into three segments. The leader of the division will be decided by the length of the straw. Zeus drew the longest straw and thus become the leader of the sky, Poseidon straw was medium and so he became the ruler of the sea. Whereas, Hades drew the shortest and thus was given the underworld to rule.
Then Zeus decided to ask Prometheus and Themis to create man and animal. But Themis created animals even before Prometheus could decide what to gift mankind. And when he finally decided what to do, he realized that Themis has given all the gifts to the animals. This agitated Prometheus and he stole fire from Zeus and gifted it to mankind. And thus similarly, Zeus was furious. He tied Prometheus to the Caucasus Mountains, and chained him to a rock with unbreakable adamantine chains; this was not enough so he also ordered a giant eagle to eat his liver daily. The atrocities together could not tame the angry Zeus, who now decided to punish mankind. He created a beautiful maiden named Pandora, who was the first mortal woman in Greek history. All the Olympian gods blessed her with several gifts, but it was Zeus who gifted her a mysterious box named ‘Pithos’ and warned her to never open its lid. The gods gave her gifts of language, craftsmanship, emotion, whereas Zeus gave a second gift of curiosity. Zeus sent her to Epimetheus, who despite the warning of his brother to not receive any gifts from Zeus was smitten by the beauty of Pandora and accepted her as his bride.
Pandora who received a gift of curiosity from Zeus decided to open the box. Upon opening the box it released evil creatures all around. Mythology believes this is where we got pride, envy, greed, pain, suffering, and anything bad. It was all seized inside the box by Zeus in order to punish mankind. Pandora and her husband were scared and closed the box at once, however till then all the evils got off, only then the box whispered. It was not the eerie whisper but a light tinkling sound that seem to ease their anguish. When they opened the lid again, it was hope that came out and was thus released to mankind.
Curiosity, a blessing, or a curse? Whatever it may be, Curiosity is such a rudimentary bit of our nature that we are oblivious to its pervasiveness in our lives. The opening of Pandora’s Box suggests the duality of human life between the known and the unknown. Are we always bound to know the unknown or should we sometimes leave our curiosity behind and let the mystery be as baffling.