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Illustrated Guide to Mythology

Cronos or Cronus


Cronos is a Titan who overthrew his own father and attempted to avoid a prophecy of the same fate by swallowing all of his children.

Cronos
Cronos

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Cronos was the husband and brother of Rhea, and the father of Hades, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, Hera, and Zeus. He was prodded to castrate his father by Gaea, who was angry that Uranus had imprisoned her children the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires in her womb. Cronos castrated and killed Uranus, who prophesied that Cronos’ own children would rise up against him. Cronos took Rhea as his wife and settled down to rule over the universe in what the Greeks referred to as the Golden Age.

Cronos was careful not to allow any of his children with Rhea to run free. Every time she gave birth, he swallowed the child. Stricken with grief, Rhea disguised their youngest child, Zeus, as a rock in a swaddling cloth. Meanwhile, she hid Zeus with a family on Earth.

When Zeus was old enough, he returned to Olympus where he and Rhea gave his father a potion that made him ill until he eventually threw his children up. Zeus also freed his fathers’ uncles: the Hecatonchires (three giants) and the Cyclopes (three one-eyed men) from where Cronos had imprisoned them in Tartarus. Together, the children and their uncles waged war against their father and other Titans, eventually overthrowing them and imprisoning them in Tartarus.

Cronus or Cronos Quick Reference

Parents

Uranus and Gaea


Domain / Power

God of Time


Notable Myths

  • Overthrow of Uranus
  • Swallowing of Children
  • Defeat by Olympians

Symbol / Attributes

Scythe or Sickle

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