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But when Zeus was full-grown, he took Metis, daughter of Ocean, to help him, and she gave Cronus a drug to swallow, which forced him to disgorge first the stone and then the children whom he had swallowed,1 and with their aid Zeus waged the war against Cronus and the Titans.2 They fought for ten years, and Earth prophesied victory3 to Zeus if he should have as allies those who had been hurled down to Tartarus. So he slew their jailoress Campe, and loosed their bonds. And the Cyclopes then gave Zeus thunder and lightning and a thunderbolt,4 and on Pluto they bestowed a helmet and on Poseidon a trident. Armed with these weapons the gods overcame the Titans, shut them up in Tartarus, and appointed the Hundred-handers their guards;5 but they themselves cast lots for the sovereignty, and to Zeus was allotted the dominion of the sky, to Poseidon the dominion of the sea, and to Pluto the dominion in Hades.6 [2]

Now to the Titans were born offspring: to Ocean and Tethys were born Oceanids, to wit, Asia, Styx, Electra, Doris, Eurynome, Amphitrite, and Metis;7 to Coeus and Phoebe were born Asteria and Latona;8 to Hyperion and Thia were born Dawn, Sun, and Moon;9 to Crius and Eurybia, daughter of Sea ( Pontus), were born Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses;10 [3] to Iapetus and Asia was born Atlas, who has the sky on his shoulders, and Prometheus, and Epimetheus, and Menoetius, he whom Zeus in the battle with the Titans smote with a thunderbolt and hurled down to Tartarus.11 [4] And to Cronus and Philyra was born Chiron, a centaur of double form;12 and to Dawn and Astraeus were born winds and stars;13 to Perses and Asteria was born Hecate;14 and to Pallas and Styx were born Victory, Dominion, Emulation, and Violence.15 [5] But Zeus caused oaths to be sworn by the water of Styx, which flows from a rock in Hades, bestowing this honor on her because she and her children had fought on his side against the Titans.16 [6]

And to Sea ( Pontus) and Earth were born Phorcus, Thaumas, Nereus, Eurybia, and Ceto.17 Now to Thaumas and Electra were born Iris and the Harpies, Aello and Ocypete;18 and to Phorcus and Ceto were born the Phorcides and Gorgons,19 of whom we shall speak when we treat of Perseus. [7] To Nereus and Doris were born the Nereids,20 whose names are Cymothoe, Spio, Glauconome, Nausithoe, Halie, Erato, Sao, Amphitrite, Eunice, Thetis, Eulimene, Agave, Eudore, Doto, Pherusa, Galatea, Actaea, Pontomedusa, Hippothoe, Lysianassa, Cymo, Eione, Halimede, Plexaure, Eucrante, Proto, Calypso, Panope, Cranto, Neomeris, Hipponoe, Ianira, Polynome, Autonoe, Melite, Dione, Nesaea, Dero, Evagore, Psamathe, Eumolpe, Ione, Dynamene, Ceto, and Limnoria.

1 As to the disgorging of his offspring by Cronus, see Hes. Th. 493ff., who, however, says nothing about the agency of Metis in administering an emetic, but attributes the stratagem to Earth (Gaia).

2 As to the war of Zeus on the Titans, see Hes. Th. 617ff.; Hor. Carm. 3.4.42ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 118.

3 The most ancient oracle at Delphi was said to be that of Earth; in her office of prophetess the goddess was there succeeded by Themis, who was afterwards displaced by Apollo. See Aesch. Eum. 1ff.; Paus. 10.5.5ff. It is said that of old there was an oracle of Earth at Olympia, but it no longer existed in the second century of our era. See Paus. 5.14.10. At Aegira in Achaia the oracles of Earth were delivered in a subterranean cave by a priestess, who had previously drunk bull's blood as a means of inspiration. See Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxviii.147; compare Paus. 7.25.13. In the later days of antiquity the oracle of Earth at Delphi was explained by some philosophers on rationalistic principles: they supposed that the priestess was thrown into the prophetic trance by natural exhalations from the ground, and they explained the decadence of the oracle in their own time by the gradual cessation of the exhalations. The theory is scouted by Cicero. See Plut. De defectu oraculorum 40ff.; Cicero, De divinatione i.19.38, i.36.79, ii.57.117. A similar theory is still held by wizards in Loango, on the west coast of Africa; hence in order to receive the inspiration they descend into an artificial pit or natural hollow and remain there for some time, absorbing the blessed influence, just as the Greek priestesses for a similar purpose descended into the oracular caverns at Aegira and Delphi. See Die Loango Expedition, iii.2, von Dr. E. Pechuel Loesche (Stuttgart, 1907), p. 441. As to the oracular cavern at Delphi and the inspiring exhalations which were supposed to emanate from it, see Diod. 16.26; Strabo 9.3.5; Paus. 10.5.7; Justin xxiv.6.6-9. That the Pythian priestess descended into the cavern to give the oracles appears from an expression of Plutarch (De defectu oraculorum, 51, κατέβη μὲν εἰς τὸ μαντεῖον). As to the oracles of Earth in antiquity, see A. Bouche-Leclercq, Histoire de la Divination dans l'Antiquité, ii.251ff.; L. R. Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, iii.8ff.

4 Compare Hes. Th. 501-506ff.

5 Compare Hes. Th. 717ff.

6 Compare Hom. Il. 15.187ff.; Plat. Gorg. 523a.

7 Compare Hes. Th. 346-366, who mentions all the Oceanids named by Apollodorus except Amphitrite, who was a Nereid. See Apollod. 1.2.7; Hes. Th. 243.

8 As to the offspring of Coeus and Phoebe, see Hes. Th. 404ff.

9 As to the offspring of Hyperion and Thia, see Hes. Th. 371ff.

10 As to the offspring of Crius and Eurybia, see Hes. Th. 375ff.

11 As to the offspring of Iapetus and Asia, see Hes. Th. 507-520ff.

12 It is said that Cronus assumed the shape of a horse when he consorted with Philyra, and that, we are told, was why Chiron was born a centaur, half-man, half-horse. See Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.554.

13 As to the offspring of Dawn and Astraeus, see Hes. Th. 378ff.

14 As to this parentage of Hecate, see Hes. Th. 409ff. But the ancients were not agreed on the subject. See the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. iii.467. He tells us that according to the Orphic hymns, Hecate was a daughter of Deo; according to Bacchylides, a daughter of Night; according to Musaeus, a daughter of Zeus and Asteria; and according to Pherecydes, a daughter of Aristaeus.

15 For this brood of abstractions, the offspring of Styx and Pallas, see Hes. Th. 383ff.; Hyginus, Fab. p. 30, ed. Bunte.

16 Compare Hes. Th. 389-403ff. As to the oath by the water of Styx, see further Hes. Th. 775ff.; compare Hom. Il. 15.37ff., Hom. Od. 5.186; HH Apoll. 86ff.

17 As to the offspring of Sea ( Pontus, conceived as masculine) and Earth (conceived as feminine), see Hes. Th. 233ff.; Hyginus, Fab. p. 28, ed. Bunte.

18 As to the offspring of Thaumas and Electra, see Hes. Th. 265ff.

19 As to the parentage of the Phorcides and Gorgons, see Hes. Th. 270ff.; Hyginus, Fab. p. 29, ed. Bunte. As to the monsters themselves, see Apollod. 2.4.2ff.

20 For lists of Nereids, see Hom. Il. 18.38-49; Hes. Th. 240-264ff.; HH Dem. 417-423; Verg. G. 4.334-344; Hyginus, Fab. pp. 28ff., ed. Bunte.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Trachiniae, 213
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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (35):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 1
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 2.4.2
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 1.2.7
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 16.26
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 233
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 243
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 346
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 371
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 375
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 378
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 383
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 389
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 501
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 507
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 717
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 775
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 240
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 265
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 270
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 404
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 409
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 493
    • Hesiod, Theogony, 617
    • Homer, Odyssey, 5.186
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 2 to Demeter, 417
    • Homeric Hymns, Hymn 3 to Apollo, 86
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.14.10
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.5.5
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.5.7
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 7.25.13
    • Plato, Gorgias, 523a
    • Homer, Iliad, 15.187
    • Homer, Iliad, 15.37
    • Homer, Iliad, 18.38
    • Vergil, Georgics, 4.334
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