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
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.