The Greek myth regarding the Titanomachy could be an allegory for moving on from the old guard and introducing innovative and new way of living. But before I delve into my interpretation of the battle between the Titans and the Olympian gods, a little context.\The word Titanomachy translates to War of the Titans and lasted for ten years. (The war between the Greeks and Trojans aka The Trojan War also spanned ten years.) It was a struggle between the old gods and the creation of the new pantheon. This new generation of gods was led by Zeus.
Kronos, like his father Ouranos before him, wanted to keep power of the realm, made the same mistake by committing patricide. He also ate his children believing he could maintain control, except his wife Rhea fooled him and hid Zeus on the isle of Krete.
Fast forward to when Zeus was an adult. He pretended to be a cupbearer at his father’s home and served him a potion that made Kronos regurgitate his children. Once they were all expelled, fully formed adults, Zeus convinced them to rebel against their father. This was the onset of the war.
The battlelines was drawn. Kronos’ army of Titans, none of the female Titanides participated, first fought against Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. As the war stretched into the years, allies joined both sides, but by this stage, Zeus, on Gaia’s recommendation, released the Hekatonkhires and Kyklops from Tartaros, and eventually the Olympians won the war.
Then Zeus no longer held back his might; but straight his heart was filled with fury and he showed forth all his strength. From Heaven and from Olympus he came forthwith, hurling his lightning: the bold flew thick and fast from his strong hand together with thunder and lightning, whirling an awesome flame.Hesiod, Theogony, line 678
It is from Hesiod’s Theogony where we get the legend of the Titanomachy, though there are sources who refer to an epic poem titled The Titanomachia written by Eumelos of Korinth. Fragments of his poem only survive as quotes in other works.
Now could the Titanomachy be allegory? There is undoubtedly a political push from Zeus’ perspective, wanting to usurp his father and take over the realm of the Earth and its many riches. Kronos wasn’t going to hand it to him without a fight. Definitely a moral to the myth. There’s physical and emotional abuse of the female spouse, patricide and filicide was perpetrated. Such heinous acts were and still are warnings. If you commit terrible deeds, retribution is a harsh master. Kronos spent the rest of his life in Tartaros, doomed to the underworld where the worst of the ‘monsters’ were incarcerated.
This is why I love mythology. Rich, visual and visceral explanations of how people should behave and if they don’t a warning of the punishment to come.
Here is my question to you. Are there any country/ies today that would fit in this allegory to usurp power? Or is the Titanomachy just a great story? What do you think the myth means? Love to hear from you.
Thank you for your continued support and as always, I look forward to your comments and will respond.
Historical fiction novelist and a secondary teacher, Luciana Cavallaro, burnt out but not done… yet.
Hesiod, Theogony https://www.theoi.com/Text/HesiodTheogony.html#11
The Titanomachy in Greek Mythology https://www.greeklegendsandmyths.com/titanomachy.html
Titanomachy : The Wars between the Titans and Olympians https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/myths/titanomachy/