Goddesses and Gods – Greek Titans Theia, Goddess of Shining and

Greek Titans – Theia, goddess of shining

Theia (Thia, Thea, Euryphaessa) was a Titan goddess of shining, associated with shining light, shining metals or jewels. Her other name Euryphaessa means “wide-shining” and therefore she was connected with all that is shining. In Pindar’s Isthmian Odes, Theia is described as the goddess of shining after whom men honored gold as the most powerful shining object. She was also a goddess of sight, because ancient Greeks believed that eyes emitted beams of light which allowed them to see what they looked upon. She was one of the twelve titans and one of the six daughters of Uranus and Gaea. Theia was also, like her sisters Phoebe and Themis, associated with prophecies. She had a shrine in Thessaly.

The mother of the Sun, the Moon and the Dawn

Theia married her brother Hyperion (Titan god of light) and together they gave birth to Helios (the sun), Selene (the moon) and Eos (the dawn).


Helios – Titan god of sun dwelled in a golden palace, located at the far east of the earth. He was traveling from the east to the west during daytime with his golden chariot, drawn by four winged horses, and was wearing a radiant circle or aureole of the sun. During night-time he descended into a golden cup which carried him back to his golden palace.

Selene – Titan goddess of moon was depicted as a woman in chariot, drawn by a pair of winged steeds, and wearing a golden cloak. Her great love was a mortal man called Endymion who was granted immortality and eternal youth by Zeus and was placed in a state of eternal slumber near Mount Latmos where his bride came every night to consort with him.

Eos – Titan goddess of dawn who rose each day in the morning from the edge of Oceanus to overcome mists and shadows of the night with her golden rays. She was married to her cousin Astraeus(Titan god of dusk). However, she had fallen under a curse from Aphrodite and became, like her sister Selene, obsessed with young mortal men. Finally, she had chosen Tithonus, prince of Troy, to be her lover. She also asked Zeus for his immortality but forgot to ask for eternal youth and one day he shrivelled up by old age and babbled for eternity

Greek Titans – Iapetus, god of mortal life span

Iapetus (Japetus, the Piercer) was a Titan god of mortal life span or god of death. He presided over the timeline of all mortals. His nickname, “the piercer”, actually meant that he came for a life of mortals in terms of violence. In other words, when Iapetus decided that one’s time had passed, he brought violent death upon him. He was also known as a Pillar of west. Together with his other three brothers CoeusHyperion and Crius they presided as the Pillars of holding Heaven and Earth apart. He was one of six sons of Uranus and Gaea and is mentioned by Apollodorus as one of the five brothers, all but Oceanus, who participated in rebellion against Uranus and later attacked him. When they overcame him, the four brothers probably held him down while Cronus castrated him.


After decapitating and dethroning their father Uranus, Iapetus stood by his brother Cronus who became a new ruler of the Cosmos. During golden age of the Titans he married his niece Clymene, a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Together they had four sons who overshadowed their father in a time of war and in later times of Olympians. There are, however, few statements by different authors which indicate that the role of Iapetus was very important and equate him with the role of Cronus. Homer himself states that Cronus and Iapetus were equal in power, while Nonnus and Valerius Flaccus state that in Titanomachy, at some point, Zeus fought with Iapetus and according to Valerius, who goes even further, it is said that Zeus became a ruler of Cosmos after winning the fierce battle with Iapetus.


When the war between Titans and Olympian gods had started, his sons were also mentioned to had played their part. Atlas and Menoetius sided with the Titans, while Prometheus and Epimetheus chose Olympians. Atlas is said to have become a leader of Titans in this war and caused Olympians more than few setbacks and his other brother Menoetius was said to be very vicious, brutally slaying allies of the Olympians until Zeus himself struck him down with his thunderbolt and sent him to Tartarus because of his mad presumption and exceeding pride. Prometheus and Epimetheus, although they had also played important part in the war, are also like their father very rarely or almost never mentioned in sources that are preserved. Instead they played important role after the war, with creation of men and animals.

Released from prison

When the war was over, Iapetus was sent to Tartarus where he was re-united with his brothers and many relatives. He was described by Homer as one of the more destructive titans who was seated beside Cronus in the depths of Tartarus. However, according to Aeschylus’ lost play , he was later released by Zeus from Tartarus with the rest of the titans.


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