3. The Titanomachy

Once upon a time, the rich-haired Rhea secretly gave birth to the babe Zeus, who grew up to be a strong and handsome youth. Zeus became the cupbearer of Cronos, who was unaware that Zeus was his son, as he was under the impression that he had swallowed all his children.

Zeus wanted Cronos to disgorge all the swallowed children, but was unable to find a way. Metis, the daughter of Okeanos and Tethys, helped Zeus by providing a mixture of mustard and wine. Zeus gave this mixture to Cronos, who trusting Zeus as his cupbearer, drank it. Cronos vomited and what he had swallowed last, came out first. Thus, a stone was disgorged first, followed by Poseidon, Haides, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia. Zeus set the stone at Pytho under the glens of Parnassus, and the Delphians everyday anointed the stone with oil. Then, along with his disgorged siblings, Zeus resided at Mount Olympus, and they were known as the Olympians.

Zeus revolted against Cronos. A war erupted between the Olympians and the Titans. The Olympians fought from Mount Olympus, and the Titans fought from Mount Othrys. Both sides were strong and the war hung evenly balanced. Then Ge prophesied that Zeus would be victorious, if Zeus freed the Hecatonchires and the Cyclopes, whom Cronos had imprisoned in Tartarus. Zeus freed the Hecatonchires, who helped Zeus by hurling large boulders at the Titans. Zeus also freed the Cyclopes, who gifted the thunderbolt to Zeus, the helmet of invisibility to Haides, and the trident to Poseidon. With these weapons, the Olympians won the war, which had lasted for strife-ridden ten years. The war was known as the Titanomachy.

Zeus imprisoned the Titans in Tartarus and placed the Hecatonchires to guard them. Zeus ruled the sky, Poseidon ruled the sea, Haides ruled the underworld, and the earth was left common to be ruled by Zeus, Poseidon, and Haides. Zeus was made the overlord of all.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani

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