Kronos

All posts tagged Kronos

Missing Letter Monday No “G” Repost – “Mother Earth”

Published January 10, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

“Mother Earth”

Born at the start of it all,
Mother to so many,
With so many.

Her first husbands,
Ouranos and Pontos.
Also her sons.
(Eeew.)
They had no fathers.

Nereus,
Thaumas,
Phorkys,
Eurybia,
Even monstrous Ceto;
Pontos fathered these few.

Titans,
Cyclopes,
Hundred-handers,
Ouranos fathered so many.

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T is for Tāne

Published April 23, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

T

Because I totally suck (also because I had to work today, by which I mean yesterday by the time you’re reading this), it’s already really late and I don’t have much time to get this post written, so I’m afraid you get the abbreviated version.

By which I mean I’m only repeating the part of Tāne’s myth that I planned to compare to something else.  I apologize, therefore, for all the omissions.


Tāne’s parents, Rangi and Papa, were very much in love.  So much, in fact, that they never parted in their passionate embrace for any reason.  Consequently, though their perpetual love-making created child after child, not a single one could be born, because the exit from Papa’s womb was blocked.

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E is for El-lal

Published April 6, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

E

In what we now call Patagonia, back in the mists of time, there lived a couple, Nosjthej and his wife.

Now, Nosjthej was not a terribly nice person.  In fact, as his wife swelled up with child, he began to take a dislike to the whole idea of having a child.  It seemed like a bad thing to him, something to be avoided at all costs.

So, when his wife was about to give birth, he reached into her womb and snatched out the baby, planning to eat it and thus put an end to it.

But the child fell from his grasp and was carried off to safety by a rat.

In the rat’s nest, the child grew to manhood, and he was called El-lal.

The rat was a very wise rat, as well as an oddly kind one, and it had taught El-lal many things that the rest of the human race didn’t know, especially how to bend things to his will.

He used that power to create the first bow and arrow, and using that new weapon, he marched to war against his wicked father, and against a race of giant demons who lived in the area.

Once his home had been freed of these terrible beings, El-lal gave his bow to the other humans, and taught them how to use it, then departed the earth, leaving to live in the sky.


So, once again, I’ve failed to find something with a strong, non-Greek comparison. *sigh*

But the Greek comparison is a pretty strong one!

Like Nosjthej, Kronos snatched up his newborn children to eat them.  But Zeus — like El-lal — was whisked away to safety, so he could grow to manhood and avenge himself (and his siblings).  The race of giants or demons (my sources used both words) aren’t specified as being Nosjthej’s siblings, the way the Titans were the siblings of Kronos, but the fact that a whole race of monstrous beings had to be defeated before the rescued infant’s triumph was complete seems like a pretty solid comparison none the less.

And they both go to live in the sky when it’s over, too.

Of course, Zeus was never human or mortal, and he wasn’t the one to invent the bow and arrow (or any other weapon), but no comparison can be perfect, right?

But really this is one of the strongest — and strangest — parallels I’ve seen.  (Though it’s not helped by the fact that El-lal’s story has only come to me in the most condensed of forms.  There was no reason given as to why his father would want to devour him, none whatsoever.)  And the sources of the myths are quite far apart in space, climate and most likely in time as well.  (My sources were also silent on just how old the Patagonian myth is…but I suspect they don’t actually know, considering writing wouldn’t have arrived there until the 17th century.)  So why do both of them feature a cannibalistic father and a rescued child who grows up to subdue both his father and a whole race of powerful beings?

Without the time to research the Patagonian culture whose hero El-lal is, I obviously can’t give a satisfactory answer to that question, much as it annoys me to say so.  One possibility is that ritual sacrifice and cannibalism (of children?) was at some time part of both cultures.  I know I’ve seen it theorized that all the cannibalism in Greek myths indicate that there was once cannibalism in the area, back in the early pre-history of the culture.  (I’m not sure how well accepted that theory is, of course, but I’ve seen an entire book on the subject in the university library, so it must have at least some acceptance.)  If a theory like that applies to one culture, it might apply to another as well.

Or it could just be proof of how terrible his father is, and how mighty he is to be able to defeat him.  Either works.  (Or it could be both…)

So, I’m sorry about all the question marks in the post-comparison section, but I hope they didn’t detract from the comparison itself!

(Also, I’m sorry not to provide any illustrations.  I couldn’t find any artworks for El-lal, and the Kronos images weren’t ancient Greek.  I was tempted to fudge and use Goya…but just looking at the thumbnails gave me the heebie-jeebies, so I decided against it.  Seriously nightmarish, that…and having essentially seen it in animated form doesn’t help.)

[BTW, if you’re looking for my IWSG post, it’s right here.]

Missing Letter Mondays – No “G”

Published January 11, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

“Mother Earth”

Born at the start of it all,
Mother to so many,
With so many.

Her first husbands,
Ouranos and Pontos.
Also her sons.
(Eeew.)
They had no fathers.

Nereus,
Thaumas,
Phorkys,
Eurybia,
Even monstrous Ceto;
Pontos fathered these few.

Titans,
Cyclopes,
Hundred-handers,
Ouranos fathered so many.

Mother Earth
Loved her children,
One and all.

But Ouranos
Was a terrible father.
He hated his hideous sons,
Those with only one eye,
And those with too many hands.

They were forced back,
Into their mother’s womb;
Mother Earth’s body
Became her sons’ prison.

Mother Earth wept
For her imprisoned sons,
And pleaded with her other sons
To save them.

Only Kronos answered her pleas,
But he did so in a crooked manner,
To take his father’s place
And rule over the cosmos.

Castrated and defeated,
Ouranos was exiled
To become the sky,
To touch
Mother Earth
Nevermore.

Mother Earth
Rejoiced,
But too soon.

Kronos was no better
Than his father.

The Cyclopes remained prisoners.
The Hundred-handers remained prisoners.
Mother Earth was still a jail.

She helped her son’s son,
Zeus, newborn and still weak,
To overthrow his father.

The Cyclopes were freed.
The Hundred-handers were freed.
But the Titans were imprisoned.
Mother Earth was still a jail,
And Zeus ruled supreme.

“Next time,
There shall be no new tyrant,”
Mother Earth swore.
“Next time,
There must be only defeat.”

Typhoeus.

A storm of destruction.

Monster of monsters.
Father of monsters.

But even he was defeated,
And Zeus still ruled supreme.

Mother Earth
Tried to console herself.
She took on new names,
And admitted new worshippers —
Those frail creatures called mortals —
And strove to find new love,
New respect,
In the distant lands,
Where Zeus was not known.

Cybele was revered
In holy Ilios,
But Troy fell to Achaian blades,
And Cybele became known in Hellas,
Mother Earth once more.

Mesopotamia was even worse for
Mother Earth.
They mistook her for terrible
Tiamat,
Mother Ocean.

Around the Nile Delta,
Mother Earth felt no connection,
And found not the love she wished.

Mother Earth wept,
And pitied her sons the Titans,
Eternally imprisoned in her womb.


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…that turned weird

(For a somewhat more clear version of the first part of the story, click here.)

 

Z is for Zeus

Published April 30, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

Well, of course it is!  I mean, there are other Z-names, like Zephyros and Zagreus, but it’s Thursday, and there aren’t really any good myths to tell for Zephyros, and Zagreus is…um…weird.  He’s part of a (very) alternate version of a few myths, a version that sprang up in the Orphic cults.  But since it’s myth re-telling day, and my head cannot wrap around Zagreus enough to re-tell that tale, it had to be Zeus.

And since I did Ouranos earlier, today I’m telling the next part of the tale, with Zeus vs. Kronos.  (Um…eventually…)


Though Gaia was pleased to see her sons released from her womb, she did not remain so pleased for long.  Kronos was no more fond of the ugly appearance of his brothers the Cyclopes and Hundred-Handed Giants than his father had been.  He found the place beneath Gaia’s surface where the terrible Tartaros existed, and flung them deep within it, locking them in with one of the Cyclopes’ own creations.  Then Kronos declared himself ruler of all things, and commanded that all beings lesser than Titans must bow down before him.

Gaia begged him to release his brothers, but Kronos wouldn’t listen to her.  She begged the other Titans to speak to their brother on behalf of the Cyclopes and Hundred-Handers, but they would not; most agreed with him, and the few who did not agree feared his wrath.

Kronos decided that it was time for him to have a wife, and he chose his sister Rheia, thinking her the prettiest and wisest, sure to give him the best children.  Most of his brother Titans also married their sisters, and they were all quite productive.

But when Rheia was bearing their first child, Ouranos looked down on the happy couple and laughed.  “You will meet your fate the same way I did, boy,” he proclaimed.  “You will be toppled by one of your children, just as I was.”

Kronos laughed at his father’s words at the time.  But the longer he thought on them, the more they worried him.  What if it was true?  What if his child was going to turn on him?  What would be the point of ruling over all the lesser beings if his rule was going to be so short?  No, that would not do!

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U is for Ouranos

Published April 24, 2015 by Iphis of Scyros

You didn’t seriously think I was going to title the post “U is for Uranus,” did you?  I never use that name (except when referring to the planet) because it’s his Roman name.  Also because it leads to immature jokes.

Anyway, I think I’ll be doing this one as a myth re-telling.  ‘Cause otherwise I’ll start getting all blah-de-blah about comparing Hesiod’s Ouranos, the Iliad‘s Oceanos, and Apsu.  And I don’t think many people (other than me) would want to read that.

Also because I really would like to someday re-tell all the major myths and collect them together into a book.  And then…actually, I think I’ll save what I want to do for a later post.  I’m trying to post daily for a whole year, after all, and still have a number of months of that left.  On to the myth!  (This should, it seems important to point out, be seen as the second “episode” in the creation myth, the first having explained where Gaia came from.)


At first, Gaia produced her children unaided; they were born from her will alone.  Ouranos was to be the sky who enveloped her in his embrace.  Ourea became the mountains that decorated her.  And Pontos was the sea that surrounded her.

Ourea remained passively uninterested, but Ouranos and Pontos were constantly caressing and embracing Gaia, and soon she found herself producing unexpected offspring.

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