37. Τιτάνων, θυμίαμα λίβανον.
To the Titans
Divine connection: libanon (incense)
Τιτῆνες, Γαίης τε καὶ Οὐρανοῦ ἀγλαὰ τέκνα,
Titans, Gaia’s and Ouranos’ glorious children
ἡμετέρων πρόγονοι πατέρων, γαίης ὑπένερθεν
Our paternal forebears, residing beneath Gaia,
οἴκοις Ταρταρίοισι μυχῶι χθονὸς ἐνναίοντες,
Whose home is in Tartaros innermost chthonic dwelling,
ἀρχαὶ καὶ πηγαὶ πάντων θνητῶν πολυμόχθων,
Foundation and font of all mortals’ many hardships.
εἰναλίων, πτηνῶν τε καὶ οἳ χθόνα ναιετάουσιν·
Inhabiting the seas, the air, and the earth,
ἐξ ὑμέων γὰρ πᾶσα πέλει γενεὰ κατὰ κόσμον.
Whence comes forth all that is born by the favor of the cosmos.
ὑμᾶς κικλήσκω μῆνιν χαλεπὴν ἀποπέμπειν,
Let these hymns release wrath grievous and send far off
εἴ τις ἀπὸ χθονίων προγόνων οἴκοις επελάσθη.
Whatever vengeance springs from the chthonic forbears’ homes, drive forth.
 Titaino (τῑταίνω) means stretch, stretch out. The name "Titan" may reflect the Titans' status as the first offspring of Earth and Sky.
Titanos (Τιτάνος) means a white earth (gypsum, chalk, lime) used as plaster and fertilizer.
The original 12 Titans are the first generation offspring of Gaia (Earth) and Ouranos (Sky). They are:
- Theia (Θεια, Goddess of Divine Inspiration) and Hyperion (Ὑπεριων, God of Transactions Above); the parents of:
- Helios (Ἡλιος, God of the Sun),
- Selene (Σεληνη, Goddess of the Moon)
- Eos (Ηως, Goddess of the Dawn); mother of the Gods of the winds: Zephyros (Ζεφυρος, fertilizing west wind), Boreas (Βορεας, north wind), Notos (Νοτος, stormy south wind), and Euros (Ευρος, east wind)
- Phoibe (Φοιβη, Goddess of Prophecy) and Koios (Κοιος aka Πολος, God of the North Pole of Heaven); the parents of:
- Leto (Λητω, Mother of Artemis and Apollo by Zeus)
- Asteria (Αστερια, aka Δηλος, Goddess of Dream Prophecy (Paus. 3.26.1); mother of Hecate (Ἑκατη, Goddess of Magic and Crossroads)
- Rhea (Ρεα, Goddess of Flow) and Kronos (Κρονος, God of Time); the parents of the 12 Olympian deities:
- Aphrodite (Αφροδιτη, Goddess of sexual desire)
- Apollo (Απολλων, God of inspiration)
- Ares (Αρης, God of bloodthirsty slaughter and plague)
- Artemis (Αρτεμις, Goddess of independence)
- Athena (Αθηνη, Goddess of patriotism, the arts, and immortal (ἀθᾰνᾰτος) renown)
- Demeter (Δημητηρ, Goddess of agriculture and mother of Persephone (Περσεφονη, Goddess of the afterlife and spring growth))
- Dionysos (Διονυσος, God of wine aka Βακχος)
- Hephaestos (Ἡφαιστος, God of volcanoes)
- Hera (Ἡρη, Goddess of air (ἠερο))
- Hermes (Ἑρμης, God of communication and travel)
- Poseidon (Ποσειδων, God of the sea)
- Zeus (Ζευς, God of lightning, rain, and the male fertility principle)
- Tethys (Τηθυς, Goddess of Fresh Water) and Okeanos (Ωκεανος, God of the Ocean); parents of:
- Eurynome (Ευρυνομη, Goddess of meadows and pastures; mother (by Zeus) of the Charites (Χαριτες, Goddesses of grace, happiness, beauty, festivities, and unearned blessings)
- the Nephelai (Νεφελαι, Goddesses of clouds)
- the Potamoi (Ποταμοι, Gods of rivers and streams)
- Styx (Στυξ, River of Sacred Oaths); mother of Nike (Νικη, Goddes of Victory)
- Dione (Διωνη, Goddess of the “oracle” at Dodona)
- Metis (Μητις, Goddess of wise counsel)
- Mnemosyne (Μνημοσυνη, Goddess of Memory); the mother (by Zeus) of:
- the Muses (Μουσαι, Goddesses of Inspiration)
- Themis (Θεμις, Goddess of Divine Law); the mother (by Zeus) of:
- the Moirai (Μοιραι, Goddesses of Fate)
- the Horai (Ὡραι, Goddesses of the Seasons and the natural time for things to occur)
- the Nymphs (Νυμφαι, Goddesses who prevail over particular locations in nature)
- Krios (Κριως, God of the Ram/Aries/Spring equinox and new year)
- Iapetos (Ιαπετος, God of Mortality); the father (by Asia Ασια) of:
- Atlas (Ατλας, God who holds up the sky; father of the Pleiades (Πλειαδες) and Hyades (Ὑαδες) constellations; and father of the Hesperides (Ἑσπεριδες, Goddesses of the Sunset))
- Prometheus (Προμηθευς, God of Forethought who created the human race by mixing earth and water (Hesiod, Theogony (126-138))).
According to Barry Powell, “The Titans, whatever their origins, came in general to represent the untamed forces of nature. Their offspring were the seas, rivers, and heavenly bodies.” (p. 94 Classical Myth Prentice-Hall, New Jersey 2001)
The Kuretes, Giants, the Cyclopes (One-Eyed Giants), the Hekatonkheires (Hundred-Handed Storm God Giants) are Titans.
The Titans battled with the Olympians in the Titanomachy (Τῑτᾱνομᾰχία) (battle of the Titans), as described by Hesiod:
“They battled continually with one another, their spirits pained with distress, for ten full years; nor was there any resolution for their grievous strife nor an end for either side, but the outcome of the war was evenly balanced.
“…they all roused up dismal battle, the females and the males…both the Titan [Goddesses and G]ods and those who were born from Cronus [the Olympians]
"…The boundless ocean echoed terribly around them, the great earth crashed, and the broad sky groaned in response as it was shaken…And in this way they hurled their painful shafts against one another; and the noise of both sides reached the starry sky…
“Then Zeus no longer held back his strength, but at once his breast was filled with strength and he manifested his full force. He strode at the same time from the sky and from Olympus, relentlessly hurling lightning bolts, and the thunderbolts, driving forward a sacred flame, flew densely packed, together with the thunder and lightning, all at once from his massive hand. All around, the life-giving earth roared as it burned, and all around the great immense forest crackled; the whole earth boiled, and the streams of Ocean and the barren sea. The hot blast encompassed the earthly Titans, and an immense blaze reached the divine aether, and the brilliant gleam of the lightning bolt and flash blinded their eyes, powerful though they were. A prodigious conflagration took possession of Chasm; and to look upon it with eyes and to hear its sound with ears, it seemed just as when Earth and broad Sky approached from above [sexually] for this was the kind of great sound that would rise up as she was pressed down and as he pressed down her down from on high—so great a sound was produced as the [Goddesses and G]ods ran together in strife. At the same time, the winds noisily stirred up shuddering dust and thunder and lightning and the blazing thunderbolt, the shafts of great Zeus, and they brought shouting and screaming into the middle between both sides. An immense din of terrifying strife rose up, and the deed of supremacy was made manifest.
“And the battle inclined to one side…
“They sent [the Titans] down under the broad-pathed earth and bound them in distressful bonds after they had gained victory…far down beneath the earth as the sky is above the earth…
“That [Tartarus] is where the Titan [Goddesses and G]ods are hidden…They cannot get out…
“That is where the sources and limits of the dark earth are, and of murky Tartarus, of the barren sea, and of the starry sky, of everything, one after another…a great chasm, whose bottom one would not reach in a whole long year, once one was inside the gates, but one would be borne hither and thither by one distressful blast after another—it is terrible…
“That is where the children of dark Night have their houses, Sleep and Death…
“That is where, in front, stand the echoing houses of…powerful Hades and of dread Persephone…
“That is where the [G]oddess who is loathsome for the immortals, terrible Styx…lives…
“That is where the marble gates are and the bronze threshold, fitted together immovably upon continuous roots; and in front, apart from all the [Goddesses and G]ods, live the Titans, on the far side of the gloomy chasm.”
(Hesiod, Theogony (trans. Most) (632-638 and 664-811) (Loeb Classcial Library, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 2006)
Diodorus of Sicily says the Titans were from Crete near Knossos “at the place where even to this day men point out foundations of a house of Rhea and a cypress grove which has been consecrated to her from ancient times.” He says they were born of Ouranos (Sky) and Ge (Earth), or, alternatively, of “the Curetes and Titaea, from whom as their mother they derive the name they have.” (5.66.1-2)
Kronos “introduced justice and sincerity” and the people of Kronos’ reign “were good-hearted, altogether guileless, and blest with felicity” and all his subjects “lived a life of blessedness, in the unhindered enjoyment of every pleasure.” (Diodorus of Sicily 5.66.4-6)
Diodorus describes the beliefs of the Atlantians regarding the Titans, saying that to Ouranos “were born forty-five sons from a number of wives, and, of these, eighteen, it is said, were by Titaea, each of them bearing a distinct name, but all of them as a group were called, after their mother, Titae. Titae, because she was prudent and had brought many good deeds for the peoples, was deified after her death by those whom she had helped and her name was changed to Ge.” (3.57.1-2)
Clement of Alexandria, a Christian (200 CE), says the Orphics believed that the Titans, coated with white gypsum as a disguise, tore the infant Dionysos (God of wine) limb from limb and boiled and roasted the pieces of his body. When Zeus (God of lightning) saw what was going on he incinerated the Titans with a thunderbolt. (Protrepticus 2.15) Diodorus (5.75.4) also says that “Orpheus has handed down the tradition in the initiatory rites that [Dionysos] was torn in pieces by the Titans.” Jane Ellen Harrison dismisses any connection between the Hesiodic Titans and the Orphic tale as patently “late and fictitious.” (Prolegomena, p. 493-494)
Diodorus (3.62.7-8) explains the Orphic belief in the slaying of Dionysos by saying the tearing limb from limb is the grape harvest, “and the boiling of his members has been worked into a myth by reason of the fact that most men (sic) boil the wine and then mix it, thereby improving its natural aroma and quality.” Diodorus says that the restoration of Dionysos to his former state “shows forth that the vine, which has been stripped of its fruit and pruned at the yearly seasons, is restored by the earth to the high level of fruitfulness which it had before…And with these stories the teachings agree which are set forth in the Orphic poems and are introduced into their rites, but it is not lawful to recount them in detail to the uninitiated.”
Other Orphic myths report that Zeus created humans from the ashes of the Titans.
Considering that the Titans are the Goddesses and Gods of the Sun, Moon, Stars, Clouds, Winds, Ocean, Rivers, Fountains, Beauty, Inspiration, and Grace, the compulsion among some writers to disparage the Titans as evil and to claim they are imprisoned beneath the earth seems odd.
 Gaia is the immortal Goddess of generative earth.
 Ouranos is the immortal God of the sky.
 The Titans are said to reside in Tartaros, the deepest realm beneath the earth, the cosmic inverse of heaven. Hesiod (Theogony 715).
 Chthonos means beneath the earth, literally foundation (χ) + divine (θ)ονὸς.