As soon as Cronus had come to power, he imprisoned the Cyclopes and the hundred-handed Giants and set free his brothers the Titans..

Treasures of the Acropolis Museum

The stars, Selene (the moon) and Helios (the sun), played a special role in ordering time, in the beliefs of people, and in understanding the place of humankind in the universe. The ancient Greeks gave human form to celestial bodies and a daily course above the earth in chariots or on horses. In Pheidian art, depictions of astral divinities find their most sublime expression, bestowing a cosmic setting for celebrated events. With the sculptures of the Parthenon as a focus and using rich visual materials, visitors will have the opportunity to talk with the Museum’s Archaeologist-Hosts about the diverse and fascinating world of the stars and their presence on the monuments of the Acropolis.

Magic sphere with the god Helios, a lion and astral, magical, alchemistic and allegorical symbols. 2nd–3rd cents. AD

Titans, Cronos, Hyperion and Theia

Around 700 BC, somewhere on the slopes of Mt Helicon, the poet Hesiod gave shape to the first interpretation of the creation of the world and the gods known to us. First there was Chaos, and a little afterwards the broad Earth (Gaia) and beautiful Eros. The Earth then produced the starry Heaven to embrace it and to provide a home for the blessed gods. The fruit of the union of Earth (Gaia) and Heaven (Uranus) were the male and female Titans. Though they were of his own blood, Uranus abhorred the Titans, and for that reason kept them imprisoned in the depths of the Earth. Earth, however, resolved to take revenge on him, with the help of the Titans. Cronos carries out Gaia’s plan and Uranus is overthrown.

Of the Titans, Hyperion (titan of heavenly light) unites himself with Theia (titaness of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky) who gives birth to Helios (the Sun), Selene (the Moon) and Eos (the Dawn). Cronos himself married Rhea, but since his parents, Uranus and Gaia, had told him that he  would lose his power to one of his children, he took measures to prevent this: as soon as a child was born, he swallowed  it  at  once, so that it could not do him no harm. Rhea, inconsolable with the cruelty of her husband, sought the advice of Uranus and Gaia. They took pity on her, and so, when her lates child Zeus was born, Gaia took him and hid him on Crete, on Mt. Ida. Zeus was growing day by day, nourished by the milk of a she-goat called Amalthea. As soon as the young deity felt strong enough, he went to seek out his father, wrestled with him, defeated him and compelled him to release his brothers and sisters.

Cronos carries out Gaia’s plan for Uranus

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

― Roald Dahl

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