Gaea, Mother Earth, was
born out of chaos. She gave birth to Uranus, who became Father Heaven.
They had many children, but Uraneus locked them in the center of the earth
because of their deformities. Then she gave birth to the six sons
and six daughters called the Titans. Cronus, one of the strongest
of the Titans, defeated his father and married his sister Rhea.
Power changed Cronus and
he put his brothers back in their prison. He was so afraid that his
children would destroy him that he devoured Rhea's first five children:
Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. When she was expecting
her sixth child, she determined to save it from Cronus, After her baby
son, Zeus, was born, she gave him to Mother Earth, who hid the baby in
Zeus vowed that when he
was fully grown, he would rescue his brothers and sisters. Zeus served
a poisoned drink to his father, Cronus. Cronus became very ill and
vomited up his five children. Zeus's brothers and sisters hugged
him and thanked him for giving them new life. "And now that you have set
us free, you must lead us in a battle against Cronus and the Titans."
Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon,
after ten years of battle, defeated the Titans. At last there was
peace on earth.
Now, which of the three
brothers, Zeus, Poseidon, or Hades, should be the ruler of the universe?
They had had enough fighting, and they wanted to settle this problem without
They decided to draw lots. Hades won the underworld,
and Poseidon won the sea. And Zeus became lord of heaven and ruler of all
the gods of Mount Olympus.
Poseidon (the Roman God,
Neptune) fell in love with a beautiful human, Medusa, who was admired for
her long, flowing hair. The goddess Athena (the Roman goddess Minerva)
became jealous and changed Medusa into a hideous Gorgon, a creature with
a head full of snakes and bronze claws on her hands. Anyone who looked
directly at Medusa immediately turned to stone. Years later
Athena completed her destruction of Medusa when she gave Perseus a shield
so he could slay Medusa without looking at her face.
When Perseus decapitated
the gorgon Medusa, she was already pregnant by the sea god Poseidon who had been visiting her in the form
of a stallion. As her body fell to the ground, the two offspring
of this union. Pegasus and the warrior Chrysaor leapt fully developed
from her body.