The Greeks believed that the earth was formed before any of the gods appeared. The gods, as the Greeks knew them, all originated with Father Heaven, and Mother Earth. Father Heaven was known as Uranus, and Mother Earth, as Gaea. Uranus and Gaea raised many children. Among them were the Cyclopes, the Titans, and the Hecatoncheires, or the Hundred- Handed Ones. Uranus let the Titans roam free, but he imprisoned the Cyclopes and the Hundred- handed Ones beneath the earth.
Finally, Gaea could not bear Uranus’s unkindness to the Cyclopes and the Hundred-Handed Ones any longer. Gaea joined Cronos, one of the Titans; and together, they overcame Uranus, killed him, and threw his body into the sea. Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, later rose from the sea where Uranus’s body had been thrown. Now Cronus became king of the universe. Cronos married his sister, Rhea, and they had six children. At the time of Cronos’s marriage to Rhea, Gaea prophesied that one of his children would overthrow.
Cronos, as he had overthrown Uranus. To protect himself, Cronos swallowed each of his first five children — Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon — immediately after birth. After the birth of her sixth and last child, Rhea tricked Cronos into swallowing a rock and then hid the child — Zeus — on earth. Zeus grew up on earth and was brought back to Mount Olympus as a cupbearer to his unsuspecting father. Rhea and Zeus connived against Cronos by mixing a noxious drink for him.
Thinking it was wine, Cronos drank the mixture and promptly regulated his five other children, fully grown. Then Zeus and his brothers waged a mighty battle against Cronos and the other Titans. Cronos and the Titans were defeated when Zeus ambushed them with the help of the Cyclopes and the Hundred-Headed Ones, and they panicked and retreated. Cronos and the Titans were imprisioned in the Earth where their fighting still causes earthquakes from time to time. Zeus and his brothers and sisters went to live on Mount Olympus, where they ruled over the earth.
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