The first generation of Titans included twelve deities, six male and six female. The male Titans were Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius and Iapetus, while the female Titanesses were Mnemosyne, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea and Themis. The second generation of Titans included Hyperion’s children (Eos, Helios, Selene), Coeus’ daughters (Leto, Asteria), Iapetus’ children (Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius), Oceanus’ daughter (Metis) and Crius’ sons (Astraeus, Pallas, Perses).
Hesiod’s work “Theogony” informs us that the Titans were overthrown by the Olympians, during a war called Titanomachy. Although several literary works were created about this clash of Gods, like “Titanomachia”, only “Theogony” has survived. The Titanomachy follows a series of similar myths that are present in the mythology of other civilizations throughout Europe and the Near East; this category of myths recounts some kind of battle in heaven, where a group of gods wars against the dominant ones.
The Titanomachy lasted for ten years and was fought in Thessaly. It all started when Uranus infuriated Gaia for banishing their children, the Cyclopes and the Hecatonchires, to Tartarus. Gaia created a great sickle and convinced her son Cronus to castrate his father. Cronus cut off his genitals and threw them into the sea, becoming the King of the Titans. Before Uranus died, he prophesied that Cronus’ children would also rebel against his rule, just like he had just done. Cronus slowly became paranoid and turned into a terrible king just like his father had been; so he started eating his own children in fear of being murdered by them. However, his sister and wife Rhea managed to hide her youngest child Zeus, and brought him to a cave where he was raised by the goat Amalthea. When Zeus became an adult, he masqueraded as a servant of Cronus and gave him a mixture of mustard and wine which caused Cronus to vomit up his children. Zeus finally started the rebellion against the Titans, helped by his siblings. The Titanomachy ended in defeat of the Titans and the establishing of a new Greek Pantheon, that of the Olympians. The three brothers, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, decided to divide the world amongst them; thus, Zeus became ruler of the sky and the air and was also recognized as the king of the Gods. Poseidon ruled over the sea and all the waters, while Hades was given the Underworld. The rest of the Gods were given powers according to their nature. Finally, the Earth was common to all to do as they pleased.