Inthe beginning there was Chaos (―emptiness‖). Out of Chaos came Gaia, the Earth. Later came Night and Day and Eros (―Love‖). After that Gaia gave birth to Uranos, the Sky. Gaia and Uranos then had twelve children, the Titans. However, Uranos was afraid one of his children could overthrow him. Therefore, he hid them in the dark centre of the Earth –Gaia. This made Gaia angry and she plotted her revenge.
She persuaded her youngest son Kronos to attack his father with a sharp sickle. So Kronos attacked his father while he was asleep. Uranos’ blood dripped onto the sea giving birth to Aphrodite, goddess of Love and Beauty. Uranos was left wounded and powerless and Kronos took his place as ruler of the sky.
Kronos married his sister Rhea and they had six children; three daughters: Hestia, Demeter and Hera and three sons: Hades, Poseidon and Zeus. However, Kronos was afraid one of his children could overthrow him. Therefore, he ate his children as soon as they were born. That made Rhea very angry so that when she gave birth to her youngest child, Zeus, she decided to trick Kronos.
So she hid the child in a cave and gave Kronos a stone wrapped as if it was the child. Kronos swallowed the stone without noticing. Meanwhile Zeus was growing up safe and sound hidden from his father. When Zeus became an adult he decided to fight his father. However, he needed the assistance of their brothers and sisters. Therefore, firstly he tricked his father into drinking a potion.
When Kronos drank the potion he felt sick and vomited the stone and his children, still alive. Secondly, with the assistance of his brothers and sisters Zeus fought against Kronos and the Titans. Finally Zeus won the war. He then shared the power with his brothers Hades and Poseidon. Zeus became the ruler of the sky, Poseidon of the sea and Hades of the Underworld.
Zeus then married his sister Hera. However, he was an unfaithful husband and had many love affaires both with goddesses and mortal women. Many children were born to Zeus from those relationships.- By Hera he had the god Ares and the goddess Hebe.- By Metis he had the goddess Athena.- By Leto the twins Artemis –a goddess—and Apollo –a god.- By Maia the god Hermes.- By Demeter the goddess Persephone.- By Semele, a mortal woman, he had the god Dionysus Finally, Hera had a son by herself, the god Hephaestus.
APHRODITE GAIA OCEANUS THEA PHOEBE THEMIS MNEMOSYNE TETHYS HYPERION COEUS IAPETUS CRIUS ZEUS DEMETER HERAPrimal gods Titans Olynpians IOlympians II THE GREEK GODS’Other deities FAMILY TREE Mortals
Photograph of a sickle from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Sickle_sigd.jpg J.A.D. Ingres, Venus Anadyomene (1848), Musée de Chantilly (France) from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:1848_Jean-Auguste- Dominique_Ingres_-_Venus_Anadyom%C3%A8ne.jpg Giorgio Vasari and Gherardi Christofano (16th century), The Mutiliation of Uranus by Saturn, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (Italy) from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:The_Mutiliation_of_Uranus_by_Sat urn.jpg Francisco de Goya, Saturno devorando a sus hijos (1819-23), Museo del Prado, Madrid (Spain) from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Saturno_devorando_a_sus_hijos.jpg Rhéa présentant une pierre à Cronos, Galerie mythologique, tome 1 dA.L. Millin 1811 from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Rh%C3%A9a_pr%C3%A9sentant_u ne_pierre_emmaillot%C3%A9e_%C3%A0_Cronos_dessin_du_bas- relief_d%27un_autel_romain.jpg Zeus wielding the thunderbold in his right hand and holding an eagle (?) on the other hand. Detail of an Attic red-figure amphora, 480–470 BC. From Vulci. Musée du Louvre, Paris (France) from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Zeus_Louvre_G204.jpg Poseidon greeting Theseus (on the right). Detail, side A from an Attic red- figured calyx-krater, first half of the 5th century BC. From Agrigento. Cabinet des médailles de la Bibliothèque National de France. Paris (France) from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Poseidon_enthroned_De_Ridder_41 8_CdM_Paris.jpg Hades (right-hand side) and Persephone (left-hand side). Detail from an Attic red-figure amphora, ca. 470 BC. From Italy. Musée du Louvre, Paris (France) from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Amphora_Hades_Louvre_G209_n2.j pg