Cronus was king of heaven for a time, with fellow Titaness, Rhea as his wife. Instead of freeing his siblings from Tartarus like his mother, Gaia (mother Earth) had wanted, he ruled the cosmos with an iron fist. So Gaia and Rhea took matters into their own hands, with devastating consequences...for Cronus.
Like father like son
Gaia, the earth was married to Uranus, the universe. Having bore children that Uranus found less than suitable, he locked his children in Tartarus, less they ruin the aesthetic of lovely earth. Gaia couldn't stand this and looked for someone to overthrow her husband, yet no one was brave or strong enough. Only Cronus, the youngest yet strongest of Gaia's children dared to take up arms against his father.
Having overthrown his father Uranus, he took the lovely Rhea for his wife. Yet, a prophecy from the Fates let it be known that a child of Cronus would overthrow him, just as he had overthrown his father. So every time Rhea gave birth, he would take the child and swallow it whole. Unlike her sisters who were surrounded by their children, Rhea was all alone.
When Rhea became pregnant with her 6th child, Zeus, she ran to Gaia and begged for help. This was just was Gaia had been waiting for. Angry that Cronus had not freed his brothers from Tartarus as he promised, Gaia instructed Rhea to wrap a stone in baby clothes and feed this to Cronus instead. Rhea gave birth to a healthy Zeus in secret, who was then raised on an island far, far away from where Cronus could hear his cries.
A bad case of food poisoning
Zeus grew into a strong, healthy God and Gaia knew the time had come. She gave Rhea an herb, telling her to convince Cronus to eat it. Rhea claimed that the herb would make Cronus the strongest God to ever live, who would be invincible to any future threats to his power.
Cronus gobbled it up without question but instead of making him powerful it made him so sick, he vomited up not only the stone he had swallowed but his 5 other children. Out they sprang fully formed and ready to fight. Of the Gods there were Hades and Poseidon and of the Goddess, Hera, Hestia and Demeter.
A great battle
While Zeus was fated to win, it did not come without great cost and sacrifice. The battle, known as Titanomachy, was horrific. Titans and vs the 6 new gods fought viciously, causing such damage to earth that there was almost nothing living left. Only Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus swapped sides and fought for Zeus instead of the other titans, for he could look into the future and saw that Zeus would win.
At the end of the struggle when almost all life had been extinguished, Zeus used the spear of Triam, killing Cronus and ending his tyranny and Titanomachy.
Destined to repeat?
Zeus was given the prophecy that he would have a son that would overthrow him, just as he had overthrown his father, and Zeus wasn't taking any chances. Read more here.
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