In Greek Mythology, the first generation of gods wear called Titans or Uranides the old order of the gods or the titans were the 12 children of Gaia the earth and Uranus the sky, who presided over the universe when it was still very young. At the will of their mother, the titans overthrew their father, because of his cruel decision to imprison his other children, the cyclops and the hecatonchires, whom he called the ugly ones, in the deepest, gloomiest part of Gaia’s womb – Tartarus. With Uranus gone, titans assumed leadership, presiding over the various manifestations of the universe.
They produced more titan offsprings and gods alike, including the Olympians, the most powerful of their children. Years later, the 12 Olympians, challenged the titans for the cosmic throne, defeating them in a great battle known as the Titanomachy.
They were imprisoned and suffered in the depths of Tartarus while the Olympians gained dominion over the universe, becoming the new order of gods. After a long time of anguish in the abyss, Zeus freed his titan ancestors and once more exalted them, by placing them as guardians and protectors of the Elysian fields, a paradise where only those who achieved heroic deeds, entered.
Oceanus was the bull-horned fish-tailed titan god of the freshwaters and aquatic life, and the only male titan who did not join in the war against the titans and the gods, as he chose not to take any sides, and because of that, Zeus left him undisturbed. Oceanus married his sister Tethys and populated his watery kingdom with 6000 children, each one said to be a source of freshwater. His sons were called the Potamai – lesser gods of the rivers, while his daughters were called the Oceanids – nymphs of the lakes, springs, and all sorts of freshwater.
Coeus was one of the 4 brothers who personified the great pillars that hold the heavens and the earth, and even the entire universe: the same 4 who held Uranus steady as Cronus castrated him. Coeus was the Titan of the pillar of the north, while Iapetus, Hyperion, and Krios, were the east, west, and south pillars respectively. He was also the titan of oracles and divinations, of curiosity and intelligence. He married his sister Phoebe, who bore him Asteria (titan of the stars) and Leto (titan of modesty). Coeus is known by the Romans, with the name Polos.
Crius was the titan of the South Pillar, the 2nd of the 4 pillars or corners of the universe. Also the titan of heavenly constellations, not much role was played by him in the myths, except that he aided in dethroning their father, holding him up firmly in the south, for him to be castrated. Coeus married Eurybia, daughter of Pontus and Gaea, and they bore Astraeus (titan of dusky winds), Pallas (titan of warcraft), and Perses (titan of destruction).
Hyperion was the watcher from above and the pillar of the east, that held Uranus fast in the far east, while he was mutilated and dethroned. He was the titan of light, wisdom, and watchfulness. He consorted with his sister Theia and fathered Helios (the sun), Selene (the moon), and Eos (the dawn).
Iapetus was the titan of mortality, craftsmanship, and the pillar of the west, the last of the 4 pillars who aided in dethroning their father, and who hold the universe firm. He consorted with the Oceanid Clymene and fathered Prometheus (the titan of forethought), Epimetheus (the titan of afterthought), Atlas (the titan of strength), and Monoetius (the titan of violent anger).
The sons of Iapetus were said to be the ancestors of humans, and thus, passed down their traits to their human descendants. Prometheus taught then cleverness and trickery, Epimetheus passed down stupidity and gullibility, Atlas gave them endurance and patience, and Monoetius passed down violence and rash actions.
Cronus. Cronus was the god of time and the youngest of the 12 titans. When Gaia urged her children to rebel against their tyrannical father, it was only Cronus who showed no fear. Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, and Iapetus later gave their aid by holding Uranus fast and tight, while Cronus castrated him with the Scythe which became his symbol thenceforth. With their father dethroned, Cronus became the king and leader of the titans, becoming even more tyrannical.
He married his sister Rhea and fathered the six Olympians – Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, and Zeus.
Because Uranus had cursed him that his children would overthrow him just as he had done, Cronus swallowed each of his children as soon as they were born. Only Zeus the youngest escaped this fate, as Rhea hid him away, and gave Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he swallowed. When Zeus had grown, he gave Cronus a concoction that made him vomit his other children. Thereafter, the 10 year battle between the titans and the gods, commenced, with Cronus leading the titans, and Zeus leading the Olympians along with their allies.
The Titanomachy marked the end of the titan’s rule, and the beginning of a new era, the era of the Olympians.
Theia was an oracular and shining titan: the titan of bright light, radiance, beauty, and sight. She was the consort of Hyperion, and mother of the sun – Helios, the moon – Selene, and the dawn – eos. Theia and the other female titans remained neutral and never partook in the Titanomachy, thus, they were all left unpunished.
Rheia was the titan of fertility and motherhood, the sister & consort of Cronus, and the mother of the six Olympians. To save her last child from being swallowed, she wrapped a stone in baby clothes and presented it to her husband, tricking him into thinking he was swallowing young Zeus. Rheia retained her place as the mother titan, and although she never took sides in the great war, her heart was with her children.
Themis was the Titan goddess of law and justice, the personification of natural law and order, the divine voice who instructed mankind in the ways of morality, justice, good governance, and conduct. In the aftermath of the Titanomachy, Zeus took Themis as his second wife, and she became his first counselor, seated beside his throne on Olympus, advising him on the rules of the law and of fate. From their union came two sets of children, the Horai, goddesses of time and seasons, and the Moirai, goddesses of fate.
As the goddess of justice, Themis is usually depicted as wielding a scale in one hand, and a sword in the other. She worked hand in hand with another goddess called Nemesis. While she made and passed the laws, Nemesis ensured they were followed, punishing anyone who went contrary.
Mnemosyne, sometimes called mneme, was the titan of memory and remembrance, the lesser deity of sight and time, the patron of poets and writers. She is the mother of the 9 muses, and it is said that Zeus mated with her, nine nights in a row, thus, bringing forth nine children in a row.
Phoebe was the oracular titan of the moon, and the original prophetic goddess of Delphi, a role which she passed on to his grandson Apollo. She was the consort of her brother Coeus, and from their union came Asteria goddess of the stars, and Leto – goddess of modesty.
Tethys was the titan goddess of the freshwaters, the consort of Oceanus, the mother of 6000 river deities, and the patron of nursing mothers. She took Hera in and raised her as her own during the Titanomachy, and the two remained close ever since. When Hera sought revenge against Calisto for sleeping with Zeus, it was her stepmother’s aid she implored.
Tethys obliged by cursing Callisto, who had been transformed into a bear constellation, to never touch the sea and fall below the horizon, thus, dooming her to forever circle the skies.