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Crius (Krios, the Ram, Aries)

Titan god of heavenly constellations and the Pillar of the south pole

Crius was the Titan god of heavenly constellations and was also known as Pillar of the south pole. Crius, which means "Ram", was often referred as the starting season of the Greek year, because his constellation was called Aries which nowadays means the start of spring.

Together with his other three brothers Coeus, Hyperion and Iapetus, they presided as the Pillars of holding Heaven and Earth apart. He was one of six sons of Uranus and Gaea and is mentioned by Apollodorus as one of the five brothers, all but Oceanus, who participated in rebellion against Uranus and later attacked him. When they overcame him, the four brothers probably held him down, while Cronus castrated him. According to Pausanias, Crius was the father of Python, a dragon slain by Apollo, and was also closely related with the island of Euboea. The author even names two rivers after the titan.

Titanomachy

In the time of war, he was mentioned siding with the Titans against the younger Olympian gods. After the war, where the titans had lost, Crius was along his brothers and many relatives imprisoned in Tartarus beneath the underworld.

Although there is no clear statement made, he was supposed to be condemned to eternal punishment. However, according to Aeschylus` lost play , he was later released by Zeus from Tartarus with the rest of the titans.

Father of the Astraeus, Pallas, and Perses

In his time, he consorted with his half-sister Eurybia, the daughter of Gaea and Pontus. Together they had three children:

Astraeus - Titan god of the stars and the art of astrology. He was also the god of the dusk and father of the Four Winds and the Stars of the Heaven by Eos(goddess of dawn). They also had children who are often associated with the time of twilight.

Pallas - Titan god of warcraft who was defeated during Titanomachy by younger goddess Athena. He was a father of Rivalry, Victory, Strength and Power.

Perses - Titan god of destruction. He was married with his cousin Asteria with whom he fathered Hecate.

[1]

More on Crius

Crius is a little known deity from Greek mythology. Today most people think of Greek mythology as being focused on Zeus and the other gods of Mount Olympus, and the heroes of the same time period. According to Greek mythology though there was a Golden Age before the Olympian gods, and it is from this time period when Crius comes from.

Crius is said to have been one of the elder Titan gods, and appears in the list of twelve Titans as written down by Hesiod. Hesiod’s Theogony is normally taken as the primary source for the genealogy but Crius also appears in other sources, including Apollodorus' Bibliotecha.

The stories tell of how Crius, his five brothers and six sisters, were born to Ouranos (sky) and Gaia (earth), and were collectively known as the Titans. Ouranos was the supreme deity of this period, but Gaia encouraged the Titans to rebel against their father. Cronos was the only Titan willing to openly go against his father though, and so Gaia furnished him with a sickle to castrate Ouranos with.

As Ouranos sank to earth, to make love to his partner, Crius, who was stationed at the southern corner of the world, grabbed hold of his father; Coeus, Hyperion and Iapetus, who were positioned at the other three corners, did likewise. With the Ouranos held in place, Cronos struck. The four brothers who held the sky in place are often referred to as the pillars of earth.

For his actions Cronos became the new supreme deity, but the other Titans took up prominent roles. Crius became the god of knowledge, and would also become closely linked to the constellations of the night sky. Indeed Crius is said to be the constellation Aries, as Crius was the name given to that constellation by the Ancient Greeks.

Unlike most of the other Titans, Crius was not partnered with one of his sisters and instead Eurybia, goddess of the mastery of the seas, was his wife. Crius and Eurybia would have three sons, Astraios (god of the stars and planets), Pallas (god of warcraft), and Perses (god of destruction).

Crius, and the other Titans, would eventually fall from power. Just as Cronos had risen up against his father, so Zeus did likewise. Zeus and his siblings fought the Titans in a ten year war that became known as the Titanomachy. Details of the fighting have been lost, but it is known that Crius fought alongside his siblings, and so when the Titans were overthrown, he, like them was cast into the prison pit of Tartarus. Whether this imprisonment was for all eternity, or whether Zeus eventually released the Titans, depends on which source is being read. Nevertheless the roles that the Titans had once undertaken were taken over by the deities of Zeus' period.

[2]

Sources

[1] "Greek Gods"

[2] "PitLane Magazine"




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