Saturday, December 18, 2010


Homer, Iliad 8. 479 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"The undermost limits of earth and sea, where Iapetos and Kronos seated have no shining of the sun god Hyperion to delight them nor winds’ delight, but Tartaros stands deeply about them."
Homer, Iliad 14. 277 ff :
"The goddess Hera of the white arms swore [a promise] as he [Hypnos] commanded, and called by their names on all those gods who live in the Pit, and who are called Titenes. Then when she had sworn this, and made her oath a complete thing."
Hesiod, Theogony 715 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"[In the Titan War, Zeus and the Hekatonkheires] launched from their strong hands and overshadowed the Titenes with their missiles, and hurled them beneath the wide-pathed earth, and bound them in bitter chains when they had conquered them by their strength for all their great spirit, as far beneath the earth as heaven is above earth; for so far is it from earth to Tartarus. For a brazen anvil (khalkeos akmôn) falling down from heaven nine nights and days would reach the earth upon the tenth: and again, a brazen anvil falling from earth nine nights and days would reach Tartaros upon the tenth. Round it runs a fence of bronze, and night spreads in triple line all about it like a neck-circlet, while above grow the roots of the earth and unfruitful sea. There by the counsel of Zeus who drives the clouds the Titan gods are hidden under misty gloom, in a dank place where are the ends of the huge earth. And they may not go out; for Poseidon fixed gates of bronze upon it, and a wall runs all round it on every side. There [the Hekatonkheires] Gyes and Kottos and great-souled Obriareus live, trusty warders of Zeus who holds the aigis."
Hesiod, Theogony 807 ff :
"And there [at the edges of the cosmos], all in their order, are the sources and ends of the dark earth and misty Tartaros and the unfruitful sea and starry heaven, loathsome and dank, which even the gods abhor. And there are shining gates and an immoveable threshold of bronze having unending roots and it is grown of itself.And beyond, away from all the gods, live the Titenes, beyond gloomy Khaos."
Hesiod, Theogony 849 ff :
"[Zeus battles the monster Typhoeus :] And through the two of them . . . through the thunder and lightning, and through the fire from the monster, and the scorching winds and blazing thunderbolt . . . Haides trembled where he rules over the dead below, and the Titenes under Tartaros who live with Kronos, because of the unending clamour and the fearful strife."
Homeric Hymn 3 to Pythian Apollo 300 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Hera prayed, striking the ground flatwise with her hand, and speaking thus : `Hear now, I pray, Gaia and wide Ouranos above, and you Titan gods (Titanes theoi) who dwell beneath the earth about great Tartaros, and from whom are sprung both gods and men! Harken you now to me, one and all, and grant that I may bear a child apart from Zeus.' [Her prayer was answered when she bare the monster Typhoeus.]'"

Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 152 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"[Prometheus laments his fate, declaring that he would have preferred to have been cast into Tartaros with the rest of the Titanes :] Oh if only he [Zeus] had hurled me below the earth, yes beneath Haides, the entertainer of the dead, into impassable Tartaros, and had ruthlessly fastened me in fetters no hand can loose.
Chorus [of Okeanides] : . . . He [Zeus] in malice, has set his soul inflexibly and keeps in subjection the race sprung from Ouranos (genna ouranios) [the Titanes]; nor will he stop, until he has satiated his soul or another seizes his impregnable empire by some device of guile."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 221 ff :
"The cavernous gloom (melanbathês) of Tartaros now hides ancient (palaigenês) Kronos and his allies [the Titanes] within it."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 1050 ff :
"Let him [Zeus] lift me [the Titan Prometheus] on high and hurl me down to black Tartaros with the swirling floods of stern Necessity (anankê) [i.e. the fate of the other Titanes] : do what he will, me he shall never bring to death [i.e. because the Titanes are immortal]."
Plato, Laws 701b (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"[Plato uses the suffering of the Titanes as a metaphor :] The character of the Titanes of story, who are said to have reverted to their original state, dragging out a painful existence with never any rest from woe."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 37. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The first to introduce Titanes into poetry was Homer, representing them as gods down in what is called Tartaros; the lines are in the passage about Hera’s oath."
Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 12. 179 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) :
"Even to Haides' fathomless abyss : trembled the Titanes there in depths of gloom [to hear the Olympian gods battling amongst themselves]."
Orphic Hymn 37 to the Titans (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"O mighty Titanes . . . in Tartaros profound who dwell, deep merged beneath the solid ground . . . Avert your rage, if from the infernal seats one of your tribe should wish to visit our retreats."
Statius, Thebaid 8. 41 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Mine [Haides'] is the prison-house, now broken, of the Gigantes, and of the Titanes, eager to force their way to the world above, and his own unhappy sire [Kronos]."
Colluthus, Rape of Helen 48 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poetry C5th to C6th A.D.) :
"[Eris was furious at being turned away from the wedding of Peleus & Thetis :] Fain would she unbar the bolts of the darksome hollows and rouse the Titanes from the nether pit and destroy heaven the seat of Zeus, who rules on high."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 256 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Typhoeus boasts of what he intends to do after seizing the throne of heaven :] Then with his midmost man-shaped head the Gigante yelled out threats against Zeus : `Smash the house of Zeus, O my hands! Shake the foundations of the universe, and the blessed ones with it! Break the bar of Olympos, self-turning, divine! Drag down to earth the heavenly pillar, let Atlas be shaken and flee away, let him throw down the starry vault of Olympos and fear no more its circling course--for I will not permit a son of Earth to be bowed down with chafed shoulders, while he underprops the revolving compulsion of the sky! No, let him leave his endless burden to the other gods, and battle against the Blessed Ones! . . . Okeanos my brother shall bring his water to Olympos aloft with many-fountained throat, and rising above the five parallel circles he shall inundate the stars . . . I will keep the chains of Iapetos for Poseidon; and the soaring round Kaukasos, another and better eagle shall tear the bleeding liver, growing for ever anew, of Hephaistos the fiery: since fire was the for which Prometheus has been suffering the ravages of his self-growing liver . . . And cannibal Kronos I will drag up once more to the light, another brother, to help me in my task, out of the underground abyss; I will break those constraining chains, and bring back the Titanes to heaven, and settle under the same roof in the sky the Kyklopes, sons of Gaia."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 2. 563 ff :
"[Zeus gloats over the body of the defeated Typhoeus, who was sent by Gaia (Earth) to champion the cause of the Titanes :] Kronides laughed aloud, and taunted him like this in a flood of words from his mocking throat : `A fine ally has old Kronos found in you, Typhoeus! Gaia could scarcely bring forth that great son for Iapetos! A jolly champion of Titanes! The thunderbolts of Zeus soon lost their power against you, as I see! How long are you going to wait before taking up your quarters in the inaccessible heavens, you sceptred imposter? The throne of Olympos awaits you: accept the robes and sceptre of Zeus, God-defying Typhoeus! Bring back Astraios to heaven; if you wish, let Eurynome and Ophion return to the sky, and Kronos in the train of that pair! When you enter the dappleback vault of the highranging stars, let crafty Prometheus leave his chains, and come with you; the bold bird who makes hearty meals off that rejuvenescent liver shall show him the way to heaven.'"


The Pelasgian tribes of Thrake were said to have been born from the blood of Titanes or Gigantes, spilled in their war against the gods.
Lycophron, Alexandra 1358 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"Them [the Pelasgians] who drew the root of their race from the blood of the Sithonian Gigantes."
Strabo, Geography 7 Fragments 39 - 40 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The Paionians [people of the highlands of Thrake] were called Pelagonians . . . Since the paianismos [chanting of the paian or hymn] of the Thrakians is called titanismos [cry to Titan] by the Greeks, in imitation of the cry uttered in paians, the Titanes too were called Pelagonians."
Orphic Hymn 37 to the Titans (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"O mighty Titanes . . . in Tartaros profound who dwell . . . from whom began the afflicted miserable race of man: who not alone in earth’s retreats abide, but in the ocean and the air reside; since every species from your nature flows, which, all-prolific, nothing barren knows."
Oppian, Halieutica 5. 4 (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd A.D.) :
"Someone created men to be a race like unto the blessed gods, albeit he gave them inferior strength: whether it was the son of Iapetos, Prometheus . . . or whether we are born of the blood divine that flowed from the Titanes; for there is nothing more excellent than men, apart from the gods."


Hesiod, Works and Days 156 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"And they [the Heroes in Elysium] live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the blessed along the shore of deep swirling Okeanos, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods, and Kronos rules over them; for the father of men and gods released him from his bonds. And these last equally have honour and glory."
Pindar, Pythian Ode 4. 290 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Does not even now great [Titan] Atlas struggle to bear up the weight of heaven, far from his fathers’ land and his possessions? But almighty Zeus set free the Titanes, for as time passes and the breeze abates, the sails are set anew. [I.e. all of the Titanes were freed, even Atlas.]"
Aeschylus, Prometheus Unbound (lost play) :
The Titanes formed the chorus of Aeschylus' lost play Prometheus Unbound (Lyomenos), visiting their nephew after being released from Tartaros by the clemency of Zeus. The chained hero proceeds to tell them of his benefactions to mankind and the torment he must endure.
Aeschylus, Fragment 104 Prometheus Unbound (from Arrian, Voyage in the Euxine 99. 22) (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"[The Titanes address their nephew Prometheus :] We have come to look upon these thy ordeals, Prometheus, and the affliction of thy bonds."
Aeschylus, Fragment 107 Prometheus Unbound (from Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 2. 10. 23-25) :
"[Prometheus addresses his Titan uncles :] Ye race of Titanes, offspring of Ouranos, blood-kinsmen mine! Behold me fettered, clamped to these rough rocks."

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