ATA Shorts: Uranus

Hey Friends,

This week we are delving into the world of Ancient Greece to learn about Uranus, sometimes spelled Ouranos, the Greek personification of the heavens. Yes, I know there are a lot of inappropriate jokes I can make about both versions of the name but for the sake of my perceived maturity, let’s just not go there.

Anyway…

Hesiod tells us that Uranus was one of the Greek primordial deities and both the son and husband of Gaea who “first bore starry Heaven [Uranus], equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods.”…

Again, no comment…

With Gaea, Uranus fathered the first generation of Titans, including Cronus, the father of our old friend Zeus. According to the most traditional accounts, Uranus was not exactly a fan of his offspring and so forcibly hid them inside the body of his wife. Obviously not at all thrilled with the idea of having her children locked inside of her, Gaea appealed to them for vengeance, but only Cronus responded.

To cut a long story short, pun intended, when Uranus next approached his wife for an… intimate moment… Cronus castrated him with a sickle. Uranus’ severed genitals plummeted into the ocean, causing the waves to crash and churn into a white foam, from which arose the goddess Aphrodite. Also born from this event were the Furies, the Giants, and the Meliai (ash-tree nymphs).

Cronus’ actions separated Heaven and Earth, allowing the Titans to rule and Cronus himself to seize supreme command of the cosmos, but how long would that last?…

According to the Alexandrian poet Callimachus (c. 270 BC), Cronus’ sickle was “hidden in a hollow under the ground” in Sicily, let me know if you find it!

Lana x

#AncientGreece #AncientHistory #Archaeology #GreekMythology #History #Mythology #Antiquity #Classics #Hesiod