Greek Mythology/Stories/The Creation

In the beginning, there was nothing but Chaos. Out of the chaos, Night and Erebus (The personification of Death and Shadow) materialized. They gave birth to Love, who in turn created Light and Day. Then came Gaea (earth), and Tartarus (the deepest pit in the world). Gaea first bore Uranus (heaven), and then she brought forth terrible creatures: The hundred-handers, who had a hundred hands and fifty heads, the Cyclopes, enormous creatures with only one eye, and the Titans. Uranus hated the Hundred-handers, and imprisoned all of them in Tartarus. Gaea didnt like this. She decided to have Cronus (one of the Titans) castrate his father with a jagged sickle. Cronus threw the severed members behind him and from the bloody drops earth conceived the Furies and Giants.

A family tree of Greek gods spawned from Chaos.

Cronus then began to fear for his own life when he was given a prophecy that one of his own children (birthed by Rhea, who was his sister and wife) would overcome him as he did with his father. So he ate them one by one as they were delivered by Rhea. When Zeus was born, however, Rhea hid him in a cave on Crete, and gave Cronus a rock wrapped in a blanket instead. Cronus swallowed the rock, thinking that it was Zeus.

When Zeus became fully grown, he forced Cronus to vomit out his brothers and sisters. After this, they went to war with the Titans. The Gods, with the help of the hundred-handers, who they released from Tartarus, eventually won over the Titans and threw all of them into Tartarus, with the exception of Atlas, who was condemned to hold the world up for eternity. The Gods, however, faced more challenges to their authority. Gaia had given birth to a terrible monster named Typhon, who rose up against the gods. Zeus managed to strike Typhon down with a lightning bolt. Afterwards, the Giants, who had arose from Uranus's blood, also rose up against the Gods. Zeus defeated them too, and threw them into Tartarus. After this, when all threats to the Gods' authority were crushed, Zeus and his two brothers, Poseidon and Hades, drew lots to see what part of the world each would rule. Zeus ended up ruling the sky, Poseidon the sea, and Hades the underworld.

The Creation of Man

The Greeks created many accounts of how man was created. These were the two most popular:

In the first account, it is said that Prometheus and his brother, Epimetheus, decided to create living creatures on the Earth. Epimetheus created animals, but gave them all of the best gifts, such as fur, feathers, strength, and cunning, leaving nothing for mankind. Prometheus then created man, and decided to still make mankind superior to the animals by giving them fire, which he stole from Olympus. In the second account, the Gods created mankind. First, they made mankind out of gold. This golden race lived a life without toil and worry. However, they were mortal, and eventually they died out. After this, the Gods created mankind out of silver. They were very stupid, and ended up killing each other. In the third attempt, the Gods made mankind out of Brass. They enjoyed war, and built up strong armies. Eventually, they destroyed themselves through war. The last race was made out of Iron. They were very evil, and are the race that now inhabit Earth.