Cronus or Saturn: God of Agriculture and Sky

Cronus was the god of agriculture. (Actually, he was a titan, but the titans were worshiped in the same way as the gods.) After he overthrew his father, he also became the god of the sky. He is also called Cronos, Kronos, or Saturn. His name might come from the word Krono, which means to govern. He was also the God of time. Nevertheless our word for chronometer comes from a different god Chronos. Cronus was the youngest of the original titans. He married Rhea.

Cronus defeated Ouranos (or Uranus), his father, when Gaia, his mother, asked all her sons to overthrow him. She did this because Ouranos had hidden her younger children in Tartarus where there was no light. Every titan except Cronus opted not to try their strength against Ouranos, but Cronus did, and won. He used a sickle to castrate his father.

The titan, Cronus ruled the world justly, with Rhea as his consort. This period in the life of the gods was said to have been a golden age. However, there was a prophesy that Cronus himself would, ironically, be overthrown by his own son. To ensure that his children could not do this be began eating them. He had already eaten Poseidon and Hades, but, because they were immortal, they grew up in his stomach. When Cronus wanted to eat Zeus, Rhea wrapped some rocks in a baby blanket. Cronus was fooled. To escape notice, Zeus was sent to Crete to be raised by the divine goat named Amaltheia. When Zeus grew up, he cut open the stomach of Cronus to release his brothers. Other tales say that the siblings were released by a potion that was administered by Metis to Cronus which forced him puke up the other gods. Then the three of them imprisoned Cronus in Tartarus.

The Planet Saturn

Cronus was not highly regarded by the ancient Greeks. He was considered a hard, cruel, and capricious god, the god of chaos. The Roman manifestation, named "Saturn", was better respected and had his own temple in Rome. For the Romans he became the god of seasons, calendars, and the harvest. The planet Saturn is named after him. Some of Saturnís 34 moons are take from figures of greek myths having a close relation to him, such as Rhea and Titan. The weekday, Saturday, was also named for him.

Written by Kate Rayment


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