19 Facts About Cronus


Cronus overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

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Cronus was usually depicted with a harpe, scythe or a sickle, which was the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father.

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Cronus was identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

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Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in ambush.

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When Uranus met with Gaia, Cronus attacked him with the sickle, castrating him and casting his testicles into the sea.

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The period in which Cronus ruled was called the Golden Age, as the people of the time had no need for laws or rules; everyone did the right thing, and immorality was absent.

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Cronus learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own children, just as he had overthrown his father.

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In yet another account referred to by Robert Graves, it is said that Cronus was castrated by his son Zeus just as Uranus had earlier been castrated by his son Cronus.

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Cronus gave his daughter two eggs smeared with his own semen and told her to bury them underground, so that they would produce a creature capable of dethroning Zeus.

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Cronus was said to be the father of the wise centaur Chiron by the Oceanid Philyra, who was transformed into a linden tree.

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The god consorted with the nymph, but his wife Rhea walked on them unexpectedly; in order to escape being caught in bed with another, Cronus changed into the shape of a stallion, hence the half-human, half-equine shape of their offspring; this was said to have taken place on Mount Pelion.

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The Roman philosopher Cicero elaborated on this by saying that the Greek name Cronus is synonymous to chronos since he maintains the course and cycles of seasons and the periods of time, whereas the Latin name Saturn denotes that he is saturated with years since he was devouring his sons, which implies that time devours the ages and gorges.

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Greek historian and biographer Plutarch asserted that the Greeks believed that Cronus was an allegorical name for ??????.

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The second is that Rhea and Cronus were given names of streams: Rhea from ??? "river, stream, flux" and Cronus from ?????? "time".

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Gnostic text Pistis Sophia references the name Cronus, portraying the deity as a great ruler over others within the aeons.

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Andrew Lang's objection, that Cronus was never represented horned in Hellenic art, was addressed by Robert Brown, arguing that, in Semitic usage, as in the Hebrew Bible, qeren was a signifier of "power".

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Consequently, while the Greeks considered Cronus merely an intermediary stage between Uranus and Zeus, he was a larger aspect of Roman religion.

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Nevertheless, among Hellenistic scholars in Alexandria and during the Renaissance, Cronus was conflated with the name of Chronos, the personification of "Father Time", wielding the harvesting scythe.

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In Greco-Roman Egypt, Cronus was equated with the Egyptian god Geb, because he held a quite similar position in Egyptian mythology as the father of the gods Osiris, Isis, Seth and Nephthys as Cronus did in the Greek pantheon.

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