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November 14, 2014     Post-Gazette
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Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, NOVEMBER 14, 2014 bv Prof. Edmund Turiello A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. BIRTH OF THE GODS One essential difference between Greek and' Roman mythology is the extent to Which their family trees were developed. Greek my- .thology lists at least eight Primeval Beings as the fore- runners of the Titans, 'and at least twenty-one Titans who were the forerunners of the gods. Generally, Roman mythology identifies only one Primeval Being and six Titans. The balance of the mYthological families appear to be about even in both cultures, with close likenesses in many of the gods and demigods. During past .issues we have discussed the Jegends surrounding the develop, ment of the Primeval Be- ings. We also discussed the Titans; who in some in- Stances were the fathers of the Gods. This week we are ready to discuss the mytho7 logical Gods themselves. ThEy are divided into two dis, tinct groups; (a) Primary Gods; and (b) Secondary Gods. -The six Primary Gods are the offspring from the union of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, while the Secondary Gods are the offspring from the union of Zeus (Jupiter) with other Goddesses. The story surrounding the birth of the Primary Gods is quite interesting. It tells of Cronus, the Titan, being warned that someday he would be dethroned by his offspring; consequently, he swallowed his first five chil- dren at birth. When Zeus was born, a great stone was Painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1636-1638) of Cronus devouring one of his children, Poseidon. Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain wrapped in swaddling clothes and presented to Cronus in place of the skxlh child. This bundle was quickly swallowed by Cronus, thinking that all was proceeding according to plan, and that he was avoiding all possibility of his downfall. The infant Zeus was taken to the Dictaen cave in Crete where he was nursed on honey and goat's milk. When fully grown, Zeus gave one of the goat's horns to his former nurse, along with a promise that she would always fred in it whatever she wished. This is now called the "cornuco- pia" or the horn of plenty. Later, after the nurse died, Zeus placed both the horn and the goat among the stars. Zeus eventually succeeded in getting Cronus to drink a potion which contained a powerful emetic. This caused the great stone to become disgorged and it was followed by the five brothers and sis- ters of Zeus. who had previ- ously been swallowed. These other deities are known today as Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon. Zeus was known to the Roman as Jupiter, and those brothers and sisters were known as Vesta, goddess of the hearth; Ceres, goddess of agricul- ture: Juno. wife of Jupiter; Dis, God of the underworld and Neptune. God of the sea. In time all of these Primary gods banded together in sup- port of Zeus, to wage war against the Titans. After the Titans were defeated, the world was divided into three parts; Hades took the lower world; Poseidon (Neptune) took the sea, and Zeus (Ju- piter] took the heavens. The earth was reserved as the common possession of all three. Regardless of the division, Zeus remained as king of the Gods, greater and more powerful than all of the other Gods combined. Next week: Jupiter DRIVERS CDL-A De you want morethan $1000 a Week? Excellent Monthly Bonus Program/Benefits. Weekend Hometime you Deserve/ Electronic Logs~Rider Program. 877-704-3773 LEGAL NOTICE RISTORANTE & BAR Traditional Italian Cuisine 415 Hanover Street, Boston 617.367.2353 11 MountVernon Street, Winchester 781.729.0515 P,i.ote I:undion Rooms fop onq Occasion Ch,,isleninq B,,:I