GREEK GODS Charon

Charon, in Greek mythology, is the ferryman of the dead. The souls of the
deceased are brought to him by Hermes, and Charon ferries them across the river
Acheron. He only accepts the dead which are buried or burned with the proper
rites, and if they pay him an obolus (coin) for their passage. For that reason a
corpse had always an obolus placed under the tongue. Those who cannot afford the
passage, or are not killed by Charon, but are doomed to wander on the banks of
the Styx for a hundred years. Living people who wish to go to the underworld
need a golden bough obtained from the Cumaean Sibyl. Charon is the son of Erebus
and Nyx. He is pictured as a sulky old man, or as a winged demon carrying a
double hammer. He is similar to the Etruscan (Charun).





Cronus is the son of Uranus and Gaia and the youngest of the twelve Titans.
His wife was also one of the Titans, since he married his sister Rhea. Their
offspring were Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus.

It is written that Uranus, who in one version, hid his children away in the
bowels of the earth (Tartarus) as he was disgusted at the sight of them. In
reality he was fearful of their great strength and power. Gaia found her
offspring uncomfortable and also painful and when she found the discomfort too
much to bear she hatched a plan, which was to end the passions of Uranus, so no
more offspring could be produced and that would be the ending of her hurt. But
to achieve this she required the help from one of her children. She asked them
all, but only her youngest child Cronus would heed her call. To help Cronus
accomplish his task Gaia gave him a sickle to serve as his weapon.

Cronus stayed and waited, hidden from view, and when Uranus came to lay with
Gaia Cronus struck. With one mighty blow, Cronus burned the womanly parts of
Uranus\' body. From the blood which fell to the earth where born the Erinyes, the
Giants and also the Meliae (Nymphs of the manna ash trees). In other versions
Aphrodite was born from the foam created from the sex organs of Uranus, after
they had been thrown into the sea by Cronus.

Once Cronus had castrated Uranus, he and his wife Rhea took the throne. Under
their power a time of harmony and prosperity began, which became known as the
"Golden Age", a time when it was said that people lived without greed
or violence, and without toil or the need for laws. But not all was well for
Cronus, as it was that he would be overthrown by one of his own children. To
prevent this from happening he began to swallow his newborn, taking them at
birth then swallowing them whole, retaining them inside his own body where they
could do him no harm.

Rhea did not like the thoughts of loosing all her children, and with the help
of Gaia she saved Zeus from his fate. Rhea wrapped a stone in Zeus\' swaddling
clothes which Cronus took and immediately swallowed thinking it was the child.
Gaia and Rhea\'s plan worked well and the baby Zeus was taken to Crete, and
there, in a cave on Mount Dicte, the divine goat Amaltheia suckled and raised
the infant Zeus. When Zeus had grown into a young man he returned to his fathers
domain, and with the help of Gaia, compelled Cronus to regurgitate the five
children he had previously swallowed. Zeus led the revolt against his father and
the dynasty of the Titans, an emetic potion, defeated and then banished them.

The Romans compared Cronus with their Saturn, who was to the Romans a corn
god. This is from the association of the "Golden Age". In Athens on
the 12th day of the month Hekatombaion, a festival was held in honor of Cronus,
which was known as the "Kronia". It was a celebration of the harvest.
In art, Cronus was carrying a sickle used to gather the harvest, but this was
also the weapon he used to castrate his father.

Category: Philosophy