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Hyperion

‘Υπεριον

A Titan

Hyperion in The Iliad [reference]
Hyperion in The Odyssey [reference]
Other Text References
Immortals Index
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A Son of Gaia and Ouranos

Hyperion was one of the sons of Gaia [Earth] and Ouranos [Heavens]. He and his five brothers and six sisters were called Titans. Ouranos named them Titans because they quickly demonstrated their complete lack of restraint ... the name Titans literally means Stretchers or Strainers ... they stretched and strained the limits of propriety and indulged themselves to the point of self destruction. The Titans not only brought about their own demise, they were also responsible for the demotion and mutilation of their father, Ouranos.

The role and title of Hyperion is somewhat confusing. He is the father of Helios [Sun], Selene [Moon] and Eos [Dawn] but he is often referred to as the Sun ... thus the confusion ... is Helios the Sun or is it really Hyperion? There are many instances in the ancient Greek literature where Hyperion is named as the Sun but most translators ignore the reference and substitute the name of Helios instead. There is also a bit of confusion as to who the mother of Helios, Selene and Eos actually was ... she is usually assumed to be another Titan named Theia but she is also listed as a goddess named Euryphaessa.

The Titans were the first generation of Immortals without some sort of grandiose destiny. Before the Titans were born, the Immortals were responsible for, and took the bodies of, the Earth, the Heavens, the Seas, the Mountains and the dark Pit under the earth ... the Titans had godly responsibilities and powers but they were more human looking than any of the Immortals who proceeded them.

The Titans

The Titans are:

The day-to-day exploits of the Titans still remain a mystery except for the most notorious Titan of all, Kronos. Kronos and his sister/wife Rheia became the parents of the generation of Immortals which would become known as The Olympians. When Ouranos became too overbearing, Gaia persuaded Kronos to ambush and mutilate him. For his services to his mother, Kronos was elevated to the role of the most powerful Titan.

Like his father, Kronos became too overbearing and suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of one of his sons, Zeus. However, Kronos would not surrender his authority without a fight ... he enlisted the help of the other Titans and waged war on Zeus. The conflict became known as the War of the Titans and lasted for ten turbulent years ... many parts of the surface of the earth were laid to waist by the violence of the fighting but in the end, Zeus and his allies defeated the Titans and banished them to the Underworld.

His inauspicious banishment to the Underworld is the last record we have of Hyperion ... we can only assume that he is still there.

Hyperion in The Iliad

[from four different translations]

Richmond Lattimore

Loeb Classical Library

Robert Fagles

Robert Fitzgerald

Hyperion in The Odyssey

[from four different translations]

Richmond Lattimore

Loeb Classical Library

Robert Fagles

Robert Fitzgerald

Other Text References

Theogony

Hymn to Demeter II

Hymn to Pythian Apollon III

Hymn to Histia XXIX

Hymn to Athene XXVIII

Hymn to Helios XXXI

Library of History by Diodorus Siculus

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