The Titan God of Heavenly Constellations
Hesiod, the Greek historian, names Crius as one of the Titans born from Uranus and Gaia. Little is known about Crius, he was one of the Titans overthrown in the Titanomachy and was the father of Perses and the grandfather of Hecate.
He is known as the Titan God of heavenly constellations and in charge of ordering the measures of the year.
The Family Line
Crius married Eurybia, the daughter of Gaia and Pontus. He went on to have three children with Eurybia. They were Perses, Astraios and Pallas. The joining of Astraios with Eos (the Dawn) brought forth Eosphoros (the stars and the winds).
Pallas and Perses may have presided over particular constellations; Perses associated with the constellation Perseus or the dog star Sirius and Pallas over Auriga (the Charioteer) and the storm bringing goat star Capella. Perses’ daughter Hecate was also associated with Sirius. Crius and Eurybia’s third son Astraios was the God of Stars in general and the seasonal winds.
The Four Pillars
Crius was considered one of the four pillars that hold the heavens and the earth apart, representing the pillar of the south the other three were personified by his brothers Iapetus, Coeus and Hyperion. This represented the points of connection between sky and earth where the four compass directions meet.
The four brothers played a significant role during the coup of Uranus as they were the four corners of the earth and they held Uranus in place while Cronus castrated their father. Crius’ connection with the South is found in his name and family ties; Crius is translated to “the Ram,” and the constellation Aries springtime rising in the South marked the start of the Greek New Year.
However, there is no classical association with Crius and Aries. This fact may have implied that Crius was the Titan God of constellations, measuring the duration of the year while his brother Hyperion measures the days and months.
Crius in the Titanomachy
During the Titanomachy, the war between the Titans and the Olympians, Crius sided with the Titans but did not have a particular role during the conflict but faced the same consequences of being imprisoned within Tartarus. He and his kin were supposed to be doomed to eternal punishment but according to Aeschylus’ lost play they were eventually pardoned and released by Zeus.
His children were also known to Greek mythology, his son Astraios was the God of the Stars and the art of Astrology. Pallas was the Titan god of Warcraft and the father of Rivalry, Victory, Strength and Power. Pallas was defeated by Athena during the Titanomachy and finally Perses the Titan God of Destruction who was married to his cousin Asteria and the father of Hecate.
Other Interesting Facts About Crius
- Crius was often portrayed as having a Ram head and horns.
- Crius is the least individualised of all the Titans and little is know about him besides his role in Uranus’s downfall and the war between the Titans and the Olympians.
- As the Titan God of Constellations, Crius was an important deity for sailors and travellers who used the stars for navigation. They would invoke him for guidance.
- Crius is the sire of an incredibly prominent family line of Gods and Heroes.
- Though less depicted in ancient art compared to other Titans, he is sometimes represented in Greek vase paintings and sculptures. He is usually shown in a regal pose, signifying his status as a Titan of considerable power.
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