Kronos (Greek: Κρόνος, transl. Krónos), in Greek mythology, god of time and king of the titans. He is the youngest of the titans, son of Uranus, the starry sky, and Gaia, the earth. Alternatively, for Plato, the gods Phocis, Cronos, and Reia were the eldest children of Oceanus and Thetis.
Cronos was the god of time, especially when seen in its destructive aspect, the impregnable time that rules the fates and can devour all.
The titan Kronos served as an inspiration for the ancient Orphic sect to create the figure of Chronos, whom they called the "primordial god of time." It is worth noting that the way of life of the Orphics caused great strangeness among the Greeks, and the new theogony created by them was likewise repudiated by the civic and popular cult of the Greek polis. 5] Which means that, for the common Greeks, the titan Chronos (and only him) was the god of time par excellence.
Kronos was usually represented with a harp, scythe or sickle, with which he castrated and deposed Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the 12th day of the Attic month of Hecatombaion, the festival of Kronia was celebrated in honor of Kronos.
According to the ancient myth recorded by Hesiod in his Theogony, Kronos envied the power of his father, Uranus, the ruler of the universe. Uranus earned the enmity of Gaia, Kronos' mother, by hiding Gaia's giant sons, Hecatônquiros and Cyclops, in Tartarus. Then Gaia built a harpe and convinced Kronos and his brothers to use it to castrate Uranus.
At his mother's request, he became lord of the sky, castrating his father with a scythe blow and throwing his testicles into the ocean. From the blood that welled up from Uranus and reached the earth, the giants, erinias and meliades would have appeared.
The testicles would have produced a white foam from which Aphrodite emerged. Uranus swore revenge and would have called his children Titenes (Τιτῆνες; meaning, according to Hesiod, "the strivers," for going beyond their limits and daring to commit such an act).
After getting rid of Uranus, Kronos again imprisoned the Hecatônquiros and the Cyclopes and sent the dragon Campe to guard them. From then on, the world was ruled by the line of the Titans, who, according to Hesiod, constituted the second divine generation. It was during the reign of Kronos that humanity (newborn) experienced its golden age.
Kronos married his sister Reia, who bore him six children (the Kronids): three women, Hestia, Demeter and Hera and three men, Hades, Posidon and Zeus.
Because he was afraid of being dethroned because of a curse from an oracle, Kronos swallowed his children at birth. He ate all of them, except Zeus, whom Reia managed to save by deceiving Kronos by wrapping a stone (the onphallus stone) in a cloth, which he swallowed without realizing the exchange.
Reia hid Zeus in a cave on Mount Ida in Crete. According to some versions, Zeus would have been suckled by the goat Amalthea, while a group of curettes made noise to prevent Kronos from hearing when the baby cried.
Other versions of the myth say that Zeus was raised by the nymph Adamanteia, who kept Zeus tied up on a rope suspended between the earth, sea, and sky, which were the domain of Kronos. Other versions still say that Zeus was raised by his grandmother, Gaia.
When Zeus grew up, he decided to take revenge on his father, requesting the support of Métis - the Prudence - daughter of the titan Ocean. She offered Kronos a magic potion that made him vomit up the children he had devoured. Then followed the titanomachy, a fight between Zeus, his brothers and sisters, hecatons and cyclops on one side, and Kronos and the other titans on the other.
Then Zeus became lord of heaven and supreme deity of the third generation of gods in Greek mythology by banishing the titans to Tartarus and removing their father from the throne.
According to Homer's words, Zeus bound him with chains in the underworld, where he was found, after ten years of fierce fighting, by his brothers, the titans, who had thought they could regain power from Zeus and the gods of Mount Olympus.
In some variants of the myth, Kronos and the titans are reached by Zeus' mercy, freed from Tartarus, and each resumes his cosmological role in the universe. With the permission of his son, Hades, Kronos becomes the ruler of the Elysian Fields (which is located in the nether world), a resting place for the blessed dead. According to Virgil's Aeneid, Kronos, after being defeated by Zeus, took refuge in Latium, where he became king and lawgiver.
Kronos and the oceanid Philira are said to have been the parents of the wise centaur Chiron, of Dolops, and of Aphrus, the ancestor and eponym of the Aphroi, that is, the Africans.
The star HD 240430 was nicknamed "Cronos" in 2017 when it was learned that it swallowed its planets.