Oceanus | Greek Titan

Oceanus Greek Mythology

Ocean (Greek: Ωκεανός, transl.: Ōkeanós), in Greek mythology, is the firstborn son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth), therefore the oldest of the titans. He was the god of flowing waters, of the ebb and flow, and the origin of all liquid masses and fresh water sources in the world.

Ocean was also the god who regulated the rising and setting of the heavenly bodies, which were believed to rise and fall in his watery realm at the ends of the earth. In the Greek cosmogony, the god Ocean was the great primordial cosmic river that surrounded the world, keeping it tight in the circular network of its waters.

In the Hellenistic period, with the evolution of geographical knowledge, he became the god who personified the planet's oceans, making the distant Atlantic the headquarters of his aquatic domain, while Poseidon reigned over the Mediterranean. The oceans are so named in honor of this ancient god.

In the Iliad (epic poem), Ocean is called "the father of all beings. He united with his sister Thetis, goddess of pure water sources and personification of the underground aquifers that feed the world, and with her he begot all rivers, wells, springs, and rain clouds.

The couple begot more than 6000 children, consisting of 3000 daughters (Oceânides) and 3000 sons (Potamoi), deities related to water and rivers. In Titanomachy, Oceano and his wife did not take the side of the Titans, gaining immense prestige among the Olympians. Ocean and Thetis were the adoptive parents of the goddess Hera, queen of the gods.

Oceano served as patriarch and common ancestor for several divine generations, this because his daughters Oceânides were wives and companions of various gods, whether protogenoi (primordial), titans, or Olympians.

The Oceânides were nymphs (minor deities of nature) of great beauty, goddesses of streams, clouds, rain, springs and fountains; the older ones were personifications of divine blessings or abstract concepts.

Among the main ones were Metis (goddess of prudence and good counsel), Clemene (goddess of fame), Eurynome (goddess of the meadows and pastures), Doris (goddess of the meeting of the river with the sea and of the rich fishing grounds at the mouth of the rivers), Dione (goddess of the oracle of Dodona), Tikhé (goddess of good fortune and luck),

Telesto (goddess of success), Peithó (goddess of persuasion and seduction), Paregoron (goddess of consolation), Plouto (goddess of wealth), Electra (goddess of sunlit storm clouds), Pleione (goddess of abundance), Hesione (goddess of prescience), Rhodeia (goddess of blooming roses),

Rhodope (goddess of rose clouds of dawn), Eudora (goddess of fertile rains), Polydora (goddess of abundant rainfall), Galaxaura (goddess of the breeze that dissipates mist), and Perseis (cognomened "the destroyer," goddess of the destructive powers of magic). 

The male children of Oceanus and Thetis, on the other hand, were the potamoi, gods who personified the rivers existing throughout the earth. They had the same names as the rivers of which they were the divine manifestation. The potamoi were described as powerful gods and were feared by other deities.

Among the main river gods were Scamander (also known as Xanthus, he was the god of the river Scamander in Troy), Aqueloo (god-rian of Aetolia), Asterion (god-rian of Argos), Nile (god-rian of Egypt), Tigris (god-rian of Assyria), Euphrates (like his brother, god-rian of Assyria),

Orontes (god-rio of Syria), Ganges (god-rio of India), Eurotas (god-rio of Lacedemonia), Erimanthus (god-rio of Arcadia), Asopos (god-rio of Beotia and Argos), Ilissos (god-rio of Attica), Peneus (god-rio of Thessaly), Titaressos (also a god-rio of the region of Thessaly).

In addition to these, especially fearsome deities were the five river-gods of Hell: Aqueron (the river of pain), Phlegeton (the river of fire), Cocytus (the river of lamentation), Lethe (the river of forgetfulness), and Styx (the river of hatred), the latter two being oceanids.

Not very fond of conflict, Ocean would have refused to ally himself with Kronos in his revolt against his father Uranus. Although Oceanus also remained neutral in the conflict that pitted Olympians against Titans, he can be considered one of the architects of Zeus' victory over his brothers.

This is because, at the height of the war, Ocean advised the goddess Estige, his powerful eldest daughter, to abandon the camp of the titans and fight on the side of Zeus.

Styx was a goddess who represented everything that the underground world, the infernal world, and also the water world hold in the matter of dangerous force. The waters of the River Styx were so powerful that any mortal who drank from them would be immediately struck dead.

When she allies herself with Zeus, she takes with her to the battlefield the children born of her union with the god Palas, son of Creus: Nice (goddess of victory), Zeal (god of dedication), Cratos (god of strength and overpowering power), and Bia (god of brutal violence).

With the help of these titanesque forces, Zeus won victory and distributed honors and privileges to these who came out to his aid. Ocean and Tethys would continue to envelop the world in their liquid circuits and would always enjoy great respect and veneration from Zeus and the Olympians.

Styx would also be revered by the gods, and to honor it, the Olympians would descend into Hell and toast with its waters whenever they took an inviolable oath. If a god made a false and lying oath, he would be reduced to total lethargy, for the waters of Styx had the ability to rob the gods of vitality, leaving them in a state of deep coma.

In this sense, the oceanside was elevated to the status of divine arbiter: whenever a quarrel between gods threatened to turn into an open war, Styx was summoned to Olympus to suddenly put an end to the conflict by knocking out the contentious parties.

Finally, Zeus would not forget to honor her children: the king of the gods would permanently surround himself with Oceano's grandchildren, Cratos (the power of universal sovereignty) and Bia (the ability to unleash violence against which there is no possible defense).

More than honor or gratitude, Zeus really needed the assistance of the two to maintain divine order and his own protection. When Zeus was on the move, wherever he went, Cratos and Bia were always with him, on his right and left. Nice drove Zeus' chariot and accompanied Athena in battles.