Greek & Roman Mythology – Uranus

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There is a charm in the name of ancient Greece; there is glory in every page of her history; there is a fascination in the remains of her literature, and a sense of unapproachable beauty in her works of art; there is a spell in her climate still, and a strange attraction in her ruins.  

Here we cover the Greek God Uranus, other posting examine more particularly the religious belief of the Greeks and Romans, with the view of preparing the way for the descriptions that follow of the gods individually.

Uranus

Council of the GodsUranus is a personification of the sky as the ancients saw and understood its phenomena, and with him, according to the version of mythology usually accepted by the Greeks, commences the race of gods. Next succeeded Cronus, and lastly, Zeus (Jupiter).  With regard to this triple succession of supreme rulers of the world, we should notice the different and progressive signification of their three names, Uranus signifying the heavens viewed as husband of the earth, and by his warmth and moisture producing life and vegetation everywhere on it; Cronus, his successor, being the god of harvest, who also ripened and matured every form of life; while in the person of Zeus (Jupiter), god of the light of heaven, as his name implies, culminated the organization and perfectly wise and just dispensation of the affairs of the universe.  Uranus, as we have already observed, was a son of Gaea (the earth), whom he afterward married, the fruit of that union being the Titans, the Hecatoncheires, and the Cyolopes.

The Hecatoncheires, or Centimani, beings each with a hundred hands, were three in number: Cottus, Gyges or Gyes, and Briareus, and represented the frightful crashing of waves and its resemblance to the convulsion of earthquakes. The Cyolopes also were three in number: Brontes with his thunder, Steropes with his lightning, and Arges with his stream of light. They were represented as having only one eye, which was placed at the juncture between nose and brow. It was, however, a large flashing eye, as became beings who were personifications of the storm-cloud, with its flashes of destructive lightning and peals of thunder.

Excerpt from The Manual of Mythology by Alexander Stuart Murray – 1897

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Further Reading and External Links

Uranus – God of the Sky

Uranus – at the Roman Colosseum