Why are the children of titans gods?

For example Zeus and his siblings are gods, but their parents are two titans(Cronus and Rhea)/

Is it just that the name changes or?

Pretty much just nomenclature. Giants, Titans, Gods. They are the three generations of mighty immortals who ruled the world. Ouranos, then Kronus, then Zeus.

Hesiod’s Theogony is fairly easy reading, and kind of fun. He goes into detail in the long lists of genealogy. (Hm… I thought I knew how to spell genealogy…)

Hesiod gives some hints that the earlier generations were less sophisticated. The Giants and Titans were big, but kinda dumb and brutal. (Prometheus was an exception.) Only the Olympians had the finer taste and sensibility to rule with the ideals of philosopher kings (when they weren’t having sex with anything that moved and several things that didn’t.)

See, those old guys weren’t dumb. They knew there’d be a ‘turtling’ problem if they claimed the gods were children of gods. So they’re not stuck with the creationist paradox of ‘where did god come from’. You’d think other religions would have caught on by now.

The ultimate point of a lot of the stories was the replacement of Nature (represented by the earlier, more brutally powerful but coarser, generations) by Civilizations (represented by the more sophisticated gods).

I hadn’t ever heard it put that way, but, yeah, it makes sense.

(Of course, you have Hesiod and the races of mankind, from the Golden race, to the Silver race, to the Iron race, etc. Each subsequent race of mankind was less noble and sophisticated, from philosopher-kings, to corrupted kings, to mere warriors.)

(Also, I know I’m putting too much emphasis on Hesiod, and not enough on the other writers. Personal preference; sorry.)

ETA: “He even walks like Democritus!”

It’s gods all the way down.

No, it’s gods down to the Titans.

One theory is that cultures with different groupings of gods are holdovers from when separate populations had separate gods. When people A conquer people B, the gods of people B are given secondary roles in the pantheon. Having them lose a battle to the newcomers’ gods and lose some/most of their power is typical.

Throwing in a genealogy to make the gods related in some way will be added later. So the son/daughter of stuff is relatively secondary. I.e., they had been gods for a very long time on their own before the parent/child stuff came along.

The Titans/Olympians fit this theory quite well. (As well as Vanir/Æsir groupings of the Norse.)

There may be a holdover in some of these groupings of hunter-gatherer religion vs. farmer-herder religion as the newcomers might have been farming folk conquering the indigenous less technologically advanced people. So some “civilization” aspect may be a secondary property of the new gods. But it’s not always a one step process. For the archaic Hellenes, the horse and chariot plus bronze might have been the big tech that helped them spread. So the Titans might have been the gods of people already farming.

When one group conquers another and then rewrites the myths, I’ve always wondered how this was presented to people exactly. Was it, “We’ve learned something new about the Gods!” Or, “We always knew this but never bothered to mention it before!” Or, “This is what we’ve always been saying, and Eurasia has always been at war with Oceania!” Or, “We all know these are just stories and here’s the new story!” Or what…?

In the case of the Greeks, “progress” in terms of the mythology sometimes occurred in public poetry contests. The poets would claim that they were inspired by the Muses or some other source of revealed truth.

I don’t know if there is any way for us to know for sure how much they actually believed this. Maybe they knew they were just making up stories…but maybe they really did think the Muses imparted lore to them.

(Even today, creative writers can’t always tell the difference. Kurt Vonnegut had a noteworthy aside in one of his books regarding the “independence” of his fictional characters.)

<Sigh> Finally a topic comes up that I can contribute to… and all the cool things I knew have already been posted.
By others.
:frowning:

Serves me right for working on a Saturday afternoon.

People were quite broad minded about their theology. Lots of different versions existed. Temples at the place of birth/death/other significant event for various gods/demi-gods/heroes existed in duplicate all over the place. New stories got invented, old, unfavored ones got lost, things evolved. Sort of like the tales of saints in the middle ages.

Since the big shots (kings and such) claimed descent from the gods, thinks got kind of political. When a king got powerful, his supporters would “emphasize” the ancestral god’s achievements, inventing new ones if need be, and downplaying the roles of rival gods (which would be ancestors of rival notables).

The average Joe couldn’t exactly go check it out in Wikipedia and questioning things might be a little dangerous.

People were still doing this political/descent/ancient heroic ancestry stuff until nearly modern times. Check out Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britanniae (1136). The King of England is the rightful heir of Roman and Trojan kingship. (Who of course are descended from gods.)

You also get this in the Bible. Jesus is descended from David in two entirely different ways. And of course a lot of people of today believe that is true.

No, the titans are just other gods. The ones we usually call “the Greek gods” are more formally the Olympians. At least, that’s how Wikipedia has it, and that makes a lot more sense to me. Define the word god in a generic sense–in what way do the Titans not measure up but the Olypians do?

Also, don’t forget that there are gods that come before the Titans, and before those gods comes Chaos itself.

Man, this does not work at all. I was waiting for someone to counter with the question “So where did the Titans come from” so I could answer “Tennessee”.

Anyway, the idea that Titans represent more primitive gods sounds pretty good.

Titans came from Houston.

I’ve been reading Robert Graves’ book on and off recently, and although he has some (let us be kind and call them) quaint ideas, what he says does boil down to this.