The Theogony (are) Greek Θεογονία origin of the gods, born of God and θεός γίγνεσθαι ( incurred ) is a work of Hesiod, in which the origin of the world and of the gods is described in the sequence of their rule. It is one next to the Odyssey and the Iliad of Homer to the oldest sources (about 700 BC) the Greek mythology.


Hesiod's Theogony is initiated with the consecration poet by the Muses. This present Hesiod as a scepter " a Gesproß fresh verdant laurel " and bring it to a divine song, so they consecrate him to the singer of the Theogony.

After this proem begins Hesiod's poetic report from becoming the world and on the descent of the Gods: The cosmos has its origin from the appearance of six Urgottheiten. These are Chaos, Gaia, Tartarus, Eros, Nyx and Erebus. Whether these six independently develop or whether emerge from chaos, the other five, is unclear. In general, however, the latter is assumed.

Next, Gaia gives birth by Eros - without copulation in sleep - Uranus, the sky, the Ourea, the mountains, and Pontus, the sea. Nyx and Erebus testify Aether, the air, and Hemera, the day. From Gaia and Uranus, the Titans, the Cyclopes and the Hekatonchires come from. Ouranos hides his children in the earth and Gaia can not give birth to. This angered Gaea and she donates Kronos, one of the Titans, for the overthrow of. Kronos castrated on their advice his father with a sickle, throwing the limb into the sea. He is the ruler of the second generation of gods through the emasculation of his father. From the blood that falls from Uranus ' link on Gaia, created the giants, the Furies and the Melian nymphs. From the seeds of the centrifuged in the Pontos member grows out Aphrodite.

In this first longer story more genealogies follow. There are the descendants of Nyx enumerated, that of the Pontos and the descendants of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys, the Oceanids and the rivers. The following are the descendants of the Titans Theia and Hyperion, the Titan Kreios with the daughter of Pontos Eurybia and the Titans Phoebe and Coeus. Finally, the offspring of Cronus and Rhea are: Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, Poseidon and Zeus.

After Kronos of Uranus and Gaia was predicted that he would be overthrown by one of his sons, he devours his children. Rhea, however, it is possible to hide Zeus and instead to let Kronos devouring a waxed -punched stone. Through a ruse Kronos vomits the stone and the other children, whereupon Gaia shows them the hiding place of the Cyclopes. Zeus freed them and receives from the Cyclopes forged the thunder, the Zündkeil and the flash.

After describing the birth of Zeus, the genealogy of the Titan Iapetus by Clymene Oceanid follows. These are all punished by Zeus for their misdeeds, including Prometheus, the chained to a pillar an eagle erodes his liver until Hercules freed him later. ( In other traditions, such as in the tragedy of Aeschylus, Prometheus was chained at the command of Zeus by Hephaestus chained to a rock in the Caucasus. ) The punishment of Prometheus is explained only: Prometheus distributed a slaughtered ox, which he tried to deceive Zeus. The meat he put in a pile and covered it with skin and stomach, to another pile he put the bones and covered them with fat. Zeus realized the deception and yet chose the heap with the bones, since the human sacrifice to the gods, the bones and eat the meat itself Zeus then hides the fire before men, but Prometheus steals it and brings it back to them. Zeus Hephaestus leaves the Pandora out of clay make and send them to the people, to bring them misfortune.

After the Prometheus story, the further course of the Titans is described. Zeus and his siblings run for ten years war against the Titans, to Gaia reveals the hiding place of Hekatonchires. These are freed and together they defeat the Titans and banished them to Tartarus, where they are guarded by the Hekatocheiren. This is followed by a longer description of Tartarus and its inhabitants. It follows a final confrontation: After the exile of the Titans Gaia gives birth to Typhoeus to dethrone the gods. He almost achieves victory, but is then attacked by a lightning bolt of Zeus, and banished to Tartarus, where incurring damaging winds. After this last battle Zeus is determined by the other gods to the ruler.

The following is a catalog of the marriages of Zeus, first with the Metis. Gaia prophesied Zeus, a son of Metis would overthrow him, as he also rushed Kronos and Uranus this, then he devours his wife. Zeus gives birth to Athena from his head then. After the marriages with other goddesses, the compounds of Zeus follow with mortal women, and marriages of the other Olympians. With its own prologue follows last a catalog of goddesses who have offspring with mortal men.


In the gods myths of Hesiod, the separation of religion phase before settling down by the gods of agriculture reflects. These have sons that they replace ( overthrow ). You should themselves have in turn overthrown their "fathers": allows the model to agriculture, religion is projected back to the prehistoric times. In Hesiod distinguished on the basis of the Greek religious history of three to four generations of gods from. The first generation, Gaia and Uranus, apparently thinks heaven and earth before the introduction of agriculture. Its first God was Kronos, father of Zeus, the emasculated Uranus. He had 12 children who are believed to be apportioned between the older and younger Titans. Uranus was probably just the father of the younger gods, while his father's name - the previous generation of gods so - was lost. Kronos devours his children: this is interpreted as a metaphor for human sacrifice, possibly even cannibalism. Kronos is then in turn replaced by Zeus, who appears to be less archaic and reflects a time, had stopped in the human victims. Apollo could already reflect the transition from the Greek polytheism to a monotheism.


The Greek gods are shown to be a generally good and humane, but have pretty much all negative human characteristics. Already Xenophanes therefore gave Homer and Hesiod their anthropomorphism ago:


  • Friedrich Solmsen (ed.): Hesiodi Theogonia Opera et This Scvtvm. Editio Tertia. Oxford 1990. ISBN 978-0198140719 (Oxford Classical Texts )
  • Otto Schönberger (translators and eds ): Hesiod, " Theogony ". Greek / German. Philipp Reclam jun. ³ 2002. ISBN 3-15-009763-0
  • Albert of Schirnding (translator and publisher): Hesiod, Theogony. Works and Days. Greek / German. Artemis and Winkler, Zurich / Dusseldorf ³ 2002. ( Introduction and register: Ernst Günther Schmidt). ISBN 3760816657