ClassicsGreek MythologyMythology

6 Titans That Aren’t in Tartarus

Popular perception is that all the titans ended up in Tartarus after the Titanomachy.  That’s not accurate. While the definition of ‘titan’ is a bit murky, even if you’re only counting the first generation of titans, many avoided Tartarus. This is especially true of the second-generation titans, many of whom remained free and played roles in later myths. Here are 6 titans that aren’t in Tartarus.

Table of Contents

1. Eos

Eos

Sometimes referred to as the goddess of dawn, it might be more accurate to refer to her as the Titaness of dawn instead. Her parents were Hyperion and Theia and she can be considered a second-generation titan. She shows up in a number of stories after the Titanomachy, the most famous one being where she beseeches Zeus to grant immortality to her lover Tithonus, but forgets to ask for eternal youth. 

2. Leto

Leto (Latona), 1878

A second-generation titan, Leto was also the mother of Apollo and Artemis. She played a role in the Trojan War, and had the dubious honor of being the only one of Zeus’ divine lovers who was tormented by Hera. She also saved Apollo from being tossed into Tartarus for killing one of Zeus’ sons in revenge for Zeus killing Asclepius.

3. Mnemosyne

Mnemosyne (color) Rossetti

One of the original 12, and the personification of memory, Mnemosyne was the mother of the 9 Muses and, in some stories, controlled a pool in the underworld that was the opposite of the Lethe, the river of forgetfulness.

4. Helios

Helios the Sun God

Another second-generation titan, and brother of Eos, Helios is where we originally get the imagery of the chariot-drawn sun. His roles were largely later absorbed by Apollo, but he shows up in a number of myths, including the Iliad, the story of Phaeton, and the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. 

5. Oceanus

Oceanus at Trevi

He was one of the original 12 titans, father of rivers, 3000 oceanids, and was…literally the ocean encircling the world. He seems to have remained neutral during the titanomachy (though several of his daughters did fight on Zeus’ side) and shows up in several later stories with Heracles and Prometheus.

6. Themis

Themis - the ancient Greek Titaness

Themis is one of the original titans and, though she doesn’t have much of a role in later myths, it’s clear that she was not imprisoned. She’s directly referenced in the Illiad, showing up at least twice, and was present for Apollo’s birth, both of which took place after the titans were imprisoned.

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