Iapetus: The Greek God of the Starry Sky


     Iapetus was, in Greek Mythology, the Elder God (Titan) of the Starry Sky. He was the son of Uranus and Gaia and one of the essential ancient deities. He was often associated with Chronos, the deity of time.

Iapetus in Greek Mythology:

     Iapetus, in Greek Mythology according to the tradition of Hesiod, is one of the 12 classic Titans, children of Uranus, the sky god (ancestor and grandfather of Zeus) and Gaia, the Earth (representation of our planet). He is the father of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoethius. He is often associated with the starry sky (often confused with his father), the titan god of time, life span and mortality, especially violent death. In Latin, an expression "audax Japeti genus", that is, "the audacious offspring of Iapetus", designates humanity.


     Iapetus, "The Perforator" is one of the titans highlighted by Homer in his work The Iliad, as a prisoner in Tartarus alongside Kronos. Lord of the West, ruled alongside Cronus and his brothers during the Golden Age, when the titans ruled the world and there was a new human creation (it would be compared to the heaven of Christians, men and women devoid of human needs: hunger, thirst, pain, suffering. All always happy and complete for all eternity). They became rulers, however, through the conspiracy created by their mother against their consort Uranus. Iapetus, along with his brothers, prepared an ambush when he went down to bed with Gaia.

     Crio, Coeus, Hyperion and Iapetus positioned themselves in the four corners of the world to hold the celestial god while Cronos, hidden in the center, castrated Uranus with a scythe. In this myth, Iapetus and the three brothers represent the four cosmic pillars that, in the cosmogonies of the Middle East, separate heaven and earth. Iapetus was the pillar of the west, a position later occupied by his son Atlas.

Your Children:

     He is mentioned as the father of four children from his union with the nymph Climene, daughter of Oceano and Thetis. These are the descendants:

  • Atlas: also known as Atlante: "what supports", condemned by Zeus to eternally sustain the heavens after having supported the titans when they rebelled;
  • Prometheus: "what you think before" - one of the titans who supported Zeus against Kronos. Creator of men and giver of fire to mankind, he was condemned to be chained for 30,000 years, with an eagle eating his liver daily, but was freed by Heracles;
  • Epimetheus: "what to think after" - created animals and men with his brother Prometheus. He received Pandora as his wife, who opened the box that spread evils in the world;
  • Menoethius: "power of pain" - killed by Zeus, who shot him with lightning during Titanomachy and banished to Tartarus.

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