Getting to Know Greek Gods: Remember the Titans

Contributor: Melissa Kowalski. Lesson ID: 11010

What was the Titanomachy? Is Tartarus something you put on fish? Examine the Greek god family tree of superheroes before adding your own god to the pantheon!


Mythology, World

Social Studies
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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Some people use the phrase, "It's all Greek to me," when they don't understand something.

From now on, you'll use the phrase because you're an expert on Greek mythology and can make connections to present-day references with ancient Greek beliefs!

Begin with the Titans, the first gods in a long line of Greek mythological deities.

Greek mythology is a set of fascinating and sometimes contradictory stories about the gods and goddesses that ancient Greek citizens worshiped in their city-states.

Greeks built temples for the gods they worshipped and created stories to accompany each god and goddess. In many cases, these stories helped to explain natural phenomena for people that they couldn't otherwise explain through reason or primitive science.

For example, they used these stories to calm themselves and make sense of why the seasons changed and why lighting and thunder occurred during a storm.

These stories have been preserved for thousands of years in the writings of famous Greek poets and playwrights, such as Homer, who wrote the Odyssey and the Iliad, that chronicled the travels and tribulations of the Greek King Odysseus as he attempted to return to the island of Ithaca after the Trojan War.

Many early Greek arts, including sculptures and mosaics, often depicted the idealized images of the gods and goddesses so people could relate a persona to the stories.

Greek vase painting

There are hundreds of gods and goddesses in Greek mythology, but many play a minor role in mythological stories.

The Greeks were the first to create these stories, so when the Romans conquered the ancient Greek city-states, they adopted many of the same gods and replaced the original Greek names with Latin names. Each story you read in this lesson will provide the Roman equivalent of the Greek name.

There were two major groups of primary Greek gods: the Titans and the Olympians.

The Titans were the firstborn set of gods and goddesses, and many of them were the parents, aunts, and uncles of the Olympic gods and goddesses. The Titans were centered on Mt. Othrys, while the Olympians occupied Mt. Olympus.

The Olympians eventually overthrew their elders after a ten-year battle known as the Titanomachy. Zeus, the leader of the Olympians, then banished any Titan who had fought against him to Tartarus, the deepest part of the underworld.

Thus, it was said that the Olympians went on to rule until Christians chased them out after the death of Emperor Julian in 363 A.D., who was the last Roman emperor to worship secular gods.

Myth says the Greek gods can't truly die — they are still hiding to this day in deep forests and caves somewhere in the world.

To learn more, explore Titans :: The Original Greek Gods. Poke around the different gods and goddesses within the articles.

To help with the family connections among the primary Greek gods, check out this simplified Greek Gods Family Tree for the Titans and the Olympians.

If you enjoyed reading about the Titans, you can also check out more of their Myth Stories.

Continue to the Got It? section to test your new-found knowledge!

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