The Titan god of light and the cycles of day and night, sun and moon

Hyperion was the Titan god of light or sunlight and was associated with watching and observation from above. He was also known as the Pillar of the east. Together with his other three brothers, Crius, Coeus and Iapetus, they presided as the Pillars of holding Heaven and Earth apart.

He was one of six sons of Uranus and Gaea and is mentioned by Apollodorus as one of the five brothers, all but Oceanus, who participated in rebellion against Uranus and later attacked him. When they overcame him, the four brothers probably held him down, while Cronus castrated him. While most of the authors are identifying Hyperion as unique character, Homer is equating Helios and Hyperion as one and the same character and it can be seen in both of his epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Establishing a rhythm of days and months

Due to his diligent observation, he was first to understand the movements of the sun and the moon, as well as the other stars and seasons. He was believed to have ordered the cycles of the sun, the moon, and the dawn. During his time, he married her sister Theia with whom he had three children who presided over these cycles. Helios presided over sun, Selene over the moon, while Eos presided over the dawn.


Although there are notes of Hyperion participating in Titanomachy, there is no reference of his role in the war. It is only known that he sided with his brothers and fellow Titans against younger Olympians. And that he was in the end, after losing the war, imprisoned in Tartarus with his brothers and relatives. However, according to Aeschylus' lost play , he was later released by Zeus from Tartarus with the rest of the titans.



Hyperion and all of his brothers were seen as ancient gods that were responsible for the creation of man, each titan bestowing a quality on mankind. Hyperion was assumed to have given man the gift of sight because his name actually means "he who watches from above". Hyperion's wife, Theia, was also the Titaness of sight so it made sense that they would give mankind that gift. Another things that made the Greeks think that Hyperion and Theia gave this gift is because they believed that eyes emitted a small beam of light that allowed them to see.



[1] "Greek Gods"

[2] "Greek Mythology"

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