Updated: Jul 20, 2022
This month we are beginning our exploration of Greek mythology. Together we'll discover gods, monsters and heroes – and boy, is there a lot to cover!
Titans vs Olympians
While you may have heard of Olympians like Poseidon and Athena, you’re probably less familiar with their older counterparts - the Titans. The Titans are ancient beings who ruled the Earth for thousands of years before their downfall at the hands of Zeus, who was the ruler of the Olympian gods.
A few Titans you may have heard of are Cronus, the father of the Greek gods who possessed superhuman strength and durability. There was also Prometheus, who was punished for introducing fire to humans thousands of years ago. These Titans were primordial beings, a term that means they had existed since the beginning of time. Many of the Titans were descendants of Gaea the Earth goddess, and Uranus the Sky god.
Strength of the Titans
The Titans were giants – beings of unimaginable size and power! The chemical element and metal ‘Titanium’ is named after the Titans because it is very strong and resistant to corrosion. We also get the name Titanic from the Titans, which was a famous ship built in 1909 that was said to be unsinkable (but famously, sank.)
Mythic Profile – Oceanus
One of the most powerful Titans was named Oceanus. This is pronounced O-KEE-AN-OS in ancient Greek, and O-SHEE-AN-US in Latin and English.
The early Greeks didn’t know that the Earth was round. Initially they believed that it was a flat surface encircled by a vast river-ocean. Oceanus was god of this river. In fact, he was the god of all freshwater on Earth including rivers, lakes and clouds.
Oceanus and his wife Tethys (another great Titan) famously had thousands of children. Their sons were known as the Potamoi, gods of rivers, while daughters were known as Oceanids, nymphs of freshwater springs & fountains.
What is Oceanus' Mouth of Truth?
The power associated with the Titans shouldn’t be underestimated. In Rome, there is a large sculpture-like disc depicting Oceanus, known as the Mouth of Truth, or Bocca della Verità. It is 2200 years old, is made from over 1200kg of marble, and is thought to depict the Titan Oceanus with his mouth and eyes wide open.
It is believed that if a liar places their hand in Oceanus’ mouth, they will lose it. The Mouth is like a magical ancient lie detector!
Make Your Own Mouth of Truth
You will need:
1 packet of air dry clay (available at most craft stores)
Acrylic paints in your favourite colours
Look at the photo of the Mouth of Truth above and use it as a reference to shape your clay into the face of the Titan Oceanus, with his eyes and mouth wide open. Be sure to make his mouth wide enough to poke a finger into!
Wait 1–2 days for your clay to dry completely (or refer to packet instructions.)
Once your model is completely dry, paint it with bright colours!
Place your Mouth of Truth at your doorstep and get your visitors to poke their fingers in its mouth. If they are liars, they might just lose a finger!