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CRONUS

Real Name:Cronus

Occupation: God of time, former god of earth, former ruler of Latium (modern Rome) (c. 1000 BC), former ruler of Olympus and king of the gods

Legal Status: Exiled citizen of Olympus

Identity: The general populace of Earth is unaware of Cronus except as a figure of mythological origin.

Other Aliases: Saturn, Satur (Roman names), Chronos, Kronus, Kronos (alternate spellings), "Father Time"

Place of Birth: Unrevealed

Marital Status: Separated

Known Relatives: Ouranus (father), Gaea (mother), Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Japetus, Oceanus, Ophion (brothers), Dione, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, Theia, Themis (sisters), Rhea (sister/wife), Zeus, Poseidon, Hades (sons), Hera, Demeter, Hestia (daughters), Chiron (son by Philyra), Plute (daughter by Philyra), Picus (son by unknown mortal woman), Slaughter, Harrier, Arch, Titan (sons by Circe), Oblivion, Disdain, Devastation (daughters by Circe), Hercules, Apollo, Ares, Hephaestus, Hermes, Dionysus, Triton, Consus, Vertumnus (grandsons), Artemis, Athena, Aphrodite, Eileithyia, Hebe, Discord, Helen, Pandia, Pomona (grand-daughters), Tantalus (grandson, deceased), Brutus, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, Octavius Caesar, King Arthur, Mordred (descendants, deceased) 

Group Affiliation: former member of the Gods of Olympus

Base of Operations: Tartarus, formerly Latium, formerly the Elysian Fields (The Isles of the Blessed), formerly Olympus

First Appearance: New Teen Titans I #11

History: Cronus is the youngest son of Ouranus, ruler and ancestor of a race of an extra-dimensional race of beings known as the Olympian gods. Ouranus was said to be conceived by Gaea, the primeval mother-goddess spirit who shared her life-force with that of the Earth. Ouranus mated with Gaea and fathered the Titans, the original gods of Greece, who were born physical perfect. Ouranus was greatly pleased by his progeny and mated with Gaea again, and she gave birth to the Cyclopes, three sons born with only one eye each. Ouranus mated with Gaea again and had three more monstrous sons, the Hecatocheiroi, who were born with a multitude of arms. Gaea greatly loved all her children, but Ouranus was greatly embarrassed by the Cyclops and the Hecatocheiroi and he imprisoned them away in Tartarus, the most dismal section of the extra dimensional underworld later known as Hades, so he would not have to look upon them. (Ouranus and Cronus are not to be confused with the eternals Uranus and Cronos, the latter of whom is also known as Kronos.) 

Gaea grieved greatly for the Cyclopes and the Hecatocheiroi and desired to free them from the underworld. She called upon the Titans for one of them brave enough to overthrow their father and free their brothers from the underworld, but they all refused from fear of him and his power. From among them, Cronus promised to carry out her wishes and took a scythe to slay Ouranus. Cronus overthrew his father's rule of the gods by fatally wounding him. The dying Ouranus prophesized that Cronus would likewise be overthrown by one of his own children. Cronus also slew the Titan Ophion for control of Mount Olympus to establish his seat of power and took the Titaness Rhea as his wife.

As a result of Ouranus' dying prophesy, upon the birth of his own children, Cronus had the infant imprisoned in Tartarus. The offspring he sent there were Hades, Hestia, Demeter and Hera. (Later legends erroneously claimed that Cronus had actually swallowed his children and that they remained alive inside him until released by their brother Zeus.) He also dallied with other goddesses such as Philyra, a minor sea-goddess, who conceived the Centaur Chiron and Plute, mother of the Lydian king, Tantalus. Appalled by the mistreatment of her children Rhea accepted guidance from Gaea and had concealed the birth of Poseidon from him and hid him among the shepards of Mantineia, an area of land now known as Greece, returning with one of the foal which Cronus consumed without hesitation given Chiron's appearance as a Centaur. Rhea likewise concealed her sixth pregnancy from Cronus and secretly gave birth to Zeus on Mount Lycaeum in Arcadia, another area of land now known as Greece. Rhea gave the infant Zeus to the safekeeping of Gaea, who hid the baby in the cave of Dicte on Aegean Hill on the isle of Crete, where he was tended by various minor goddesses.

While Cronus ruled as king of the gods, he achieved a period of paradise upon earth without war or death and was eventually worshipped as god of time, having outgrown his worship as an earth-god. As Zeus matured, he gathered a retinue of allies from his siblings, the Cyclops and the Hecatocheiroi as well as a few Titans disenchanted by Cronus. Zeus fought to conquer Olympus in a ten year war which ended with Zeus's victory. He imprisoned most of the male Titans in Tartarus and established himself as ruler of the gods, sharing his dominance of Earth with Poseidon and Hades, who took dominance over the seas and the underworld, respectively.

Escaping imprisonment in Tartarus, Cronus was exiled to Elysia, the Isles of the Blessed near the Black Sea. He eventually became king of Laurentium in ancient Italy, leaving the throne to his son, Picus, by a mortal woman when he departed Earth for the last time. Laurentium was increased into the city of Latium by his descendant, King Latinus, who turned it over to the Trojan refugee Aeneas, ancestor of the later Roman Emperors, who turned it into Alba Longa, the foundation upon which the city of Rome was built. The Roman Empire called Cronus by the name Saturn, considering him ancestor of all the Roman Emperors, such as Julius Caesar. His descendant, Brutus, later laid siege to Britain and became ancestor to the Sixth Century Celtic ruler, King Arthur.

At some point in the past, Cronus was apparently imprisoned within Olympus under unknown means. Whether he was imprisoned when Zeus conquered Olympus and briefly escaped at some point to father Picus and was re-imprisoned is unknown. At some point, Theia, goddess of the sun and one of the Titans, managed to escape Tartarus and traveled to Earth, posing as a mortal woman to gain power and a stronghold to attack Olympus on her own. In doing so, she released Cronus and the other Titans to join her, but they were opposed by the Teen Titans, Wonder Woman leading an army of Amazon warriors and several heroes from Earth.

At some point, Cronus enlisted the aide of the witch-goddess Circe to aid him in his plans of conquest. (Whether this was the goddess Circe who knew Odysseus or another sorceress impersonating her is unrevealed. Accounts of this modern Circe actually identify her as the witch, Medea, who once bewitched the mortal hero, Jason.) Cronus seduced Circe and she spawned him a host of progeny who he passed off as Titans. He returned to lay siege to Olympus in a sneak attack then turned his attention to the other gods of Earth. With the Norse gods lost on Earth in mortal identities, he directed his gaze toward Nirvana and the Hindu gods, but he made his error by mounting an attack on Elysium, the Judeo-Christian afterlife, where he was attacked by Wonder Woman leading the Olympian and Hindu deities. Unable to defeat Cronus on her own, she called upon Gaea to help her, and she took it upon herself to remove from him his godly gifts, making him easy to defeat and once more return to Tartarus.

Sometime after, the boundaries of Tartarus were breached once more and Cronus in his weakened state tried to regain Olympus with a host of creatures serving him, but this time he clashed with Hercules and the Hulk standing in his way. Dispatched by the heroes, he was forced back into Tartarus once more. 

Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 645 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: White (Red in his youth)

Strength Level: Cronus possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift (press) somewhere around 60 tons under optimal conditions. In his prime, he has Class 100 level strength enabling him to lift (press) well over 100 tons under optimal conditions.

Known Superhuman Powers: Cronus possesses the conventional physical attributes of the Olympian gods. Like all Olympians, he is immortal: he has not aged since reaching adulthood and cannot die by any conventional means. He is immune to all Earthly diseases and is resistant to conventional injury. If he were somehow wounded, his godly life force would enable him to recover with superhuman speed. It would take an injury of such magnitude that it dispersed a major portion of his bodily molecules to cause him a physical death. Even then, it might be possible for a god of significant power, such as Ouranus or even Zeus, Poseidon and Apollo or for a number of Olympian gods of equal power working together to revive him. Cronus also possesses superhuman strength and his Olympian metabolism provides him with far greater than human endurance in all physical activities. (Olympian flesh and bone is about three times as dense as similar human tissue, contributing to the Olympians' superhuman strength and weight.)

Cronus can also tap into and manipulate extraordinary mystical energies to perform feats of magic. His level of mastery is possibly equaled or at least rivaled by other gods such as Zeus, Odin or Vishnu. He can conjure considerable fields of energy into shields and concussive force and create interdimensional portals for moving between dimensions (such as from Olympus to Earth and other dimensions). He can shapeshift and change his form into various animals such as horses and rams. He can call upon Gaea for additional energies without having to tax his normal godly powers. Contrary to belief, he has no prophetic abilities of his own. His full extent of power is unrevealed, but he may be equal to Zeus in power.

Backed by sufficient energies, such as the enigmatic Godwave, Cronus can wield enough cosmic power to affect even the Olympian and Hindu gods, such as turning them to stone, piercing the dimensional borders between their worlds unhindered and channeling power into his progeny, but once this bond can be broken, he returns to his normal power levels. Presumably, there is an upper threshold of power which he can command and channeling such amounts of power tires him out quickly. Furthermore, he is not used to the precision of such power as say Odin has, actually making him more apt to making mistakes and rendering him more vulnerable when he starts channeling far more energies than he can control. 

Limitations: Like all of the Olympian gods, Cronus is dependant on ambrosia for retaining his youth and vigor. He cannot die due to his immortal status, but he is reliant upon ambrosia for his youth and vigor. Without it, he takes on the physical appearance of a being several millennia in age.

Comments: Cronus has appeared in both of the the Marvel and DC Universes. In the "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" mythos, Cronus was reportedly slain by Zeus, one of his ribs used by Hercules to slay Zeus to keep him from slaying Xena, but this can easily be construed as part of the fictional "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" TV-Series as per the episode, "Yes, Virginia, There is A Hercules." 

The Romans did not have deeply personified gods as the Greeks. They were a people of deep religious feeling, but they did not have the creativity of the Greeks. They believed their gods were more vague; according to mythologian Edith Hamilton, they could never have created gods each with a distinct personality as the Greeks. They referred to their deities as Numina, or "The Powers," not as Olympians, which is actually a more modern term than a mythological one.

Contrary to usual belief (and DC Comics), not all the Titans sided with Cronus, among them, Oceanus, Tethys, Dione, Mnemosyne, Themis, Theia, Helios, Eos, Selene, Hecate, Prometheus, Eprimetheus, Kratos, Bia, Zealos, and Nike. 

The modern depiction of an infant taking over for an older fatherly figure at New Year's Eve is based on the story of Zeus, the younger more powerful god, replacing Cronus, the older descendent god stepping down from a place of power. (Which is another reason I dislike the Rankin/Bass holiday special, "Rudolph's Shiny New Year.")

From the name of Cronus, we get the word "chronos" meaning "time."

CLARIFICATIONS: Cronus is not to be confused with:  

Last updated: 06/22/08