Children of Hyperion

Helius

Helius was the Greek sun god. He may be thought of as a personification of the sun. He became rather overshadowed by Apollo the lord of the sun. He was the son of Hyperion, who was also a sun god.

His role was to drive his chariot across the sky to provide daylight. He is accompanied in this daily trip by his sister Eos who heralds his arrival. He returns home at night on the river Oceanus in an enormous golden cup to hide the light. During his daily trip he sees much of what is happening on the earth. Due to his availability as a witness many Greeks swore their oaths in his name. It was on one of his daily trips that he spotted the abduction of Persephone.

Helius was away on his daily rounds when the gods divided up the world. Having otherwise completed this complex task, Zeus was reluctant to reopen the issue. This was resolved when Helius spotted the unassigned island of Rhodes and asked for it. The other gods were happy to give it to him. Helius remained the patron god of Rhodes throughout the classic period. Helius is the figure represented in the famous Colossus of Rhodes statue, that was considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Helius married Perse and had a number of children, most of whom had rather unsavory reputations. While Helius did not seem to have these bad traits he remained loyal to all of his children. A number of the children accompanied him from time to time on his chariot.

Helius also had quite a number of mistresses and affairs which produced children as well. The best known being Phaethon .

The most tragically poetic of these affairs began when during his daily tour he noticed Aphrodite and Ares carrying on. As was his habit in these matters he reported it to her husband Hephaestus . To retaliate Aphrodite used her abilities to cause Helius to fall in love with Leucothoe a Persian princess. Helius assumed the form of the girls mother to gain access to her bedroom. Once inside he assumed his normal form and seduced her. Word of this got to one on Helius mistresses, the nymph Clytie. Clytie informed the girls father who then buried Loucothoe alive, killing her. In his grief, Helius changed her body into the first frankincense. This put Clytie on the outs with Helius. She then wasted away. On her death she became the first heliotrope, a flower whose blossom follows the sun across the sky.

Selene

Selene is the goddess of the moon. She bore Zues a daughter - Pandia and allowed herself to be seduced by Pan for a good piece of fleece. Her great love was Endymion and handsome king of Elis. She bore him 50 daughters. Still love struck she offered to grant him a wish. He asked to sleep forever without aging, thus retaining his good looks for all time.

Eos

Goddess of the dawn. She rode on Helius chariot each day. Her first mate was Astraeus. Their offspring was Boreas (the North Wind), Notus (the South Wind), Zephyrus (the West Wind), and Eosphorus (the Morning Star).

She became a rather randy goddess with the bad habit of carrying off handsome young mortals to be her lovers. This may have been the result of a curse by Aphrodite who was angry with Eos for having an affair with her lover Ares. These included: Orion, Cleitus, Cephalus, and Tithonus.

Cephalus, a happily married man who was allowed to return to his wife only after he fathered Phaethon (not to be confused with Helius's son by the same name).

Tithonus was of royal Trojan blood. Their two sons were Emathion and Memnon. Tithonus came to an unfortunate end. Eos was so happy with him that she asked Zeus to make him an immortal. This Zeus granted. Unfortunately, she forgot to ask that he be made ageless as well. As a result he eventually ended up as a horribly shriveled, paralyzed, babbling old man. Eos finally changed him into the first cicada to put him out of his (and her) misery.

[Greek Myth]

J.M.Hunt