The Greek God Uranus (Ouranos): Facts & Symbol

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: The Greek Parthenon: Facts, History & Construction

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 The Myth of Uranus and Gaea
  • 1:18 Legacy of Uranus
  • 1:55 Uranus as a Symbol
  • 2:20 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Flint Johnson

Flint has tutored mathematics through precalculus, science, and English and has taught college history. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow

This lesson discusses the background of the Greek God Uranus, or Ouranos. We'll explain his function in the Greek pantheon, as well as his symbolism as the original male.

The Myth of Uranus and Gaea

In Greek Mythology, Gaea, or the name for Mother Earth, existed at the beginning of time as a carryover of the Great Goddess religion. In that role, she gave birth to Uranus, the sky and her lover. Each night, Uranus would wrap himself around Gaea and mate with her. As a result, Gaea would occasionally give birth to children. First, there were the six boys and six girls who were called the Titans. This was followed by the Hekatonkheires and the Cyclopes. Uranus hated them all, so he imprisoned them in Tartarus, a prison deep in the earth. There they caused their mother great pain. To ease it, Gaea made a blade of flint and begged her sons to castrate Uranus so that he would have no more power over them. Cronus (also spelled Kronos and Cronos), the youngest Titan, finally agreed to do it. Thereafter, Uranus no longer wrapped himself around Gaea at night; he only stayed in the heavens, and Cronus became the leader of the gods. He brought his siblings up from Tartarus and allowed them to rule with him.

Castration wasn't the end of Uranus' life-giving powers, though. When the blood from his genitals dripped onto the earth, it gave birth to the giants, the Erinyes or furies, and the nymphs. His genitals fell into the ocean and created Aphrodite.

Legacy of Uranus

After Uranus was castrated, he predicted that his son would likewise be overthrown by his own offspring just as he had been. To keep this from happening, Cronus swallowed all of his children until Rhea, his mate, gave him a rock to swallow in place of Zeus. Zeus grew up, then Zeus gave him poison that made Cronus throw up all of his children at once. When they had emerged again, the gods fought the Titans in a great war. Eventually the gods would defeat them, and Zeus put the Titans in the same prison that Uranus had imprisoned them in, Tartarus. Luckily for Zeus, his father never made the same prediction as Uranus had made, so he never fought a war with his own children.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account