The Birth of the Gods - The Ancient Greek Creation Myth

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Kelly Macquire
by and
published on 02 April 2023

A cosmogony is a creation myth, a myth that explains how the universe as we know it came into existence and is a type of story found in most, if not all, cultures that have surviving literature. Creation myths explain how the universe began, and how the world came to be as it is and often, cultures have more than one creation myth. The best known ancient Greek creation myth comes from Hesiod, 8th century BCE, the oldest and only complete surviving ancient Greek creation myth, which had a profound influence on the myths that came after him. Hesiod’s Theogony not only tells us of the origin of the universe or cosmos, the cosmology, but also provides the theogony, the origin of the gods. As the universe is created, the gods are created, and he includes in his account how the gods were all connected, a huge feat considering myths could change over time and different regions sometimes had different versions.

In this video, we cover the main gods of ancient Greece as listed by Hesiod and explore the foundation of the universe and the world he lived in. He was the first to achieve the feat of connecting all of the deities and establishing an order to the universe from its very creation, down to natural phenomena and human emotions and experience.



0:00​ Introduction
0:59 What is a Creation Myth or Cosmogony?
2:02 Summary of Hesiod’s Theogony
3:00 Family Tree
3:55 Birth of Ouranos
5:13 The Castration of Ouranos
5:58 The Children of Nyx
6:45 Sea Gods
8:02 First Generation of Titans
8:52 Second Generation Titans (Story of Prometheus)
10:05 Zeus and His Siblings
11:20 The Rest of the Olympians
13:43 Outro

Hesiod on the Birth of the Gods

The Sky Gods of Greek Mythology
Global Timeline: The World at the time of Ancient Greece
The 12 Olympians: The Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greek Mythology
Greek Goddess Artemis: Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon in Greek Mythology
Ares the God of War in Greek Mythology

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

#greekmythology #ancientgreece #greekgods

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2023, April 02). The Birth of the Gods - The Ancient Greek Creation Myth. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Birth of the Gods - The Ancient Greek Creation Myth." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 02, 2023.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Birth of the Gods - The Ancient Greek Creation Myth." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 02 Apr 2023. Web. 22 Jul 2024.