After the glorious victory of the Olympian gods over the Titans,
Gaea, the Mother Earth , became very angry with Zeus,
the King of the Olympian Gods, because she felt that he had treated her sons, the Titans, unfairly.
Gaea therefore unified with Tartarus (the symbol of the depths of the Underworld) to create a devastating monster which was meant to destroy Zeus and take his place. They gave the monster the name "Typhoeus" (Typhon).
Typhon had frightful features and enormous powers. Soon, he attacked the home of the gods, flaming rocks at it, hissing, screaming and gushing mighty streams of fire from his mouth. The bare sight of the creature was enough for the Olympian gods to run away scared and flee to Egypt, where they transformed into animals.
When Athena, the goddess of wisdom, accused Zeus for cowardness, Zeus decided to confront Typhon. Armed with thunder and lightnings, he struck at the monster with a sickle and then chased him until Mount Casion, a mountain which rises over Syria.
Seeing Typhon severely wounded, Zeus engaged the monster in a hand-to-hand combat. Suddenly, Typhon wrapped Zeus in his coils, held him firmly and wrested the sickle from him. Typhon soon left Zeus helpless by cutting the tendons from his hands and feet. Then he took Zeus to the Corycian Cave, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus and appointed his sister Delphyne, a she-dragon that was half beast and half maiden, to guard Zeus.
However, Hermes, the son of Zeus and the goat-footed Aigipan managed to fit the tendons back into Zeus. Immediately after Zeus recovered his strength, he made a sudden descent from heaven on a chariot drawn by a winged horse. Hurling thunderbolts, he pursued Typhon strongly and when they reached the island of Sicily, Zeus threw the enormous Mount Aetna at the monster, pinning him underneath.
The volcanic eruptions that rise up from Mount Aetna to this day are said to be issued by the thunderbolts of Zeus.
Page last updated on: December 8th, 2016
A fable by Aesop