Page last updated on: March 13th, 2021
Zeus and his Fight with Typhon
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, unjustly.
Gaea therefore united with Tartarus (the symbol of the depths of the underworld) to create a devastating monster to destroy Zeus and take his place. They gave the monster the name "Typhoeus" (Typhon).
Typhon had fearsome features and enormous powers. Soon he was attacking the house of the gods, hurling rocks at it, hissing, screaming, and spewing mighty streams of fire from his mouth. The mere sight of the creature was enough for the Olympian gods to run away in terror and flee to Egypt, where they were transformed into animals.
When Athena, the goddess of wisdom, accused Zeus of cowardice, Zeus decided to oppose Typhon. Armed with thunder and lightning, he struck the monster with a sickle and then pursued it to Mount Casion, a mountain that rises above Syria.
Seeing that Typhon was badly wounded, Zeus engaged the monster in hand-to-hand combat. Suddenly Typhon enveloped Zeus in his coils, held him tight, and snatched the sickle from him. Typhon soon left Zeus helpless, cutting the tendons from his hands and feet. Then he brought Zeus to Corycian Cave, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, and appointed his sister Delphyne, a dragoness who was half-beast and half-virgin, as Zeus' guardian.
However, Hermes, the son of Zeus, and the goat-footed Aigipan managed to put the sinews back into Zeus. Immediately after Zeus regained his strength, he suddenly descended from the sky on a chariot drawn by a winged horse. Hurling thunderbolts, he pursued Typhon with all his might, and when they reached the island of Sicily, Zeus threw the huge Mount Aetna on the monster and crushed it under him.
The volcanic eruptions which rise from Mount Aetna to this day are said to proceed from the thunderbolts of Zeus.