|Uranus, also known as Ouranos,
was the embodiment of the sky or heavens, and known as
the god of the sky. He was the first son of Gaia (the
earth) and he also became her husband. According to
Hesiod, their children included the Titans: six sons (Oceanus,
Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus and Cronus) and six
daughters (Theia, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe and
Tethys). There were other offspring: the Cyclopes, (who
were named Brontes, Steropes and Arges and were later
known as "one eyed giants"), and also the three
monsters known as the Hecatonchires, who each had one
hundred hands and fifty heads. Their names were Briareus,
Cottus and Gyes. Other offspring of Uranus and Gaia were
the Erinyes, who were spirits of punishment and goddesses
of vengeance. The Erinyes avenged wrongs which were done
to family, especially murder within a family. After
Uranus had been castrated, his blood fell to earth (Gaia)
and conceived the Giants. These were of monstrous
appearance and had great strength . Similiarly, in some
versions Aphrodite is believed to have risen from the
foam created by the sex organs of Uranus after they were
thrown into the sea by his son Cronus.
Uranus was aghast by the sight of his offspring, the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires. (In a differing version Uranus was frightened of their great strength and the fact that they could easily depose him). He hid them away in Tartarus (the bowels of the earth) inside Gaia, causing her intense pain. The discomfort became so great that she asked her youngest son, Cronus, to castrate his father, as this would cease his fertility and put an end to more monstrous offspring. To accomplish this deed Gaia made an adamantine sickle, which she gave to Cronus. That night Uranus came to lay with Gaia. And as the sky god drew close, Cronus struck with the sickle and cut off Uranus's genitals. From the blood that fell from the open wound were born nymphs and giants, and when Cronus threw the severed genitals into the sea a white foam appeared. From this foam Aphrodite the goddess of love and desire was born.
A slightly differing version tells of Uranus being so vast that he could cover Mother Earth (Gaia) and easily take advantage of her fruitfulness, but Gaia tired of her exuberant fertility and begged her sons to free her from the excessive embrace of Uranus. All refused except Cronus. Armed with a sickle he castrated Uranus, and the blood which fell from the mutilation gave birth to the Erinyes (Furies), the Giants and the Meliae (Nymphs of the manna ash trees). And when Cronus threw the sickle into the sea the island of Corfu, home of the Phaeacians, sprang up).
After Uranus (the sky) had been emasculated, the sky separated from Gaia (the earth) and Cronus became king of the gods. Later, Zeus (the son of Cronus) deposed his father and became the supreme god of the Greek Pantheon.