I am King (with Daddy issues) – Hesoid, Theogony/Works and Days

by Daniel Mackie August 02, 2012

Hesiod Theogony works and days book cover

How to establish permanant control over the cosmos.

 If you have ever wondered how to do this then you need to read Hesoid’s, Theogony/Works and Days. It is about the birth of the Gods and the struggle for power.

This is the cover I did for the book, which was commissioned by Canadian publisher, Talon Books. It is watercolour on saunders 300 gsm paper

It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in Greek Mythology. If it were a film, the main character would be Zeus, the plot line, how he became King of the Gods.

Beware of your children!

Firstly you have to start with the grandfather, Uranus. He had 12 children (The Titans) with Gaia one of whom was Cronus. Uranus was absolutely disgusted with his offspring. Naturally Gaia was offended by this and asked her son Cronus to punish his father. He did so by castrating him. A bit harsh you might think, but there is a silver lining… Cronus threw the severed testicles into the sea, around which foam developed and transformed into the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, of which Botticelli did a wonderful painting, so not all bad but I am going off on a tangent….

So Cronus assumes control of the cosmos – good lad. However he is worried that if he has a son the fate that befell his father would befall him too…

Cronus went to great lengths to avoid being overthrown by one of his children by swallowing them all as soon as they were born. His wife, Rhea, seeking to save at least one of her offspring, slipped the old man a stone in place of the last child Zeus and hid him away in a cave beneath the Aegean Mountains. Zeus, like his father (Cronus) grew up with daddy issues.

Anyway, poor old Cronus was tricked (it is not clear how) into vomiting up all his other children (collectively known as the Olympians), who joined Zeus and promptly waged war on their father and the rest of his generation (the Titans). This war lasted 10 years and is refered to as the Titanomachy. To cut a long story short, Zeus won. He had defeated his father and packed him and the rest of his generation off to Tartarus (dungeon of torment). Job done, you might say.

But there is always a sting in the tail, so to speak. Gaia (Zeus’s grandmother) was mad with Zeus for sending her children (The Titans) to Tartarus. So she sent the Typhon to get him. Oh dear. The Typhon is the most deadly monster of Greek mythology. He was known as the “Father of all Monsters”
Zeus only just manages to prevail against such a foe and thus secures his place as the King of the Gods. This is the episode I have depicted on the cover.

Below is the painting, you see it was a full wrap, front and back.
zeus fights the typhon book cover greek myths

and the drawing..
line drawing for thecover hesiod

Buy cards and prints at Daniel’s shop The DM Collection

Daniel Mackie
Daniel Mackie


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