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Helios
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Title
Titan of the Sun, Fire, Heat, Sight &
Measurement of Time
The All-seeing, All-hearing, All-knowing
Guardian of Oaths
Vital Statistics
Gender Male
Family Hyperion (father)
Theia (mother)
Rhode (wife)
Poseidon (father-in-law)
Selene and Eos (sisters)
Augeas and Phaeton (sons)
Aegiale, Aegle, Aetheria, Circe and Pasiphae (daughters)
Medea (granddaughter)
Status Faded
Eye Color Fire or golden
Hair Color Red or blonde
Height Any height
Other
Affiliation Gods
Weapons Light
Fire
Species Titan
Home Palace of the Sun
Greek/Roman form Sol (Roman)
Appearances Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
The Titan's Curse (mentioned)
The Last Olympian (mentioned)
The Lost Hero (mentioned)
The House of Hades (mentioned)
Actor None
Quests None

Helios was formerly the Titan of the sun, but faded due to the laziness of the Romans after which his duty of driving the sun chariot was passed on to Apollo, god of the sun. The death of his demi-Titan son Phaëton was a major factor in this, as he loved him very much. Helios was the son of Hyperion and Theia, brother of Selene, the moon, and Eos, the dawn. He was married to Rhodes, a nymph daughter of Poseidon. His Roman counterpart is Sol.

History

The best known story involving Helios is that of his son Phaeton, who begged his father to let him drive the sun chariot. Helios agreed, albeit reluctantly, and granted the wish of his son who soon after lost control over the immortal horses and set the earth ablaze, scorching the African plains to desert. Zeus, appalled by the destruction, blasted the youth out of the chariot with one of his lightning bolts. Phaethon's flaming body was hurled from the sky and right into the river Eridanos. His sisters gathered on the banks of the river, mourning over their brother's demise and they transformed into amber-teared poplar trees. After his death the boy was either placed among the stars as the constellation Auriga (the charioteer) or became the god of the wandering star (the planet Jupiter or Saturn).

Helios was sometimes referred to with the epithet Helios Panoptes ("the all-seeing"). In the story told in the hall of Alcinous in the Odyssey (viii.300ff), Aphrodite, the consort of Hephaestus, secretly beds Ares, but all-seeing Helios spies on them and tells Hephaestus, who ensnares the two lovers in nets to punish them.

In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his surviving crew land on Thrinacia, an island sacred to the sun god, whom Circe names Hyperion rather than Helios. There, the sacred red cattle of the sun were kept.

"You will now come to the Thrinacian island, and here you will see many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep belonging to the sun-god. There will be seven herds of cattle and seven flocks of sheep, with fifty heads in each flock. They do not breed, nor do they become fewer in number, and they are tended by the goddesses Phaethusa and Lampetia, who are children of the sun-god Hyperion by Neaera. Their mother when she had borne them and had done suckling them sent them to the Thrinacian island, which was a long way off, to live there and look after their father's flocks and herds."

Though Odysseus warns his men not to, they impiously kill and eat some of the cattle of the Sun. The guardians of the island, Helios' daughters, tell their father, and Helios appeals to Zeus, who destroys the ship and kills all the men except for Odysseus.

In one Greek vase painting, Helios appears riding across the sea in the cup of the Delphic tripod, which appears to be a solar reference. Athenaeus in Deipnosophistae relates that, at the hour of sunset, Helios climbed into a great golden cup in which he passes from the Hesperides in the farthest west to the land of the Ethiops, with whom he passes the dark hours. While Hercules traveled to Erytheia to retrieve the cattle of Geryon, he crossed the Libyan desert and was so frustrated at the heat that he shot an arrow at Helios, the sun. Helios begged him to stop, and Hercules demanded the golden cup that Helios used to sail across the sea every night, from the west to the east. Hercules used this golden cup to reach Erytheia.

The chief seat of the worship of Helios was the island of Rhodes, which according to the following myth was his special territory. At the time of the Titanomachy, when the gods were dividing the world by lot, Helios happened to be absent, and consequently received no share. He therefore complained to Zeus, who proposed to have a new allotment, but Helios would not allow this, saying that as he pursued his daily journey, his penetrating eye had beheld a lovely, fertile island lying beneath the waves of the ocean, and that if the immortals would swear to give him the undisturbed possession of this spot, he would be content to accept it as his share of the universe. The gods took the oath, whereupon the island of Rhodes immediately rose above the surface of the waters.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Titan's Curse

When Apollo explained how a god can fade to Nico di Angelo, he used Helios and Selene as examples. He told Nico that when the Romans took over, many of the roles that Helios was responsible for (like driving the Sun Chariot) were given over to other gods. Apollo called this downsizing, which resulted in Helios eventually fading.

The Last Olympian

Before Percy Jackson battled Hyperion, Annabeth mentions that Hyperion is the "father of Helios, the first sun god."

The Heroes of Olympus

The Lost Hero

Helios is mentioned to have been the grandfather of Medea.

The House of Hades

Helios is mentioned as the father of Pasiphaë and her sister Circe.

Appearance

Alexander Helios

A representation of Helios

Although he has faded and never made any appearance in the series, Helios was imagined as a handsome youth crowned with the shining aureole of the sun, most of the time seen on his chariot.

Abilities

  • He had the standard powers of a Titan.
  • He could travel at the speed of light.
  • Photokinesis: As the Titan of the sun, he had absolute control and divine authority over light.
  • Pyrokinesis: As the Titan of the sun, he had absolute control and divine authority over fire and the sun.
  • Thermokinesis: As the Titan of the sun and heat, he has absolute control and divine authority over heat.
  • He could induce or cure blindness.
  • He saw everything the sun touched.
  • Foresight: As Titan of sight, he could see the past, present and future. A gift inherited by most of his children and descendants.

Consorts and Children

  • By the goddess Hecate, Helios became the father of Circe.
  • By the Oceanid Perseis, he became the father of Aeetes, Pasiphae , and Perses.
    Images-1-

    Pasiphae, one of his daughters

  • By the Oceanid Clymene he became the father of the Heliades, Astris, and Phaethon.
  • By the nymph Neaera he became the father of Phaethusa ("radiant") and Lampetia ("shining").
  • By his sister Selene he became the father of the four Horae (seasons) and the twelve Horae (hours).
  • By Aegle he may have been the father of the Charities.
  • By Rhode his wife and daughter of Poseidon he became the father of the Heliadae and Electryone.
  • By the Oceanid Ocyrrhoe he became the father of Phasis.
  • By Leucothoe he became the father of Thersanon.
  • By Nausidame he became the father of Augeas, one of the Argonauts.
  • By undetermined mothers he was the father of Aegiale, Aithon, Aix, Aloeus, Camirus, and Mausolus.

Sol

Sol was the solar deity in Ancient Roman religion. It was long thought that Rome actually had two different, consecutive sun gods. The first, Sol Indiges, was thought to have been unimportant, disappearing altogether at an early period. Only in the late Roman Empire, scholars argued, did the solar cult re-appear with the arrival of the Syrian Sol Invictus in Rome, perhaps under the influence of the Mithraic mysteries.

Trivia

  • The center of Helios's worship was on the isle Rhodes.
  • The Colossus of Rhodes was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and a representation of the Titan of the sun. Built between 292 and 280 BC it stood 107 feet tall making it one of the tallest statues of the ancient world. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 224.
    • It's been said that the colossus is planned to be rebuild in the future, thus fulfilling the dream of generations of Rhodians. Like the previous statue, it will represent the Titan Helios, but will be at least twice the size of the original one.
  • Helium is a chemical element that can be found in the sun, therefore it was named after the Greek word for sun, which is Helios.
  • Copernicus's Theory was called heliocentrism because he stated the Sun was at the center of the universe, not the Earth.
  • Heliophobia, fear of the sun, is named after Helios.

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