Sunday, September 30, 2012

TFBT: The Death of Structural Analysis, Solar Mythology and …

I was disturbed when I read, my hero, Gregory Nagy announce the demise of structural analysis.1 Specifically, he wrote, “structuralism has become an unstable and even unwieldy concept, which cannot any longer convey the essence of the methodology.”   This is quite the disappointment because I still haven’t gotten a handle on structural analysis.  Many authors in the past seemed to value this tool and offered examples of the insights it offered.  What little I know about this way to study myth came from an article by Claude Levi-Strauss in Structural Anthropology”.  I had the pleasure to read this article is a small dusty rose-colored book I found at a second hand store, “Myth: a Symposium2

The end of structuralism felt just like the “Eclipse of Solar Mythology” which I’d read in the exact same volume. Richard M. Dorson did a fine job of explaining Solar Mythology before lampooning it to death with some deft illustrations and a few quick jabs.   In truth, this   was more than I’d ever known about   Max Muller’s work.  (I’ve always wondered if the English translations of his work were burnt by an angry mob of intellectuals with torches and pitchforks.)

 As child I’d learned about Solar Mythology from Gayley in “The Classic Myths”. (First Ed. 1893)  I loved that book, with the square glossy pages, clear quality etching for illustration and enigmatic endnotes.  It was in the reference section at the library and I could never check it out. Everything I knew about Muller came from the back of Gayley.  Although I agree that not everyone can be a solar-hero, Muller’s theories were great for helping me with my studies of Norse Mythology (i.e. The death of Balder, Ull and Odin, and the nine mothers of Heimdall.)  I would think Solar Mythology would also be helpful in the study of sun-gods.

In Gayley too, I learned about George W. Cox.  Even as a child his idyllic theory of shepherds on their backs watching the clouds pass, wasn’t too convincing, but when I hear modern scholars speak of Zeus the cloud-gatherer and refer to him as a storm-god, I feel confident that we learned something from Cox.

Before the internet, Robert Graves’ ”The Greek Myths” provided a wide range of mythological information.  About the time I bought my second copy of the two volume set, someone told me that Graves was not held in wide regard by scholars.  Which struck me as odd, since his theory on the triple goddess worked pretty well when discussing triple goddesses.  And the story of Oedipus makes a lot more sense if you know something about sacrificial kings.

When I purchased Themis by Jane Harrison I read that her writings on ritual-myth were not well-received.  However, all her biographers finish by saying how influential her writings were. 

Here’s my theory; a researcher in some quiet moment receives inspiration; a bolt of lightning out of the blue or the small still voice of the muse. The sudden insight works well on the material at hand and a few associated topics.  A paper is published too much acclaim.  A book follows with much additional material, sometimes far from the original source or intent.  It attracts followers who declare it a universal tonic.  It is re-interpreted, mis-interpreted, “detached from its moorings” and run aground.  Everyone declares it a failure and throws the baby out with the bath water. If I may, new each form of analysis or interpretation is elevated by universal acclaim to Olympic heights and then tossed like Hephaestus.

I would suggest that we retain all the forms of interpretation and analysis that have come to us put them in a toolbox and pull them out to use appropriately.

One other thing disturbs be about Professor Nagy’s eulogy to structuralism. In the next paragraph he discusses the work of Parry and Lord.  Their work in oral composition was earth-shaking and now the foundation of virtually every Homeric discussion.  Let’s hope the classics community treats Parry and Lord better than most.


2  Editor Thomas A Sebeok, Indiana University Press, 1972

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

M&R: Wiving Goes by Destiny

The footfall resounded upon the solid floor of the grand entry way.  It was neither the soft step on the heel of city-folk followed by the slap of the toe nor the tap of the toe followed by the cluck of a reassured heel, typical of country folk.  Both kinds of people awaited on the other side of the double doors.  This naked hairy foot produced a solid thud heard by those on the other.  It was the step of someone about to take the stuff of destiny and twist it to his liking.  But before the next step, just before the ushers swung open the doors, a quiet voice spoke.

“Grand-daddy?  Am I beautiful?” asked the petite vision of beauty on John Sienna’s right arm. 

His granddaughter wore a traditional white wedding dress.  In lieu of a traditional veil she wore a chunni in the tradition of her new family.  It was sheer and brilliant, hemmed in gold lace.  In fact, it emphasized more than hid the excellent figure she inherited from Grandma Roxanne and Grandmother Maeve’s flawless skin and flashing black hair. A heavy golden belt snitched her gown and gold laced its bodice. Upon her head sat the crown of the Lords of Piccolomini, the closest claim to nobility Aglaia Sienna’s family could come up with.  In a family famous as rowdy extroverts she was the sole introvert.

With his usual smile, John reassured the quiet young woman, kissed the backs of her ivory hands and told her that she was indeed as lovely as Helen of Troy. 

The girl blushed proudly and while still beaming asked “Then why do my cousins keep saying I’m veiled like Freya?” 

“Because, Freya too wore an elegant veil?  Do you know who she was?”

Aglaia seemed to still ponder the comparison to Helen of Troy when her grand-daddy explained that Freya was the goddess of beauty. You can imagine the look on the shy young woman’s face.  He failed to mention that in actuality Thor hid beneath the heavy veil and that most of gigantic wedding guests didn’t survive the reception.  It seemed like a bad thing to mention when escorting a granddaughter down the aisle. 

On the other side of the door was the “sacred fire” which John and his sister-in-law Roxanne lead everyone in referring to as the “Burning Bush”; a priest and a Lutheran pastor.  In opposition to western weddings, the crowd divided into men on the left and women on the right. The wedding party and most of the local guests arrived early.  The groom and his four brothers stood on one side of the Burning Bush dressed in white, on the right stood Aglaia’s sole sister and her husband’s three sisters dressed in bright pastel gowns.  The best man arrived drunk, much to the embarrassment of the groom and disgust of his sisters.  The oldest sister actually crossed the aisle and slapped him across the face. That seemed to somber  him up for a moment.  To all this their mother Mrs. DK was a passive observer who silently acquiesced to whatever he eldest son wanted. 

Across the aisle sat Mrs. DK’s Babaa, who’s title the Siennans mistook for “Bubba”.   At the reception the night before, they collectively settled on calling the elder, “Ali Baba” much to his delight.  Babaa had been a big man once.  Now age and a series of strokes left him a shell of himself.  He could do nothing but stare blankly at the disrespectful grandson who was now the head of the family.  Or mutter bitterly about his physical impotency.  However, today a friend sat with him.  During the reception the night before, Stan Scamander and the elderly man recognized kindred souls in one another.  Maybe it was the company or the evening, but the old man seemed less afflicted in the presence of the dark-haired wide-shouldered Stan.  Stan became the old man’s escort for this joyous day. 

Maeve and Roxanne lead the Siennan women in a little latter.  Their arrival was like a spring storm, with the earthy smells of; opening earth,  fresh rain,  the perfume of first flowers and the billowing clouds of green pollen from the distant forest. Their appearance was as bright as the first blush of spring, dressed as they were bright reds, radiant blues, and deep green. They squeezed into pews on the women’s side of the hall, pulled their daughters into their laps, sometimes their grown daughters.  They packed around the other guests.  DJ’s female guests, that’s what the groom’s family called him “DJ”, DJ’s female guests were ladies of leisure married to “doctors and lawyers and Indian chiefs” who didn’t approve of these foreigners nor DJ “wiving” among them.  Especially, a military family with the pretentions of merchants.  If truth be told, the Siennans weren’t too thrilled about Aglaia marrying a foreigner, particularly marrying into this family.

Meanwhile, Roxanne and Maeve, hand and hand strolled towards the front pew where Mrs. DK sat with her newest daughter-in-law.  Mrs. DK stroked the girl’s arm like she would a small furry pet.  The young girl sat nervously next to her mother-in-law shivering like the bunny being kept in the rabbit hutch until big enough for the stew pot.

“Oh, you must be DK Junior’s new wife!” exclaimed Roxanne, the tall red head.  “Let us look at you!” 

It proved to be invitation for the girl and Mrs. DK to stand in greeting.  Roxanne managed to whirl the girl to the side, so Maeve could sit down with the groom’s mother.  Seeing no bruises, Roxanne assumed the honeymoon wasn’t over yet.  Roxanne sat down on the edge of the pew setting upright and tall so her green eyes could  look excitedly around.  She patted the seat next to her for the gir.  Roxanne Scamander asked all the normal questions about the girl’s family, relatives and village. Then answered similar questions on her own behalf.  They discussed how many children she hoped to have and how many Roxanne had.  The girl admitted that she hoped to teach someday, but that DK Junior wouldn’t allow it as long as he lived.  

“Dearie, I’ve been married five times, let me tell you-“ here her warm deep voice acquired a witty ring indicating she was quoting her brother-in-laws favorite book “Widows happen, every day.“

The girl went white at first and then carefully let out her suppressed giggle.  She saw her mother-in-law engaged in conversation with Maeve and confided that Mrs. DK didn’t approve of the gifts the Siennans had presented the night before to the groom and then the bride.    

“Well there seems to be a lot of kitchen fires in the DK household, we thought the fire extinguisher was appropriate.”

The girl shivered at the thought of the “accidents” befalling the three previous Mrs. DK Junior, when their families couldn’t come up with additional dowry funds.

“Mr. DK Junior says no woman would be brave enough to use the handgun you gave the bride.”

“Dearie, he hasn’t met a Siennan woman before. “  Roxanne assured her with a pat on thigh and a wink that somehow promised Aglaia would be her protector from now on.

Meanwhile, Maeve lounging in the pew between the groom’s mother and her sister asked Mrs. DK to point out all of her sons.

“Well, you know DJ.  And the head of our family Daitya Kaaliya Junior.” she added proudly and then sighed. 

DK Junior heard his name mentioned and turned to look.  If his eldest sister’s slap hadn’t sobered him up Maeve’s gaze certainly did.  On the most joyous occasions her eyes might be thought to twinkle but at moments like this her black eyes held a cold dead stare. 

“You have such a cross to bear.” Maeve commented with a gleeful, gentle pat on the thigh.

Not being Christian, so not understanding the expression, Mrs. DK continued. “Daitya Gagandeep, who we call DG…”

“DG?” Roxanne asked leaning across Maeve‘s lap.  When she was reassured as to DG’s name Roxanne reminded herself to share a private joke with her brother-in-law from back in the day when they both wore serge uniforms.

“DG,  Daitya Satvamohan; DS, and Daitya Prithish; DP”

This time it was Maeve who asked the woman to repeat the names of her sons.  Maeve nudged her best friend at the reciting of the letters G,S, P, just like her three sons Gnome, Shepherd and Puck.

 The music began and the guests stood.  It was the bride who gasped.  Thinking to get a lot of wedding presents, Aglaia’s mother-in-law told her to invite as many people as she could.  The logic was that Aglaia wasn’t very popular and most of her relatives could not afford to attend anyway.  As a consequence; all the Siennans came.  On the women’s side stood all her womenfolk dressed in the most opulent gowns they could borrow or make. They wore fantastic hats and embroidered slippers.  The Siennans weren’t much for jewelry, but Roxanne was, as were several Maeve’s friends.  Most of the women wore diamonds, gold and precious stones from their collections.  The bride burst into tears at the turn out.

Mrs. DK gazed upon the beaming bride trimmed in gold and crowned in pearls and the richly adorned guests.  She jokingly suggested that her family should ask for more dowry.  Maeve jokingly retorted, while admiring her approaching granddaughter and husband, that she’d kill Mrs. DK and her eldest son if there was any talk like that.  

The men’s side of the church was more sparsely occupied.  Behind Aglaia the ushers opened the exterior door to the hall.  An explosion rather than a sound   erupted behind them. The men of the Sienna family stormed the hall, hooting and hollering.  They looked dashing in their dress uniforms.  There’d been talk about them wearing blue turbans, but it was agreed they could keep to their regimental caps and berets.  Rather than “kirpans” they wore their dress swords and side arms. Boots however stayed behind in accordance with local protocols and Sienna family tradition.  The men followed John Sienna and Aglaia into the church and then spread out along the side of the hall rather than mixing with the men from DJ’s side.  (That was for the best.)

John Sienna appeared the calm at in the eye of the storm.  Smiling, he nodded slightly to all, but tried not to take away Aglaia’s moment in the spotlight.  He noticed the color draining from Mrs. DK’s face and the smuggle smile on his wife’s.  Always a bad sign he thought.  Across the aisle stood “Ali Baba” apparently on his own two feet, but Stan kept a shielding arm behind the elderly gentleman, just in case.  The old man seemed even healthier than last night and Stan seemed…Earlier when reassuring the shy bride John thought he could see something of her grandfather Stan in the girl’s face, but it never occurred to him until this moment that what he saw was good-looks.  Stan was John’s best friend!  It had been how many years and he’d never noticed until this moment that Stan was a handsome man.  Stan nodded at the seat he’d saved for his “yaar” in the pew.  John handed Aglaia over to the officials and took his seat.  He waved over her father and brother, but out of respect they chose to stand with the rest of the Siennan troops. 

Faster than John could imagine it was time for the “Kanyadaan”.  With a word from Babaa whose arm lay familiarly across Stan’s broad right shoulder and an encouraging pat on the back from Stan, he rose and drew Aglaia to her groom.  Standing almost between the love birds, John took a simple gold band from his hairy hand, put it on the boy’s left ring finger and grasped his hand

The young man said, “Sir, I promise I will be good to your granddaughter.” Turning to Aglaia’s father standing at the end of the pew he repeated his oath.  When he turned his head back, John’s smiling blue eyes gazed deeply into his.  The older man’s handclasp seemed suddenly unworldly. 

In a loud voice that sounded neither hoping nor commanding, but simply staying an inevitable fact the patriarch of the Sienna clan pronounced “We welcome you to our family.  You will make a great husband, Jahan.”

DK Junior leaned into the conversation, presumably on behalf of Jahan’s family to offer their blessing, and hissed. “His name is DJ, you ass.”  

John Sienna perceived two motions at once, his grand-daughter reacting and his best friend rocketing out of the pew fist first.  He kept the boy’s hand with this right.  He stepped between Aglaia and her brother-in-law, later he would discover that her reaction was to reach for the kirpan beneath her veil.  He stopped Stan’s sledge like fist with his left hand.   What John didn’t see was Mrs. DK’s father carried to his feet by the rush of Stan rising frame.  He didn’t anticipate the old man grabbing, twisting and pulling  DK’s ceremonial jacket with his left hand while the kirpan in his right rose the length of the younger man’s legs to the point of destiny.  Maybe a little beyond destiny. 

“His name is Jahan.  He was named in my honor.  Apologize to your brother’s in-laws.” The hoary old man’s hoarse voice whispered. 

Later Babaa Jahan would explain that as head of the family it was his job to bless the union and that he’d asked his “yaar” Stan to help him up.    Mrs. DK Senior’s passive acceptance of his announcement set the stage for some changes in their household that were to almost everyone’s liking.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

TFBT: Mimir, the Monster Sphinx and the Throne of Olympus

I composed several encyclopedic articles that are posted elsewhere, that might be of interest to my readers.

A short piece on Mimir, a "giant" in Norse Mythology and a good friend to Odin, King of the Aesir.  Mimir:Norse God of Wisdom

A short piece on the dread and curse of Ancient Thebes, the Sphinx.  Sphinx, the Monster Sings

And finally, a more indepth piece on the danger from Zeus' daughters and sisters to the stability of the cosmos. Securing the Throne of Zeus

Sunday, September 23, 2012

TFBT: Homer’s Divine Audience: The Iliad’s Reception on Mount Olympus.

This is a review of a book that hasn’t been published yet, “Models of Reception in the Divine Audience of the Iliad” a dissertation by Tobias Anthony Myers.

Honestly, I don’t know how I ended up with a copy. I believe it will be published by Cambridge University Press under the title, “Homer’s Divine Audience: The Iliad’s Reception on Mount Olympus.I do not know Myers who is apparently a lecturer at Columbia University. I certainly feel pleased for having stumbled across his writings.

Myers basic premise is to compare Zeus and “the gods” watching to the Trojan War from Mt. Olympus, with the poet and the mortal audience listening to the tale. Primarily Myers arguments center around the four occasions when the gods are feasting on Olympus, Books 4, 7, 22 and 24. Where there is “sweet nectar
from the bowl. And unquenchable laughter“ feasting, happy hearts, and the sweet voices of the muses.

Some arguments are often lengthy, but well-written, easy to follow and satisfying. The benefit of his arguments is that they give sound motivation to actions and scenes that often appear lacking.

Imagine if you wil, that we have the honor to be gathered at a great feast and the entertainment is Homer himself. Like any performer, he would greet us, maybe pick stories that are pertinent or popular in our circles and maybe even play with our expectations. Myers suggests just this sort of interaction between the poet with his audience and Zeus with the divine audience. Homer using Zeus’ voice plays with the gods, suggests alternative endings to the little drama they’ve designed down below, plays with their emotions. In the same breathe the poet is doing the same to his mortal audience.

Myers also incorporates the language of sacred space into his readings of the Iliad which then offers the same performance dynamic for the Greeks and Trojans in the Iliad during games and in the arena. This could all get very complex, but Myers knows how to work his audience. It all comes across as brilliant.

Just a few quotes I’ve been tweeting;

  • “The Iliad is a ritual that simultaneously honors Troy in the distant past and wipes it out in the performances moment.”
  • In regards to the gods feasting on Mt. Olympus, Myers suggests, “it is striking that for the gods this situation seems to be an invention of epic.”
  • “Paris is responsible for the Trojan predicament, but Hector is responsible for Troy.”
  • "The Iliad’s power depends partly on the fact that in spite of this basic Achaean orientation it does not demonize the Trojans but instead portrays them more sympathetically than it does the Achaeans."
In conclusion, let me finish and summarize Myers’ arguments with a most telling passage. First Myers quotes Iliad 6.357-58 Upon [Paris and me] Zeus has set an evil fate, so that in the future as well we might be song-worthy for the men who are yet to be.” Myers then adds, “Even from her position within the story, Helen can assert to Hector (and to herself, the gods, and the future generations that will hear of her) that hers and Paris’ transgressions, and their grievous consequences, exist to satisfy the needs of the poetic medium.








Thursday, September 20, 2012

VftSW:Mitt Romney and Me

In a speech back in May, Mitt Romney admitted to disregarding 47% of his once potential constituents.  I’d say he shot himself in the foot, but “in the head”, might be more accurate.  I also wonder about the Democrats releasing the May tape in September, rather than waiting until a little closer to the election.  Of course, the democrats probably know what they are doing.  I’m not so sure about Romney.
I, also, have given up on people.  I think of those “friends” who didn’t want to be my friend.  I think about people who wanted to be my friend, but regardless of their testimonies of affection that relationship was not good for me.  And I think about all those friends I gave up praying for.   I know we should pray unceasingly, but I am human I only have so much time on my knees.
 I also have given up on employees; those that couldn’t do the job, didn’t fit in or couldn’t show up on time.  But in all the years I’ve been a supervisor at work, officer in the volunteer fire department or chair of a committee at church, it was never half the crowd that was unreliable, maybe 5% got dismissed.
But, I never gave up on any of my co-workers when it comes to their safety.  I’m the safety officer.  Everyone wants their co-workers and themselves to go home at the end of the day in one piece.   Maybe they don’t believe in hardhats, but they know to wear gloves, because they once grabbed a Devil’s Club branch.  A specific staff officer might not be actively supportive of the safety program during budget discussions, but she while insist her co-workers buckle-up when they ride with her.  The supervisor whose crew has the worst safety record for the year is the one who will be most supportive and fanatic about my recommendations which will spillover onto the rest of his unit.  So, when it comes to safety, there is no one I disregard.  Everyone contributes; some in a small way, some in greater.
So, based on my life experience, Romney is wrong.  Everyone can contribute to making the world a better place.  Admittedly,  there are bad people in the world, but hopefully their supervisors (or the authorities) will handle them.   And finally I am never dismissive of my former friends because, they make great acquaintances, who in another time and place might be great friends again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

TFBT: Combatants of the Titanomachy

“For the Titan gods and as many as sprang from Cronus had long been fighting together in stubborn war with heart-grieving toil, the lordly Titans from high Othyrs, but the gods, givers of good, whom rich-haired Rhea bare in union with Cronus, from Olympus.”    Hesiod, The Theogony 626

Perhaps the “thrice prayed for, most fair, best beloved” goddess Nyx suggested how Zeus might rescue his siblings.  Or perhaps it was the deep suggestions of Mother Earth that beguiled great Cronus the wily to bring up again his offspring.[i]  Or maybe when Zeus was full-grown, he took Metis, daughter of Ocean, to help him, and she gave Cronus a drug to swallow.[ii] Maybe Zeus’ mother Rhea assisted.[iii]  In any case Zeus, the youngest of Cronus’s children endeared himself with the older generation of deities called Titans, meaning The Strainers.  Zeus became their cup-bearer.  The potion that Zeus slipped into King Cronus’ cup made him “disgorge” the contents of his heavy stomach, including the gods Poseidon and Hades along with their sisters Hera, Demeter and Hestia.  They returned to the world fully grown and immediately declared war on Cronus and his brothers the Titans. The children of Cronus took up Mt. Olympus as their abode and the Titans took up Mount Othrys as a strong hold.  

So began the Titanomachy, but who were the combatants? 

Following Hesiod’s description of the Titanomachy in “The Theogony” the elder Titans who’d aided Cronus in his climb to power still stood by him, his brothers; heir-less Coeus (Intelligence) Crius (Ruler), Iapetos (The Piercer) and Hyperion(He who watches from above).  His brother Oceanus remained neutral in the Titanomachy as he did during the revolt against their father Uranus in revenge for his cruelty[iv].  It was Oceanus who fostered Hera and sheltered all the goddesses and Titanesses during the ten year long war that followed. (Hence none of the Titanesses were hurled into Tartarus).[v] 
·         Iapetos might have served as the general for the Titanic army.  Homer refers to him as enthroned next to Cronus in Tartarus[vi] and Valerius Flaccus mentions that the gods battled against Iapetus specifically.[vii] 
·         ML West reports that “the Sun-Titan refrained from assisting the Titans and was rewarded by being stationed in heaven instead of Tartarus. The deity in question was doubtless not Helios but Hyperion.”[viii],  Which would explain Homer’s habit of referring to the Sun-god as both Hyperion and Helios

According to Graves, Cronus’ time had passed and the second generation of Titans took over the leadership in their battle against the Olympians.  The mixed blood Titans took over the leadership of their cause; these were the sons of water nymphs rather than Titanesses. 
·         To Crius and Eurybia, the daughter of Pontus, were born sons of mixed-blood great Astraios (Starry), and Pallas (Warrior), and the son-less Perses (Destroyer) who was preeminent among all men in wisdom.  Astraios is the father by Eos daughter of Hyperion of the stars and four winds that pull Zeus chariot.  Several goatish giants named Pallas are slain by Zeus’ daughter Athena. None of the three are heard of after the Titanomachy and Eos is husbandless.
·         "Now Iapetos took to wife the neat-ankled maid Klymene, daughter of Okeanos, and went up with her into one bed. And she bare him a stout-hearted son, Atlas; also she bare very glorious Menoitios and clever Prometheus, full of various wiles, and scatter-brained Epimetheus."[ix]  All the Iapetides (sons of Iapetus) married Oceanides like their father did.  Atlas led the Titans in revolt against Zeus. [x] And as consequence for all eternity held up the sky as punishment.  For Menoitios’ hubris the far-seeing Zeus struck him with a thunderbolt and sent him down to Tartarus because of his mad presumption and exceeding pride, rather than being hurled in Tartarus and bound like the rest of the Titans. [xi] A daemon of a similar name later served as Hades shepherd. As to Prometheus;  "When first the heavenly powers were moved to wrath, and mutual dissension was stirred up among them-- it was then that [Prometheus], although advising them for the best, was unable to persuade the Titanes…they, disdaining counsels of craft.”  Through prophecy Prometheus knew the way in which the future was fated to come to pass. All though he argued with the Titans they did not pay any attention to his words. Consequently he joined the side of Zeus bring his brother Epimetheus with him."[xii]  Apparently he was the Titans’ herald for some time.[xiii] Prometheus would also be the god who procured celestial fire for early man. The sons of Iapetos were also described as possessing some of the worst of human traits: on an intellectual level, Prometheus is overly sly and crafty, Epimetheus a guileless fool, Atlas overly-daring and arrogant Menoitios prone to rash and violent actions. Their natural traits led each to their downfall.[xiv]

Hyperion wedded glorious Euryphaessa, his own sister, who bare him lovely children, rosy-armed Eos (Dawn) and rich-tressed Selene (Moon) and tireless Helios (Sun)."  Although no specific reference is made to the pure-blood Titan Helios in the Titanomachy, (there are few specific references in Hesiod’s report in the Theogony) we can assume Helios participated based on the honors and lands gifted to him and his sisters when the spoils of war were divided. His sister Selene and Eos because the goddesses of the moon and dawn respectively.

Zeus managed to convince the River Styx and the pure-blood Titaness brother-less Hecate to join the Olympian cause, but no female deity is recorded participating in the battles.  This males-only protocol is in sharp contrast to the universal involvement of the gods and goddesses in the Gigantomachy.  Styx, the deathless daughter of Oceanus brought her daughters Nike (Victory) and Bia (Force) and sons Cratos (Strength) and Zelos (Rivalry), to stand alongside the gods. Zeus rewarded her by making her streams the agent of the binding oath of the gods. It’s possible that Cratos and Zelos participated in battle.

Earth prophesied victory to Zeus if he should have as allies those who had been hurled down to Tartarus. So he slew their jailoress the snakish Campe, and loosed the bonds of the Hecatoncheires and Cyclopes from confinement in Tartarus.  In gratitude, the hundred-handed giants, Briareos, blameless Cottus speaker for the brothers [xv] and Gyes insatiate for war joined the battle.  Strong Briareos, would most famously aid Thetis in loosing the bonds of Zeus at a later revolt

And the Cyclopes overbearing in spirit, Brontes (Thunder), Steropes (Lightning Bolt) and stubborn-hearted Arges (Vivid Flash), then gave Zeus thunder and lightning and a thunderbolt, and on Hades they bestowed a helmet of invisibility and on Poseidon a trident. Armed with these weapons the gods overcame the Titans, shut them up in Tartarus,

The gods of the sea, great Thaumas and proud Phorcus, and their brother truthful Nereus seemed to retain their honors, but it is noteworthy that Poseidon became “ruler of the deep, briny-swirling seas”.  Maybe they followed the example of the Great River Oceanus and maintained neutrality.  The sole exception to the Pontides neutrality was Thaumas’ daughter Iris who became a messenger for the Olympians, while her sister Arce, became messenger for the Titans. After the victory Zeus tore off her wings before throwing her into Tartarus[xvi]

Jenny Strauss Clay observed[xvii] “Gaia, whose line(age) remains completely separate from that of Chaos – intercourse between these two fundamentally opposite cosmic entities seems impossible”.  The Fates decreed that some specific members of these clans could not meet.[xviii]  So we should not expect involvement from the children of the Night.

So in summary; the combatants for the Titans were probably; the elder Titans; Cronus, Coeus, Crius, Iapetos and the mixed-blood Titans; Astraios, Pallas, Perses, Atlas and Menoitios.  For the Olympians the elder Titan Hyperion and probably his son Helios, Cronus’ sons; Zeus, Poseidon and Hades, the Hecatoncheires; Briareos, Cottus and Gyes, the Cyclopes; Brontes, Steropes and Arges and maybe the sons of Pallas; Cratos and Zelos  In an abstract sense; those with foresight; the far-seeing god overcame leadership, intelligence and craftsmanship.  Fire and lightning overcame a stubborn, prideful soldiery.

…when the blessed gods had finished their toil, and settled by force their struggle for honours with the Titans, they pressed far-seeing Olympian Zeus to reign and to rule over them, by Earth's prompting. So he divided their dignities amongst them. Hesiod, The Theogony 881  ... (they) threw the lots (Poseidon) received the grey sea as (his) abode, Hades drew the murky darkness, Zeus, however, drew the wide sky of brightness and clouds; the earth is common to all, and spacious Olympus." Iliad 15.187


[i] Hesiod Th. 493ff.,
[ii] Apollodorus, Library [1.2.1]
[iii] The Universe, the Gods, and Men: Ancient Greek Myths Told by Jean-Pierre Vernant, Page 18
[iv] Virgil, Aeneid 6.580
[v] Aaron J. Atsma, Oceanus
[vi] (Iliad 8.479)
[vii] Argonautica 1.563)
[viii] ML West 'EUMELOS': A CORINTHIAN EPIC CYCLE?* referencing Virgil Aeneid 6.580
[ix] Hesiod, Theogony 507  
[x] Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 150
[xi] Hesiod, Theogony 507
[xii] Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 200 
[xiii] Eumelus, Fragment 5 (from Hesychius Lexicon 1. 387) "Ithas: The Titanes' herald, Prometheus. Some write Ithax."
[xiv] Aaron J. Atsma  
[xv] Hesiod, Theogony 654
[xvi] Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Bk6 as summarized in Photius, Myriobiblon 190
[xvii] Hesiod’s Cosmos , page 16
[xviii] Ovid, Metamorphoses, 8.791