“τοῖς δὲ θεοῖς λόγιον ἦν ὑπὸ θεῶν μὲν μηδένα τῶν Γιγάντων ἀπολέσθαι δύνασθαι, συμμαχοῦντος δὲ θνητοῦ τινος τελευτήσειν.”
Apollodorus 1.6.1, trans J. G. Frazer
Maya M. asked why the gods of Ancient Greek myth created man? I asked more specifically why Cronus was the first to attempt this grand experiment that took 5 attempts under two different divine regimes?
This is a sketchy proposal, but it might possible be one answer or part of the answer; “Now the gods had an oracle that none of the giants could perish at the hand of gods, but that with the help of a mortal they would be made an end of.” Apollodorus does not say which “gods”. But the metopes of several ancient temples include virtual all the gods not just the Olympians in the Gigantomachy and in contrast to to the Titanomachy, almost all the goddess too. Gaea seemed to be familiar with this prophecy, too.. What if all the gods knew the prophecy? Image the look on the Titans’ faces as they pondered the oracle, saying “What’s a giant?” “More importantly what is a mortal?”
So aware of the doom laying before the divine community; generation after generation of gods perfected the race that would save them. First the golden age of man; a failed experiment without fire or women[i]. The Silver Age added then Motherhood. Next the Bronze Age and our benefactor Prometheus; in pages 106-107 of “Hesiod’s Cosmos” Clay argues that Prometheus’ affection for humanity was more mercenary than philanthropic. The Titan adds fire and Pandoric wives to the blood line. As the final moments of the Gigantomachy approach, a dash of ichor in human veins and Zeus spend three days and nights in the siring of Heracles.[ii]
Tierasias at Heracles birth calls him the hero of the Gigantomachy to come.[iii] According to the metopes several other demi-gods join him. The gods win, the giants loss. At Thebes and Troy the heroes and demi-gods battle to the death. The gods pull the veil and are done with improving their creation.[iv]