Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Titans >> Pallas


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Spear-Brandishing (pallô)

PALLAS was the Titan god of battle and warcraft. He was the father of Nike (Victory), Zelos (Rivalry), Kratos (Cratus, Strength) and Bia (Power) by Styx (Hatred), children who sided with Zeus during the Titan-War. Pallas' name was derived from the Greek word pallô meaning "to brandish (a spear)". He was vanquished by the goddess Athena who crafted her aigis (a goat-hide arm-guard) from his skin.



[1.1] KRIOS & EURYBIA (Hesiod Theogony 375, Apollodorus 1.8)
[1.2] MEGAMEDES (Homeric Hymn 4.100)


[1.1] ZELOS, NIKE, KRATOS, BIA (by Styx) (Hesiod Theogony 383, Apollodorus 1.8)
[1.2] ZELOS, NIKE, KRATOS, BIA, FOUNTAINS, LAKES (by Styx) (Hyginus Preface)
[2.1] SELENE (Homeric Hymn 4.100)
[2.2] EOS, SELENE (Ovid Fasti 4.373)
[2.3] EOS (Valerius Flaccus 2.72)


PALLAS (Pallas). 1. A son of Crius and Eurybia, was one of the Titans, and brother of Astraeus and Perses. He was married to Styx, by whom he became the father of Zelus, Cratos, Bia, and Nice. (Hes. Theog. 376, 383; Paus. vii. 26. § 5, viii. 18, § 1; Apollod. i. 2. § 2, 4.) 2. A son of Megamedes, and father of Selene. (Hom. Hymn. in Merc. 100.) 3. A giant, who, in the fight with the gods, was slain by Athena, and flayed by her. (Apollod. i. 6. § 2.) 4. According to some traditions, the father of Athena, who slew him as he was on the point of violating her. (Cic. De Nat. Deor. iii. 23; Tzetz. ad Lyc. 355.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.



Hesiod, Theogony 375 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"And Eurybia (Wide-Power), bright goddess, was joined in love to Krios (Crius, Ram) and bare great Astraios (Astraeus, Starry), and Pallas (Warrior), and Perses (Destroyer)."

Hesiod, Theogony 383 ff :
"And Styx the daughter of Okeanos (Oceanus) was joined to Pallas and bare Zelos (Zelus, Emulation) and trim-ankled Nike (Victory) in the house. Also she brought forth Kratos (Cratus, Strength) and Bia (Force), wonderful children."

Homeric Hymn 4 to Hermes 100 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th - 4th B.C.) :
"Bright Selene (the Moon), daughter of the lord Pallas, Megamedes' son, had just climbed her watch-post."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The Titanes (Titans) had children . . . To Kreios (Crius) and Eurybia, the daughter of Pontos (Pontus, Sea), were born Astraios (Astraeus), Pallas, and Perses . . .
Nike, Kratos (Cratus), Zelos (Zelus), and Bia were born to Pallas and Styx."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 26. 12 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The city [Pellene, Akhaia (Achaea)] got its name, according the the Pellenians, from Pallas, who was, they say, one of the Titanes (Titans).”

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Terra (Earth) [Gaia] and Tartarus [were born] : Gigantes (Giants)--Enceladus, Coeus, elentes, mophius, Astraeus, Pelorus, Pallas, Emphytus, Rhoecus, ienios, Agrius, alemone, Ephialtes, Eurytus, effracordon, Theomises, Theodamas, Otus, Typhon, Polybotes, meephriarus, abesus, colophonus, Iapetus."
[N.B. Several Titanes (TItans)--Iapetos, Koios (Coeus), Pallas and Astraios (Astraeus)--appear in this list of Gigantes.]

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface :
"From [text missing] [were born] Perses, Pallas."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface :
"From Pallas the giant and Styx [were born] : Scylla, Vis [Bia], Inuidia [Zelos], Potestas [Kratos (Cratus)], Victoria [Nike], Fontes (Fountains), Lacus (Lakes)."

Ovid, Fasti 4. 373 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"When Pallantis [Eos the Dawn, daughter of Pallas] next gleams in heaven and stars flee and Luna's [Selene the Moon's] snow-white horses are unhitched."


The War of the Giants and War of the Titanes (Titans) were often treated as identical. The immortal Titanes may have led their mortal brethren, the Gigantes, into battle.

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 38 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[In the War of the Gigantes :] She [Athena] stripped the skin off Pallas and used it to protect her own body during the battle."

Suidas s.v. Pallas (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Pallas : A great virgin. It is an epithet of Athena; from brandishing (pallein) the spear, or from having killed Pallas, one of the Gigantes (Giants)."


Pallas was the Titan-god of warcraft. His name, like the title of the goddess Athene, was believed to be derived from the word pallô, meaning "to wield or brandish a spear." As a son of Heaven, Pallas may have also represented the Greek campaign season of late spring, early summer. He was the father of four warlike gods--Nike (Victory), Kratos (Power), Bia (Force), and Zelos (Rivalry). His wife Styx seems to represent the most binding oath of allegiance--for by her stream the gods were said to have sworn their allegiance to Zeus at the beginning of the Titan-War.

Pallas may have presided over the Constellation Auriga (the Charioteer) and its chief star Capella (the storm-bringing goat Aix), which rises in mid-spring and marked the beginning of the Greek campaign season. His father Krios (Crius) and brother Perses probably ruled over the two neighbouring constellations--Aries (Krios in Greek) and Perseus. Furthermore, the constellation Auriga contained the two defining features of the Titan Pallas--firstly it depicted a chariot-riding warrior, and secondly it contained the stormy-bringing goat-star Capella.

Pallas was surely imagined as a goatish god. In the story of the Titan-War, Athene vanquishes him in battle, and crafts her stormy aigis (a goat-hide, arm-guard) from his skin. Pallas' father and brothers were also apparently animalistic--Krios (Crius) is, of course, named simply the Ram, was probably paired with the constellation of the same name (Aries); Astraios (Astraeus), father of the horse-shaped wind-gods, may have been assine or equine in form; and Perses, father of Hekate, was perhaps dog-like god. Pallas' connection with the stars is further emphasized when he is described as the father of the moon-goddess Selene.






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