Epic Cycle (᾽Επικὸς κύκλος): set of twelve archaic epic poems, known to every educated Greek. The best-known were Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, which are also the only epics that have survived.


Homer. Glyptothek, München (Germany)

The Titanomachy is the first epic of the Epic Cycle; it is attributed to Eumelus of Corinth or Arctinus. From Proclus' excerpt, we get the idea that the subject matter was more or less identical to Hesiod's Theogony: a catalog of primordial deities, and a story about war between several generations of gods, culminating in the victory of Zeus. The story may or may not have ended with an account of Europe, Cadmus, and the founding of Thebes, to connect the Titanomachy to the Oedipus.

Proclus' excerpt

The Epic Cycle begins with the fabled union of Heaven and Earth, by which they make three hundred-handed sons and three Cyclopes to be born to him.


2. Anecdota Oxoniensia 1.75 (Cramer):
According to the writer of the War of the Titans Heaven was the son of Aether.

3. Scholiast on Apollonius' Argonautica 1.1165:
Eumelus says that Aegaeon was the son of Earth and Sea and, having his dwelling in the sea, was an ally of the Titans.

4. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 7.277d:
The poet of the War of the Titans, whether Eumelus of Corinth or Arctinus, writes thus in his second book: "Upon the shield were dumb fish afloat, with golden faces, swimming and sporting through the heavenly water."

Gigantomachy (Treasury of the Siphnians, Delphi)
Gigantomachy (Treasury of the Siphnians, Delphi)

5. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 1.22c:
Eumelus somewhere introduces Zeus dancing: he says - "In the midst of them danced the Father of men and gods."

6. Scholiast on Apollonius' Argonautica 1.554:
The author of the War of the Giants says that Cronos took the shape of a horse and lay with Philyra, the daughter of Ocean. Through this cause Cheiron was born a centaur: his wife was Chariclo.

7. Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, 11.470b:
Theolytus says that he (Heracles) sailed across the sea in a cauldron; but the first to give this story is the author of the War of the Titans.

8. Philodemus, On piety:
The author of the War of the Titans says that the apples (of the Hesperides) were guarded…


The translation of the excerpt in Proclus' Chrestomathy (transmitted to us by Photius) and the fragments was made by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, and was copied from LacusCurtius.