|Member of the Titans|
|Parents||Uranus and Gaia|
|Offspring||Helios, Eos and Selene|
In Greek mythology, Hyperion (//; Greek: Ὑπερίων, romanized: Hyperion, 'he who goes before') was one of the twelve Titan children of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky). With his sister, the Titaness Theia, Hyperion fathered Helios (Sun), Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn).
Hyperion was, along with his son Helios, a personification of the sun, with the two sometimes identified. John Keats's abandoned epic poem Hyperion is among the literary works that feature the figure.
As is the case for most of the Titans, there are no myths or functions for Hyperion. He seems to exist only to provide a father for the three celestial deities Helios (Sun), Selene (Moon) and Eos (Dawn). As a Titan, one of the oldest generation of gods, Hyperion was a fitting father for these three sky-gods who, as elements of the natural world, must have been conceived of as having come into being near the beginning of the cosmos.
Hyperion and Helios were both sun-gods. In early sources sometimes the two were considered to be distinct, with Hyperion being the father of Helios, but sometimes they were apparently identified, with Hyperion being simply a title of, or another name for, Helios himself. Hyperion is Helios' father in Homer's Odyssey, Hesiod's Theogony, and the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. But in the Iliad and elsewhere in the Odyssey, Helios is also called "Helios Hyperion" with Hyperion here either being used as a patronymic or other epithet, while also in the Homeric epics, and in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, besides being called Helios, he is sometimes also called simply Hyperion. In later sources the two sun-gods are distinctly father and son.
According to the rationalizing historian Diodorus Siculus, Hyperion was the name of the first person to understand the movement of the sun and moon, and their effect on the seasons, and explains that, because of this, he was said to be their "father":
Of Hyperion we are told that he was the first to understand, by diligent attention and observation, the movement of both the sun and the moon and the other stars, and the seasons as well, in that they are caused by these bodies, and to make these facts known to others; and that for this reason he was called the father of these bodies, since he had begotten, so to speak, the speculation about them and their nature.
|Hyperion's family tree |