Skip to main content

Chronos, God of Time

Justin W. Price, AKA PDXKaraokeGuy, is a freelance writer, blogger, and award-nominated author based out of Juneau, Alaska.


There are a lot of interesting stories and characters in biblical, Roman, Greek, Native American, etc etc mythology and I thought it would be fun to do some HUBS on some of these mythological figures and events. Of course, when I say "mythology" I'm not necessarily implying that they are false, only that they should be categorized under the heading of "myth". I hope that you will find them interesting and if you have any specific myths of mythological figures that you would like to see HUBS on, please let me know!


Who is Chronos?

Chronos is the personification of Time. His name is often spelled Chronus or Khronus. He is sometimes called Aeon or Time. For obvious reasons, he is often confused with Cronus, the Titan god and father of Zeus, who ate his children so they would not dethrone him.

What does he look like?

Even though he is serpentine in form and has three heads (those of a bull, a man, and a lion), he is usually portrayed as a wise old man with a long grey beard and is sometimes referred to as "Father Time". He is also depicted with wings as in "Time Flies".

Father of Horae (regarded as "hours"), of Aether ("Upper sky"), and of Eros (Yes. The God of erotic love. We should all give thanks!)


What does he do? What myths are associated with him?

He is the representation of Past, Present, Future and Eternity. There are no real specific myths associated with him, but he is said to have been the first to exist, created as part of the Big Bang. Except for the effects of his actions, Chronos is not a physical presence in the world. Effects are always perceived as "Present", but causes can be seen as either "Past", "Present" of "Future". Without these concepts, there would be no before and after; no cause and effect., There would be no perception of time as all things would be perceived simultaneously. This, of course, would be terrifically confusing. Since he is the concept of time, if he were to lengthen or shorten the days, we would not notice as we would have no way to check time and, thus, have no means of comparison. If he decided to move in reverse, the whole physical world would be altered, since causes and effects are dependent on his direction. Thus, death would come before birth, and old age before youth (i.e., Benjamin Button). In short, there would be no life without Chronos.

Chronos and Eros. Johann Heinrich Schönfeld

Chronos and Eros. Johann Heinrich Schönfeld

my poetry collection

Where is he now and is anything connected to him now in the modern world?

Some of the current English words with an etymological root of khronos/chronos include chronology, chronometer, chronic, anachronism and chronicle. He could be compared to the Hebrew God Yahweh, who is also said to hold the whole universe, including the concept of time, in his grip and, if he so desired, could usher the world out of existence and/or into total chaos. Unlike Chronos, however, Yahweh is said to be out of the realm of physical time.

all rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price August 2011



Justin W Price (author) from Juneau, Alaska on September 05, 2012:

Thanks for the kind words, Stephen. I'm glad you enjoyed this!

Stephen Seth Ulibarri from Albuquerque on August 25, 2012:

Just awesome. Amazing. Voted up

Justin W Price (author) from Juneau, Alaska on December 06, 2011:

married with debt, that's hilarious :-)

Till, I'm not sure. I guess we'll never know fer sure.

Apryl, it's a recent fascination of mine. Im glad you approve!

Apryl Schwarz from Nebraska on December 05, 2011:

Very interesting. I always loved Greek and Roman mythology!

Mary Craig from New York on December 05, 2011:

So it would be bad thing if old age came before youth? Seriously, this was very interesting. We're all familiar with "Father Time" but the background is something most people don't know. Voted up.

marriedwithdebt from Illinois on December 05, 2011:

Argggggggggh - "time" is the worst invention of all........time! I think it was the Egyptians who figured out how to divide up the day into equal, measurable sections. This lead to the invention of work, as opposed to slavery. I guess at least you could clock out when you were done.

Justin W Price (author) from Juneau, Alaska on November 08, 2011:

@ Gypsy: Thanks for the read. It is funny the different forms myths take.

@ Bri: Thanks for the read. Can you send me a private e mail with that suggestion? I'd be happy to look into it!

@Coger: Glad I could enlighten you. It's always fun to discover things we never thought we needed to discover! I've never seen that film and I'd love to see one of your excellent reviews on it. Feel free to link to my hub if you need to and I'll post a link to your review as well.

UltimateMovieRankings from Virginia on November 08, 2011: of the strangest movies I ever saw was Chronos....and I never researched the meaning of the word...until I stumbled across this excellent hub. Lots of great information in the hub that is simple awesome.

bri36 on November 08, 2011:

you have a very interesting mind, can youn spend some time doing a few pieces on the old gods of ur? or maybe even look into the vastiness of the pagan traditions? voted^

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on November 07, 2011:

I found this a fascinating read. I enjoy reading about myth and such things. The only place I ever heard of Chronos was in a MASK cartoon and there Chronos is a woman. lol

stessily on November 06, 2011:

PDXKaraokeGuy: Thank you for reminding me of Chronos, who has long intrigued me as an enigmatic deity. I always wanted to know more about him per se and not just his personification.

James W. Nelson from eastern North Dakota on November 06, 2011:

Thank you Karaokieguy, yes, I do like short articles/hubs about myths, as I don't have/take time to look it up myself. I hope you get a lot of interest here.

Daniella Lopez on November 06, 2011:

Very interesting hub. I know very little of Chronos, so this hub was most helpful. Voted up!

Related Articles