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Context

In my newest story, the gods of Ancient Greece feel they've been forgotten by man and decide to punish them by unleashing the Titans to wipe them out. I'm trying to figure how the Greeks would fare after the Titans are freed.

Mythological consensus

Conflicting sources of the mythology paint the Titans anywhere from very large humans (10-15 feet) to mountainous beings as large as 164 feet in height. I'm going to try to eliminate some of the doggier aspects of their powers, for instance no controlling the wind or seas, thunder, fire, ect. Additionally to make the fight reasonable fair, omnipotence is a complete non-aspect here, so all you have is basically a race of human giants ranging from 15 to 164 feet invading Greece.

The Titans were said to be immortal in most storytelling accounts, but immortals are difficult to kill right? Let's lower the standard of immortality to "Cannot possibly die unless their head is completely decapitated" and say that's the limit of their regeneration.

Some were said to have elemental traits, like flaming skin, embodying the wind/storms, controlling the weather, but it introduces too much speculation if that's allowed and I want a bit of realism here. Any exaggeration or divine feat will be safely ignored here for the sake of snipping variables. Therefore no other powers are permitted, the Titans will be going full melee here.

Another issue is their populations, I read lot of sources (Based on research into their fight for Mount Olympus) and the details on any such numbers is incredibly inconsistent, but got the impression their race ranged from hundreds to thousands of giant immortal beings. Let's say few thousand then, with only a small number of them the 'main' Titans like Cronus, Hyperion, ect being the large ones. I'll sketch at an arbitrary number like this:

-3000 10 Foot Titans

-300 35 Foot Titans

-30 50 Foot Titans

-12 main ruling Titans as the twelve Uranides, standing at 164 Feet tall (Cronus, Oceanus, Iapetus, Hyperion, Crius, Coeus, Rhea, Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Themis and Mnemosyne) will lead the charge

If you're curious how I got that figure, it's from the myth where the Titan Oceanus and his wife Tethys were said to have bred 6,000 children together, half male half female. I basically counted those 3000 males and ranked them among the Titan forces.

Other Considerations

For storytelling sake I'm going to leave out the four Iapetionides, since I don't believe the likes of Atlas nor Prometheus would be very interested in annihilating humans nor feel like obeying the ruling Greek Pantheon anyway.

Assumptions

  • Some other details to recall about Titans are, as mythological beings they don't need to eat, nor will they ever starve. Water, health, disease, nor food supply, are of no concern to Titans.
  • As stated before, the Titans do not have access to any other help, nor do they have their supernatural powers. They're merely giant humans here more or less.
  • With a few differences. They have immortality and a level of regeneration, but can not survive the destruction of their head.
  • The Titans do not age, so outlasting them via any sort of attrition is impossible.
  • To give the Greeks a resting chance we'll say the Titans have to give an obligatory "Time out" when the moon comes out.
  • This takes place in 341 BC in an alternate history where Xerxes decided not to invade Greece meaning the Peloponnesian War never happened.
  • All City States will unconditionally agree to a coalition lead by either Sparta or Athens, and in the case those two both fall Thebes will lead Greece after.
  • Xerxes will not invade nor will other countries when they hear of the Titan's advance. I won't rule out an alliance or diversion involving other nations however.

The Scenario

Their goal is to exterminate Greece and win the favor of the gods, as the Greek Pantheon who themselves will not intervene. All city states will work together to fight their divine enemy, and are told by an oracle in advance not only that the Titans will be advancing one week in advance, but also that they can be felled by Head-decapitation (Or alright head destruction). The Titans start out all the way North in Germany and start to stomp their way down, their target being Athens as the first to smash, then every other city-state one by one.

I'm interested in writing this so the politics of the real life Greece, as well as the characterization and mindset of the Titans (Or atleast the named main ones) also comes into play, if possible.

Conclusions

Given the condition of Greece at the time, can they fend off an attack by the approaching Titans marching to decimate their civilization? How would they prepare for such an invasion, could they deal with it? What would be the outcome? And if they'd lose, I'd like to hear what sort of plan they'd reaction go out with before facing divine extinction.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Renan, sphennings, L.Dutch, Aify, RonJohn Apr 2 '18 at 16:59

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ How is this scenario different from Attack on Titan? $\endgroup$ – kingledion Nov 16 '16 at 13:42
  • $\begingroup$ It's in Ancient Greece. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) Attack on Titan takes place in a magical fantasy medieval setting. Greeks don't have access to magic nor medieval technology, and the politics/logistics of Greece I'm sure are entirely different than Attack on Titan. $\endgroup$ – hankhoward Nov 16 '16 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ I am really thinking greeks have no chance against Titans as you've laid them out. Now, Rome at the height of the Empire...there's an interesting challenge for your titans $\endgroup$ – Marshall Tigerus Nov 16 '16 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ "6,000 children together, half male half female. I basically counted those 3000 males" In a world where the gods are equally male and female, as are the major titans, why would only the males fight in this? $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Nov 17 '16 at 4:03
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    $\begingroup$ A very well-written question. Clarification: How clever are your titans? Also: about 1,200 miles of walking for your 10 foot titans (a little faster than humans, including a rest at night) would take about a month, so do we get to add that to our 1 week's time allotment? $\endgroup$ – Mikey Nov 17 '16 at 22:45
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Options with the supernatural.( Since this setting has Greek gods and titans there is no reason to assume that the other things mentioned in Greek mythology aren't also there)

First magic. There are Greek mages in Greek mythology. While the knowledge of how to use magic comes from the gods the power doesn't so the magic user should still have the power even if the gods turn against humanity.

Medusa head. Medusa head capable of turn any who look upon it to stone. The trick worked on the Kragon it might work on a titan. If not perhaps some other magical artifact will.

Help from the gods. While Zeus was king the gods were rarely completely united. It would be not be unusual for the gods to divided over human conflicts for example. The Greeks could petition the gods for help. Perhaps a few of them would defy the others.

Demigods, e.g. Herakles, are capable of some pretty impressive feet like slaying the hydra. They often have support of the heavenly parent. So they might not only be able to defined humanity from the titans but bring some of the Greek gods to humanity side.

Options without supernatural (No magic user, dem gods, or magical artifacts or creatures)

If the Greeks don't have any of these things then the only option I see is to hide or run. Bronze age tec stands no chance against a titian as you described. they might stand a chance against the smaller titian but the mega titian (164 feet tall as described) would wipe out every thing in it path. most would die but some would flee the country. a small percent might be able to hid in caves. only coming out at night to hunt and gather food all the while trying to avoid notice of the titans.

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A very important piece of information you missed is how smart the titans are. If they have an IQ of 115 - 130, the greeks are screwed. However, if they are just brutes (IQ 70-90), they are dead meat (unless they are at the upper end of their size limit).

Strategies, Titans

The titans (if at lower size limit) would always want to avoid archers and ballistas, as they would be able to easily destroy their heads. At lower size limits, they would want to wear metallic helmets to shield their heads and use metal clubs and smash their adversaries.

Against siege weapons, the titans would use large rocks and try to destroy them from a distance. They would also be particularly dangerous (at lower size limit) if they climb up a mountain and start hurling rocks at the greek armies and towns below.

Breaking critical bridges and blocking roads by felling trees would allow them to choke their adversaries so that no external help can get to them.

At the upper size limit (164 feet), they would simply be walking tanks. Furthermore, their awe and terror would work immensely on their advantage, sending armies fleeing in distress and the titans simply trample over them and kick palaces to the dust. At this size limit, they would be simply impossible to defeat with the technology level of 341 BC greece.

Strategies, Greeks

The greeks would naturally want to target the faces and heads of the titans with ballistas and arrows. Another strategy they would want to employ is to injure the legs of their adversaries so that they fall down and their heads get within the range of melee weapons.

Digging trenches around the city states would also help counter the titans as swimming would put their heads at a lower elevation level, making them easier to shoot. Also, the slower speed of swimming would make aiming easier than a running or fighting titan.

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    $\begingroup$ What was the IQ of the average Greek? Assuming not all the Titans are philosophers exactly or intellectual like Atlas and Prometheus were. $\endgroup$ – hankhoward Nov 20 '16 at 7:11
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If all these Titans pop up at once, united, and attack in a coordinated manner, I think Greece is toast. Such large beings could easily disrupt trade, ruin farming and food stockpiles, and control water sources to the point where most of Greece would be a giant refugee exodus point filled with starving, diseased humans dying in droves. Even with a week advance notice, I don't think enough folks would believe the message and at any rate, it isn't enough time to develop anti-titan tactics.

BUT, if the Titans trickle out such that the Greeks could develop tactics and unite themselves, they may have a chance. Siege weapons like ballistae, catapults, and rams could take out fairly large beings. The smaller ones could be surrounded and defeated by spear phalanx formations. The greeks were not ignorant of NBC warfare (well, maybe not aware of the Nuclear part :) So they were not adverse to using poison, chemical attacks, and greek fire. If titans could be found in small groups they could be defeated via burning, poison (assuming any have an effect), or being lead into traps and crushed by falling rock.

The VERY large titans would be problematic, but such a big creature would be slow to react and could be made to trod on giant iron caltrops coated with feces or poison, which could hobble the Titan and possibly make it septic. The cost in human life would be high, but it could be done. A ballista bolt to the chest may not penetrate the chest wall (assuming a 27:1 ratio, that means the chest wall is an average of 4.5cmX27=121cm or 55 INCHES of meat, which is pretty damned thick) but it could introduce poison or fecal material, which can set up an infection. Probably not that effective since they can regenerate, but if they can hit the eyes...

Given time the Greeks could probably negotiate a peace with some Titans in an attempt to turn them against each other. It is also highly likely that some of the gods will lend aid to the humans, even if they have to do it in secret.

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  • $\begingroup$ I would say that being Titans would make them immune to biological tactics, but there quite a times in Greek Mythology where such creatures were poisoned or weakened (Ex. Chiron's poisoned arrows), so apparently it's still possible to poison them if you can do it thoroughly. $\endgroup$ – hankhoward Nov 20 '16 at 7:10
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Send some of Hermes' demigod children to negotiate with the Titans.
Point out that both humans and Titans are children of Gaea, while the gods imprisoned the Titans in Tartarus and oppressed humanity. Now, they're using the Titans to attack humans because the humans have had enough.
Suggest that humans and Titans should unite and jointly attack Olympus instead.
As far as rebelling against the gods is concerned, what are they going to do, unleash the Titans on humanity?

Should they agree, have the Titans lead the assault. With any luck the gods and Titans will mostly kill each other off, and the survivors can be dealt with by the assorted Greek armies. We do not want a bunch of overgrown children with poor impulse control, whether giants or gods, throwing their weight around.

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The Titans were as powerful as their Olympian descendants (The usual Greek Gods). In the Iliad we had gods fighting in the battles with Mortals though many of them were descended from Gods so were demigods or their descendants.

Also the gods seemed to be pretending to be mortals when they were fighting so as to remain unnoticed and also so as not to anger Zeus by changing the course of the war. If you look at the other Greek Myths the Olympians and those Titans who stuck around after the Titanomachy were incredibly powerful Poseidon's trident could control the seas and cause earthquakes for example with the only caveat being that Poseidon couldn't control the seas when Aeolus bottled the winds in the Odyssey though a similar thing happened in reverse in the Aeneid.

The main question you should ask is how the Titans left Tartarus? Did they defeat Hades and his allies in the Underworld and whether they can still control the things that they used to before the Titans took over or do they need the Olympians special items to regain their powers. For example would Nereus need to gain Poseidon's trident to control the sea or are they both able to control the sea anyway.

Looking at the myths on the whole the Greeks would probably be in big trouble without divine intervention or at least the help of some demigods and other great heroes. Demigods are able to spar with Gods, Titans, Monsters, Giants (the other children of Gaia who fought the Olympians in Gigantomachy in another civil war for the cosmos) and Cyclopes but depending on the Titans power it could end really badly for the Greeks their only hope is that the Titans would be merciful and keep them around because the Greeks worshiped many Titans as well as the Gods but considering Kronos' child eating record I wouldn't blame the greeks for feeling queasy.

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