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HELIOS (Helius) was the Titan god of the sun, a guardian of oaths, and the god of sight. He dwelt in a golden palace in the River Okeanos (Oceanus) at the far ends of the earth from which he emerged each dawn, crowned with the aureole of the sun, driving a chariot drawn by four winged steeds. When he reached the the land of the Hesperides in the far West he descended into a golden cup which bore him through the northern streams of Okeanos back to his rising place in the East.
Once his son Phaethon tried to drive the chariot of the sun, but he lost control and set the earth ablaze. Zeus struck the boy down with a thunderbolt.
Helios was depicted as a handsome, usually beardless, man clothed in purple robes and crowned with the shining aureole of the sun. His sun-chariot was drawn by four, sometimes winged, steeds.
Helios was identified with several other gods of fire and light such as Hephaistos (Hephaestus) and light-bringing Phoibos Apollon (Phoebus Apollo).
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