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First generation of deities in Greek mythology

In
Greek mythology, the
primordial deities
are the first generation of gods and goddesses. These deities represented the fundamental forces and physical foundations of the globe and were generally not actively worshipped, as they, for the most part, were not given human characteristics; they were instead personifications of places or abstract concepts.

Hesiod, in his

Theogony
, considers the start beings (after
Anarchy) to exist
Gaia,
Tartarus,
Eros,
Erebus,
Hemera
and
Nyx.
Gaia
and
Uranus
in turn gave birth to the
Titans, and the
Cyclopes. The Titans
Cronus
and
Rhea
and so gave birth to the generation of the Olympians,
Zeus,
Poseidon,
Hades,
Hestia,
Hera
and
Demeter, who
overthrow
the Titans, with the reign of
Zeus
mark the end of the period of warfare and usurpation among the gods.


Hesiod’south primordial genealogy

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Hesiod‘s

Theogony,

(c. 700 BCE) which could exist considered the “standard” cosmos myth of Greek mythology,
[1]

tells the story of the genesis of the gods. After invoking the
Muses
(II.1–116), Hesiod tells of the generation of the beginning four primordial deities:

Kickoff Chaos
came to be, but side by side…
Earth… and dim
Tartarus
in the depth of the… Earth, and
Eros…”
[ii]

According to Hesiod, the next primordial gods that come to be are:

First generation

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Other sources

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Chaos

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In
Hesiod’s
creation myth,
Anarchy
is the showtime being to ever exist. Chaos is both seen as a deity and a affair, with some sources seeing anarchy as the gap between Sky and Earth.
[7]

In some accounts Anarchy existed starting time aslope Eros and Nyx,
[7]

while in others
Chaos
is the first and only thing in the universe. In some stories, Chaos is seen as existing beneath
Tartarus.
[7]

Chaos is the parent to
Night
and
Darkness.
[viii]

Gaia

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Gaia was the second being to exist formed, right after Chaos, in
Hesiod’s
theogony, and parthenogenetically gave birth to
Heaven, who would later go her husband and her equal, the
Sea, and to the high
Mountains.
[nine]

Gaia is a
mother globe
figure and is seen as the mother of all the gods, while also beingness the seat on which they exist.
[vii]

Gaia is the Greek Equivalent to the Roman goddess,
Tellus / Terra. The story of Uranus’ castration at the hands of
Cronus
due to Gaia’south interest is seen equally the explanation for why Heaven and Earth are separated.
[10]

In Hesiod’s story, Globe seeks revenge against Heaven for hiding her children the
Cyclopes
deep inside her, Gaia then goes to her other children and asks for their help to get revenge confronting their fell father; of her children, only Cronus, the youngest and “most dreadful” of them all agrees to do this. Gaia plans an ambush against Uranus where she hides Cronus and gives him the
sickle
to castrate him. From the blood Gaia once more go significant with the
Furies, the
Giants, and the
Melian nymphs.
[11]

Cronus
goes on to accept half-dozen children with his sister,
Rhea; who become the
Olympians. Cronus is later overthrown by his son,
Zeus, much in the same way he overthrew his male parent. Gaia is the female parent to the twelve
Titans;
Okeanus,
Kois,
Kreios,
Hyperion,
Iapetos,
Theia,
Rhea,
Themis,
Mnemosyne,
Phoibe,
Tethys, and
Cronus.
[eight]

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Later in the myth, afterward his succession, Cronus learns from his
female parent
and
father
that his ain son (Zeus) will overthrow him, as he did Uranus. To prevent this, Cronus swallowed all of his children with his sister
Rhea
as presently as they were born. Rhea sought out Gaia for aid in hiding her youngest son, Zeus, and gave Cronus a rock instead to swallow. Zeus later went on to defeat his father and become the leader of the
Olympians.

After Zeus’south succession to the throne,
Gaia
diameter another son with
Tartarus,
Typhon, a monster who would be the last to challenge Zeus’south say-so.
[11]

Sky and Globe have 3 sets of children: the
Titans, the
Cyclopes, and the
Hecatoncheires.

Nyx

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Nyx
(Night) is the mother of the
Moirai
(The Fates) and many other offspring. In some variations of Hesiod’south Theogony, Nyx is told as having black wings; and in one tale she laid an egg in
Erebus
from which
Love
sprang out.
[12]

With Erebus (Darkness) she has
Aether
and
Hemera, both embodying the antithesis of their parents.
[13]

However, the children Nyx has through parthenogenesis reflect the night aspects of the goddess.
[xiii]

One version of Hesiod’s tale tells that Night shares her house with 24-hour interval in Tartarus, just that the two are never abode at the aforementioned time.
[14]

However, in some versions Nyx’s habitation is where
Chaos
and
Tartarus
come across, suggesting to the idea that Anarchy resides beneath Tartarus.
[10]

Children of Nyx

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Eros

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Eros
is the god of beloved in Greek mythology, and in some versions of Greek mythology, is one of the primordial beings that outset came to be parentlessly. In Hesiod’s version, Eros was the “fairest among the immortal gods … who conquers the mind and sensible thoughts of all gods and men.”
[viii]

Tartarus

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Tartarus
is described past
Hesiod
as both a primordial deity
[15]

and as well a corking abyss where the
Titans
are imprisoned. Tartarus is seen as a prison, just is as well where
Day,
Night,
Slumber, and
Death
dwell, and also imagined equally a great gorge that’s a distinct role of the underworld. Hesiod tells that it took ix days for the Titans to fall to the bottom of Tartarus, describing how deep the abyss is.
[14]

In some versions Tartarus is described as a “misty darkness”
[10]

where Expiry, Styx, and Erebus reside.

Non-Hesiodic theogonies

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The
ancient Greeks
entertained different versions of the origin of
primordial deities. Some of these stories were possibly inherited from the pre-Greek Aegean cultures.
[16]

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Homeric primordial theogony

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The

Iliad
, an
epic poem
attributed to
Homer
near the
Trojan War
(an oral tradition of
c.
700–600 BCE), states that
Oceanus
(and possibly
Tethys, too) is the parent of all the deities.
[17]

Other Greek theogonies

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  • Alcman
    (fl. seventh century BCE) called
    Thetis
    the first goddess, producing
    poros
    (path),
    tekmor
    (marker), and
    skotos
    (darkness) on the pathless, featureless void.
    [18]


    [19]
  • Orphic
    poetry (c.
    530 BCE) made
    Nyx
    the first principle,
    Night, and her offspring were many. Also, in the Orphic tradition,
    Phanes
    (a mystic Orphic deity of low-cal and procreation, sometimes identified with the
    Elder Eros) is the original ruler of the universe, who hatched from the cosmic egg.
    [20]
  • Aristophanes
    (c.
    446–386 BCE) wrote in his play

    The Birds

    that Nyx was the first deity also, and that she produced Eros from an egg.

Note*
Tekmor
and
Pothos
are sometimes likewise counted among the Protogenoi.

Philosophical theogonies

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Philosophers of
Classical Greece
besides constructed their ain
metaphysical cosmogonies, with their own primordial deities:

Interpretation of primordial deities

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Scholars dispute the pregnant of the primordial deities in the poems of Homer and Hesiod.
[27]

Since the primordials requite birth to the Titans, and the Titans give birth to the Olympians, one mode of interpreting the primordial gods is as the deepest and near fundamental nature of the creation.

For instance,
Jenny Strauss Clay
argues that Homer’s poetic vision centers on the reign of Zeus, simply that Hesiod’s vision of the primordials put Zeus and the Olympians in context.
[sixteen]

Likewise, Vernant argues that the Olympic pantheon is a “system of classification, a particular way of ordering and conceptualizing the universe by distinguishing within information technology various types of powers and forces.”
[28]

But even earlier the Olympic pantheon were the Titans and primordial gods. Homer alludes to a more than tumultuous past before Zeus was the undisputed King and Male parent.
[29]

Mitchell Miller
argues that the first four primordial deities arise in a highly meaning relationship. He argues that Chaos represents
differentiation, since Chaos differentiates (separates, divides) Tartarus and Earth.
[30]

Fifty-fifty though Anarchy is “first of all” for Hesiod, Miller argues that Tartarus represents the primacy of the
undifferentiated,
or the
unlimited. Since undifferentiation is unthinkable, Chaos is the “first of all” in that he is the first
thinkable
being. In this way, Chaos (the principle of division) is the natural opposite of Eros (the principle of unification). World (light, mean solar day, waking, life) is the natural opposite of Tartarus (darkness, night, sleep, expiry). These iv are the parents of all the other Titans.

See also

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Notes

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  1. ^


    Hard,
    p. 21.


  2. ^



    Hesiod,

    Theogony,

    116
    .


  3. ^



    Hesiod,

    Theogony,

    123.


  4. ^



    Hesiod,

    Theogony,

    124.


  5. ^



    Hesiod,

    Theogony,

    126.


  6. ^



    Hesiod,

    Theogony,

    132.
  7. ^



    a






    b






    c






    d





    Bussanich, John (July 1983). “A Theoretical Estimation of Hesiod’s Chaos”.
    Classical Philology.
    78
    (3): 212–219.
    doi:10.1086/366783.
    JSTOR269431.
    S2CID161498892.


  8. ^



    a






    b






    c





    Van Kooten, George (2005).
    Creation of Heaven and Globe. Brill. pp. 77–89.


  9. ^



    a






    b






    c






    d





    Gotshalk, Richard (2000).
    Homer and Hesiod, Myth and Philosophy. Lanham, Maryland: Academy Printing of America. p. 196.


  10. ^



    a






    b






    c





    Sale, William (Winter 1965). “The Dual Vision of “Theogony”“.
    Arion: A Periodical of Humanities and the Classics.
    4
    (4): 668–699.
    JSTOR20162994.


  11. ^



    a






    b





    Leftkowitz, Mary R. (September 1989). “The Powers of the Primeval Goddess”.
    American Scholar
    – via EBSCOhost.




  12. ^



    Dietrich, B.C. (1997). “Aspects of Myth and Religion”.
    Classical Association of Due south Africa.
    20: 59–71.
    JSTOR24591525.


  13. ^



    a






    b





    Park, Arum (2014).
    “Parthenogensis in Hesiods Theogony”
    (PDF).
    Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural.
    three
    (2): 261–283.
    doi:10.5325/preternature.three.2.0261.
    hdl:
    10150/622192
    .
    JSTOR10.5325/preternature.3.2.0261.
    S2CID84238490.


  14. ^



    a






    b





    Johnson, David (Spring–Summer 1999). “Hesiod’s Description of Tartarus (“Theogony” 721-819)”.
    Phoenix.
    53
    (1/ii): 8–28.
    doi:10.2307/1088120.
    JSTOR1088120.




  15. ^


    Hesiod,
    Theogony,
    119
  16. ^



    a






    b





    Dirt, Jenny Strauss (26 May 2006).
    The Politics of Olympus: Grade and Meaning in the Major Homeric Hymns
    (2 ed.). London, UK: Bristol Classical Press. p. 9.
    ISBN
    9781853996924
    .




  17. ^




    Homer.

    Iliad
    . Book 14.




  18. ^


    Alcman, Fragment five (from Scholia) =
    Oxyrhynchus Papyrus
    2390.


  19. ^



    Campbell, D. A. (1989).

    Greek Lyric Two: Anacreon, Anacreontea, Choral Lyric from Olympis to Alcman
    . Cambridge: Harvard Academy Press. pp. 388–395.
    ISBN
    0-674-99158-iii
    .




  20. ^




    “Phanes”.
    Theoi. Protogenos.




  21. ^



    Kirk, M. Due south.; F.B.A, Regius Professor of Greek Thousand. S. Kirk; Raven, J. E.; Schofield, M. (1983-12-29).

    The Presocratic Philosophers: A Disquisitional History with a Option of Texts
    . Cambridge University Press. pp.56.
    ISBN
    978-0-521-27455-5
    .




  22. ^




    Laërtius, Diogenes
    (1925),

    “The Seven Sages: Pherecydes”
    ,

    Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
    , vol. 1:i, translated by
    Hicks, Robert Drew
    (Two volume ed.), Loeb Classical Library, § 119




  23. ^



    Smith, William (1870).

    Lexicon of Greek and Roman biography and mythology
    . Robarts – University of Toronto. Boston, Little. p. 258.




  24. ^



    Damascius.
    Difficulties and Solutions Regarding First Principles.
    214.


  25. ^




    Wallace, William
    (1911).

    “Empedocles”
    . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.).

    Encyclopædia Britannica
    . Vol. 09 (11th ed.). Cambridge Academy Press. pp. 344–345, see tertiary para, lines four to 6.
    …At that place are, according to Empedocles, four ultimate elements, iv primal divinities, of which are made all structures in the world—fire, air, water, world.




  26. ^



    Reynolds, Frank; Tracy, David (1990-x-30).

    Myth and Philosophy
    . SUNY Press.
    ISBN
    978-0-7914-0418-8
    .




  27. ^



    Nagy, Gregory (1992-01-01).

    Greek Mythology and Poetics
    . Cornell University Printing.
    ISBN
    978-0801480485
    .




  28. ^



    Vernant, Jean Pierre (1980-01-01).

    Myth and Society in Aboriginal Greece
    . Harvester Press.
    ISBN
    9780855279837
    .




  29. ^




    “The Net Classics Archive | The Iliad by Homer”.
    classics.mit.edu. pp. Book I (396–406), Book 8 (477–83). Archived from
    the original
    on 2011-07-14. Retrieved
    2016-01-21
    .




  30. ^



    Miller, Mitchell (October 2001).
    ‘First of all’: On the Semantics and Ideals of Hesiod’southward Cosmogony – Mitchell Miller – Ancient Philosophy (Philosophy Documentation Center)”.
    Ancient Philosophy.
    21
    (2): 251–276.
    doi:10.5840/ancientphil200121244
    . Retrieved
    2016-01-21
    .


References

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External links

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_primordial_deities