231 ff (trans. Deor. She was one of the primeval deities, born from Chaos, a sister of Erebus (Darkness), whom she married. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) -Ovid, Metamorphoses 10. "O Nox (Night) who castest thy mantle over the toiling earth and heaven, and sendest the fiery stars on their divers roaming courses, gracious refresher of the mind, till the next sun shed blithe upspringing upon faint mortality, thou, kindly Nox . Nyx also played an important role in the Orphic mysteries. The Orphic mystery cults, however, believed that she had been the original being in the universe and all other creation had begun with Nyx. Campbell, Vol. "Beneath the western reign of Nox (Night), her course already turned, and the setting stars, so soon as mighty Tethys had driven forth tardy Hyperion [Helios the Sun] from the Eastern sea. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. Even Hesiod called them both daughters of Nyx and of Themis. [Nyx] holding in her hands the glorious sceptre of Erikepaios (Ericepaeus) [Phanes]. ", Bacchylides, Fragment 25 (trans. § 1). "O Nox (Night) . Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. "And Nyx (Night), respite from labour after the journey of the sun, lightened sleep and brought the beginning of wandering morn; and opened the two gates of Dreams (Oneiroi). While other Greeks preferred gods of light like Apollo, the Orphic mysteries prayed to Persephone as the queen of the underworld and Hecate as the keeper of secret magic. She could be so fearsome that even Zeus did not dare to upset her when she took one of her children under her protection. Look! to C1st A.D.) : Virgil, Aeneid 6. In Greek mythology, Nyx is the Goddess of the Night. It is unsurprising that Nyx was closely linked to Hecate, the goddess of magic and witchcraft. Also she bare the Moirai (Moirae, Fates) and the ruthless avenging Keres (Deaths) . Her home is in the depths of Hades’ underworld. 14) she was the daughter of Eros. If they heed her favouring signs . 1 ff : Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 115 ff (trans. She is usually seen riding in a chariot, trailing stars and painting the night sky accompanied with her two sons, Hypnos and Thanatos. ", Pindar, Dirges Fragment 129 (trans. ", Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 12. She could be helpful as well. In the beginning only Erebus and Nyx drove a dark chariot across Uranus. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) : thou divine Nyx (Night)! 1057 ff : : Hesiod, Theogony 115 ff (trans. "Nyx (night) with her gentle ban on man's activities descended on the company. ", Nonnus, Dionysiaca 25. "[The Greeks celebrate the fall of Troy, captured by night using guile :] ‘Hail, sovereign (basileus) Zeus, and you kindly Night (nyx philia), you who have given us great glory, you who cast your meshed snare upon the towered walls of Troy.’", Aeschylus, Libation Bearers 660 ff : . "Eos' (Dawn's) celestial beams chased black Nyx (night) from the sky. (Hes. [N.B. Zeus raged, beating other gods within his household and searching everywhere for the god of sleep. : NYX was the goddess of the night, one of the primordial gods (protogenoi) who emerged as the dawn of creation. "And Nyx bare hateful Moros (Doom of Death) and black Ker (Fate of Death) and Thanatos (Thanatus, Death), and she bare Hypnos (Hypnus, Sleep) and the tribe of Oneiroi (Dreams). "Dewy Nox (Night) upon the Hesperian shore has reached her goal [departing from the sky as dawn breaks]. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. And Gaia (Gaea, Earth) first bore starry Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven), equal to herself, to cover her on every side. While the night could be feared, it could also be welcomed for its stillness and the arrival of prophetic and beautiful dreams. Sandys) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) 758B) : Lycophron, Alexandra 432 (trans. As the goddess of night and the consort of darkness, Nyx had an obvious place within the mystery cults of Greek religion. She is known to be a Primordial Goddess, therefore she created herself. 435 ff : Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 12. Keep reading to find out how the Greeks viewed the night, and the goddess that embodied it! 752 : All subsequent life and material came from them. You could say I’m an Eclectic Witch, because I sometimes find a few minor things about Wicca I disagree with, but I like calling myself a Wiccan because I … 549 ff (trans. : In Greek mythology, Nyx is the Goddess of the Night. 1068), (Aeschyluls Eumenides 321 & 415 & 745 & 961), (Aeschyluls Eumenides 321, Lycophron 432, Virgil Aeneid 6.250, Ovid Metamorphoses 4.453). Although he was the king of the gods and consumed by fury, Zeus stopped going against Hypnos. [1.3] EROS, AITHER (Aristophanes Birds 685 & 1190) Athenian Red Figure Vase Painting C4th B.C. ", Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. [1.5] MOROS (FATUM), GERAS (SENECTUS), THANATOS (MORS), KER (LETUM), SOPHROSYNE (CONTINENTIA), HYPNOS (SOMNUS), ONEIROI (SOMNIA), EROS (AMOR), EPIPHRON, PORPHYRION, EPAPHOS, ERIS (DISCORDIA), OIZYS (MISERIA), HYBRIS (PETULANTIA), NEMESIS, EUPHROSYNE, PHILOTES (AMICITIA), ELEOS (MISERICORDIA), STYX, MOIRAI (PARCAE), HESPERIDES (by Erebos) (Hyginus Preface) : Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 1075 (trans. Unlike Thanatos, he embodied a violent or sudden end and was often accompanied by pain and fear. [Iris disguised as Nyx addresses Hypnos :] ‘O Blackwing! ", Homer, Iliad 8. She is Primordial God. : Pindar, Dirges Fragment 129 (trans. Her birthplace was not on Earth but in Gaia. [1.1] KHAOS (Hesiod Theogony 123, Nonnus Dionysiaca 31.115) According to most legends, she was born from Chaos itself, making her a sister of major primordial gods like Gaia and Tartarus. She [the witch Kirke (Circe)] sprinkled round about her evil drugs and poisonous essences, and out of Erebos and Chaos called Nox (Nyx) and the Gods of Night (Di Nocti) and poured a prayer with long-drawn wailing cries to Hecate. Campbell, Vol. x. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : [2.1] PHANES (Orphic Argonautica 12, Orphic Fragment 101), [1.1] AITHER, HEMERA (by Erebos) (Hesiod Theogony 124, Cicero De Natura Deum 3.17) She is further said, without any husband, to have given birth to Moros, the Keres, Thanatos, Hypnos, Dreams, Momus, Oizys, the Hesperides, Moerae, Nemesis, and similar beings. In ancient art Nyx was depicted as a either a winged goddess or charioteer, sometimes crowned with an aureole of dark mists. "All the stars wheeled aloft by Nyx (Night). As the goddess of night, Nyx was often paired with Erebus, the embodiment of darkness. ", Aeschylus, Agamemnon 355 ff (trans. She did not only have an important place in the lore of witchcraft, however. ", Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 5 (trans. 142 ff (trans. "The ugly form of Hypnos' (Sleep's) mother the blackgirdled goddess Nyx (Night) . 211, &c.; Cic. : Bacchylides, Fragment 1b (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) and thou, divine three-formed Hecate . [2.2] THE ERINYES (Aeschyluls Eumenides 321, Lycophron 432, Virgil Aeneid 6.250, Ovid Metamorphoses 4.453) Campbell, Vol. And Vulcanus' [Hephaistos'] fire shall eat the lustral entrails, where-o'er the new milk streams. ", Statius, Thebaid 3. A statue of Night, the work of Rhoecus, existed at Ephesus (Paus. 160 ff : 848 ff : A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page. Nyx was a commonly given mother, however. 1068) It was also believed that Nix has complete control over life and death, both for men and for Gods. As the mother of many ills and the consort of darkness, even Zeus knew better than to cross Nyx. . . ", Statius, Thebaid 1. Nyx’s story, like the Goddess herself, is quite obscure. "[The Erinyes speak :] ‘We [the Erinyes] are the eternal children of Nyx (Night). 1 ff : 497 ff (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : Athenian Red Figure Vase Painting C5th B.C. 656 ff : 97 ff (trans. 192 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. Alone she spawned a brood of dark spirits including the three Fates, Sleep, Death, Strife and Pain. ", Ovid, Fasti 5. 210 ff (trans. . Nyx (the Night) grieved in her daughter's [Eos is here identified with Hemera] anguish, and the heaven drew over all his stars a veil of mist and cloud, of love unto Erigeneia (the Lady of Light). 97 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) : Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 3. "To Nyx (Night), Fumigation with Torches. Melville). . He lived in his father’s land, Erebus, at the edge of the world but came out each night as part of his mother’s retinue. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) "When spangled-robed (poikileimôn) night (nyx) shall veil his [the sun's] brightness. "[Zeus] resolved to mount Semele's nightly couch, and turned his eye to the west, to see when sweet Hesperos would come . : Orphic Hymn 7 to the Astron (trans. "Nyx (Night) of the blue-black headband. : On the chest of Cypselus she was represented carrying in her arms the gods of Sleep and Death, as two boys (v. 18. 6 (trans. Nyx, however, took her son in to protect him. "Verily at first Khaos (Chaos, the Gap) [Air] came to be, but next wide-bosomed Gaia (Gaea, Earth) . Cicero's list mostly follows Hesiod's Theogony, albeit with Latin translations of the word-names]. The Oneiroi – Also denizens of Erebus, the Oneiroi were the. ", Aratus, Phaenomena 468 ff : Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) ", Virgil, Aeneid 12. Nyx Greek Goddess of the Night . 602 ff : . ", Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 23 ff : The goddess of night and consort of darkness was, therefore, of great interest to those who followed the Orphic rites. . Nyx, Night], sluggish brother of cruel Mors (Death) [Thanatos]. "When she [Luna-Selene the Moon] shone in fullest radiance . : ", Colluthus, Rape of Helen 319 ff (trans. So Zeus calmed his savage resentment with difficulty, and cried out to Hera. 11 (trans. She was also the mother of many other divine children. "[From a description of an ancient Greek painting of the infant Herakles wrestling with the serpents :] Nyx (Night) also, the time in which these events take place, is represented in human form she is shedding a light upon herself with a torch that the exploit of the child may not lack a witness. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) : . 421 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. § 3). Here too is what is called the Chamber of Demeter, built, they say, by Kar when he was king. It is said that she was created near the beginning of time. Like the nighttime she represented, Nyx could be very dangerous but could also be peaceful and beautiful. Glowing Helios (the Sun) never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven nor as he comes down from heaven. Kronos (Cronus) who did a mighty deed to Ouranos (Uranus, Sky), son of Nyx (Night), who became king first of all; following him again Kronos (Time), and then Zeus the contriver. According to most legends, she was born from Chaos, making her a peer of the other primordial gods like Gaia, Uranus, and Tartarus. [1.6] EROS (AMOR), DOLOS (DOLUS), DEIMOS (METUS), PONOS (LABOR), NEMESIS (INVIDENTIA), MOROS (FATUM), GERAS (SENECTUS), THANATOS (MORS), KERES (TENEBRAE), OIZYS (MISERIA), MOMOS (QUERELLA), PHILOTES (GRATIA), APATE (FRAUS), . "At the beginning there was only Khaos (the Chasm) [Air], Nyx (Night), dark Erebos (Darkness), and deep Tartaros (the Pit). . The image of Asklepius (Asclepius) and also that of Hygeia (Health) were made by Bryaxis. : ‘Tell me, Laggard Nyx (Night), when is envious Eos (Dawn) to set? ", Statius, Thebaid 1. [2.1] THE ERINYES, THE MOIRAI (Aeschyluls Eumenides 321 & 415 & 745 & 961) "The Night-Born Sisters (Sorores Genitae Nocte) [Erinyes], divinities implacable, doom-laden. 87; Val. By night, for example, sailors could see the stars they used to navigate. 5. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) Nyx is the Greek Goddess of the night, and the daughter of Chaos. : [N.B. 210 ff (trans. : Common people, according to one Roman source, welcomed Nox, as she was called in Latin. "Then plunged the sun down into Okeanos' (Oceanus') stream, and sable-vestured Nyx (Night) came floating up o'er the wide firmament, and brought her boon of sleep to sorrowing mortals. She was told to be very beautiful. Theog. to C1st A.D.) : Seneca, Hercules Furens 125 ff (trans. leapt away, a groan came from the ground, the bushes blanched, the spattered sward was soaked with gouts of blood, stones brayed and bellowed, dogs began to bark, black snakes swarmed on the soil and ghostly shapes of silent spirits floated through the air. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. Nyx was a primordial deity in Greek mythology who proceeded the Titans and the Olympians. Her residence was in the darkness of Hades. At night the sun-god Helios sailed back to his rising place in the east in a golden bowl. [Hypnos addresses Hera :] ‘That time I laid to sleep the brain in Zeus of the aegis and drifted upon him still and soft, but your mind was devising evil, and you raised along the sea the blasts of the racking winds, and on these swept him away to Kos (Cos), the strong-founded, with all his friends lost, but Zeus awakened in anger and beat the gods up and down his house, looking beyond all others for me, and would have sunk me out of sight in the sea from the bright sky had not Nyx (Night) who has power over gods and men rescued me.
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