Erebus

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For other uses, see Erebus (disambiguation).

In Greek mythology, Erebus /ˈɛrəbəs/, also Erebos (Greek: Ἔρεβος, "deep darkness, shadow"),[1] was often conceived as a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness; for instance, Hesiod's Theogony identifies him as one of the first five beings in existence, born of Chaos.[2] Erebus features little in Greek mythological tradition and literature, but is said to have fathered several other deities with Nyx; depending on the source of the mythology, this union includes Aether, Hemera, the Hesperides, Hypnos, the Moirai, Geras, Styx, Charon, and Thanatos.

In Greek literature the name Erebus is also used of a region of the Greek underworld where the dead pass immediately after dying, and is sometimes used interchangeably with Tartarus.[3][4][5][6][7]

The perceived meaning of Erebus is "darkness"; the first recorded instance of it was "place of darkness between earth and Hades". Semitic forms such as Hebrew עֶרֶב (ˤerev) 'sunset, evening' are sometimes cited as a source.[3] However, an Indo-European origin for the name Ἔρεβος itself is possible from PIE *h1regʷ-es/os-, "darkness"[8][9] "darkness" (cf. Sanskrit rájas, Gothic riqis, Old Norse røkkr.) [1]

According to the Greek oral poet Hesiod's Theogony, Erebus is the offspring of Chaos, and brother to Nyx: "From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but of Night were born Aether and Day, whom she conceived and bore from union in love with Erebus." Hesiod, Theogony (120–125)[10]

The Roman writer Hyginus, in his Fabulae, described Erebus as the father of Geras, the god of old age.[11]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ a b Ἔρεβος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project.
  2. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 116–124.
  3. ^ a b Elizabeth, Alice (1896). The Sources of Spenser's Classical Mythology. New York: Silver, Burdett and Company. pp. 52, 55. 
  4. ^ Morford, Mark P. O. (1999). Classical Mythology: Sixth Edition. New York: Oxford University Press US. pp. 36, 84, 253, 263, 271. ISBN 0-19-514338-8. , ISBN 9780195143386
  5. ^ Peck, Harry Thurston (1897). Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, Volume 1. New York: Harper. p. 620. 
  6. ^ Rengel, Marian (2009). Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z. Infobase Publishing. p. 51. ISBN 1-60413-412-7. , ISBN 9781604134124
  7. ^ Turner, Patricia (2001). Dictionary of Ancient Deities. Oxford University Press. p. 170. ISBN 0-19-514504-6. , ISBN 9780195145045
  8. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Online Etymology Dictionary: Erebus". Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  9. ^ R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 451.
  10. ^ Evelyn-White (1914)
  11. ^ Atsma, Aaron. "Hyginus, Fabulae 1–49". Theoi E-Texts Library. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 

Sources

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