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{{Template:Goddess |Box title = Nyx |image = File:Nyx.jpg |Row 1 info = Chaos |Row 2 info = Erebus |Row 3 info = Erebus
Chronos
Ananke
Ouranos
Gaia |Row 4 info = The Shadows |Row 5 info = Night |Row 6 info = CHIRLDREN Aether
Hemera
Charon
Epiphron
Hypnos
Thanatos
Moros
[[Nemesis][Eris]


Nyx (Νύξ, "night") – Nox in Latin translation – is the Greek goddess (or personification) of the night. A shadowy figure, Nyx stood at or near the beginning of creation, and was the mother of other personified gods such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thánatos (Death). Her appearances in mythology are sparse, but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power and beauty. She is found in the shadows of the world and only ever seen in glimpses.

Mythology and literatureEdit

[edit]HesiodEdit

In Hesiod's Theogony, Nyx is born of Chaos.[2] With Erebus (Darkness), Nyx gives birth to Aether (Brightness) and Hemera (Day).[3] Later, on her own, Nyx gives birth to Moros (Doom, Destiny), Ker (Fate, Destruction, Death), Thanatos (Death), Hypnos (Sleep), the Oneiroi(Dreams), Momus (Blame), Oizys (Woe, Pain, Distress), the Hesperides, the Moirai (Fates), the KeresNemesis (Indignation, Retribution),Apate (Deceit), Philotes (Friendship, Love), Geras (Old Age), and Eris (Strife).[4]

In his description of Tartarus, Hesiod locates there the home of Nyx[5] and the homes of her children Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death).[6] Hesiod says further that Hemera (Day), who is Nyx's daughter, left Tartarus just as Nyx entered it; when Hemera returned, Nyx left.[7] This mirrors the portrayal of Ratri (night) in the Rigveda, where she works in close cooperation but also tension with her sister Ushas (dawn).

[edit]HomerEdit

Greek deities

series

Titans and Olympians
Aquatic deities
Chthonic deities
Personified concepts
Other deities
Primordial deities

At Iliad 14.249–61, Hypnos, the minor god of sleep, reminds Hera of an old favor after she asks him to put Zeus to sleep. He had once before put Zeus to sleep at the bidding of Hera, allowing her to cause Heracles (who was returning by sea from Laomedon's Troy) great misfortune. Zeus was furious and would have smitten Hypnos into the sea if he had not fled to Nyx, his mother, in fear. Homer goes on to say that Zeus, fearing to anger Nyx, held his fury at bay, and in this way Hypnos escaped the wrath of Zeus. He disturbed Zeus only a few times after that always fearing Zeus and running back to his mother Nyx, who would have confronted Zeus with a maternal fury.

[edit]OthersEdit

Nyx took on an even more important role in several fragmentary poems attributed to Orpheus. In them, Nyx, rather than Chaos, is the first principle. Nyx occupies a cave or adyton, in which she gives oraclesCronus – who is chained within, asleep and drunk on honey – dreams and prophesies. Outside the cave, Adrasteia clashes cymbals and beats upon her tympanon, moving the entire universe in an ecstatic dance to the rhythm of Nyx's chanting. Phanes – the strange, monstrous, hermaphrodite Orphic demiurge – was the child or father of Nyx. Nyx is also the first principle in the opening chorus ofAristophanesThe Birds, which may be Orphic in inspiration. Here she is also the mother of Eros.

The theme of Nyx's cave or mansion, beyond the ocean (as in Hesiod) or somewhere at the edge of the cosmos (as in later Orphism) may be echoed in the philosophical poem of Parmenides. The classical scholar Walter Burkert has speculated that the house of the goddess to which the philosopher is transported is the palace of Nyx; this hypothesis, however, must remain tentative.



For other mythical aspects connected with Nyx, see Chaos (cosmogony) and Cosmogony and cosmology.


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