In the beginning…

Published January 14, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Since I skipped over this earlier, it occurred to me that I needed to finish up the theogony by posting the beginning of the story.  Such as it is.


The yawning void, alone.

Gaia, the earth herself, rose in the darkness.  Tartaros, the pit, descended, too.

Born out of Chaos were the darkness and the night, Erebos and Nyx.  It was these two who invented the union of bodies, coming together to beget their opposite numbers, the brightness and the day, Aither and Hemere.

Nyx, however, was more fruitful on her own, and gave birth to countless children without the aid of a father, including the terrifying Thanatos, gentle Hypnos, indignant Nemesis, and the implacable Moirai.

Wow, that wasn’t even anything like a story.  Ugh, if I’d read up on this enough to see that there was nothing to say pre-Gaia/Ouranos, I’d have just included this bit in the tale of Ouranos as a preface.

See, the thing is, there are very few versions of the Greek theogony other than Hesiod’s Theogony, which is pretty vague and weird at the beginning.  (Because, let’s face it, this part was not his real goal.)  And I lost my copy of the Theogony at some point (I don’t think I left it in Peru, though) so I can’t even consult it directly.  (And I’m not buying a new copy unless strictly necessary, because Hesiod is a horrible misogynist.)  Oh, and the few versions we have that aren’t Hesiod tend to conflict with Hesiod, so if one’s dealing with this stuff, one has to just pick one version and go with it, and Hesiod’s is the oldest (the text is oldest, that is; we don’t know how old the material is, if you see the distinction) so I just went with it even though it’s also the best known.  Oh, and Nyx had a lot more children unaided than just the ones I mentioned:  I just thought I’d limit the list to the more well-known and self-explanatory ones, while omitting ones that have alternate origins.  (For example, in Hesiod, she also gives birth to the Hesperides and Eris at this juncture.  But by their name, you’d expect the Hesperides to be the children of someone named Hesperus, and Eris is often said to be either sister or daughter of Ares…and since she’s his follower, it would be decidedly weird for her to be several generations older than he is.)



I’ll try and do better next week.



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