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Nyx

by Ron Leadbetter
Nyx is the goddess and embodiment of the night. According to Hesiod in his Theogony (11.116-138), "From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night Nyx; of Night were born Aether being the bright upper atmosphere and Day Hemera, whom she conceived and bore from union with Erebus her brother". Also from the Theogony (11. 211-225); "And Night borehateful Doom Moros and black Fate and Death Thanatos, and she bore Sleep Hypnos and the tribe of Dreams. And again the goddess murky Night, though she lay with none, bare Blame and painful Woe, and the Hesperides who guard the rich golden apples and the trees bearing fruit beyond glorious Ocean. Also she bore the Destinies and ruthless avenging Fates who were regarded as old women occupied in spinning, Clotho the Spinner of the thread of life and Lachesis the Disposer of Lots, she who allots every man his destiny and Atropos She Who Cannot Be Turned, who finally cuts the thread of life who give men at their birth both evil and good to have, and they pursue the transgressions of men and of gods, and these goddesses never cease from their dread anger until they punish the sinner with a sore penalty. Also deadly Night bore Nemesis Indignation to afflict mortal men, and after her, Deceit Apate and Friendship and hateful Age and hard-hearted Strife.

From that great work we find that Nyx produced a host of offspring. Other sources give Charon who ferried the dead over the rivers of the infernal region as being the son of Erebus and Nyx, although according to the Theogony he was born from Chaos. Also according to Aristophanes, Birds 693 ff, "in the infinite bosom of Erebus, Night with black wings first produced an egg without a seed. From it, in the course of the seasons, Eros was born--the desired, whose back sparkled with golden wings, Eros like swift whirlwinds".


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