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Thanatos

by Micha F. Lindemans
The Greek personification of death who dwells in the lower world. In the Iliad he appears as the twin brother of Hypnos ("sleep"). Both brothers had little to no meaning in the cults. Hesiod makes these two spirits the sons of Nyx, but mentions no father.

Thanatos was portrayed as a youngster with a inversed torch in one hand and a wreath or butterfly in the other. He appears, with Hypnos, several times on Attican funerary vases, so-called lekythen. On a sculpted column in the Temple of Artemis at Ephese (4th century BCE) Thanatos is shown with two large wings and a sword attached to his girdle.


Article details:

  • Pronunciation:
    than'-uh-tahs

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