Νύξ ; Nyx - Primordial Greek Goddess of Night
Zeus the almighty god of the Greek Olympian Pantheon is depicted as all powerful. However, like every deity or hero there is always one thing (if not many) they fear. I’m not referring to an envious Hera, nor a tyrannical father like Kronos, or even the Gigantes who almost ransacked Olympus. There is one figure, in the obscure pages of Greek Mythology whom Zeus wishes to displease - one with the power over Gods and Mortals - Nyx the Goddess of Night.
Origins: Nyx is depicted as a black-winged Goddess driving a chariot, and at times a veil of dark mist. Mentioned from the cosmogony of Hesiod, she was born from Air (Khaos). Sleeping with Darkness (Erebos) produced Light (Aither) and Day (Hemera), first components of the primeval universe. However, she gave birth to other more known but lesser gods which include [According to Hesiod]:
- Thanatos (Gentle Death)
- Hypnos (Sleep)
- Morpheus & the tribe of dreams (Oneiroi)
- Moirai (better known as the Fates)
- Ker & the Keres (Bringers of violent death)
- Moros - (Doom)
- Oizys (Misery)
- Momos (Criticism & Blame)
- Hesperides (Nymphs of the Evenings)
- Nemesis (Retribution)
- Apate (Deceit)
- Philotes (Sex - hence the the suffix -phile)
- Geras (Old age - Geriatrics anyone?)
- Eris (the most famous hater in the Universe of Greek mythology - Strife/Discord)
Though rarely mentioned in Greek Myths, one passage from the Iliad by Homer is a scene where Hypnos addresses Hera about an old favor she commanded of him:
[Hypnos addresses Hera :] `That time I laid to sleep the brain in Zeus of the aegis and drifted upon him still and soft, but your mind was devising evil, and you raised along the sea the blasts of the racking winds, and on these swept him away to Kos, the strong-founded, with all his friends lost, but Zeus awakened in anger and beat the gods up and down his house, looking beyond all others for me, and would have sunk me out of sight in the sea from the bright sky had not Nyx (Night) who has power over gods and men rescued me. I reached her in my flight, and Zeus let be, though he was angry, in awe of doing anything to swift Nyx’ displeasure.’”
Zeus played it safe… and did a smart thing not to anger a Goddess far more powerful than he. So we have Nyx and her children to thank for many other events in Greek Mythology. E.g. Eris, spirit of discord, throwing the Golden Apple which influenced the start of the Trojan war, etc.
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