Greek Mythology Creation Story
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Every culture has a creation story and the Ancient Greeks were no different. People have always felt the need to explain where they, the heavens, and the earth came from. In true Greek mythological fashion, this story has intrigue, violence, and plenty of interaction between the gods, goddesses, and titans.
According to Greek mythology, Chaos existed before anything else. This is also referred to as the “Void”. All life, including the first gods and goddesses, emerged from Chaos. People also think of it as “darkness” or “nothingness”. All life has to come from somewhere, though, so “Chaos” is also a place where “nothingness” exists.
The first deities emerged from Chaos and this is how life began. These deities were:
- Gaia – also known as Mother Earth
- Tartarus – the original god of the underworld
- Eros – the god of love
- Erebus – who represented darkness
- Nyx – represented the night
Giving Birth to the Light
Erebus and Night (Nyx) slept together and had two children – Ether and Day. Ether represented the heavenly light. Day represented the light that occurs during the day, or when the sun rises. According to the creation story in Greek mythology, this is how “light” was created.
Chidren of Gaia and Uranus
Though Gaia didn’t have a lover, she gave birth to Uranus. Later, Uranus became her lover and together they had several children.
- Cyclops – Gaia and Uranus sired three Cyclops, which were the one eyed creatures prevalent in Greek mythology.
- Hecatoncheires – Their name translated to “one hundred handed creatures”. Gaia and Uranus also had three of these named Briareus, Aegeon, and Gyges. All three were giants even though they had different body shapes. For example, Aegeon was a goat.
- Titans – There were twelve titans in total. Cronus was probably one of the most famous titans.
Cronus Defeats Uranus
Uranus is portrayed as being a controlling deity. As punishment, he pushed all three of the Hecatoncheires into Gaia’s womb to imprison them. This angered Gaia and she began to plot against him. She helped Cronus overthrow Uranus from power.
There are conflicting reports of what happened after he was overthrown. Some versions of the story say that he was imprisoned in Tartarus, others say that he was castrated and scattered into the sea, other versions simply say that he disappeared.
Prophesy Against Cronus
Before he was defeated, Uranus prophesied that Cronus would eventually be overthrown by one of his children. He eventually married Rhea, his sister, and they had several children. To protect himself from the prophecy, he swallowed most of his children.
Gaia, however, protected Zeus and helped him escape before he could get swallowed.
Eventually, it was Zeus who overthrew Cronus. Once he did, the legacy of the Olympian gods and goddesses was born.
The Ancient Greek creation story not only told how the earth, heavens, and universe were formed, but it also showed us how the gods and goddesses came to be. From there, the mythological tradition continues through the stories of these gods and goddesses.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston