Who Dione Was in Greek Mythology
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In Greek mythology, there are several generations of gods and goddesses. The Olympian gods and goddesses that we know about were actually the third generation. The primordial deities, such as Chaos, were the first gods and goddesses, and the Titans were the second generation. Dione was a Titaness who was said to be the mother of Aphrodite. Here’s more information:
Information About Dione
Dione was the daughter of Okeanos, the personification of the sea, and his wife Tethynes. All of their daughters were called the Oceanids, or water nymphs. Tethynes and Okeanos were both the children of Uranus, the personification of the sky, and Gaia, the personification of earth.
According to some ancient sources, Dione was the first wife of Zeus, and together they had the goddess Aphrodite. Dione makes an appearance in Homer’s Iliad, when she attempts to heal her wounded daughter. Dione’s three priestesses and prophetesses were called Peleiades or the doves, which were birds that were sacred to Aphrodite.
Dione the Oracle
Dione and her Titaness sisters were oracles. Her sister Phoibe possessed Delphi, Mnemosyne Lebadeia, and Themis Delphi and Dodona. Dione was worshipped at the earliest oracle, located at Dodona. Dodona is in Epirus, north-west Greece, in a valley on the slopes of Mt. Tomaros. According to Herodotus, the oracle was founded when a black dove flew from Thebes and settled in an oak tree at Dodona. Another dove settled in Libya, creating the sanctuary of Zeus Ammon.
Jason and the Doves
In Greek mythology, Jason used a sacred oak branch from Dodona on the prow of the Argo when he searched for the Golden Fleece. In the Odyssey, Odysseus consults the oracle to learn that he should return to Ithica in disguise. Historically, Agesilaus, king of Sparta, and the Roman emperor Julian consulted the oracle at Dodona. The oracle answered questions via rustling leaves or doves, or by the ringing of bronze tripod cauldrons, called “Dodonian chatterboxes.” Dione’s three priesteses, the “Doves,” interpreted these signs in a trance. Matters of state tended to go to the oracle at Delphi; Dodona generally settled more private matters.
Dione and the Birth of Apollo
Dione’s prophetic abilities might be one reason she was a witness at Delos to the birth of Apollo, who became the Greek God of Prophesy. With her were Rhea, Ichnaea, Themis, and Amphitrite. These witnesses were necessary because of the rites of a dynasty: the authenticity of the child must be established at the first moment of life. They also helped Leto with the birthing.
Dione was worshiped outside of Dodona as well. There was a grove sacred to Dione at the foot of Lepreon, on the western coast of Peloponnesus. The 2nd century BC Great Altar of Pergamum holds a sculptural frieze where she is inscribed. This frieze, however, portrays her as the child of Uranus and Gaia. She is likewise characterized in the Parthenon. However, she was usually worshiped as a consort of Zeus.
Although Dione didn’t seem to play a major role in Greek mythology, she was featured in several of the stories. She was also worshipped in various places on her own.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston