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URANUS - OURANÓS - ΟΥΡΑΝΟΣ

The Limits of Mind - Ὅρια Νοός

HellenicGods.org

"The holy Heaven yearns to wound the Earth, and yearning layeth hold on the earth to join in wedlock; the rain, fallen from the amorous heaven, impregnates the earth, and it bringeth forth for mankind the food of flocks and herds and Demeter’s gifts; and from that moist marriage-rite the woods put on their bloom."
[1]

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Ouranós

As Yaia (Gaia; Gr. Γαῖα; also Yi or Ge; Gr. Γῆ) is Earth, Ouranós is Sky; they are both personal manifestations of the two kozmogonic substances, Earth and Water, but they are progressed, conscious entities. Ouranós is one of the most important deities of Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion; he is a mighty and splendid God. In the mythology, Ouranós is presented in a negative way, but this is mythic language and should not be taken literally. The Orphic hymn to Ouranós states that he is the father of Gods and men; this same declaration is made for both Krónos and Zefs in their respective hymns. He is called the "abode of the Gods," for his very existence is the foundation of divinity. His aithirial nature, like the rómvos (rhombus or top; Gr. ρόμβος), whirls through all the heavens and through our very soul, for he is Aithír (Aether or Ether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) itself, evolved into a divine consciousness. He is called the Panypǽrtatos Daimohn (Panypertatus Daemon; Gr. Πανυπέρτατος Δαίμων), the most exalted and highest divinity.


Etymology

Ouranós - (Uranus; Gr. Οὐρανός, ΟΥΡΑΝΟΣ. Pronounced: oo-rah-NOHS) Etym. ὅρος, "boundary, limit" + νόος, "mind," thus ὅρια νοός, "the limits of the mind." The English word horizon comes from the ancient Greek word ὁρίζω which comes from ὅρος (> ϝόρϝος), limit, boundary. We can see the sky only as far as its boundary, the horizon.

In Greek, the word ouranós means, simply, "sky [2]." The etymology of the word  being possibly an enlargement of a noun uorsó- = Sanskrit: varsá- [n., m.]) meaning 'rain' [3] or Varuṇa वरुण, the Hindu celestial ocean (but Robert Beekes denies this [Varuṇa] identification [3]). 

Plátohn (Plato; Gr. Πλάτων) in the Kratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. Κρατύλος) gives this meaning to his name:

"But, according to report, Saturn (ed. Krónos) is the son of Heaven (ed. Ouranós): and sight directed to things above is called by this name ουρανια (ed. ouranía), from beholding things situated on high. From whence, O Hermogenes (ed. Ærmoyǽnis; Gr. Ἑρμογένης), those who discourse on sublime affairs, say that a pure intellect is present with him, and that he is very properly denominated Heaven (ed. Ouranós)." [4]
 
The Latin word, Uranus, is derived from the Greek. Also we find the pure Latin Caelum or Caelus [5], related to the word caelo which means "to carve," as in carving a relief in metal or marble. [6]
 


The Parentage of Ouranós
  

According to Orphic TheogonyOuranós is born of Nyx who gave him supreme power.  

" 'for first indeed ruled famous Erikepaios,' says the poet (ed. Ὀρφεύς), with Night (ed. Nyx) then bearing the distinguished scepter in hand of Erikepaios, and then Heaven (ed. Ouranós), the first of the Gods to rule after Night." [7]

“(Of Heaven [ed. Ouranós]) Who first held sway over the Gods after his mother Night (ed. Nyx).” [8] 

A
nd this in agreement with the Dærvǽni (Derveni; Gr. Δερβένι) Papyrus:

"Ouranos son of Night (ed. Nyx), who first of all ruled."  [9]

This text says that Ouranós was the first to rule, referring to the lineage of the Six Vasileis (Basileis = Kings; Gr. Βασιλεῖς [Βασιλεύς is singular]), he following Phánis (Gr. Φάνης) and Nyx (Gr. Νύξ). Why is he first to rule?...because he is the first personal deity in the series, Phánis and Nyx being impersonal deities. Nyx precedes Ouranós and Phánis (Gr. Φάνης) before Nyx; this is the view of the Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.


The Progeny of Ouranós

Ouranós is the first personal God, or, rather, he and Yaia are the first personal deities; Phánis and Nyx before them being impersonal deities. The pairing of Ouranós and Yaia is described as the first marriage:

"And this union theologists are accustomed to call marriage. For marriage, as the theologist Orpheus says, is appropriate to this order. For he calls Earth (Γαῖα) the first Nymph (ed. woman), and the union of her with Heaven (Οὐρανός) the first marriage; since there is no marriage in the divinities that are in the most eminent degree united. Hence there is no marriage between Phanes and Night..." [10]

According to the Orphic Rhapsodic theogony Ouranós and Yaia fathered children: the Kýklohpæs 
(Cyclopes; Gr. Κύκλωπες) and Ækatónkheiræs (Hekatonkheires = "hundred-handed-ones;" Gr.  Ἑκατόνχειρες) were born first but Ouranós found them an unruly bunch and pushed them deep into the earth [11] . Yaia, angered, gave birth to the Titánæs (Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες) in secret [12].

The Kýklohpæs were three in number, but counted together with their sons, they were seven, a number which causes pause. They were smith-like Gods freed by Krónos, who later drove them into Tártaros (Gr. Τάρταρος), and later yet to be freed by Zefs, for whom they forged his great weapon, the Kæravnós (Keraunos; Gr. Κεραυνός), the thunderbolt. They also created the three-pronged spear or scepter called the Tríaina (Trident; Gr. Τρίαινα) wielded by mighty Poseidóhn, and they made the Áïdos kynǽin (Aïdos kuneēn; Gr. Ἄϊδος κυνέην), the dog-skin cap of Ploutohn which renders the wearer invisible.

The Ækatónkheiræs were three brothers of the Kýklohpæs. They were creators of violent storms and hurricanes, terrifying and dangerous portents, but natural phenomena nonetheless. They are associated with violent occurrences of nature, upheavals of the earth and extreme weather. So, it is obvious that neither of these groups of deities are "evil" in any way, but they may appear so to mortals which encounter the effects of their manifestation in the Kózmos (Cosmos; Gr. Κόσμος).


The Defeat of Ouranós by Krónos

Yaia (Gaia) plotted against Ouranós for suppressing her sons and implored the Titans to defeat him. All the Titánæs agreed to the plot with the exception of Okæanós (Oceanus; Gr. Ὠκεανός) [13] . When Ouranós came to Yaia's bed to lie with her, the conspirators overtook and bound him and Krónos (Cronus; Gr. Κρόνος) castrated his father with a sickle given to him by Yaia. The generative powers of Ouranós have been transformed and are now held by his son. Krónos then cast his father's genitals into the sea and from the foam that rose was born Aphrodíti (Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη) [14] . The Orphic Rhapsodic theogony presents two births of the Goddess Aphrodíti. The blood of Ouranós falling into the sea produces Heavenly Aphrodíti (Ουρανíα Ἀφροδίτη), she who unites with Áris (Ἄρης) and gives birth to Harmony (Gr. Ἁρμονία). (The Common Aphrodíti [Πάνδημος Ἀφροδίτη], she who blesses the sexual union of mortals, is produced from the semen of Zefs [Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς] falling into the sea as he pursued the Goddess Dióhni [Dione; Gr. Διώνη] [15].)



Ouranós and the Six Vasileis

Ouranós is a constituent of the evolutionary progression of Aithír (Ether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) known as the dynasty of the Six Vasileis (Basileis = Kings; Gr. Βασιλεῖς [Βασιλεύς is singular]): PhánisNyx,  OuranósKrónosZefs (Zeus), and Diónysos [16]. Phánis and Nyx are not personal deities but are primordial divine aspects of AithírOuranós is the first personal deity of the six; he and all those who follow him are conscious deities. Please visit this page for the mythology of the Six Kings: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.


The Orphic Hymn to Ouranós:


4. Ouranós [Sky or The Heavens; Gr. Οὐρανός]
[17]

The Fumigation from Frankincense.

Great Heav'n, whose mighty frame no respite knows,
Father of all, from whom the world arose:
Hear, bounteous parent, source and end of all,
Forever whirling round this earthly ball;
Abode of Gods, whose guardian pow'r surrounds [18] 
Th' eternal World with ever during bounds;
Whose ample bosom and encircling folds
The dire necessity of nature holds.
Ætherial, earthly, whose all-various frame
Azure and full of forms, no power can tame.
All-seeing Heav'n, progenitor of Time, [19] 
Forever blessed, deity sublime,
Propitious on a novel mystic shine,
And crown his wishes with a life divine.

4. Οὐρανοῦ, θυμίαμα λίβανον.

Οὐρανὲ παγγενέτωρ, κόσμου μέρος αἰὲν ἀτειρές,
πρεσβυγένεθλ', ἀρχὴ πάντων πάντων τε τελευτή,
κόσμε πατήρ, σφαιρηδὸν ἑλισσόμενος περὶ γαῖαν,
οἶκε θεῶν μακάρων, ῥόμβου δίνῃσιν ὁδεύων,
οὐράνιος χθόνιός τε φύλαξ πάντων περιβληθείς,
ἐν στέρνοισιν ἔχων φύσεως ἄτλητον ἀνάγκην,
κυανόχρως, ἀδάμαστε, παναίολε, αἰολόμορφε,
πανδερκές, Κρονότεκνε, μάκαρ, πανυπέρτατε δαῖμον,
κλῦθ' ἐπάγων ζωὴν ὁσίαν μύστηι νεοφάντηι.


The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.


EPITHETS OF OURANÓS (under construction)
(Abbreviations can be found on this page: Glossary Home Page)

Akmonídæs - (Acmonides; Gr. Ακμονίδες, ΑΚΜΟΝΙΔΕΣ. Etym. from the God Ákmohn [Ἄκμων], whose name is derived from ἀκάματος, "unwearying," thought of as a characteristic of the heavens.) According to the ancient Spartan poet Alkmán (Alcman; Gr. Ἀλκμάν), Ákmohn is the father of Ouranós (frag. 61 from Efstáthios [Eustathius; Gr. Εὐστάθιος] on the Iliás [Iliad; Gr. Ιλιάς] of Ómiros [Homer; Gr. Όμιρος] ), for which he (Ouranós) is called Akmonídæs (Son of Ákmohn)Ákmohn is a name for Aithír (Aether or Ether; Gr. Αἰθήρ).

Caelus - (CælusCaelus (also Coelus) is the Roman sky God and thus equated with Ouranós.

Coelus - (CœlusCoelus (also Caelus) is the Roman sky-God and thus equated with Ouranós.

Kozmokrátohr - (Cosmocrator; Gr. Κοσμοκράτωρ, ΚΟΣΜΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ) Lexicon entry: κοσμοκράτωρ [ᾰ], ορος, ὁ, lord of the world, epith. of Οὐρανός, Orph.H.4.3; Ζεὺς Μίτρας Ἥλιος κ.. 2. of the Emperors. 3. Astrol., ruler of the κόσμος, i.e. planet
 (L&S p. 984, right column, within the entries beginning with κοσμογένεια, edited for simplicity.)

Kronótæknæ - (Cronotecne; Gr. Κρονότεκνε, 
ΚΡΟΝΟΤΕΚΝΕ) Kronótæknæ is an epithet of Ouranós meaning Father of Krónos.

Ória Noós - (Gr. Ὅρια Νοός) Ória Noós is Ouranós, the limits of mind. We acquire the English word "horizon" from ὅρια.

Panypǽrtatos Daimohn - (Panypertatus Daemon; Gr. Πανυπέρτατος Δαίμων, ΠΑΝΥΠΕΡΤΑΤΟΣ ΔΑΙΜΩΝ) Ouranós is the Panypǽrtatos Daimohn, the highest and most exalted divinity.


NOTES:

(Abbreviations can be found at the bottom of this page: GLOSSARY HOME)

[1] Aiskhýlos (Aeschylus; Gr. Αἰσχύλος) Frag. 25, as found in the Δειπνοσοφισταί (The Dinner Sophists) xiii. 73. p. 600B of Athínaios (Athenaeus; Gr. Ἀθήναιος) trans. H. W. Smyth, 1926, in the volume entitled Aeschylus vol. 2, Loeb Classical Library 146, Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge, MA USA).

[2] L&S p. 1273, left column.

[3]  Etymological dictionary of Greek Vol. 2 by Robert Beekes with the assistance of Lucien van Beek, 2009; from the Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series, Brill (Leiden, Boston), p. 1128.

[4] Plátohn (Plato; Gr. ΠλάτωνKratýlos (Cratylus; Gr. Κρατύλος396c, trans. Thomas Taylor, 1804, as found in The Works of Plato Vol. V, Thomas Taylor Series XIII, Prometheus Trust (Somerset UK), where this quotation may be found on p. 476. Below is Taylor's note concerning this line of the text:

"Heaven (ed. Ouranós), which is here characterized by sight, is the heaven which Plato so much celebrates in the Phædrus (ed. Phaidros; Gr. Φαῖδρος), 247c and composes that order of Gods which is called by the Chaldean oracles νοητός καί νοερός (ed. noitós kai noærós), i.e. intelligible, and at the same time intellectual. This will be evident from considering that Plato, in what follows, admits with Hesiod, that there are Gods superior to heaven, such as night, chaos, &c. But as sight corresponds to intelligence, and this is the same with that which is both intelligible and intellectual, and as Saturn (ed. Krónos) is the summit of the intellectual order, it is evident that heaven must compose the middle order of Gods characterized by intelligence, and that the order above this must be entirely intelligible. In consequence of all this, what must we think of their system, who suppose Heaven (ed. Ouranós), Saturn (ed. Krónos), and Jupiter (ed. Zefs), and indeed all the Gods of the ancients, to have been nothing more than dead men deified, notwithstanding the above etymologies, and the express testimony of Plato to the contrary in the Timæus, who represents the Demiurgus commanding the subordinate Gods, after he had produced them, to fabricate men and other animals? For my own part, I know not which to admire most, the ignorance, the impudence, or the impiety of such assertions. All that can be said is, that such opinions are truly barbaric, modern and Galilæan." (Ibid. Taylor, p. 528)

[5] A Latin Dictionary founded on Andrews' Edition of Freund's Latin Dictionary (LD)by Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short, 1879; we are using the 1955 Oxford/Clarendon Press edition (Oxford, England) where this quotation may be found on p. 263, center column within the entry for caelo.

[6] LD p. 263 under caelo, left column.

[7] Orphic frag. 107. (85) De deorum regnis hi loci extant: Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀφροδισιεύς in his commentary on Ἀριστοτέλης' μετὰ τὰ φυσικά. N 1091 b 4 (821, 5 Hayd.):

....πρῶτον μὲν γὰρ 'Βασίλευσε περίκλυτος Ἠρικεπαῖος' (fr. 108) φησὶν ἡ ποίησις, μεθ' ὃν Νὺξ 'σκῆπτρον ἔχους' ἐν χερσὶν ἀριπρεπὲς Ἠρικεπαίου (fr. 102) μεθ' ἣν Οὑρανός, 'ὃς πρώτος βασίλευσε θεῶν μετὰ μητέρα Νύκτα (fr. 111) ---, οὗτοι δὴ διὰ τὸ τοὺς ἄρχοντας μεταβάλλειν τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ ἄριστον ὕστερον ποιοῦσιν.

" 'for first indeed ruled famous Erikepaios,' says the poet, with Night then bearing the distinguished scepter in hand of Erikepaios, and then Heaven [ed. Ouranós], the first of the Gods to rule after Night [ed. Nyx]."

[8] Orphic frag. 111. (85) Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Ἀφροδισιεύς in his commentary on Ἀριστοτέλης' μετὰ τὰ φυσικά. N 1091 b 4 (821, 19 Hayd.): 

ὃς πρῶτος βασίλευσε θεῶν μετὰ Νύκτα

“(Of Ouranos) Who first held sway over the Gods after his mother Night (ed. Nyx).” (Translation as found in Orpheus and Greek Religion by W.K.C. Guthrie, 1952; found in the 1993 Princeton Univ. Press edition [Princeton, NJ USA] on p. 138.) 

According to Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος)Ouranós was born solely of Yaia:

"And Earth (ed. Yaia) first bare starry Heaven (ed. Ouranós), equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed Gods."(Ἡσίοδος Θεογονία 126-129; trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, 1914; found here in the 1035 Harvard [Cambridge, MA] William Heinemann [London, England] edition, Loeb, pp. 87-89.)

Perhaps Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος) sees Earth as the mother of Ouranós primordially, meaning, as Pythagóras (Gr. Πυθαγόρας) suggested, that she is "daring" (= Tólma; Gr. Τόλμᾰand was substantiated first from the primordial material mixture.

[9] Dærvǽni (Derveni; Gr. Δερβένι) Papyrus Col. 14, trans. Gábor Betegh, 2004, THE DERVENI PAPYRUS - Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation by Gábor Betegh, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, UK)  p. 31.

[10] Orphic frag. 112. (91) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 30e (III 176 10 Diehl): 

καὶ εἰώθασι γάμον οἱ θεολόγοι προσαγορεύειν· οἰκεῖος γὰρ καὶ ὁ γάμος τῆι τάξει ταύτηι, καθά φησιν ὁ θεολόγος· πρώτην γὰρ νύμφην ἀποκαλεῖ τὴν Γῦν καὶ πρώτιστον γάμον τῦν ἕνωσιν αὐτῆς τὴν πρὸς τὸν Οὐρανον· οὐ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα ἡνωμένοις ὁ γάμος, διὸ Φάνητος οὐκ ἔστι γάμος καὶ Νυκτός, ἀλλήλοις νοητῶς, ἀλλ' ἐν τοῖς μετα τῦς ἑνώσεως καὶ τὸ διηιρημένον τῶν δυνάμεων καὶ τῶν ἐνεργειῶν ἐπιδεικνυμένοις.

"And this union theologists are accustomed to call marriage. For marriage, as the theologist Orpheus says, is appropriate to this order. For he calls Earth (Γαῖα) the first Nymph (ed. woman), and the union of her with Heaven (Οὐρανός) the first marriage; since there is no marriage in the divinities that are in the most eminent degree united. Hence there is no marriage between Phanes and Night..." (trans. Thomas Taylor, 1820. We are using the 2006 edition published by The Prometheus Trust entitled Proclus' Commentary on the Timæus of Plato Vol. II, Vol. XVI of The Thomas Taylor Series [Dorset UK], where this quotation may be found on p. 882.)

[11] Orphic frag. 121. (97) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 40e (III 185, 20 Diehl):

μᾶλλον δὲ πάντον οὐρανίων γενῶν τὰ μὲν μένει μόνον ἐν ταῖς ἀρχαῖς, ὥσπερ αἱ δύο πρῶται τριάδες --- ὡς γὰρ ἐνόησε, φησίν [sc. ὁ θεολόγος], αὐτοὺς ὁ Οὐρανὸς
                             ἀμείλχον ἦτορ ἔχοντας
καὶ φύσιν ἐκνομίην ᵕᵕ-ᵕᵕ-ᵕᵕ-ᵕ
ῥῖψε βαθὺν γαιης Τάρταρον.

"For (says Orpheus) as soon as Heaven understood that they had an implacable heart, and a lawless nature, he hurled them into Tartarus, the profundity of Earth." (Trans. Thomas Taylor, 1824 in The Mystical Hymns of Orpheus, Second Edition, Chiswick (England), in note 113 for hymn 83 to Ocean, p. 152.) 

[12] Orphic frag. 114. (95) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 40e (III 184, 1 Diehl):

δὀξειε γὰρ ἂν (sc. ὁ Πλάτων) τοῦτο λέγειν οὐχ ἑπομένως ταῖς (Ὀρφικαῖς) ἀρκαῖς· ἐκεῖ γὰρ ἀδελφοί λέγοται τούτων, ἀλλ' οὐ γεννήτορες· τίκτει γὰρ ἡ Γῆ λαθοῦσα τὸν Οὐρανόν, ὥς φυσιν ὁ θεολόγος· 

ἑπτὰ μὲν εὐειδεῖς κούρας (ἑλικώπιδας, ἁγνάς,) 
ἑπτὰ δὲ παῖδας ἄνακτας (ἐγείνατο λαχνήεντας)·
θυγατέρας μὲν (τίκτε?) Θέμιν καὶ ἐΰφρονα Τηθὺν
Μνημοσύνην τε βαθυπλόκαμον Θείαν τε μάκαιραν,
ἠδὲ Διώνην τίκτεν ἀριπρεπὲς εἶδος ἔχουσαν
Φοίβην τε Ῥείην τε, Διὸς γενέτειραν ἄνακτος·

παῖδας δὲ ἄλλους τοσούτους·

Κοῖόν τε Κρῖόν τε μέγαν Φόρκυν τε κραταιὸν
καὶ Κρόνον Ὠκεανόν θ' Ὑπερίονά τ' Ἰαπετόν τε.

τούτων οὖν παρά τῶι θεολόγωι προαναγεγραμμένων πῶς ὁ Τίμαιος ἐξ Ὠκεανοῦ καὶ Τηθύος (de Tethye v. etiam in Tim. 40e [III 179, 8 Diehl]) παράγει Κρόνον τε καὶ Ρέαν;

“(Ge bore) seven fair daughters…and seven kingly sons…daughters…Themis and kindly Tethys and deep-haired Mnemosyne and happy Theia, and Dione she bore of exceeding beauty and Phoebe and Rhea, the mother of Zeus the king. (Her sons were of the same number), Koios and Krios and mighty Phorkys and Kronos and Okeanos and Hyperion and Iapetos.” 

Isíodos, however, reverses the order of the births and proclaims Ouranós to be the father of the Titánæs

"... she (ed. Yaia) lay with Heaven (ed. Ouranós) and bare deep-swirling Oceanus (ed. Okæanós; Gr. Ὠκεανός), Coeus (ed. Kíos; Gr. Κοῖος) and Crius (ed. Kreios; Gr. Κρεῖος) and Hyperion (ed. Gr. Ypæríohn; Ὑπερίων) and Iapetus (ed. Iapætós; Gr. Ἰαπετός), Theia (ed. Gr. Θεία) and Rhea (ed. Rǽa; Gr. Ῥέα), Themis (ed. Thǽmis; Gr. Θέμις) and Mnemosyne (ed. Mnimosýni; Gr. Mνημοσύνη) and gold-crowned Phoebe (ed. Phívi; Gr. Φοίβη) and lovely Tethys (ed. Tithýs; Gr. Τηθύς). After them was born Cronos (ed. Krónos; Gr. Κρόνος) the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire.

"And again, she bare the Cyclopes (ed. Kýklohpæs; Gr. Κύκλωπες), overbearing in spirit, Brontes (ed. Vróntis; Gr. Βρόντης), and Steropes (ed. Stærópis; Gr. Στερόπης) and stubborn-hearted Arges (ed. Áryis; Gr. Ἄργης), who gave Zeus (ed. Zefs; Gr. Ζεύς) the thunder and made the thunderbolt: in all else they were like the Gods, but one eye only was set in the midst of their foreheads. And they were surnamed Cyclopes (Orb-eyed. ed. Kýklohpæs; Gr. Κύκλωπες) because one-orbed eye was set in their foreheads. Strength and might and craft were in their works.

"And again, three other sons were born of Earth (ed. Yaia) and Heaven (ed. Ouranós), great and doughty beyond telling, Cottus (ed. Kóttos; Gr. Κόττος) and Briareos (ed. Vriáræohs; Gr. Βριάρεως) and Gyes (ed. Yýis; Gr. Γύης), presumptuous children. From their shoulders sprang an hundred arms, not to be approached, and each had fifty heads upon his shoulders on their strong limbs, and irresistible was the stubborn strength that was in their great forms. For of all the children that were born of Earth and Heaven, these were the most terrible, and they were hated by their own father from the first. And he used to hide them all away in a secret place of Earth so soon as each was born, and would not suffer them to come up into the light: and Heaven rejoiced in his evil doing. But vast Earth groaned within, being straitened, and she thought a crafty and an evil wile." (Ἡσίοδος Θεογονία 134-159, trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White, pp. 89-91.)

The text is somewhat unclear as to whether it was only the Kýklohpæs and the Ækatónkheiræs who were imprisoned in Yaia, but it would appear so, and that the Titánæs were not included. And why exactly the mythology in both versions of the story singles out these two progeny of Yaia and Ouranós is uncertain.

[13] Orphic frag. 135. (100) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Τίμαιος 40e (III 185, 28 Diehl): 

ἔνθ' αὖτ' Ὠκεανὸς μὲν ἐνὶ μεγάροισιν ἔμιμνεν
ὁρμαίνων, ποτέρωσε νόον τράποι, ἢ πατέρα ὃν |
γυ(ι)ώσηι τε βίης καὶ ἀτάςθαλα λωβήσαιτο
σὺν Κρόνωι ἤδ' ἄλλοισιν ἀδελφοῖς, οἳ πεπίθοντο
μητρὶ φίληι, ἢ τούς γε λιπὼν μένοι ἔνδον ἕκηλος.
πολλά δὲ πορφύρων μένεν ἥμενος ἐν μεγάροισι,
σκυζόμενος ἧι μητρί, κασιγνήτοισι δὲ μᾶλλον.

“At this time Okeanos kept within his halls, debating with himself to which side his intent should lean, whether he should maim his father’s might and do him wanton injury, conspiring with Kronos and his other brethren who had hearkened to their mother’s behests, or whether he should leave them and remain within at peace. Long did he ponder, then remained he sitting in his halls, for he was wroth with his mother, and yet more with his brethren." (Translation as found in Orpheus and Greek Religion by W.K.C. Guthrie, 1952; found in the 1993 Princeton Univ. Press edition [Princeton, NJ USA] on p. 139.)


[14] Orphic frag. 127. (101) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Κρατύλος 406c, (p. 110, 15 Pasqu.):

μήδεα δ᾿ ἐς πέλαγος πέσεν ὑψόθεν, ἀμφὶ δὲ τοῖσι λευκὸς ἐπιπλώουσιν ἑλίσσετο πάντοθεν ἀφρός· ἐν δὲ περιπλομέναις ὥραις Ἐνιαυτὸς ἔτικτεν παρθένον αἰδοίην, ἥν δὶ παλάμαις ὑπέδεκτο γεινομένην τὸ πρῶτον ὁμοῦ Ζῆλός τ' Ἀπάτη τε.

“The genitals (of Ouranos) fell down into the sea, and round about them as they floated swirled the white foam. Then in the circling season the Year brought forth a tender maiden, and the spirits of Rivalry (Ζῆλος) and Beguilement (Ἀπάτη) together took her up in their arms, so soon as she was born.” (Translation as found in Orpheus and Greek Religion by W.K.C. Guthrie, 1952; found in the 1993 Princeton Univ. Press edition [Princeton, NJ USA] on p. 139.)

In the theogony of Isíodos, the story is told thus (Ἡσίοδος Θεογονία 159-198.  Hugh G. Evelyn-White, pp. 91-93.):
  

"Forthwith she made the element of grey flint and shaped a great sickle, and told her plan to her dear sons.  And she spoke, cheering them, while she was vexed in her dear heart:

" 'My children, gotten of a sinful father, if you will obey me, we should punish the vile outrage of your father; for he first thought of doing shameful things.'

"So she said; but fear seized them all, and none of them uttered a word. But great Cronos (ed. Krónos)  the wily took courage and answered his dear mother:

" 'Mother, I will undertake to do this deed, for I reverence not our father of evil name, for he first thought of doing shameful things.'

"So he said: and vast Earth (ed. Yaiarejoiced greatly in spirit, and set and hid him in an ambush, and put in his hands a jagged sickle, and revealed to him the whole plot.  

"And Heaven (ed. Ouranós) came, bringing on night and longing for love, and he lay about Earth spreading himself full upon her. Then the son from his ambush stretched forth his left hand and in his right took the great long sickle with jagged teeth, and swiftly lopped off his own father's members and cast them away to fall behind him. And not vainly did they fall from his hand; for all the bloody drops that gushed forth Earth received, and as the seasons moved round she bare the strong Erinyes (ed. Ærinýæs; Gr. Ἐρινύες) and the great Giants (ed. Yígantæs; Gr. Γίγαντες) with gleaming armour, holding long spears in their hands, and the Nymphs (ed. NýmphaiGr. Νύμφαι) whom they call Meliae (ed. Mælíai or MæliádæsGr. Μελίαι or Μελιάδες) all over the boundless earth. And so soon as he had cut off the members with flint and cast them from the land into the surging sea, they were swept away over the main a long time: and a white foam spread around them from the immortal flesh, and in it there grew a maiden. First she drew near holy Cythera (ed. Kýthira; Gr. Κύθηρα), and from there, afterwards, she came to sea-girt Cyprus (ed. KýprosGr. Κύπρος) and came forth an awful and lovely Goddess, and grass grew up about her beneath her shapely feet. Her, Gods and men call Aphrodite (ed. Aphrodíti; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη), and the foam-born Goddess and rich-crowned Cytherea (ed. Kythǽreia; Gr. Κυθέρεια) ..."


[15] Orphic frag. 183. (140) Πρόκλος Commentary on the Κρατύλος 406c, (p. 110, 23 Pasqu.):

[16] Orpheus and Greek Religion by W.K.C. Guthrie, 1934, 1952, and 1993, Princeton Univ. Press (Princeton, NJ USA) p. 82, not a direct quotation. The progression of the Six Vasileis can be found in the Orphic Theogony.

[17] trans. by Thomas Taylor, 1792; we are using a facsimile of the original edition, London, England (printed for the author), where this quotation may be found on pp. 116-117.  Taylor numbers the hymn 3, but it is more usually numbered 4. The ancient Greek cannot be found in Taylor.

[18] Thomas Taylor, the translator of the hymn, comments on this line: Whose guardian power surrounds, &c. and v. 11 All-seeing Heaven. ὁ του Ὀρϕέος Ὀυρανὸς ὁυρος ϰαὶ πάντων ϕυλὰξ έναι βούλεται. Damascius περὶ αρχῶν. i. e. "according to Orpheus, Heaven is the inspector and guardian of all things."

[19] This line in Greek is actually two epithets of Ouranós: πανδερκές "all-seeing," and Κρονότεκνε "father of Krónos" (not "Time," which would be Χρόνος).


The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The 
Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kozmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς). 



PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as 

, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.


The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

SPELLING: HellenicGods.org uses the Reuchlinian method of pronouncing ancient Greek, the system preferred by scholars from Greece itself. An approach was developed to enable the student to easily approximate the Greek words. Consequently, the way we spell words is unique, as this method of transliteration is exclusive to this website. For more information, visit these three pages: 

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