Saturday, November 21, 2015

Theogony - Part 4: The third generation

Greek Goddess Athena.
Greek Goddess Athena.
According to Greek Mythology, god Zeus married seven mortal and divine women. The first one was the sea nymph Oceanid Metis ("wisdom"). Metis was a sea nymph and was born of Oceanus and Tethys another sea nymph, making her much older than Zeus and later Greek gods. There was a prophesy that Metis will offspring powerful children,  one girl (later Greek goddess of wisdom Athena) and one boy that eventually will overthrown his father. As his father, he consumed her, by turning herself into a fly, to avoid giving birth the son who would overthrow him, like he did to his father god Cronus. By swallowing her, he also acquired the wisdom that the Oceanid had to make him better decisions and provide better judgment to the challenges yet to come in the future.

Unfortunately for Zeus, the Oceanid had already conceived a girl and she started preparing the armor for her. The creation of the helmet caused Zeus strong headaches, and the Greek god of blacksmiths Hephaestus hit Zeus' head with an axe (or according to another variation with a hammer), giving birth to Greek goddess of wisdom Athena. Athena spawned from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed. The birth anger the Greek goddess Hera,Queen of the Gods, and she reproduced by herself, giving birth to the monster Typhon. Note that in other variations of the Theogony myth, Hera gave birth to Greek god of blacksmiths Hephaestus.

Second wife of Zeus,  Titaness Themis.
Second wife of Zeus,
Titaness Themis.
The second wife of Greek god Zeus was the Titaness Themis. Themis is the the personification of divine order, divine and natural laws. Titaness Themis born the divine hours, the goddesses of the seasons. The three divine Hours are Diki (Justice), Eirene (Peace), and Eunomia (Order).
The goddesses Hours ("seasons") reflect the seasonal changes in the nature and represents the natural justice.  She also born the three Fates (Moirai). The three Fates are Clotho (Spinner), Lachesis (Alotter), Atropos (Unturned). The Moirai or Moerae ("apportioners"-Fates) are the the deities responsible for the destiny. They have the power to control the thread of lifestyle of every mortal from birth to death. They are independent, although sometimes they directed fate, and they make sure that the proper fate assigned to every being in earth.

The third wife of Greek god Zeus was the Eurynome, another sea nymph (Oceanid). She born the three Charites (Graces): Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia. According to many statues found, she was represented as a mermaid.

The queen of the underworld, Persephone.
The queen of the underworld, Persephone.
The fourth wife was his sister, the Greek goddess of harvest Demeter, who born the Greek goddess Persephone, that later will become the queen of the underworld. Goddess Demeter (Δημήτηρ) was responsible for the grains and the fertility of the earth. She and her daughter Persephone were worshiped before the final form of the Olympian pantheon. The Greek god of the underworld Hades will later abduct Goddess Persephone making her queen of the underworld. She is responsible for caring into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead.

A Muse reading scroll.
A Muse reading scroll.
In Louvre museum.
The fifth wife of god Zeus was another Titaness, Mnemosyne. Mnemosyne (Μνημοσύνη), is the daughter of Greek God Uranus and Gaia, the great mother of everything. Mnemosyne is a divine figure that represents the ability of memory. Mortals were wanted her power of authoritative speech to achieve their goals. Mnemosyne had nine children, the Muses.The Muses are the goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science, and the arts. The considered as the source of poetry, song lyrics, and myths that humans were spreading. There are nine Muses: Melpomene, Clio, Euterpe,  Terpsikhore, Erato, Polymnia,Thalia, Urania, and Calliope.

The sixth wife of Greek god Zeus the daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, Leto. She and Zeus have two children (Letoides), the Greek god of light and prophecy Apollo and the Greek goddess of hunt Artemis. Leto born at the island of Kos, in Aegean sea. According to the Greek myth, Greek god Zeus noticed the hidden beauty of Leto and decided to mate with her. Unfortunately, the Greek goddess Heraqueen of the Gods was jealous and every place in earth was avoiding her. She finally, find an island that it is not land neither island, where she gives birth to god Apollo and the goddess Artemis. Later Leto does not play any other role later after her children grow up.

Greek goddess Hera, Queen of the Gods
Greek goddess Hera, Queen of the Gods.
The seventh and final wife is the Greek goddess HeraGoddess Hera is the wife and queen of the gods and one of three sisters of Greek god Zeus. She is the goddess of women and marriage. Hera is well known for her jealous nature against Zeus's lovers and children, and she tries every time to destroy them. Goddess Hera also hates Paris because he choose Aphrodite as the most beautiful Greek goddess. With Greek god Zeus have five children the goddesses of youth Hebe, the god of war Ares, god of war and destruction Enyo, the god of blacksmiths Hephaistos, and the goddess of childbirth Eileithyia. Greek god Zeus still had affairs with many other women, such as Semele, the mother of Greek god of wine and celebrations Dionysus, Danae (mother of Perseus), Leda, and Alkmene (the mother of the Greek hero Hercules).

The Greek god of the sea, Poseidon, married the sea-goddess Amphitrite. Under the influence of the Olympian pantheon, she became merely the consort of Poseidon, and was further diminished by poets to a symbolic representation of the sea. Here we have a contradiction: according to Theogony, Amphitrite is a daughter of Nereus and Doris (and thus a Nereid). In contrast in the Bibliotheca, she is the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Amphitrite god Poseidon born a merman, Triton. Note that in other sources there is a second child, a daughter, Rhode.

The Greek goddess of beauty Aphrodite, married the Greek god of blacksmiths Hephaistos, although she has an affair with the god of war Ares. She has the following children:  Eros (Love), Phobos (Fear), Deimos (Terror), and Harmonia (Harmony), Ino, Semele (mother of Dionysos), Autonoë (mother of Actaeon), Polydorus, and Agave (mother of Pentheus).

Finally, Helios and Perseis have Circe, the goddess of magic. She and Poseidon, have the god of the forestt Phaunos, and with Dionysos, she borne Comos, god of revelry and festivity. Later, Circe would later give birth to Agrius, Latinus, and Telegonos after coupling with another Greek Hero Odysseus.