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Deities & Heros >> Greek
phoenician women, hesiod theogony, thestars, radiant sun


Author: Strix d' Emerys

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Nyx is Night, a powerful goddess whose dark light falls from the
stars and who dictates not only to men but also to gods. Even Zeus
does not wish to upset Night:

It happened that Hera bribed Hypnos in order to make Zeus fall
asleep, so that she could have it her way during the Trojan War.
Hypnos obeyed the goddess in spite of his fears; for once he had
performed a similar task and when Zeus woke up in anger, he sought
him everywhere, and would have hurled him from heaven into the deep,
had Nyx not saved him. For Zeus stopped and thought twice before
doing something that could displease Nyx.

Some seem to think that Nyx appears because light is gone as if
anything could be and yet do not exist on its own right. But when
counting the days, not seldom the nights are mentioned first as when
it is said:

"...a brazen anvil falling down from heaven nine nights and days
would reach the earth upon the tenth: and again, a brazen anvil
falling from earth nine nights and days would reach Tartarus upon the
tenth." [Hesiod, Theogony 725]

In Tartarus, both a place and her brother, Nyx has her home and
spreads around him in triple line like a necklace. At the gates of
Tartarus and above it are the sources and ends of heaven, earth and
sea, and it is told that if a man should find himself inside the
gates, he would not reach the bottom for one year, being carried by
blasts in all directions.

But although it could be said that the days could not be counted if
this dark-robed goddess, giver of sleep, would not come between them,
night and day are, in a certain way, equals:

"...night's sightless eye, and radiant sun proceed upon their yearly
course on equal terms and neither of them is envious when it has to
yield." [Jocasta to her sons. Euripides, Phoenician women 543]

For the world, they say, is the movable image of Eternity, and when
the heavens were constructed, there appeared after them Night and
Day, the months and the years, being all portions of Time, which
imitates Eternity.

Both Day and Night live in the same home behind the brazen threshold
of Tartarus, never being there at the same time, for when one of them
crosses the earth the other waits at home. But they greet each other
at the threshold as they cross in front of the place where Atlas
holds up heaven.

Black winged Nyx, some say, laid a germless egg in the infinite bosom
of Erebus, the Darkness of the Underworld, and after long ages,
sprang golden-winged Eros. But others have said that Nyx is the
daughter of Eros, whereas others called them both children of Chaos.
Nyx is highly appreciated and revered by those who cast snares, for
mischief and treachery not seldom arise from night-time, when things
are often unexpected, although Destruction is believed to make its
way in any case:

"If night leaves anything undone in the working of destruction, day
follows to accomplish it." [Sophocles, Oedipus the king 196]