Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ophion and Eurynome of The Greeks

Just as every other civilizations, the classical Greek mythology contains several accounts of the creation explaining how the universe was shaped. These creation myths give the background to the gods and goddesses that dominate Mount Olympus.

In the beginning there was nothing but a vast, dark void called Chaos. Out of the emptiness creative force emerged called Eurynome (or some consider her to be Gaia, Mother Earth), who coupled with a primal serpent called Ophion to begin the process. It is said the Eurynome took the form of a dove and laid a great egg, around which Ophion coiled to hatch Gaia the Earth, Uranus the sky, Ourea the mountains, Pontus the sea, and all other stars. After creation Eurynome and Ophion traveled to Mount Olympus and made their home there. But Ophion declared himself the sole creator of the cosmos, and Eurynome punished by banishing him to the underworld.

Mutilation of Uranus by Cronus, Giorgio Vasari
Other creation story says that Gaia was the primal creator. She and Uranus, the sky, made love and created the earliest races of creatures like the hundred headed giants, cyclopes (one eyed giants) who were skilled metal workers, titans who become powerful gods. Uranus threatened by the power and skill of titans, banished them to Tartarus, deep within earth, which caused pains to Gaia. Gaia made a great sickle and gave it to the powerful of her sons, Cronus to help her. Cronus castrated Uranus and when his blood spilled on to earth Aphrodite was born. Overthrown Uranus prophesied that Cronus would meet similar fate, so to avoid Cronus devours all his offspring. To save her sixth child from being swallowed by his father, Rhea handed Cronus Omphalos stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, hiding Zeus with his grand mother Gaia in a cave on Mount Ida, Crete.
Cronus eating his children

Greek creation myth is very similar to the Hurrian (Hittite people of Anatolia) creation myth. The sky god Anu wa castrated by his son Kumarbis, later he was deposed by his son Teshub. 

Uranus and Varuna

It is possible that Uranus was originally an indo-european god, to be identified with the vedic varuna, the supreme keeper of order who later became the god of oceans and rivers, as suggested by Georges Dum├ęzil,[17] following hints in,The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912). His daughter Lakshmi is said to have arisen from an ocean of milk, a myth similar to the myth of Aphrodite. Both Lakshmi and Aphrodite are associated with the planet Venus.

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