Erebus supplanted Chaos and married his mother Nyx.Their union resulted in many children including many of the dark gods of death and the Underworld. Read about his role as the father of Charon the Ferryman and the goddess Nemesis.
Erebus and Tartarus
In ancient Greek mythology and literature the name Erebus was also used to refer to a region of the Underworld where the dead had to pass immediately after dying, and is sometimes used interchangeably with the region more commonly known as Tartarus. The word Erebus is defined as a "place of darkness between Earth and Hades".
Who was Erebus?
He was one of the primeval gods who was born out of Chaos, a casual deity who ruled over confusion in the void of emptiness. At the beginning of time there was only Chaos (Air), Nyx (Night) and Erebus (Darkness). Erebus took Nyx as his consort and became one of the first of the Immortals. Erebus was believed to have reigned in the mysterious, gloomy Underworld where no ray of sunshine, gleam of daylight or anything healthy lived. He created the shadows that filled the deep hollows of the earth. According to ancient Greek mythology Erebus and Nyx inhabited a palace in the dark regions of the Underworld. He is represented in ancient Greek art in a form similar to that of the later god, Hades.
The Children of Erebus
The children of Erebus and Nyx were Aether and his sister Hemera who brought light and day. Their many offspring also included some of the dark gods and goddesses of the Underworld including Doom (Moros), Old Age (Geras), Divine Retribution (Nemesis), Death and Sleep (Thanatos and Hypnos), Strife (Eris), Charon, the Fates, the Keres and other personifications.
Erebus and the Dynasties of Greek Gods
According to mythology, Erebus and the Ancient Greek gods and goddesses consisted of three major dynasties from different generations:
- The First generation of Ancient Greek Gods were the Primordial deities, to which Erebus belonged
- The Primordial, or Primeval, gods were those that existed at or from the beginning of time and resided within the region of the universe known as the Elemental Chaos
- The Second generation were the Titans
- The Third generation of were the famous Olympian gods
The Children of Erebus, the god of darkness and shadows
Short descriptions of the children of Erebus and his consort Nyx are detailed below, for comprehensive information about these deities refer to the Greek Gods section:
Nemesis was the goddess of revenge awarding to each individual the fate which his actions deserve
Charon the Ferryman was the grim old boatman who ferried souls across the River Styx to the Underworld
Hecate was the goddess of witchcraft, spectres and was called the the ‘Queen of Ghosts’
Hypnos was the God of sleep who brought nightmares
Eris was the goddess of quarrels, feuds and disagreements
Oizys personified distress, worry and anxiety
Momus, the twin of Oizys and the evil-spirited god of blame and unfair criticism
Geras personified loathsome old age
Lyssa was the goddess of mad rage and frenzy
Epiphron was the god of caution and frugality
Morpheus was a a winged daemon, the god of dreams and father of the Oneiroi, the gods of dreams
Moros was the god of impending doom
Thanatos was a god of Death who was hated as the enemy of mankind, whose hard heart knew no pity