Who was Nyx?
Nyx was one of the primeval gods who was born out of Chaos, a casual deity who ruled over confusion in the void of emptiness. Born out of Chaos, Nyx became one of the first of the Immortals. Nyx was believed to be the mother of everything mysterious and anything that was inexplicable, such as death, disease, sleep, ghosts, dreams, witchcraft and enchantments. Erebus, her son and then her consort, reigned in the mysterious Underworld where no ray of sunshine nor gleam of daylight or healthy life ever appeared. According to ancient Greek mythology Nyx and Erebus inhabited a palace in the dark regions of the Underworld. Nyx is represented in ancient Greek art as a beautiful woman, seated in a chariot that is drawn by two black horses. She is clothed in dark robes, wears a long veil, and is accompanied by the stars, which follow in her train.
The Children of Nyx
The children of Nyx and Erebus were Aether and his sister Hemera who brought light and day. Their offspring also included many 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, the goddess of Discord), Charon, the Fates, the Keres and other personifications.
Nyx (Roman Counterpart was Nox)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Nyx, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Nyx was Nox.
Nyx and the Dynasties of Greek Gods
According to mythology, Nyx and the Ancient Greek gods and goddesses consisted of three major dynasties from different generations:
- The First generation of Ancient Greek Gods were the Primeval or Primordial deities
- 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 the Dark Goddess Nyx
Short descriptions of the children of Nyx are detailed below:
Moros was the god of impending doom, who drives every being, mortal or otherwise, to its fated doom
Thanatos was a god of Death who was feared and hated as the enemy of mankind, whose hard heart knew no pity
Hypnos was the God of sleep who brought nightmares but also some relief to troubled mortals. The Oneiroi were his sons and gods of dreams, called Morpheus, Icelus, and Phantasos
Eris was the personification of quarrels, feuds and disagreements. Her eternal and unforgiving rage was the cause of fear and respect
Oizys personified distress, worry and anxiety
Momus, the twin of Oizys and the evil-spirited god of blame and unfair criticism
Geras was believed to be a malevolent spirit who personified loathsome old age
Nemesis was an avenging goddess awarding to each individual the fate which his actions deserve
Charon the Ferryman was the grim, unshaven old boatman Charon, who ferried shades across the River Styx to the Underworld
Lyssa was the goddess of mad rage and frenzy
Epiphron was the god of caution and frugality
Hecate was the goddess of magic, witchcraft, spectres and the the ‘Queen of Ghosts’