οὐρανος

Alternative forms

Etymology

Probably from an older *ϝορσανός (worsanós), which may be related to οὑρέω (houreō, “to urinate”), from *h₁u̯orsei̯e-, from Proto-Indo-European *h₁u̯ers- (“rain”) (compare Sanskrit वर्षति (varṣati, “it rains”).

A folk etymology advanced by Aristotle interpreted it as ὅρος (oros, “limit”) and ἄνω (anō, “up”).

Pronunciation

Noun

οὐρανός (genitive οὐρανοῦ) m, second declension; (ouranos)

  1. the vaulted sky, on which the stars were attached and the sun traveled: sky, heaven
  2. the region above this vault, the home of the gods
  3. (philosophy) the universe
  4. anything shaped like the sky: vaulted ceiling, tent

Inflection

Case / # Singular Dual Plural
Nominative οὐρᾰνός οὐρᾰνώ οὐρᾰνοί
Genitive οὐρᾰνοῦ οὐρᾰνοῖν οὐρᾰνῶν
Dative οὐρᾰνῷ οὐρᾰνοῖν οὐρᾰνοῖς
Accusative οὐρᾰνόν οὐρᾰνώ οὐρᾰνούς
Vocative οὐρᾰνέ οὐρᾰνώ οὐρᾰνοί

Classical authors did not use the plural forms, which are not seen until later Greek, especially in Christian writings such as the New Testament.

Derived terms

Uranus (/ˈjʊərənəs/ or /jʊˈrnəs/; Ancient Greek Οὐρανός, Ouranos meaning “sky” or “heaven”) was the primal Greek god personifying the sky. His equivalent in Roman mythology was Caelus. In Ancient Greek literature, Uranus or Father Sky was the son and husband of Gaia, Mother Earth. According to Hesiod‘s Theogony, Uranus was conceived by Gaia alone, but other sources cite Aether as his father.[3] Uranus and Gaia were the parents of the first generation of Titans, and the ancestors of most of the Greek gods, but no cult addressed directly to Uranus survived into Classical times,[4] and Uranus does not appear among the usual themes of Greek painted pottery. Elemental Earth, Sky and Styx might be joined, however, in a solemn invocation in Homeric epic.[5]

The most probable etymology is from the basic Proto-Greek form *(F)orsanόj (worsanos) derived from the noun *(F)orsό (worso, Sanskrit: varsa “rain” ). The relative Proto-Indo-European language root is *ers “to moisten, to drip” (Sanskrit: varsati “to rain”), which is connected with the Greek ourόw (Latin: “urina”, English: “urine”, compare Sanskrit: var “water,” Avestan var “rain,” Lithuanian jures “sea,” Old English wær “sea,” Old Norse ver “sea,” Old Norse ur “drizzling rain”)[6] therefore Ouranos is the “rainmaker” or the “fertilizer”. Another possible etymology is “the one standing high in order” (Sanskrit: vars-man: height, Lithuanian: virus: upper, highest seat). The identification with the Vedic Varuna, god of the sky and waters, is uncertain.[7] It is also possible that the name is derived from the PIE root *wel: to cover, enclose (Varuna, Veles).[8] or *wer: to cover, shut.[9]

Most Greeks considered Uranus to be primordial, and gave him no parentage, believing him to have been born from Chaos, the primal form of the universe. However, in Theogony, Hesiod claims Uranus to be the offspring of Gaia, the earth goddess.[10] Alcman and Callimachus elaborate that Uranus was fathered by Aether, the god of heavenly light and the upper air.[1] Under the influence of the philosophers, Cicero, in De Natura Deorum (“Concerning the Nature of the Gods”), claims that he was the offspring of the ancient gods Aether and Hemera, Air and Day. According to the Orphic Hymns, Uranus was the son of Nyx, the personification of night.

In the Olympian creation myth, as Hesiod tells it in the Theogony,[11] Uranus came every night to cover the earth and mate with Gaia, but he hated the children she bore him. Hesiod named their first six sons and six daughters the Titans, the three one-hundred-armed giants the Hekatonkheires, and the one-eyed giants the Cyclopes.

Uranus imprisoned Gaia’s youngest children in Tartarus, deep within Earth, where they caused pain to Gaia. She shaped a great flint-bladed sickle and asked her sons to castrate Uranus. Only Cronus, youngest and most ambitious of the Titans, was willing: he ambushed his father and castrated him, casting the severed testicles into the sea.

For this fearful deed, Uranus called his sons Titanes Theoi, or “Straining Gods.”[12] From the blood that spilled from Uranus onto the Earth came forth the Giants, the Erinyes (the avenging Furies), the Meliae (the ash-tree nymphs), and, according to some, the Telchines.

From the genitals in the sea came forth Aphrodite. The learned Alexandrian poet Callimachus[13] reported that the bloodied sickle had been buried in the earth at Zancle in Sicily, but the Romanized Greek traveller Pausanias was informed that the sickle had been thrown into the sea from the cape near Bolina, not far from Argyra on the coast of Achaea, whereas the historian Timaeus located the sickle at Corcyra;[14] Corcyrans claimed to be descendants of the wholly legendary Phaeacia visited by Odysseus, and by circa 500 BCE one Greek mythographer, Acusilaus, was claiming that the Phaeacians had sprung from the very blood of Uranus’ castration.[15]

After Uranus was deposed, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hekatonkheires and Cyclopes in Tartarus. Uranus and Gaia then prophesied that Cronus in turn was destined to be overthrown by his own son, and so the Titan attempted to avoid this fate by devouring his young. Zeus, through deception by his mother Rhea, avoided this fate.

These ancient myths of distant origins were not expressed in cults among the Hellenes.[16] The function of Uranus was as the vanquished god of an elder time, before real time began.

After his castration, the Sky came no more to cover the Earth at night, but held to its place, and “the original begetting came to an end” (Kerényi). Uranus was scarcely regarded as anthropomorphic, aside from the genitalia in the castration myth. He was simply the sky, which was conceived by the ancients as an overarching dome or roof of bronze, held in place (or turned on an axis) by the Titan Atlas. In formulaic expressions in the Homeric poems ouranos is sometimes an alternative to Olympus as the collective home of the gods; an obvious occurrence would be the moment in Iliad 1.495, when Thetis rises from the sea to plead with Zeus: “and early in the morning she rose up to greet Ouranos-and-Olympus and she found the son of Kronos …”

William Sale remarks that “… ‘Olympus‘ is almost always used of [the home of the Olympian gods], but ouranos often refers to the natural sky above us without any suggestion that the gods, collectively live there”.[17] Sale concluded that the earlier seat of the gods was the actual Mount Olympus, from which the epic tradition by the time of Homer had transported them to the sky, ouranos. By the sixth century, when a “heavenly Aphrodite” (Urania) was to be distinguished from the “common Aphrodite of the people”, ouranos signifies purely the celestial sphere itself.

The Greek creation myth is similar to the Hurrian creation myth. In Hurrian religion Anu is the sky god. His son Kumarbis bit off his genitals and spat out three deities, one of whom, Teshub, later deposed Kumarbis.[18] In Sumerian mythology and later for Assyrians and Babylonians, Anu is the sky god and represented law and order.

It is possible that Uranus was originally an Indo-European god, to be identified with the Vedic Váruṇa, the supreme keeper of order who later became the god of oceans and rivers, as suggested by Georges Dumézil,[19] following hints in Émile Durkheim, The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (1912).[20] Another possibility is that the Iranian supreme God Ahura Mazda is a development of the Indo-Iranian *vouruna-*mitra. Therefore this divinity has also the qualities of Mitra, which is the god of the falling rain.[21]

Uranus is connected with the night sky, and Váruṇa is the god of the sky and the celestial ocean, which is connected with the Milky Way. 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.

Georges Dumézil made a cautious case for the identity of Uranus and Vedic Váruṇa at the earliest Indo-European cultural level.[22] Dumézil’s identification of mythic elements shared by the two figures, relying to a great extent on linguistic interpretation, but not positing a common origin, was taken up by Robert Graves and others. The identification of the name Ouranos with the Hindu Váruṇa, based in part on a posited PIE root *-ŭer with a sense of “binding”—ancient king god Váruṇa binds the wicked, ancient king god Uranus binds the Cyclopes—is widely rejected by those[who?] who find the most probable etymology is from Proto-Greek *(F)orsanόj (worsanos) from a PIE root *ers “to moisten, to drip” (referring to the rain).

The detail of the sickle’s being flint rather than bronze or even iron was retained by Greek mythographers (though neglected by Roman ones). Knapped flints as cutting edges were set in wooden or bone sickles in the late Neolithic, before the onset of the Bronze Age. Such sickles may have survived latest in ritual contexts where metal was taboo, but the detail, which was retained by classical Greeks, suggests the antiquity of the mytheme.

The ancient Greeks and Romans knew of only five ‘wandering stars’ (Greek: πλανήται, planētai): Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Following the discovery of a sixth planet in the 18th century, the name Uranus was chosen as the logical addition to the series: for Mars (Ares in Greek) was the son of Jupiter, Jupiter (Zeus in Greek) the son of Saturn, and Saturn (Cronus in Greek) the son of Uranus. What is anomalous is that, while the others take Roman names, Uranus is a name derived from Greek in contrast to the Roman Caelus.

χρόνος

Ο χρόνος εννοείται “η ακαθόριστη κίνηση της ύπαρξης και των γεγονότων στο παρελθόν, το παρόν, και το μέλλον, θεωρούμενη ως σύνολο”.2 Γενικά Χρόνος χαρακτηρίζεται η ακριβής μέτρηση μιας διαδικασίας από το παρελθόν στο μέλλον. Κάθε φυσικό φαινόμενο π.χ. μια πτώση αντικειμένου στο έδαφος εξελίσσεται στην έννοια της ορισμένης χρονικής περιόδου. Ο χρόνος μετράται σε μονάδες όπως το δευτερόλεπτο και με ειδικά όργανα τα χρονόμετρα π.χ. ρολόι. Οι καθημερινές εμπειρίες αποδεικνύουν πως ο χρόνος “κυλάει” με τον ίδιο πάντα ρυθμό και μόνο προς μια κατεύθυνση – από το παρελθόν προς το μέλλον. Η κίνηση γενικότερα ούτε μπορεί να διακοπεί αλλά και ούτε να αντιστραφεί στην έννοια του χρόνου. Παρά ταύτα, όπως εξηγεί η ειδική θεωρία της σχετικότητας, αυτή η κίνηση μπορεί να επιβραδυνθεί με ασύλληπτα μεγάλες ταχύτητες.

Ένας άλλος στερεότυπος ορισμός για τον χρόνο είναι “ένα μη χωρικό γραμμικό συνεχές στο οποίο τα γεγονότα συμβαίνουν με εμφανώς μη αναστρέψιμη τάξη”. Πρόκειται για μείζονα έννοια η οποία λειτουργεί τόσο ως θεμελιώδης οντότητα, όσο και ως σύστημα μέτρησης. Με τον χρόνο ασχολήθηκε τόσο η φιλοσοφία όσο και η επιστήμη, διαμορφώνοντας ενίοτε αντιφατικές απόψεις για το νόημά του. Επί της ουσίας οι διαφοροποιήσεις δεν αφορούν στις μονάδες μέτρησης του χρόνου αλλά στο αν ο χρόνος ως οντότητα είναι δυνατόν να μετρηθεί ή αποτελεί τμήμα του μετρητικού συστήματος.

Etymology

Cognate with Sanskrit word ‘kaal’.

Pronunciation

Noun

χρόνος (genitive χρόνου) m, second declension; (khronos)

  1. time (in the abstract sense)
  2. specific time, period, term
  3. lifetime
  4. delay
  5. (grammar) tense

Inflection

Second declension of χρόνος, χρόνου
Case / # Singular Dual Plural
Nominative χρόνος τὼ χρόνω οἱ χρόνοι
Genitive τοῦ χρόνου τοῖν χρόνοιν τῶν χρόνων
Dative τῷ χρόνῳ τοῖν χρόνοιν τοῖς χρόνοις
Accusative τὸν χρόνον τὼ χρόνω τοὺς χρόνους
Vocative χρόνε χρόνω χρόνοι

Synonyms

Chronos (Ancient Greek: Χρόνος, “time,” also transliterated as Khronos or Latinized as Chronus) is the personification of Time in pre-Socratic philosophy and later literature.

Chronos was imagined as a god, serpentine in form, with three heads—those of a man, a bull, and a lion.[citation needed] He and his consort, serpentine Ananke (Inevitability), circled the primal world egg in their coils and split it apart to form the ordered universe of earth, sea and sky. Chronos was confused with, or perhaps consciously identified with, due to the similarity in name, the Titan Cronus already in antiquity,[1] the identification becoming more widespread during the Renaissance, giving rise to the allegory of “Father Time” wielding the harvesting scythe.

He was depicted in Greco-Roman mosaics as a man turning the Zodiac Wheel.[citation needed] Chronos, however, might also be contrasted with the deity Aion as Eternal Time[2] (see aeon).

Chronos is usually portrayed through an old, wise man with a long, grey beard, such as “Father Time“. Some of the current English words whose etymological root is khronos/chronos include chronology, chronometer, chronic, anachronism, and chronicle.

In the Orphic cosmogony, the unaging Chronos produced Aether and Chaos, and made a silvery egg in the divine Aether. It produced the hermaphroditic god Phanes, who gave birth to the first generation of gods and is the ultimate creator of the cosmos.

Pherecydes of Syros in his lost Heptamychos (the seven recesses), around 6th century BC, claimed that there were three eternal principles: Chronos, Zas (Zeus) and Chthonie (the chthonic). The semen of Chronos was placed in the recesses and produced the first generation of gods.[3]

Κρόνος

Ο Κρόνος ήταν ο ηγέτης και ο νεώτερος της πρώτης γενεάς των τιτάνων, θεών απόγονων της Γαίας και του Ουρανού. Νίκησε τον πατέρα του, τον Ουρανό, και κυβέρνησε κατά τη διάρκεια της μυθολογικής χρυσής εποχής, έως ότου νικήθηκε από το γιο του, τον Δία.

Ήταν ο μικρότερος σε ηλικία και δύναμη από τους Τιτάνες, αλλά ο πιο πονηρός και φιλόδοξος. Ανέτρεψε τον πατέρα του με την βοήθεια της Γαίας, αλλά φοβούμενος μια ίδια μοίρα κατάπινε τα παιδιά του. Η γυναίκα του και αδερφή του Ρέα έκρυψε το τελευταίο τους παιδί, τον Δία, και έδωσε στον Κρόνο μια φασκιωμένη πέτρα για να καταπιεί, αντί για το μωρό. Ο Δίας, όταν μεγάλωσε, ελευθέρωσε και τα υπόλοιπα αδέρφια του δίνοντας στον Κρόνο να καταπιεί δηλητήριο. Στον πόλεμο που ακολούθησε μεταξύ των Τιτάνων και των Ολύμπιων, την Τιτανομαχία, που κράτησε 10 χρόνια, ο Κρόνος και οι Τιτάνες σύμμαχοι του νικήθηκαν και φυλακίστηκαν στα Τάρταρα.

Κατά τη διάρκεια της χρυσής εποχής ο Κρόνος λατρεύονταν ως θεότητα της σοδειάς και των συγκομιδών, ενώ επιτηρούσε και την πρόοδο των ανθρώπων. Απεικονιζόταν συνήθως με ένα κρυστάλλινο δρεπάνι, το οποίο χρησιμοποιούσε για να συγκομίσει τις σοδειές και ήταν επίσης το όπλο που χρησιμοποίησε για να ευνουχίσει και να καθαιρέσει τον Ουρανό. Μια γιορτή που ονομαζόταν Κρόνια γινόταν προς τιμή του Κρόνου στην Αθήνα τη δωδέκατη ημέρα του μήνα Εκατομβαιώνα, αλλά και στην αρχαία Ολυμπία.

Η ετυμολογία του ονόματος δεν είναι ξεκάθαρη. Μπορεί να σημαίνει «κερασφόρος», αλλά πολλοί ερευνητές υποστηρίζουν ότι το όνομα προέρχεται από τον αρχαίο ινδικό δαίμονα Kroni. Στην Αλεξανδρινή περίοδο αλλά και την εποχή της Αναγέννησης στη λατινική γλώσσα υπήρξε κάποια σύγχυση της λέξης Κρόνος (Cronos) με αυτή του χρόνου (Chronos).

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Κρόνος (genitive Κρόνου) m, second declension; (Kronos)

  1. Cronus

Inflection

   Second declension of Κρόνος, Κρόνου
Case / # Singular
Nominative Κρόνος
Genitive Κρόνου
Dative Κρόνῳ
Accusative Κρόνον
Vocative Κρόνε

Derived terms

Descendants

In the most classic and well known version of Greek mythology, Cronus or Kronos[1] (Ancient Greek: Κρόνος, pronounced [krónos]) was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son, Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus.

Cronus was usually depicted with a sickle or scythe, which was also the instrument he used to castrate and depose Uranus, his father. In Athens, on the twelfth day of the Attic month of Hekatombaion, a festival called Kronia was held in honour of Cronus to celebrate the harvest, suggesting that, as a result of his association with the virtuous Golden Age, Cronus continued to preside as a patron of harvest. Cronus was also identified in classical antiquity with the Roman deity Saturn.

In ancient myth recorded by Hesiod‘s Theogony, Cronus envied the power of his father, the ruler of the universe, Uranus. Uranus drew the enmity of Cronus’ mother, Gaia, when he hid the gigantic youngest children of Gaia, the hundred-handed Hecatonchires and one-eyed Cyclopes, in the Tartarus, so that they would not see the light. Gaia created a great stone sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to persuade them to castrate Uranus.[2]

Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in ambush. When Uranus met with Gaia, Cronus attacked him with the sickle castrating him and casting his testicles into the sea. From the blood that spilled out from Uranus and fell upon the earth, the Gigantes, Erinyes, and Meliae were produced. The testicles produced a white foam from which the goddess Aphrodite emerged.[2] For this, Uranus threatened vengeance and called his sons Titenes (Τιτῆνες; according to Hesiod meaning “straining ones,” the source of the word “titan”, but this etymology is disputed) for overstepping their boundaries and daring to commit such an act.

Giorgio Vasari: The Mutilation of Uranus by Saturn (Cronus)

In an alternate version of this myth, a more benevolent Cronus overthrew the wicked serpentine Titan Ophion. In doing so, he released the world from bondage and for a time ruled it justly.

After dispatching Uranus, Cronus re-imprisoned the Hecatonchires, the Gigantes, and the Cyclopes and set the dragon Campe to guard them. He and his sister Rhea took the throne of the world as king and queen. The period in which Cronus ruled was called the Golden Age, as the people of the time had no need for laws or rules; everyone did the right thing, and immorality was absent.

Cronus learned from Gaia and Uranus that he was destined to be overcome by his own sons, just as he had overthrown his father. As a result, although he sired the gods Demeter, Hestia, Hera, Hades and Poseidon by Rhea, he devoured them all as soon as they were born, to preempt the prophecy. When the sixth child, Zeus, was born Rhea sought Gaia to devise a plan to save them and to eventually get retribution on Cronus for his acts against his father and children. Another child Cronus is reputed to have fathered is Chiron, by Philyra.

Painting by Peter Paul Rubens of Cronus devouring one of his children, Poseidon

Rhea secretly gave birth to Zeus in Crete, and handed Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, also known as the Omphalos Stone, which he promptly swallowed, thinking that it was his son.

Rhea kept Zeus hidden in a cave on Mount Ida, Crete. According to some versions of the story, he was then raised by a goat named Amalthea, while a company of Kouretes, armored male dancers, shouted and clapped their hands to make enough noise to mask the baby’s cries from Cronus. Other versions of the myth have Zeus raised by the nymph Adamanthea, who hid Zeus by dangling him by a rope from a tree so that he was suspended between the earth, the sea, and the sky, all of which were ruled by his father, Cronus. Still other versions of the tale say that Zeus was raised by his grandmother, Gaia.

Once he had grown up, Zeus used an emetic given to him by Gaia to force Cronus to disgorge the contents of his stomach in reverse order: first the stone, which was set down at Pytho under the glens of Mount Parnassus to be a sign to mortal men, then the goat, and then his two brothers and three sisters. In other versions of the tale, Metis gave Cronus an emetic to force him to disgorge the children, or Zeus cut Cronus’ stomach open. After freeing his siblings, Zeus released the Gigantes, the Hecatonchires, and the Cyclopes, who with the help of Hephaestus, forged for him his thunderbolts, Poseidon’s trident and Hades’ helmet of darkness.

In a vast war called the Titanomachy, Zeus and his brothers and sisters, with the help of the Gigantes, Hecatonchires, and Cyclopes, overthrew Cronus and the other Titans. Afterwards, many of the Titans were confined in Tartarus. Some Titans were not banished to Tartarus. Atlas, Epimetheus, Menoetius, Oceanus and Prometheus are examples of Titans who were not imprisoned in Tartarus following the Titanomachy. Gaia bore the monster Typhon to claim revenge for the imprisoned Titans, though Zeus was victorious.

Accounts of the fate of Cronus after the Titanomachy differ. In Homeric and other texts he is imprisoned with the other Titans in Tartarus. In Orphic poems, he is imprisoned for eternity in the cave of Nyx. Pindar describes his release from Tartarus, where he is made King of Elysium by Zeus. In another version[citation needed], the Titans released the Cyclopes from Tartarus, and Cronus was awarded the kingship among them, beginning a Golden Age. In Virgil‘s Aeneid[citation needed], it is Latium to which Saturn (Cronus) escapes and ascends as king and lawgiver, following his defeat by his son Jupiter (Zeus).

One other account referred by Robert Graves[3] (who claims to be following the account of the Byzantine mythographer Tzetzes) it is said that Cronus was castrated by his son Zeus just like he had done with his father Uranus before. However the subject of a son castrating his own father, or simply castration in general, was so repudiated by the Greek mythographers of that time that they suppressed it from their accounts until the Christian era (when Tzetzes wrote).

Γαῖα

Gaia (pron.: /ˈɡ.ə/ or /ˈɡ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα, a poetical form of  Γῆ, “land” or “earth”;[1] also Gaea, or Ge) was the goddess or personification of Earth in ancient Greek religion,[2] one of the Greek primordial deities. Gaia was the great mother of all: the heavenly gods, the Titans and the Giants were born from her union with Uranus (the sky), while the sea-gods were born from her union with Pontus (the sea). Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra.

The Greek word “γαῖα” (trans. as gaia or gaea pronounced: Geea) is a collateral form of “γῆ”[3] (Doric “γά” – ga and probably “δᾶ” da[4][5]) meaningEarth,[6] a word of unknown origin.[7] In Mycenean Greek Ma-ka (trans. as Ma-ga: Mother Gaia) contains also the root ga-.[8][9]

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Γαῖα (genitive Γαίας) f, first declension; (Gaia)

  1. (Greek mythology) Gaia or Gaea, the Earth personified as a goddess

Inflection

Case / # Singular
Nominative Γαῖᾰ
Genitive Γαίᾱς
Dative Γαίᾳ
Accusative Γαῖᾰν
Vocative Γαῖᾰ