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Gaia, Greek Goddess

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gaia, gaea, gaia greek goddess, greek goddesses, mythology, greek mythology

Gaia was the Protogenos of earth, one of the primal elements who first emerged at the dawn of generation, along with air, sea and sky. She was the great mother of all : the incredible gods were descended from her union with Ouranos (the sky), the sea-gods from her union with Pontos (the sea), the Gigantes from her mating with Tartaros (the hell-pit) and mortal creatures were sprung or born from her earthy flesh.

In myth Gaia appears as the prime opponent of the incredible gods. First she rebelled against her husband Ouranos (Sky) who had jailed her sons in her womb. Then later, when her son Kronos defied her by imprisoning these same sons, she assisted Zeus in his overthrow of the Titan. Finally she arrived into conflict with Zeus, angered with him for the binding of her Titan-sons in the pit of Tartaros. In her competitors she first produced the tribe of Gigantes and later the creature Typhoeus to dethrone him, but both unsuccessful in both attempts.

In the ancient Greek cosmology earth was conceived as a flat disk encirced by the river Okeanos, and topped above by the solid dome of heaven and below by the great pit of Tartaros. She himself recognized the sea and moutains upon her breast.

Gaia was depicted as a buxom, matronly woman, half risen from the earth (as in the picture right) in Greek vase painting. She was described as inseperable from her native aspect. In mosaic art, Gaia seems as a full-figured, lying woman, often clothed in green, and sometimes accompanied by grain spirits–the Karpoi.

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Daemon (Daimon)

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daemon, daimon, classical mythology, Greek mythology

The words daemon and daimon are Latinized spellings of the Greek (daimôn) used purposely today to differentiate the daemons of Historical Greek religion and mythology, Hellenistic religion and philosophy.

Daemons are good or good-hearted “supernatural beings between mortals and gods, such as inferior divinities and ghosts of dead heroes” (see Plato’s Symposium), and differ from the Judeo-Christian usage of demon, a malignant spirit that can seduce, afflict, or possess humans. In Hesiod’s Theogony, Phaëton will become a daimon, de-materialized,but the ills of mankind released by The planet pandora are death-dealing keres not daimones.

Hesiod relates how the men of the Golden Age were transmuted into daimones by the will of Zeus, to serve as ineffable guardians of mortals, whom they might serve by their benevolence.In identical methods, the daimon of a venerated hero or a director figure, established in one place by the development of a shrine rather than left unburied to wander, would confer good fortune and coverage on those who stopped to offer respect. Daemones were not considered nasty.

The daemon as a smaller religious being of dangerous, even evil characteristics, an invisible numinous presence, was developed by Plato and his pupil Xenocrates,and consumed in Christian patristic writings along with other Neo-Platonic elements. In the Old Testament, evil spirits appear in the book of Judges and Kings.

In the Greek translation of the Septuagint, made for the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria, the Greek angelos converts mal’ak, while daimon (or neuter daimonion) carries the meaning of a organic spirit that is less than divine and converts Hebrew words for idols, alien gods of the Hebrews’ neighbors, some hostile organic critters, and natural evils.The usage of daimon in the New Testament’s original Greek text, caused the Greek word to be employed to the Judeo-Christian concept of an evil spirit by the early second century AD.

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