Hellenic Mythology Nyx Awakening Picture


NYX was the goddess of the night, one of the ancient Protogeni (first-born elemental gods). In the cosmogony of Hesiod she was born of Air (Khaos), and breeding with Darkness (Erebos) produced Light (Aither) and Day (Hemera), first components of the primeval universe. Alone, she spawned a brood of dark spirits, including the three Fates, Sleep, Death, Strife and Pain.

Nyx was a primeval goddess usually represented as simply the substance of night: a veil of dark veil of mist drawn forth from the underworld which blotted out the light of Aither (shining upper atmosphere). Her opposite number was Hemera (Day), who scattered the mists of night, or Eos, the goddess of the dawn.

In ancient art Nyx was portrayed as either a winged goddess on a charioteer, sometimes crowned with an aureole of dark mist.


Orphic Hymn 3 to Nyx (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"To Nyx (Night), Fumigation with Torches. Nyx, parent goddess, source of sweet repose from whom at first both Gods and men arose. Hear, blessed Kypris Aphrodite, decked with starry light, in sleep’s deep silence dwelling ebon night! Dreams (Oneiroi) and soft ease attend thy dusky train, pleased with the lengthened gloom and feastful strain, dissolving anxious care, the friend of mirth, with darkling coursers riding round the earth. Goddess of phantoms and of shadowy play, whose drowsy power divides the natural day; by fate’s decree you constant send the light to deepest hell, remote from mortal sight; for dire necessity (ananke), which naught withstands, invests the world with adamantine bands. Be present, Goddess, to thy suppliant’s prayer, desired by all, whom all alike revere, blessed, benevolent, with friendly aid dispel the fears of twilight’s dreadful shade."

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