Myths and Folklore Wiki
Advertisement


Nyx was the Primordial Goddess of the Night, the veil, fertility and prophecy. Her Roman Equivalent is Nox.

She is a shadowy figure in Greek mythology but from the extracts about her, it can be gleaned that she was a figure of great beauty and power.

Nyx was born from the giant cosmic being called Khaos, and was a Protogenoi, an ancient being that existed long before the Olympians. With Erebos, her sibling and consort, she gives birth to many gods. Nyx is an essential part of the Greek creation myth, and was integral in the legend.

Myths

There aren't too many myths associated with Nyx, since she spends most of the time down in Tartarus with her husband Erebus, but there is one that establishes her as one of the most powerful deities in Greek mythology.

Hera believed that Zeus was unfit to rule and decided to take the throne for herself. To do this she would have to use powers stronger then her's, so she called upon the help of Hypnos. With a bit of magic Hypnos put Zeus into a deep sleep while Hera took control as King of the Gods. There was only one problem: Hypnos wasn't strong enough. Zeus awoke before Hera's plan was complete and grew furious. Through some convincing Hera was able to blame the whole thing on Hypnos, and Zeus' fury turned towards the minor god. Hypnos fled to a cave to be protected by his mother Nyx, Zeus on his tail. When he arrived to punish Hypnos he was met with Nyx. Nyx was outraged that he would dare to punish her son and confronted him. She demanded for Zeus to turn around and forget about punishing her son. Even the great Zeus was frightened of the primordial gods so he agreed to forgive and forget. Zeus may be seen as the most powerful god in all of Greek mythology, but here we see him running in fear from the great Mother Night.[1]

One myth describes the transition of night into day, with Nyx and Erebus representing the night and Hemera and Aither representing the day. At sunset, Nyx and Erebus would emerge from the Underworld onto the mountain where Atlas held up the sky. Here they would pass Hemera and Aither, who would in turn descend into the Underworld or go off to their other duties. Working together, Erebus and Nyx would bring the night to the sky. Erebus would create the darkness that brought the night while Nyx would carry those shadows across the sky; she is sometimes described as doing so in a dark chariot. This system would continue every sunrise and sunset, when the morning came it would be Hemera and Aither's turn to change the sky.

Worship

Unlike many other deities, Nyx was not celebrated in a cult of her own, but was often in the background of many other major cults, including one dedicated to Artemis, one of her descendants.

Nyx's Children

Nyx had many children:

References


Advertisement