Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aether

Aether (also Æthere, Ancient Greek: Αἰθήρ), in Greek mythology, is one of the Protogenoi, the first-born elementals. He is the personification of the upper sky, space, and heaven, and is the elemental god of the "Bright, Glowing, Upper Air." He is the pure upper air that the gods breathe, as opposed to the normal air (Ἀήρ, aer) that mortals breathe.

Hesiod
In Hesiod's Theogony, he was the son of Erebus and Nyx and brother of Hemera. Both were noted in passing in Cicero's De Natura deorum, but Hyginus mentioned Chaos as his parent. The aether was also known as Zeus's defensive wall, the boundary that locked Tartarus from the rest of the cosmos.
Hyginus
Aether had several offspring, but Hyginus seems to confuse him with Uranus when saying that Aether had Uranus by Gaia, his only daughter, Aergia, a goddess of sloth and laziness, is the daughter of Aether and Gaia. Hyginus is also our source for telling us that Aether is the father of Uranus and Gaia but another source tells us that it is just Uranus who is his child. And like Tartaros and Erebos, in Hellas he might have had shrines but no temples and probably no cult either.
Orphic hymns
In the Orphic hymns, he is mentioned as the soul of the world from which all life emanates. Callimachus, in calling Uranus Akmonides, claims him as the son of Akmon, and Eustathius in Alcman tells us that the sons of Uranus were called Akmonidai.

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