In the Greek Mythology, Gaïa , Gaia , Gaya , Gaiya , Gæa or Ge (in Greek old Γαῖα / Gaĩa , Γαῖη / Gaĩê or Γῆ / Gễ ) is a paramount goddess identified with the “Ground-Mother”. She is the ancestor nursery school of the divine races, but gives birth to also many monsters. She appears moreover as a divinity chtonienne that one called upon or to which one sacrificed victims of color sinks at the same time as with the other infernal powers (such as Hadès, Perséphone, Hécate or the Nuit; Virgile, Enéïde).
Myth and descent
Gaïa initially gives birth (without male intervention) to Ouranos (starry Sky), Pontos (the marine Flood) and with Ouréa (Mountains and high Mounts). Linked in Ouranos, it gives rise to then the Titans and Titanides (divinities of very big size), like with the Cyclops (builders of colossal walls, having only one eye in the middle of the face) and with the Hécatonchires (monsters having fifty heads and hundred arm). Ouranos obliged Gaïa to keep their children in his belly, if not it threw them in the Tartar .
The last of the Titans (Cronos), finishes by émasculer his/her father using a flint sickle which his/her mother provided him. The blood of Ouranos then fertilizes Gaïa, which gives birth to the Érinyes, the Géants and the Méliades.
Fertilized then by her Pontos son, it generates the paramount marine divinities: Nérée (that Hésiode, in its Théogonie, v. 233/234, rather gives birth to from only the Pontos), then Thaumas, Phorcys, Céto and Eurybie. With Tartar, it gives rise to Typhon and, according to the Pseudo-Apollodore, Échidna. Other maternities are also allotted to him.
Principal children of Gaïa born " except mariage" and quoted by the posthesiodic traditions are:
- the giant Antée (by Poséidon; Pseudo-Apollodore, 2.115)
- Aristée (by Ouranos Lyric Greeks IV - Bacchylide fragment 45)
- the marine monster Charybde (by Poséidon Scholiaste with the Odyssey)
- Manes (by Zeus; Denys d' Halicarnasse, I, 27)
- three Moires (by Ouranos; Fragments orphic) or (by Ocean; Lycophron Alexandra 144, Deipnosophistae Athenaeum 15)
- three or four primitive Muses by Ouranos; Alcman Fragment 67, Mimnermus Fragment 13, Praxilla Fragment 3)
- the god Side (various sources)
- the god-satyr Silène (by the blood of Ouranos; Nonnos, Dionysiaques)
- the rural god Triptolème (by Ocean; pseudo-Apollodore 1.32, Pausanias 1.14.3)
One recognized to him moreover the parthenogenetic maternity of distances hero founders or first men, such as
- Pélasgos (Lyric Greeks V, anonymous fragment)
- Alalcoménée (Lyric Greeks, anonymous fragment)
- the Athenians Cécrops (various sources)
- Erichthonios (Iliade, pseudo Apollodore 3.188, Callimaque, Fragment 260)
- the Phéaciens (fragment of Alcée)
- the Centaurs cypriotes (Nonnos, Dionysiaques)
- the Lestrygons of the Odyssey
- the Pygmies
- the Cabires… (various sources).
As a divinity first, Gaïa is, in a certain manner, the guardian of the divine capacity: it is it which causes the rebellion of Cronos against Ouranos and that of its Zeus grandson against Cronos, in a certain search of the perfect sovereign; but it supports also its monstrous sons, the Giants and Typhoon, against Zeus, mutinies likely to fail. In this way, the Greeks undoubtedly wanted to represent the two aspects of nature: able to create harmonious beauty, but also moments when original chaos re-appears.
It is also the first divinity who could predict the future, in particular with Delphes, where it will be finally replaced by THEMIS then Phœbé (Eschyle, the Euménides, 1 and suiv.) then by Apollon, or according to other traditions directly by Apollon after this one bored its arrows the dragon Python, guard of the sanctuary of Gaïa (Homeric Anthem with Apollon) born from the latter and god-river the Nile just after the Flood (Ovide, Métamorphoses, 1).
Terms and names
The Ground-Mother of old is almost always indicated under the names of Gaïa or Ge in Greece, Tellus or Terra-MATER among Romans, all considered as literal translations of the word " Terre". But with the liking of the late traditions, it merges, in particular at the poets, with other fertilizing powers, the such Phrygian goddess-mother Cybèle (more frequently assimiliée with the Greek Rhéa) or the goddess of the hearth Hestia or Vesta (in particular in the Fastes of the Latin poet Ovide). Eschyle considers for its part that it does only one with THEMIS (Prométhée connected) and the orphic traditions readily indicate it under the term of Chton as an infernal power (various orphic).
one called it also gaïa five-March in ancient Rome.
- Assumption Gaïa
- Theories Gaïa
- Law gaïenne
Simple: Gaia (mythology)
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