Sky was the first who ruled over the whole world.1 And having wedded Earth, he begat first the Hundred-handed, as they are named: Briareus, Gyes, Cottus, who were unsurpassed in size and might, each of them having a hundred hands and fifty heads.2
This text is part of:
Search the Perseus Catalog for:
Table of Contents:
1 According to Hesiod (Hes. Th. 126ff.), Sky （Uranus） was a son of Earth （Gaia）, but afterwards lay with his own mother and had by her Cronus, the giants, the Cyclopes, and so forth. As to the marriage of Sky and Earth, see the fragment of Eur. Chrys., quoted by Sextus Empiricus, Bekker p. 751 (Nauck TGF(2), p. 633, Leipsig, 1889); Lucretius i.250ff., ii.991ff.; Verg. G. 2.325ff. The myth of such a marriage is widespread among the lower races. See E. B. Tylor, Primitive Culture （London, 1873）, i.321ff., ii.370ff. For example, the Ewe people of Togo-land, in West Africa, think that the Earth is the wife of the Sky, and that their marriage takes place in the rainy season, when the rain causes the seeds to sprout and bear fruit. These fruits they regard as the children of Mother Earth, who in their opinion is the mother also of men and of gods, see J. Spieth, Die Ewe-Stämme （Berlin, 1906）, pp. 464, 548. In the regions of the Senegal and the Niger it is believed that the Sky-god and the Earth-goddess are the parents of the principal spirits who dispense life and death, weal and woe, among mankind. See Maurice Delafosse, Haut-Sénégal-Niger (Paris, 1912), iii.173ff. Similarly the Manggerai, a people of West Flores, in the Indian Archipelago, personify Sky and Earth as husband and wife; the consummation of their marriage is manifested in the rain, which fertilizes Mother Earth, so that she gives birth to her children, the produce of the fields and the fruits of the trees. The sky is called langīt; it is the male power: the earth is called alang; it is the female power. Together they form a divine couple, called Moerī Kraèng. See H. B. Stapel, “Het Manggeraische Volk （West Flores）,” Tijdschrift voor Indische Taal-Landen Volkenkunde, lvi. （Batavia and the Hague, 1914）, p. 163.
2 Compare Hes. Th. 147ff. Instead of Gyes, some MSS. of Hesiod read Gyges, and this form of the name is supported by the Scholiast on Plat. Laws 7, 795c. Compare Ovid, Fasti iv.593; Hor. Carm. 2.17.14, iii.4.69, with the commentators.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.