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or GE (Γαια or Γῆ), the personification of the earth. She appears in the character of a divine being as early as the Homeric poems, for we read in the Hiad (3.104) that black sheep were sacrificed to her, and that she was invoked by persons taking oaths. (3.278, 15.36, 19.259, Od. 5.124.) She is further called, in the Homeric poems, the mother of Erechthens and Tithyus. (Il. 2.548, Od. 7.324, 11.576; comp. Apollon. 1.762, 3.716. According to the Theogony of Hesiod (117, 12,5, &c.), she was the first being that sprang front Chaos, sand gave birth to Uranus and Pontus. By Uranus she then became the mother of a series of beings,--Oceanus, Coeus, Creius, Hyperion, Iapetus, Theia, Rheia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Thetys, Cronos, the Cyclopes, Brontes, Steropes, Arges, Cottus, Briareus, and Gyges. These children of Ge and Uranus were hated by their father, and Ge therefore concealed. them in the bosom of the earth; but she made a large iron sickle, gave it to her sons, and requested them to take vengeance upon their father. Cronos undertook the task, and mutilated Uranus. The drops of blood which fell from him upon the earth (Ge), became the seeds of the Erinnyes, the Gigantes, and the Melian nymphs. Subsequently Ge became, by Pontus, the mother of Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia. (Hes. Th. 232, &c.; Apollod. 1.1.1, &c.) Besides these, however, various other divinities and monsters sprang from her. As Ge was the source from which arose the vapours producing divine inspiration, she herself also was regarded as an oracular divinity, and it is well known that the oracle of Delphi was believed to have at first been in her possession (Aeschyl. Eum. 2; Paus. 10.5.3), and at Olympia, too, she had an oracle in early times. (Paus. 5.14.8.) That Ge belonged to the Δεοὶ χθίνιοι, requires no explanation, and hence she is frequently mentioned where they are invoked. (Philostr. Va. Apoll. 6.39; Ov. Met. 7.196.) The surnames and epithets given to Ge have more or less reference to her character as the all-producing and all-nourishing mother (mater omniparens et alma), and hence Servius (Serv. ad Aen. 4.166) classes her together with the divinities presiding over marriage. Her worship appears to have been universal among the Greeks, and she had temples or altars at Athens, Sparta, Delphi, Olympia, Bura, Tegea, Phlyus, and other places. (Thuc. 2.15; Paus. 1.22.3, 24.3, 31.2, 3.11.8, 12.7, 5.14.8, 7.25.8, 8.48.6.) We have express statements attesting the existence of statues of Ge in Greece, but none have come down to us. At Patrae she was represented in a sitting attitude, in the temple of Demeter (Paus. 7.21.4), and at Athens, too, there was a statue of her. (1.24.3.) Servius (Serv. ad Aen. 10.252) remarks that she was represented with a key.

At Rome the earth was worshipped under the name of Tellus (which is only a variation of Terra). There, too, she was regarded as an infernal divinity (Δέα χθόνια) being mentioned in connection with Dis and the Manes, and when persons invoked them or Tellus they sank their arms downwards, while in invoking Jupiter they raised them to heaven. (Varro, de Re Rust. 1.1. 15; Macr. 3.9; Liv. 8.9, 10.29.) The consul P. Sempronius Sophus, in B. C. 304, built a temple to Tellus in consequence of an earthquake which had occurred during the war with the Picentians. This temple stood on the spot which had formerly been occupied by the house of Sp. Cassius, in the street leading to the Carinae. (Flor. 1.19.2; Liv. 2.41; V. Max. 6.3.1; Plin. Nat. 34.6, 14; Dionys. A. R. 8.79.) Herfestival was celebrated on the 15th of April, immediately after that of Ceres, and was called Fordicidia or Hordicidia. The sacrifice, consisting of cows, was offered up in the Capitol inthe presence of the Vestals. A male divinity, to whom the pontiff prayed on that occasion, was called Tellumo. (Hartung, Die Relig. der Röm. vol. ii. p. 84, &c.)

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304 BC (1)
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