The reason for two Goddesses today is this will complete the first generation of Greek Titans.
Greek Titan – Themis, goddess of divine law and order
Themis was a Titan goddess of divine law, order and costums. She was a daughter of Uranus and Gaea and was a messenger of the very first rules of conduct, established by the elder gods. Her place was at the Oracle of Delphi where she was one of the early prophets, second more precisely, according to Aeschylus. In a role of divine voice (themistes), she first instructed the primal laws of justice and morality to mankind. Some of these were precepts of piety, rules of hospitality, good governance, conduct of assembly and various offerings to gods. Themis was also known to be a counsellor of Zeus, advising the king of gods on the conduct of men. Alongside her daughter Dike(justice), she would have reported to Zeus, if the primal laws had been breached by anyone. She is also said to had, on Zeus` orders, gathered all the gods to the assembly on Olympus during Trojan war.
Prophecies of Themis
In her time, Themis proclaimed some of the most famous prophecies such as the fall of theTitans where she prophesied that the war will not be won by brute strength and violence but by respecting the counsels of craft and gaining the upper hand in war. This probably meant that Olympians gained the advantage when Zeus released the Cyclopes and Hekatoncheries from Tartarus. The Cyclopes built them the weapons while Hekatoncheries were at the scene itself, bombarding the titans with rocks. She also prophesied the death of Giants who would attempt to dethrone Zeus and the world after the flood where she, later, instructed Deucalion, a son of Prometheus, and Pyrrha, a daughter of Epimetheus, to repopulate the world with throwing “bones” of their “mother” behind their shoulders. According to some authors she also warned Zeus about marrying Tethis but some other authors are crediting Prometheus with this particular prophecy. According to Aeschylus` Prometheus Bound, Themis is credited to be the mother of Prometheus so their shared visions may not be so far-fetched.
Horae and Moirai
Themis was not only a counsellor of Zeus but was one of his earliest brides and together they gave birth to Hours and Fates who together represented the establishment of natural law and order. Despite being one of the favourites of Zeus, she was, according to Ovid`s Fasti, overlooked by Cronus and the titans and was relegated to the lowest place in pecking order.
Horae (seasons or hours)
– First Generation
Auxo or Auxesia – goddess of spring growth who increased growth and prosperity of fields.
Carpo or Karpo – goddess of the fruits of the earth. She represented Autumn and was worshiped alongside Auxo by ancient Greeks.
Thallo – goddess of spring buds and shots. She was representing summer and plant raising.
– Second Generation
Dike or Dice – goddess of fair judgements, based on rules, costums and moral order. She was the enemy of all falsehood and a protectress of wise administration of justice.
Eirene or Irene – goddess of peace and seasons of the spring. She is identified as Hora Thallo in Hesiod`s Theogony.
Eunomia – goddess of order and law. She was representing internal stability in society. The Greeks also identified her as a spring goddess of green pastures.
Atropos or Aisa – goddess of inevitable. She was the oldest of three fates and determined the mechanism of death for all mortals.
Clotho – goddess of spinning the thread of lives. She had control over the decision of who was born and also decided whether the lives of mortals or gods were to be saved or to extinguish.
Lachesis – goddess of destiny. She was measuring life spun which was spinning by Clotho and therefore determined a life thread of all mortals and decided how much lifetime was to be allowed for each being.
Themis is also said to had helped Leto, along with her sisters Theia and Rhea, with a birth of Apollo and later suckled him with heavenly nectar and ambrosia. According to Ovid`s Metamorphoses, Themis was the one who released Sphinx to Thebes to annoy travellers with its riddles. And once Oedipus solved the riddle and destroyed Sphinx, Themis was heartbroken and angered. Without delay she sent another savage beast, this time to ravage the city.
Greek Titan – Oceanus, god of river Okeanos
Oceanus (Okeanos, Ocean) was a Titan god of enormous river called Okeanos which was believed to be encircling the world and was connecting this world to other realms, such as heavenly realms from which the gods came and underworld where the souls of the dead lived. He was a personification of all salt water of the world, more precisely Mediterranean Sea, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean which were the most familiar to ancient Greeks at the time, and all the fresh water that includes rivers, lakes, streams and rain. Oceanus was originally the source of all the water. However, when geography became more known and accurate to the Greeks, he was placed to represent more stranger and unknown waters of Atlantic and Indian Ocean while Mediterranean Sea was ruled by a younger god Poseidon and rivers, fountains, streams and rain waters were controlled by the titan’s sons and daughters. Oceanus was, according to most authors, a first descendant of Uranus and Gaea and was married to his sister Tethys. Together they gave birth to three thousand Potamoi or river gods and Oceanids, known as nymphs of rivers, lakes, streams, fountains and wells which never ran dry. But according to Ovid, Oceanus is said to be one of the primeval deities, born alongside Gaea.
Not interested in power and warfare
Unlike his other brothers, Oceanus, according to Apollodorus, never participated in plotting nor castration of his father Uranus. He was also not interested and never joined his brothers in the war against younger Olympian gods. Unlike Prometheus and Epimetheus, who had sided with the Olympians during the war, he rather withdrew himself from the conflict. And, because of it, he was never imprisoned in Tartarus by Zeus when the war, where the Titans had lost, was over. Oceanus is also said, according to Homer, to had never participated at the Assembly of the Gods during the Trojan war where Zeus requested for all gods to attend.
Famous islands and shores of Oceanus
Most known island was the Elysian fields or island of the blessed. It was a place where the souls of extraordinary mortals went and it was believed to be along the shore of deep swirling Oceanus somewhere in the underworld. Another known island was the Sarpedon which was a home of the Gorgons, surrounded by Oceanus. It was near Erythia and the Garden of Hesperides. Erythia was the red sunset isle, home of the giant Geryon, where Heracles went in one of his labors and had to acquire the giant’s cattle. Garden of Hesperides, controlled by Hera, was known as Hesperia or the evening isle in far west of the world.
In the northern stream of Oceanus, beyond northern mountains, was the land of Hyperboreans. They were a blessed race, sacred to Apollo who came to live there during winter time. It is said that people there lived a long life, free of wars and diseases in the realm of eternal spring. In the southern shores of Oceanus, from the farthest east to the farthest west, was the land of Ethiopians.
Greek Titan – Tethys, goddess of fresh water
Tethys was a Titan goddess of all the fresh water on earth. She was one of six daughters of Uranus and Gaea. She appropriately married Oceanus (personification of all the salt water on earth) and, according to Hesiod, they gave birth to three thousand Potamoi or river gods and Oceanids, known as nymphs of seas, rivers, lakes, streams, fountains, and marshes. She was also believed to be nursing and feeding her children by drawing water from Oceanus through subterranean channels and also taking care for all creatures living in the waters such as fish, seals and dolphins. During the war between the Titans and younger Olympian gods Tethys was believed to had been raising Hera as her step-child. According to Claudian she is also said to had been taking care of Helios and Selene. In art she is often depicted with a small pair of wings just above her eyebrows which probably presents her not only being a mother of rivers, streams and other supplies of fresh water but also as a mother of Nephelai (rain-clouds) and Aurai (breeze) who are associated with Sky deities.
Deception of Zeus
Tethys is not directly involved in this myth but is just used as an excuse by Hera. She appears in the Homer’s epic of Trojan war where Hera deceived Zeus in order for other gods to involve in the battlefield, despite the direct order of Zeus not to involve. Hera lied to Zeus by telling him that she was going to visit Tethys and Oceanus. Instead she went to Aphrodite who helped her to beauty herself and prepare a seduction plan. Hera then seduced Zeus and made love with him until exhaustion which gave a window of opportunity for other gods to interfere in the battlefield and consequently for the Greeks to regain an upper hand in the war.
Oceanids and Potamoi
As mentioned above Tethys was a mother of three thousand Potamoi or river gods and three thousand Oceanids or water nymphs. Here is a list of the most known Oceanids and Potamoi:
|Potamoi (river gods)
||Oceanids (water nymphs)