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5021: Maske fra den ny komedie. Romersk 2 årh. e. Kr. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen.

Abstract Personifications



Anteros. Love avenged or returned (see Eros) (Ov.Fast.4.1; Pau.1.30.1).

Apatis is Deceit, offspring of Nyx (Hes.The.224).

Astraea is Dike.

Ate is Delusion, ruinous conduct. Zeus held her responsible for the blindness with which he took a solemn oath, and in his rage he seized Ate by her hair and whirling her round his head cast her down to the world swearing that she should never set foot in Olympus again. Eldest Daughter of Zeus, according to some, or of Eris (Discord) according to others. She blinds everybody and is said to have delicate feet because she walks over the heads of men bringing them harm. In the place where she fell in Phrygia there was a hill called since then Ate, and in that hill Ilus 2 founded Ilium (Troy) (Hes.The.230; Hom.Il.9.504, 19.90ff.; Pla.Sym.195d).

Bia is Violence, Force. Together with Cratos and Hephaestus, Bia chained Prometheus 1 to the rock. Offspring of Pallas 1 & Styx (Aes.Pro.52ff.; Apd.1.2.5; Hes.The.385).

Caerus 2 is "Opportunity", called "the youngest son of Zeus" (Call.6; Pau.5.14.9 ).

Chaos is the void which came into being before anything else.


Chronos is Time.

Cratos is Dominion, Power. Together with Bia and Hephaestus, Cratos chained Prometheus 1 to the rock. Offspring of Pallas 1 & Styx (Aes.Pro.52ff.; Apd.1.2.5; Hes.The.385).

Deimos is Fear, son of Ares and Aphrodite (Hes.The.933; Nonn.2.415; Ov.Fast.5.29; Ov.Met.12.61; QS.5.29, 10.57).

Dike is Justice.

Eirene 1 is Peace.

Envy is the most stupid of vices.


Erebus is the Darkness of the Underworld, who possibly existed from the beginning together with Chaos, Nyx and Tartarus. Erebus consorted with Nyx, and from this union the MOERAE, the HESPERIDES, Hypnos, Geras, Thanatos and Styx were born (Ari.Birds.683ff.; Hes.The.116ff.; Hyg.Pre).

Eris is Discord, the nurse of war.

Eros is Love.


Eunomia is Good Order, Concord; she is one of the HORAE (Apd.1.3.1; Hes.The.902; Hyg.Fab.183; Pin.Oly.9.16, 13.6).

Geras is Old Age.


Gymnastica is one of the HORAE (Hyg.Fab.183).

Harmonia 3. This is the All-mother Harmonia, the Nurse of the world (Nonn.41.277, 41.314ff.).

Himerus is Longing, Desire. It is said that near the top of Mount Olympus there are the dancing-places of the MUSES, where beside them the CHARITES and Himerus live in delight. He follows always Aphrodite since her birth and also afterwards, when she joined the company of the gods (see also Pothos) (Hes.The.64, 201; Nonn.1.68, 8.404; QS.5.71). Plato explains the difference between Himerus (Longing) and Pothos (Yearning), saying that Himerus pertains to that which is present, and Pothos to that which is absent (Cratylus 420a-b)

Homonia is Concord (Ov.Fast.3.639, 3.881, 6.90, 6.637; Pau.5.14.9).

Hybris is Insolence, mother of Pan by Zeus (Apd.1.4.1; Pin.Oly.13.10).

Hybris is translated as wantonness or insolence, and also as outrage or serious damage. Hybris is not seldom related to the arrogance that usually derives from success. This temporary and apparently happy condition is believed to lead to boasts, disregard, and forms of self-adoration, which are considered to offend the gods. Therefore Hybris, traditionally speaking, invites the arrival of Nemesis, who punishes excessive pride and reestablishes balance:

"If one neglects the laws of proportion and gives something too big to something too small to carry it—too big sails to too small a ship, too big meals to too small a body, too big powers to too small a soul—the result is bound to be a complete upset. In an outburst of hybris the over-fed body will rush into sickness, while the jack-in-office will rush into the unrighteousness which hybris always breeds." (Plato, Laws 691c)

Hygia is Health.

Hypnos is Sleep.

Ker and Keres. These children of Nyx are the Fates of Death, who bring upon men hard toil and sicknesses. They are Death-spirits, devourers of life, the swift hounds of Hades who, hovering throughout the air, swoop down on the living. When Hector 1 and Achilles met for the fourth time, Zeus lifted on high his golden scales and set therein two Keres, one for Achilles and one for Hector 1 (Aes.Sev.1061; Arg.4.1485, 4.1665; Eur.Ele.1300; Eur.Phoe.950; Hom.Il.2.302, 3.454, 8.70ff., 9.410, 11.332, 18.114ff., 18.535ff., 22.209ff., 23.78; Hes.The.211, 217; Hes.WD.92; QS.5.34; Soph.OT.469).

LITAE. The LITAE are Prayers, daughters of Zeus. They are described as wrinkled creatures, with a halting gait and downcast eyes. Their business is to follow Delusion (Ate, see above) about. But Delusion, being strong and quick, leaves them behind and, roaming the whole world, brings grief to mankind. However the LITAE come after and put all troubles right. This is why it is said that if a man receives the LITAE with humility when they approach, he will have his own petitions granted. But if he, with hardened heart and pride, rejects them, they go to their father Zeus and pray to him that the proud man may himself be overtaken by Delusion and fall.

For these reasons there were those who thought that Achilles had gone too far when he refused to listen to his friends who bade him to leave his wrath aside:

"Conquer your pride Achilles" (Phoenix 2 to Achilles. Homer, Iliad 9.495)

Similarly Paris was confronted with the pride of his former wife Oenone 1, a seeress and healer. Towards the end of the Trojan War Paris was wounded by the poisoned arrow that Philoctetes, with the bow of Heracles 1, shot at him. Paris went back to Oenone 1 on Mount Ida and bade her to heal him, but she, who had warned Paris no to sail to fetch Helen, nursing her grievance, refused to heal him.

"Heal me, while life yet lingers in my limbs! Remember not those pangs of jealousy, nor leave me by a cruel doom to die at your feet. This should offend the Prayers, whose anger follow unrelenting pride with vengeance." (Paris to Oenone 1. Quintus Smyrnaeus, The Fall of Troy 10.300)

Concerning the manner of praying, it has been said that a person who has a good conscience cannot but pray thus:

"O ye gods, grant unto me that which I deserve." (Flavius Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1.11)

For they think that those who are good deserve blessings, and the wicked the opposite. And they believe that the gods, in some way or another, crown the healthy and unscarred by vice, while inflicting their wrath upon those who dared to invade their temples though they were utterly corrupt.

(AO.108; Hom.Il.9.502, Parth.4.1-7, 34; QS.10.300ff.).

Lyssa is Raging Madness, offspring of Uranus & Nyx. She drove Heracles 1 out of his mind, and he killed his wife and children (Eur.Her. 844 and passim; Ov.Met.4.484).

Maniae. Madnesses (Pau.8.34.1; QS.5.452; see Madness)

Mnemosyne is Memory.


MOERAE. These are The Fates.

Momos, offspring of Nyx, is Blame, Mockery, Gaiety (Hes.The.214).

Moros is Doom, offspring of Nyx (Hes.The.211).

Musica is one of the HORAE (Hyg.Fab.183).

Nemesis is Retribution, Divine vengeance.

Nike is Victory.


Oizys is Misery, offspring of Nyx

Oniros. Dreams, offspring of Nyx (see Hypnos) (Hes.The.213).

Panacea 1 is Universal healing (Pau.1.34.3).

Peitho 1 is Persuasion, consort of Hermes (Aes.Supp.1039; Hes.WD.73; Nonn.3.84, 4.69, 4.140, 5.574, 8.221, 10.280, 11.280, 16.139; Pau.1.22.3).

Pheme is Fame.


Philotes is Pleasure of love, Friendship. Nyx gave birth to Philotes (Hes.The.224).

Phobus 1 is Terror, son of Ares and Aphrodite (Hes.The.933; Nonn.2.415; Pau.9.36.3; Plu.The.27.1; QS.5.29, 10.57).

Plutus is Wealth.


Poine is Vengeance, whom Apollo sent to punish the Argives after the death of his son Linus 3 (Pau.1.43.7-8; Stat.Theb.1.605ff., 8.25).

Pothos is Yearning, a being of inconstant mood. Pothos is an attendant of Aphrodite (see also Himerus above). He is son of Zephyrus 1 (one of the WINDS) and Iris 1 (Nonn.33.112, 47.342). Plato explains the difference between Himerus (Longing) and Pothos (Yearning), saying that Himerus pertains to that which is present, and Pothos to that which is absent (Cratylus 420a-b)

Psyche is Soul.

Thanatos is Death, brother of Hypnos.

Tyche is Fortune.


Volupta, daughter of Eros and Psyche, is Pleasure (Apu.Tra.6.20).

Zelos, offspring of Pallas 1 and Styx, is Emulation, Jealousy (Apd.1.2.5; Hes.The.384).

Sidereal and Natural Personifications

Aether is the Upper Sky, offspring of Erebus (Darkness of the Underworld) and Nyx (Night), or of Chaos, or of Chronos (Time), who some say is the same as Cronos. Aether had children by Hemera (Day): Gaia (Earth), Uranus (Sky) and Pontus (Sea) (AO.13; Hes.The.125; Hyg.Pre).

Anatole is Dawn, one of the HORAE (see also Eos).

Carpo is the bringer of Fruit, one of the HORAE.

Dysis is Setting, one of the HORAE.

Eos is Dawn.

Eosphorus. Eosphorus has also been called Hesperus 1 and Phosphorus and Lucifer. But in fact this is the morning and the evening "star", which in reality is the planet calle Venus. In any case Eosphorus is the son of Eos (Dawn) either by Cephalus 2 or by Astraeus 1. He was husband of Philonis and was father by her of Ceyx. According to Conon, Philonis was daughter of Eosphorus (rather than her mate) (Apd.1.7.4; Con.7; Hes.The.378ff.; Hyg.Ast.2.42; Hyg.Fab.65, 161; Nonn.6.18; Ov.Met.11.271, 11.295; QS.5.132).

Gaia is Earth.

Helius is Sun.

Hemera is Day. Hemera comes from Chaos or else is the offspring of Erebus (Darkness of the Underworld) and Nyx. From the union of Hemera and Aether, some say, Gaia (Earth), Uranus (Sky), and Pontus (Sea) were born. And having consorted with Cephalus 2 (son of Hermes), Hemera gave birth to Phaethon 1, whom Aphrodite loved (Hes.The.124; Hyg.Pre; Pau.1.3.1).

HORAE are called the Hours and/or the Seasons.

Iris 1 is the Rainbow.

Mesembria is Noon, one of the HORAE.

Mist, some say, existed before Chaos (see also Myths of Creation) (Hyg.Pre.).

MOUNTAINS. The MOUNTAINS are the offspring of Gaia (Hes.The.131).

Nyx is Night.

Oceanus is the Ocean.

Physis is Nature. She gave birth in some unwedded way to the people of Beroe, without mate, fatherless and motherless, when the atoms were mingled in fourfold combination, and the seedless ooze shaped a clever offspring by commingling water with fiery heat and air, and quickened the teeming mud with the breath of life. Physis also shaped Aphrodite. Nature (or God) also created the whole world (Nonn.41.51ff, 41.103; Ov.Met.1.1ff.).

Pontus is the Sea, born either of Gaia, or of Aether and Hemera. This is the offspring of Pontus by Gaia: Ceto 1, Phorcus, Thaumas 1, Nereus, Eurybia 1 and Briareus (Apd.1.2.2-6; Hes.The.131-2; Hyg.Pre.; TIT.3).

Selene is Moon.

Uranus is Sky.



Related sections Divinities, Major Divinities, Divinities of Waters & Landscapes, Other Deities, Immortals, BESTIARY 

See above.