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Hyperion, God of Light
Titans and the Golden Age of Man in Greek Mythology - First Generation
Parents: Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Heaven)
Wife: Theia (Air), his sister
Children: Eos (Dawn), Helios (Sun), Selene (Moon)
Hyperion, God of Light, was the father of the sun, moon, and stars. He had great knowledge of the changing seasons that the heavenly bodies have influence over. He was also called The Lord of Light, for he was the Titan of the East.
Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian of the first century BC wrote:
Of Hyperion we are told that he was the first to understand, by diligent attention and observation, the movement of both the sun and the moon and the other stars, and the seasons as well, in that they are caused by these bodies, and to make these facts known to others; and that for this reason he was called the father of these bodies, since he had begotten, so to speak, the speculation about them and their nature." - Diodorus Siculus (5.67.1)
Hyperion is also referred to in Greek mythology as "God of Watchfulness and Wisdom". He married Theia, his sister. Theia is the goddess of air. From this union came their children:
Theia - Goddess of Air
Pindar, an Ancient Greek poet of lyric, wrote an ode to Theia and recited it at the Isthmian Games. The Isthmian Games were held the year before and the year after The Olympic Games. In his Fifth Isthmian ode Pindar praises Theia:
Mother of the Sun, Theia of many names, for your sake men honor gold as more powerful than anything else; and through the value you bestow on them, o queen, ships contending on the sea and yoked teams of horses in swift-whirling contests become marvels.
Pindar saw Theia as a goddess of gold and all that glitters. His reference to "many names" refers to a combination of universal names of mother figures.
In Homer's Iliad (xvi.779), Helios was a handsome god, his crown was the shining aureole of the sun. Each day Helios drove his chariot, the fiery Sun, across the sky and into Oceanus to be bathed fresh for the next day.
Selene, comes up freshly bathed from Oceanus and follows her brother, Helios, across the sky. She takes her own journey at night, shining a radiant glow from her golden crown upon Earth.
In his Theogony (378-382), Hesiod referred to Eos:
And after these Erigeneia ("Early-born") bore the star Eosphoros ("Dawn-bringer"), and the gleaming stars with which heaven is crowned.
Eos follows Venus, the Morning Star. It was believed that the tears of Eos created the morning dew.
In "The Odyssey" (Greek epic poems attributed to Homer) there are reverences to Hyperion as the Sun God, rather than the God of Light and the father of Sun, Helios.
01.022 ...Poseidon has gone to the land of the Aithiopians (Ethiopians), the most distant of men who live where Hyperion sets and rises
12.133 ...The nymphs, Lampetia and Phaethousa, daughters of Neaira and Hyperion, watch over the herd of Helios on the island of Thrinakia (Thrinacia)
12.176 ...As Odysseus and his crew sailed past the island of the Sirens, he let the light of Hyperion soften some wax so he could put it in the ears of the sailors and make them immune to the Siren�s song
12.263 ...After surviving Kharybdis (Charybdis) and Skylla (Scylla), Odysseus and his crew came to the island of the Sun God, Hyperion
12.347 ...After Odysseus� crew had disobeyed orders and eaten the oxen of the Sun God, Helios Hyperion, they vainly promise to build a temple to the god when they return home to Ithaka (Ithaca)
12.375 ...When his daughter, Lampetia, tells him that Odysseus� crew have eaten his cattle, Hyperion, the Sun God, demands justice from Zeus
Hyperion, although one of the twelve Titans born of Gaia and Uranus, has very little role in Greek mythology. He was, however, involved with some of his brothers in the overthrow of Uranus, their father.
Image of sunrise: Sunrise over the Bristol Channel, England, Public Domain, Wikipedia
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