Monday, November 26, 2012

The line of Tethys and Okeanos (Part 1)

Ok, so here's the thing.  I'm using Hesiod as my guide and then filling in the blank spaces and whatnot.

Hesiod spends about thirty lines talking about them (thirty four, I believe) and it goes like this:
Tethys and Okeanos brought into the world eddying rivers 
[Names of rivers] 
She also brought into the world holy daughters who with the rivers and lord Apollo and the Rivers are responsible for human youths by the will of Zeus. 
[Names of daughters] 
Styx is the coolest.  These are but the names of the eldest, but there are many others too.  3000 in all.  And there are as many rivers.  But damn is it hard for a mortal to tell all 6000 fracking names in one sitting (what the hell do you think I am?) so lets move on and talk about the next couple.  Those who live by them know their names and that's more than enough for me.
Ok, so I took a little creative licence near the end, but that's basically it: these two got together, they had [names] bit about having kids in their domains they had daughters [more names] there are many more but it's hard for a mortal to list them since there are 3000 daughters, and as many sons, those who live near them know their names.

That's rather boring, rather annoying to write, and doesn't add a lot to my wordcount.  So here goes, entirely new stuff, for the most part, but based on actual myth unlike the Nereid expansion.


Once upon a time, before time itself, there was nothing but Chaos, then into existence popped Gaia, the earth, and some other gods (notably Eros, love), last amoung them Nyx, night, and Erebos, the gloom of Misty Tartaros.

Eros brought together Nyx and Erebos, and soon Nyx gave birth to children.

Gaia, seeing that such a thing as birth was possible brought forth children of her own, including Ouranos.

Eros brought together Gaia and Ouranos, and their first children were the Titans.

The oldest male was Okeanos, the youngest female Tethys.

There was a whole big thing with Ouranos being overthrown and Kronos taking over the universe, but we don't really care about that right now because we're concentrating on Okeanos and Tethys who Eros brought together in love.

This pairing bore fruit.

They had thirty times one hundred daughters, the eldest amoung them being Peitho, persuasion, Admente, Ianthe, Electra, Doris, Prymno, Ourania, Hippo, Klymene, Rhodeia, Kallirhoe, Zeuxo, Klytia, Idyia, Peisithoe, Plexaura, Galaxaura, Dione, Melobosis, Thoe, Polydora, Kerkeis, Plouto, wealth, Perseis, Ianeira, Akaste, Xanthe, Petraia, Menestho, Europe, Metis, counsel, Eurynome, Telesto, success, Khryeis, Asia, Kalypso, Eudora, Tyche, fortune, Amphiro, Ocyrhoe, and Styx.  Styx, the last of the eldest brood of daughters, is the most important and she would become the waters on which the Olympian Gods swore inviolable oaths.

It is, perhaps, understandable why the names of all their daughters are not remembered or recited by any one mortal but it is said that those who live near one, and are in touch with the old ways, know her name, and in this way the names of all live on.

As a group the daughters are known as the Okaenides.  Styx, a river, is rare amoung the daughters, most rivers are male and are numbered amoung the thirty times one hundred eddying Potamoi, rivers, the eldest of whom are Neilos, Alpheios, deep-eddying Eridanos, Strymon, Maiandros, Istros of the beautiful waters, Phasis, Rhesos, silver-swirling Akheloios, Nessos, Rhodios, Haliakmon, Heptaporos, Grenikos, Aisepos, Simoeis, who is godlike, Peneios, Hermos, Kaikos strongly flowing, great Sangarios, Ladon, Parthenios, Euenos, Ardeskos, and holy Skamandros.

When Zeus came to power he gave to the children of Tethys and Okeanos the duty of nurturing mortal peoples throughout the earth, when Apollo came of age Zeus included him in this duty as well.

[Hesiod tends to list mothers in male lines, so there may be some repeats here:]

These are some of the many grandchildren of Tethys and Okeanos, first, from their eldest daughters:

Peitho first met the Elder Eros and with him bore Hygeia, good health.  Much later her married Hermes and with him bore Iynx.

Electra married Thaumas and from this marriage came forth swift Iris, who would become messenger to the gods, and the lovely haired Harpyai, snatchers/whirlwinds/hurricanes, Aello and Okypete, who fly as fast as time.

Doris married Nereus and bore fifty of the fifty one Nereids, where the fifty-first comes from, and which one it is, they're not saying.  (See here for the family Nereus belongs to, and here for more on the Nereids.)

Klymene and the Titan Iapetos married and the names of their children, or at least one of them, are, or is, known to all.  They had only sons and their names were Atlas, one of unconquerable spirit who would one day be cursed to hold the sky, Meniotios, one of great pride who would one day be blasted by a lightning bolt into Misty Tartaros, Prometheus who created mortal humans, twice tricked Zeus (once to allow mortals to keep the meat of their sacrifices, once to give them fire), and was condemned by Zeus only to be freed by Zeus's son, and Epimetheus, to whom Pandora would be given.

Kallirhoe married Khrysaor, holder of the golden sword and part time winged boar who sprang from the decapitated head of Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon.  Their son was the three bodied giant Geryones.  Whom Herakles killed.  Along with his dog.  And his cowherd.

Klytia who loved and was loved by Helios, the sun, until he moved onto greener pastures.  Specifically the Persian princess Leukothoe.  She did not produce a child by Helios, instead her constant pining for the sun turned her into the purple flower known for its turning to face the sun and thus known as the heliotrope.  By her Tethys and Okeanos had a most unexpected crop of grandchildren, an entire speices of flower.

Other Okeanides had better luck with Helios, the younger Klymene (when you have ten times three hundred daughters you reuse names once or twice) bore him Phaethon, for example

Idyia who married the mortal Aeetes and bore to him the famous Medeia.

Dione married Zeus for a short time, before he settled on Hera.  In that time the two produced no children, but they adopted Aphrodite as she had lived her entire life without ever knowing parents and wished to be part of a family.

Perseis bore Helios four children.  Witches all.  The female witches were Pasiphae and Kirke (who Odysseus once encountered) and the male witches were Aeetes, king of Kolkhis and father of Medeia, and Perses, ruler of Persia.

Kirke, daughter of Perseis would delay Odysseus on her island and bear to him Agrios, Latinos, and Telegonos.

Metis was Zeus' first chosen bride, but he was warned that her second child would be a son who, if allowed to be born, would overthrow him so he ate her.  Their first child was forced to fight her way out of his body, eventually emerging in full battle armor as she broke her way out of his skull.  Her name was Athena.  Metis remains within Zeus to this day.  (As far as we know.)

Eurynome became Zeus's third wife and bore to him the Kharites, graces: Aglaia, splendor/glory, Euphrosyne, mirth, Thalia, festivity.  Aglaia was the only of these to have children of her own.  She bore to Hephaestos four children Eukleia, good repute, Euthenia, abundance, Eupheme, praise, Philophrosyne, friendliness.

Kalypso held captive Odysseus for seven years, during which time he impregnated her with Nausithoos and Nausinoos.

Tyche, with unknown mate, produced a child she named Ploutos, wealth, after her sister Plouto.  (It's a fairly popular name.)

Ocyrhoe bore to Helios a child about which nothing is remembered except that he was named for his uncle Phasis.  This caused some confusion, as common names often do.

Styx and Pallas married to produce Nike, victory, Zelos, rivialry, Kratos, strength, and Bia, force.

[And if you think that's a long boring list, just wait till we get to the Rivers.]


[Rewriting Greek Myth Index]


  1. Okeanos' line caused Herkules more trouble... I mean Kirke AND Kalypso out of one family. Bet reunions are a blast.

    Styx and Pallas married

    Is there more than one Pallas? If this is Pallas Athene, I am suddenly squeeful.

  2. And of course I get my heroes crossed up. Oh well.

  3. Is there more than one Pallas? If this is Pallas Athene, I am suddenly squeeful.

    Your squeefulness is unfortunately at an end. There is more than one Pallas. In fact, it's mostly a male name. It's not an uncommon name (as these things go) and only one female had it, she was a sort of foster sister to Athene, things went wrong, they had a falling out, Pallas died, Athene felt really bad about it because she had indeed loved Pallas like as sister and so did a couple of things. She built a wooden monument to her that eventually ended up in Troy (long story) and took on her name so it would never be forgotten and whatnot. You know, like you do.

    Anyway, this Pallas was one of the male Titans.

    Mind you there is some stuff for you to squee about in roundabout ways.

    For example the way Zeus seduced one of Artimis' nymphs was coming to her transformed into a body that appeared to be exactly like Artimis'. So Zeus apparently has a lesbian sex scene. (Or, you know, Artimis had a relationship and then blamed it on dad when the news came out because you could blame basically any sexual relationship on Zeus and have no one bat an eyelash.)

    There's also a story about two women one disguised as a man all her life for the usual reasons for such things, getting married. Now they loved each other, but this was Rome so marriage had little to do with love and much more to do with traditional values: economic alliances, political alliances, and baby making. Thus the gods had a, "Wait, what?" moment because the baby making component seemed to be missing, and thus they turned one of the women into a man and all lived happily ever after. Why they didn't get involved every time a couple was infertile is unclear.

    And Plato's symposium has someone (Aristophanes maybe) tell the story of how human kind came to be which says originally humanity was composed of males, females, and hermaphrodites but the gods split everyone in two leaving each human looking for their other half. The original males became gay men, the original females became lesbians, and the original hermaphrodites became straight people.

    And, of course, there's Sappho, who though bisexual (near as such things can be told) is the origin of the word lesbian. (She came from the Isle of Lesbos, don't you know?)