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Encyclopedia > Oceanus
Oceanus, with his wife, Tethys, ruled the seas before Poseidon. Roman mosaic from Zeugma, c. 1st–2nd centuries AD

Oceanus (Greek Ωκεανός, Okeanos) was believed to be the world-ocean in classical antiquity, which the ancient Romans and Greeks considered to be an enormous river encircling the world. Strictly speaking, Okeanos was the ocean-stream at the Equator in which floated the habitable hemisphere (oikoumene).[1] In Greek mythology, this world-ocean was personified as a Titan, a son of Uranus and Gaia. In Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, this Titan was often depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and horns, and the lower torso of a serpent (cf. Typhon). On a fragmentary archaic vessel (British Museum 1971.11-1.1) of ca 580 BCE, among the gods arriving at the wedding of Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis, is a fish-tailed Oceanus, with a fish in one hand and a serpent in the other, gifts of bounty and prophecy. In Roman mosaics he might carry a steering-oar and cradle a ship. Image File history File links Oceanus_and_Tethys. ... Image File history File links Oceanus_and_Tethys. ... In Greek mythology, Tethys was a Titaness and sea goddess who was both sister and wife of Oceanus. ... Neptune reigns in the city of Bristol. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Zeugma (from the Greek word ζεύγμα, meaning yoke) is a figure of speech describing the joining of two or more parts of a sentence with a common verb or noun. ... The term World Ocean refers to the interconnected system of the planet Earths marine waters. ... Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, which begins roughly with the earliest-recorded Greek poetry of Homer (7th century BC), and continues through the rise of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th century AD... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... This bridge across the Danube River links Hungary with Slovakia. ... Animated map exhibiting the worlds oceanic waters. ... World map showing the equator in red In tourist areas, the equator is often marked on the sides of roads The equator marked as it crosses Ilhéu das Rolas, in São Tomé and Príncipe. ... The word hemisphere literally means half sphere or half ball; when used in the singular form, it refers to one of the halves of a spherical object. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... In Greek mythology, the Titans (Greek: Titan; plural: Titanes) were a race of powerful deities that ruled during the legendary Golden Age. ... Uranus is the Latinized form of Ouranos (), the Greek word for sky. ... For other uses, see Gaia. ... Serpent is a word of Latin origin (serpens, serpentis) which is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit term serp, that is normally substituted for snake in a specifically mythic or religious context, in order to distinguish such creatures from the field of biology. ... In Greek mythology, Typhon (ancient Greek: ), also Typhoeus (), Typhaon () or Typhus () is a son of Gaia and Tartarus who attempts to replace Zeus as the king of gods and men. ... This article is about the Greek sea nymph. ...

Some scholars believe that Oceanus originally represented all bodies of salt water, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the two largest bodies known to the ancient Greeks. However, as geography became more accurate, Oceanus came to represent the stranger, more unknown waters of the Atlantic Ocean (also called the "Ocean Sea"), while the newcomer of a later generation, Poseidon, ruled over the Mediterranean. Composite satellite image of the Mediterranean Sea. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Atlantic Ocean. ... Neptune reigns in the city of Bristol. ...

Oceanus' consort is his sister Tethys, and from their union came the ocean nymphs, also known as the three-thousand Oceanids, and all the rivers of the world, fountains, and lakes[2]. From Cronus, of the race of Titans, the Olympian gods have their birth, and Hera mentions twice in Iliad book xiv her intended journey "to the ends of the generous earth on a visit to Okeanos, whence the gods have risen, and Tethys our mother who brought me up kindly in their own house." [3] In Greek mythology, Tethys was a Titaness and sea goddess who was both sister and wife of Oceanus. ... In Greek mythology, a nymph is any member of a large class of female nature entities, either bound to a particular location or landform or joining the retinue of a god or goddess. ... In Greek and Roman mythology, the Oceanids were the three thousand children of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. ... Cronus (Ancient Greek Κρόνος, Krónos), also called Cronos or Kronos, was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky. ... The twelve gods of Olympus. ... In the Olympian pantheon of classical Greek Mythology, Hera, (Greek , IPA pronunciation ; or Here in Ionic and in Homer) was the wife and older sister of Zeus. ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ...

In most variations of the war between the Titans and the Olympians, or Titanomachy, Oceanus, along with Prometheus and Themis, did not take the side of his fellow Titans against the Olympians, but instead withdrew from the conflict. In most variations of this myth, Oceanus also refused to side with Cronus in the latter's revolt against their father, Uranus. The twelve gods of Olympus. ... In Greek mythology, the Titanomachy, or War of the Titans (Greek: Τιτανομαχία), was the eleven-year series of battles fought between the two races of deities long before the existence of mankind: the Titans, fighting from Mount Othrys, and the Olympians, who would come to reign on Mount Olympus. ... In Greek mythology, Prometheus (Greek: forethought) is the Titan chiefly honored for stealing fire from Zeus in the stalk of a fennel plant and giving it to mortals for their use. ... In Greek mythology, Hesiod mentions Themis among the six sons and six daughters—of whom Cronos was one—of Gaia and Ouranos, that is, of Earth with Sky. ... Cronus (Ancient Greek Κρόνος, Krónos), also called Cronos or Kronos, was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky. ... Uranus is the Latinized form of Ouranos (), the Greek word for sky. ...

In the Iliad, the rich iconography of Achilles' shield, which was fashioned by Hephaestus, is enclosed, as the world itself was believed to be, by Oceanus: title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... The Wrath of Achilles, by François-Léon Benouville (1821–1859) (Musée Fabre) In Greek mythology, Achilles (also Akhilleus or Achilleus) (Ancient Greek: ) was a hero of the Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homers Iliad, which takes for its theme, not the War... Hephaestus, Greek god of forging, riding a Donkey; Greek drinking cup (skyphos) made in the 5th century BC Hephaestus (IPA pronunciation: or ; Greek Hêphaistos) was the Greek god whose Roman equivalent was Vulcan; he was the god of technology including, specifically blacksmiths, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metals and metallurgy, and...

"Then, running round the shield-rim, triple-ply,
he pictured all the might of the Ocean stream."

When Odysseus and Nestor walk together along the shore of the sounding sea (Iliad ix.182) their prayers are addressed "to the great Sea-god who girdles the world." It is to Oceanus, not to Poseidon, that their thoughts are directed.-1... In Greek mythology, Nestor of Gerênia (Greek: Νέστωρ) was the son of Neleus, the King of Pylos, and Chloris. ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ...

Invoked in passing by poets and figured as the father of rivers and streams, thus the progenitor of river gods, Oceanus appears only once in myth, as a representative of the archaic world that Heracles constantly threatened and bested.[4] Herakles forced the loan from Helios of his golden bowl, in order to cross the wide expanse of the Ocean on his trip to the Hesperides. When Oceanus tossed the bowl, Heracles threatened him and stilled his waves. The journey of Heracles in the sun-bowl upon Oceanus was a favored theme among painters of Attic pottery. Mythological personifications of rivers (river gods, river goddesses) and of the sea or the ocean // [edit] Sea deities [edit] Greek Oceanus and Tethys Proteus Triton Nereids Poseidon/Neptune [edit] Vedic Sea deities are much less common in Vedic than in Greek mythology. ... Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). ... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ...


In cosmography

Oceanus appears in Hellenic cosmography as well as myth. Cartographers continued to represent the encircling equatorial stream much as it had appeared on Achilles' shield.[1]

Though Herodotus was skeptical about the physical existence of Oceanus, he rejected snowmelt as a cause of the annual flood of the Nile river; according to his translator and interpreter, Livio Catullo Stecchini, he left unsettled the question of an equatorial Nile, since the geography of Sub-Saharan Africa was unknown to him. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Nile (Arabic: , transliteration: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. ... Livio Catullo Stecchini was a historian of science, a teaching professor (Harvard PhD), a scholar of ancient weights and measures, (the science of metrology) and of the history of cartography in antiquity. ... A political map showing national divisions in relation to deonte Shepard Club Of America Free burgers for new members the ecological break (Sub-Saharan Africa in green) A geographical map of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area Sub-Saharan Africa is the term used to...

See also

List of Potamoi - The gods of rivers and lakes. ... Rasa () means moisture, humitidy in Vedic Sanskrit, and appears as the name of a western tributary of the Indus in the Rigveda (verse 5. ... The USS Oceanus (ARB-2) was one of 12 Aristaeus-class battle damage repair ships built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Oceanus (believed to be the world-ocean in classical antiquity), she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. ...


  1. ^ See Stecchini, "Ancient Cosmology".
  2. ^ The late classical poet Nonnus mentioned "the Limnai [Lakes)], liquid daughters of Okeanos." (Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6.352)
  3. ^ Iliad xiv. 200 and 244.
  4. ^ The Suda identifies Okeanos and Tethys as the parents of the two Kerkopes, whom Heracles also bested.

The Greek epic poet Nonnus (Greek Nonnos), a native of Panopolis (Akhmim) in the Egyptian Thebaid, probably lived at the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 5th century AD. He produced the Dionysiaca, an epic tale of the god Dionysus, a paraphrase of the Gospel of John... Suda (Σουδα or alternatively Suidas) is a massive 10th century Byzantine Greek historical encyclopædia of the ancient Mediterranean world. ... In Greek mythology, the Cercopes were mischievous forest creatures who lived in Thermopylae or on Euboea but roamed the world and might turn up anywhere mischief was afoot. ...


  • Karl Kerenyi, 1951. The Gods of the Greeks (Thames and Hudson)

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
  • Livio Stecchini, "Ancient Cosmology": speculative essay by Livio Catullo Stecchini; Oceanus as an Equatorial counterpart of the Nile.
  • Theioi.com: "Okeanos"
Greek deities series
Primordial deities | Titans | Aquatic deities | Chthonic deities
Titanes: Oceanus | Hyperion | Coeus | Cronus | Crius | Iapetus
Titanides: Tethys | Theia | Phoebe | Rhea | Mnemosyne | Themis
Sons of Iapetus: Atlas | Prometheus | Epimetheus | Menoetius
Aquatic deities
Poseidon | Oceanus | Ceto | Nereus | Glaucus | Thetis | Amphitrite
Tethys | Triton | Proteus | Phorcys | Pontus | Oceanids | Nereids | Naiads

  Results from FactBites:
Oceanus - LoveToKnow 1911 (295 words)
The idea of Oceanus as a river flowing unceasingly round the earth, which was regarded as a flat circle, was of long continuance.
Euripides was the first among the tragic poets to speak of it as a sea, but Herodotus before him ridiculed the notion of Oceanus as a river as an invention of the poets and described it as the great world sea.
In art, Oceanus was represented as an old man of noble presence and benevolent expression, with the horns of an ox and sometimes crab's claws on his head.
Titans (4234 words)
Oceanus was the eldest son of Uranus and Gaea.
Oceanus was said to have three thousand daughters, who were known as the Oceanids.
Oceanus was the only son of Uranus (as a Titan) who did not join his brothers in the war against Zeus and his brothers (the Olympians).
  More results at FactBites »



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