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Encyclopedia > Thanatos
Greek deities
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Primordial deities
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In Greek mythology, Thanatos (in Ancient Greek, θάνατος – "Death") was the Daimon personification of Death and Mortality. He was a minor figure in Greek mythology, often referred to but rarely appearing in person. His name is transliterated in Latin as Thanatus, but his Roman equivalent was Mors or Letus/Letum, and he was sometimes identified (perhaps erroneously) with Orcus. 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. ... The ancient Greeks proposed many different ideas about the primordial gods in their mythology. ... This article is about the race of Titans in Greek mythology. ... Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon (Greek: Δωδεκάθεον < δωδεκα, dodeka, twelve + θεον, theon, of the gods), in Greek religion, were the principal gods of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus. ... The ancient Greeks had a very small number of see gods. ... For other uses, see Chthon (disambiguation). ... Asclepius (Greek also rendered Aesculapius in Latin and transliterated Asklepios) was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology, according to which he was born a mortal but was given immortality as the constellation Ophiuchus after his death. ... In Greek mythology, the Muses (Greek , Mousai: perhaps from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- think[1]) are a number of goddesses or spirits who embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music and dance. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Fates redirects here. ... In Greek mythology, Cratos (strength) was a son of Styx and Pallas, brother of Nike, Bia and Zelus. ... This Zelos is the Greek personification. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In Greek mythology, Metis (wisdom or wise counsel) was a Titaness who was the first great spouse of Zeus, indeed his equal (Hesiod, Theogony 896) and the mother of Athena. ... For the game of graces, see Game of graces. ... In Greek mythology, the Oneiroi were the sons of Hypnos, the god of sleep. ... In Greek mythology, Adrasteia (inescapable; also spelled Adrastia, Adrastea, Adrestea) was a nymph who was charged by Rhea to raise Zeus in secret to protect him from his father Cronus (Krónos). ... Horae in Meyers, 1888 In Greek mythology, the Horae were three goddesses controlling orderly life. ... In Greek mythology, Bia (force) was the personification of force, daughter of Pallas and Styx. ... In Greek mythology, Eros was the god responsible for lust, love, and sex; he was also worshipped as a fertility deity. ... Daughter of Nyx in Greek mythology, Apate was the personification of deceit. ... 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. ... Eris (ca. ... In Greek mythology, Hypnos was the personification of sleep; the Roman equivalent was known as Somnus . ... 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. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... In Roman mythology, Mors is the personification of death and equivalent to the Greek Thanatos. ... In Roman mythology, Orcus was a god of the underworld, punisher of broken oaths, more equivalent to Pluto than to the Greek Hades, and later identified with Dis Pater. ...

Contents

Thanatos in Myth and Poetry

Thanatos as a winged youth. Sculptured marble column drum from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos, ca. 325-300 BC.
Thanatos as a winged youth. Sculptured marble column drum from the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos, ca. 325-300 BC.

The Greek poet Hesiod established that Thanatos was a son of Nyx (Night) and Erebos (Darkness) and twin of Hypnos (Sleep). Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 300 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1925 × 3850 pixel, file size: 3. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 300 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1925 × 3850 pixel, file size: 3. ... Roman bronze bust, the so-called Pseudo-Seneca, now identified by some as possibly Hesiod Hesiod (Hesiodos, ) was an early Greek poet and rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BC. Hesiod and Homer, with whom Hesiod is often paired, have been considered the earliest Greek poets whose work has survived... In Greek mythology, Nyx (, Nox in Roman translation) was the primordial goddess of the night. ... In Greek mythology, Erebus, or Érebos was a primordial god, personification of darkness, offspring of Chaos alone. ... In Greek mythology, Hypnos was the personification of sleep; the Roman equivalent was known as Somnus . ...


"And there the children of dark Night have their dwellings, Sleep and Death, awful gods. The glowing Sun never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven, nor as he comes down from heaven. And the former of them roams peacefully over the earth and the sea's broad back and is kindly to men; but the other has a heart of iron, and his spirit within him is pitiless as bronze: whomsoever of men he has once seized he holds fast: and he is hateful even to the deathless gods." (Hesiod, Theogony 758 ff, trans. Evelyn-White, Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.)


Homer also confirmed Hypnos and Thanatos as twin brothers in his epic poem, the Iliad, where they were charged by Zeus via Apollo with the swift delivery of the slain hero Sarpedon to his homeland of Lykia. For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall statue of Zeus at Olympia about 435 BC. The statue was perhaps the most famous sculpture in Ancient Greece, imagined here in a 16th century engraving Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Zeús, genitive: Diós), is... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology, Sarpedon referred to several different people. ... Lycia is a region on the southern coast of Turkey. ...


"Then [Apollon] gave him [Sarpedon] into the charge of swift messengers to carry him, of Hypnos and Thanatos, who are twin brothers, and these two presently laid him down within the rich countryside of broad Lykia." (Homer, Iliad 16. 681 ff)


Counted among Thanatos' siblings were other negative personifications such as Geras (Old Age), Oizys (Suffering), Moros (Doom), Apate (Deception), Momos (Blame), Eris (Strife), Nemesis (Retribution) and the even the Stygian Boatman Charon. He was loosely associated with the three Moirai (for Hesiod, also daughters of Night), particularly Atropos, who was a goddess of death in her own right. He is also occasionally specified as being exclusive to peaceful death, while the bloodthirsty Keres embodied violent death. His duties as a Guide of the Dead were sometimes superseded by Hermes Psychopompos. Conversely, Thanatos may have originated as a mere aspect of Hermes before later becoming distinct from him. Geras, detail of an Attic red-figure pelike, ca. ... Oizys is the daughter of Nyx, the personification of night in Greek mythology and of Erebus or Cronus. ... In Spanish, Moros means Moors. ... Daughter of Nyx in Greek mythology, Apate was the personification of deceit. ... In Greek mythology, Momos was a minor god of satire. ... Eris typically refers to: Eris (dwarf planet), 136199 Eris , the largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System (provisional designation ) Eris (mythology), in Greek mythology the goddess of discord, and the Goddess of Discordianism It may also refer to: Eris (Billy and Mandy), a humorous representation of the Greek goddess... Note: This article contains special characters. ... Charon may refer to: Charon (mythology) - the figure from Greek, and later Christian mythology, who ferried the dead across the river Acheron in the underworld Hades and Hell, respectively. ... In Greek mythology, the white-robed Moirae or Moerae (Greek &#924;&#959;&#943;&#961;&#945;&#953; &#8211; the Apportioners, often called the Fates) were the personifications of destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, sparing ones, or Fatae; also equivalent to the Germanic Norns). ... In Greek mythology, Atropos was the third of the Moirae. ... In Greek mythology, the Keres (singular: Ker) were female death-spirits and sources of evils. ... Many sets of religious beliefs have a particular spirit, deity, demon or angel whose responsibility is to escort newly-deceased souls to the afterlife, such as Heaven or Hell. ... For other uses, see Hermes (disambiguation). ...


Thanatos was thought of as merciless and indiscriminate, hated by - and hateful towards - mortals and the deathless gods. But in myths which feature him, Thanatos could occasionally be outwitted, a feat that the sly King Sisyphus twice accomplished. When it came time for Sisyphus to die, he cheated Death by tricking him into his own shackles, thereby prohibiting the demise of any mortal while Thanatos was so enchained. Eventually Ares, the bloodthirsty God of War, grew frustrated with the battles he incited, since neither side suffered any casualties. He released Thanatos and handed his captor over to the God, though Sisyphus would evade Death a second time by convincing Persephone to allow him to return to his wife. Sisyphus by Titian, 1549 In Greek mythology, Sisyphus (Σίσυφος) (IPA: ) was a king punished in the underworld by being set to roll a huge boulder up a hill throughout eternity. ... In Greek mythology, Ares (Ancient Greek: , modern Greek Άρης [pron. ... Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874) (Tate Gallery, London In Greek mythology, Persephone (Greek Περσεφόνη, Persephónē) was the Queen of the Underworld of epic literature. ...


"King Sisyphos, son of Aiolos, wisest of men, supposed that he was master of Thanatos; but despite his cunning he crossed eddying Akheron twice at at fate's command." (Alcaeus, Fragment 38a, trans. Campbell)


Thanatos is usually an inexorable fate for mortals, but he was only once successfully overpowered, by the legendary hero and demigod Herakles. Thanatos was consigned to take the soul of Alkestis, who had offered her life in exchange for the continued life of her husband, King Admetos of Pherai. Herakles was an honored guest in the House of Admetos at the time, and he offered to repay the king's hospitality by contending with Death itself for Alkestis' life. When Thanatos ascended from Hades to claim Alkestis, Herakles sprung upon the god and overpowered him, winning the right to have Alcestis revived. Thanatos fled, cheated of his quarry. The term demigod, meaning half-god, is a modern distinction, often misapplied in Greek mythology. ... For the son of Alexander the Great, see Heracles (Macedon). ... A princess in Greek mythology, Alcestis (might of the home) was known for her love for her husband. ... In Greek mythology, Admetus was a king of Pherae in Thessaly, succeeding his father Pheres after whom the city was named. ... Pherae was an ancient Greek city in Thessaly. ... A princess in Greek mythology, Alcestis (might of the home) was known for her love for her husband. ...


Thanatos : Much talk. Talking will win you nothing. All the same, the woman goes with me to Hades' house. I go to take her now, and dedicate her with my sword, for all whose hair is cut in consecration by this blade's edge are devoted to the gods below. (Euripides, Alcestis 19 ff, trans. Vellacott, Greek tragedy C5th B.C.)


Thanatos in Art

Hypnos and Thanatos, "Sleep and His Half-Brother Death" by John William Waterhouse
Hypnos and Thanatos, "Sleep and His Half-Brother Death" by John William Waterhouse

In the earliest mythological accounts, Thanatos was perceived by poets as a fearsome, sword-wielding spectre, shaggy bearded and fierce of countenance. He was a harbinger of suffering and grief, and his coming was marked by pain. But Greek artists did not often follow this grim conception of Death. Image File history File links Waterhouse-sleep_and_his_half-brother_death-1874. ... Image File history File links Waterhouse-sleep_and_his_half-brother_death-1874. ... In Greek mythology, Hypnos was the personification of sleep; the Roman equivalent was known as Somnus . ... John William Waterhouse. ...


In later eras, as the transition from life to death in Elysium became a more attractive option, Thanatos came to be seen as a beautiful Ephebe. He became more associated with a gentle passing then a with a woeful demise. Many Roman sarcophagi depict him as a winged boy, very much akin to Cupid. Elysian redirects here. ... Ephebos (often in the plural epheboi), also anglicized as ephebe, is a Greek word for an adolescent age group or a social status reserved for that age in Antiquity. ... It has been suggested that Cupid (holiday character) be merged into this article or section. ...


Thanatos has also been portrayed as a slumbering infant in the arms of his mother Nyx, or as a youth carrying a butterfly (the ancient Greek word for butterfly is psyche which in modern Greek means soul) or a wreath of poppies (poppies were associated with Hypnos and Thanatos because of their hypnogogic traits and the eventual death engendered by overexposure to them). He is often shown carrying an inverted torch (holding it upside down in his hands), representing a life extinguished. He is usually described as winged and with a sword sheathed at his belt. Thanatos was rarely portrayed in art without his twin brother Hypnos. For other uses, see Butterfly (disambiguation). ... Papaver rhoeas Poppy at High Wood cemetery, France. ... Hypnagogia (also spelled hypnogogia) describes vivid dream-like auditory, visual, or tactile sensations, which are often accompanied by sleep paralysis and experienced when falling asleep or waking up. ...


Modern renditions of Thanatos often assume the stereotypical cloaked and skeletal visage of the Grim Reaper, though this was hardly traditional. Death, personified is an anthropomorphic figure or a fictional character who has existed in mythology and popular culture since the earliest days of storytelling. ...


"To Thanatos, Fumigation from Manna. Hear me, O Thanatos, whose empire unconfined extends to mortal tribes of every kind. On thee the portion of our time depends, whose absence lengthens life, whose presence ends. Thy sleep perpetual bursts the vivid bolds by which the soul attracting the body holds : common to all, of every sex and age, for nought escapes thy all-destructive rage. Not youth itself thy clemency can gain, vigorous and strong, by thee untimely slain. In thee the end of nature’s works is known, in thee all judgment is absolved alone. No suppliant arts thy dreadful rage control, no vows revoke the purpose of thy soul. O blessed power, regard my ardent prayer, and human life to age abundant spare." (Orphic Hymn 87 to Thanatos, trans. Taylor, Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.)


Thanatos in Psychology

According to Sigmund Freud, humans have a life instinct - which he named 'Eros' - and a death drive, which is commonly called (though not by Freud himself) 'Thanatos'. This postulated death drive allegedly compels humans to engage in risky and self-destructive acts that could lead to their own death. Behaviors such as thrill seeking, aggression, and risk taking are viewed as actions which stem from this Thanatos instinct. However, from a scientific viewpoint, the notion of Thanatos continues to be highly controversial. Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Thanatos (Freud). ... Part of a scientific laboratory at the University of Cologne. ...


Thanatos in Popular Culture

  • Thanatos is the main antagonist in Tales of the World: Narikiri Dungeon 2 for GBA.
  • Thanatos is the name given to the Carrier class capital ship of the Gallente race in the MMORPG EVE Online.
  • A Thanatos is a 75 ton Inner Sphere Battlemech in the fictional BattleTech universe.
  • Thanatos is the name of one of the seven legions of lost souls in the CAPCOM game Chaos Legion.
  • In Neil Gaiman's Sandman series the character Death is shown in Season of Mists as holding butterflies, a possible reference to Thanatos.
  • In Saint Seiya, Thanatos appears as an antagonist. In the story, he is Hades' right-hand man.
  • In the SNES videogame Secret of Mana, Thanatos is one of the main villains of the storyline.
  • The Marvel Comics character Thanos, the Mad Titan and death worshipper, is based on Thanatos.
  • In Persona 3, Thanatos is a persona in which the player can summon to possess after reaching certain requirements.
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Image File history File links Acap. ... An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... Ragnarok Online (Korean: 라그나로크 온라인), often referred to as RO, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game created by GRAVITY Co. ... An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... EVE Online is a persistent world multiplayer online game set in space. ... BattleTech is a wargaming and science fiction franchise, launched by FASA Corporation and currently owned by WizKids. ... An image from World of Warcraft, one of the largest commercial MMORPGs as of 2004, based on active subscriptions. ... This article is about the original game for Windows. ... For the original NASA meaning, see capsule communicator. ... Chaos Legion is a third-person action video game developed and published by Capcom. ... Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ... The Sandman, in comic books, refers to several different fictional characters: DC Comics, 1940s -- The Sandman. ... Spoiler warning: Death as illustrated by Chris Bachalo. ... Serialized in Shonen Jump Original run January 1986 – December 1990 No. ... Secret of Mana, known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 2 , lit. ... This article is about the comic book company. ... Thanos is a fictional character that appears in the Marvel Universe. ... The Thanatron, or death machine, (see Thanatos) was a device created by Dr. Jack Kevorkian to aid in the euthanasia of his patients. ... Dr. Jack Kevorkian Jack Kevorkian, M.D. (born Pontiac, Michigan, May 20, 1928) is a controversial Armenian American pathologist. ... For mercy killings not performed on humans, see animal euthanasia. ... Incarnations of Immortality is the name of a seven-book fantasy series by Piers Anthony. ... Piers Anthony Dillingham Jacob (born August 6, 1934 in Oxford, England) is a writer in the science fiction and fantasy genres, publishing under the name Piers Anthony. ... Resident Evil: Outbreak, known as Biohazard: Outbreak ) in Japan, is a single player game with online playability for the PlayStation 2 initially released in 2003. ... Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is a computer role-playing game developed in 2001 by Troika Games, and published by Sierra Entertainment. ... Persona 3 ) is the fourth game in the Persona series. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ...

References

Roman bronze bust, the so-called Pseudo-Seneca, now identified by some as possibly Hesiod Hesiod (Hesiodos, ) was an early Greek poet and rhapsode, who presumably lived around 700 BC. Hesiod and Homer, with whom Hesiod is often paired, have been considered the earliest Greek poets whose work has survived... Theogony (Greek: Θεογονία, theogonia = the birth of God(s)) is a poem by Hesiod describing the origins and genealogies of the gods of the ancient Greeks, composed circa 700 BC. The title of the work comes from the Greek words for god and seed. // Hesiods Theogony is a large-scale... For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Thanatos - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (762 words)
In Greek mythology, Thanatos (θάνατος, "death") was the personification of death (Roman equivalent: Mors).
Thanatos was a son of Nyx (Night) and twin of Hypnos (Sleep).
Thanatos is sometimes depicted as a young man carrying a butterfly, wreath or inverted torch in his hands.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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