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Aether (also Æthere, Greek: Αἰθήρ), in Greek mythology, is one of the Protogenoi, the first-born elemental gods. He is the personification of the upper sky, space, and heaven, and is the elemental god of the "Bright, Glowing, Upper Air." He is the pure upper air that the gods breathe, as opposed to the normal air (Ἀήρ, aer) mortals breathe.
In Hesiod's Theogony, he was the son of Erebus and Nyx and brother of Hemera. Both were noted in passing in Cicero's De Natura deorum, but Hyginus mentioned Chaos as his parent. The aether was also known as Zeus' defensive wall, the bound that locked Tartarus from the rest of the cosmos.
Aether had several offspring, but Hyginus seems to confuse him with Uranus when saying that Aether had Uranus by Gaia, his daughter. Aergia, a goddess of sloth and laziness, is the daughter of Aether and Gaia. Hyginus is also our source for telling us that Aether is the father of Uranus and Gaia. But another source tells us that it is just Uranus who is his child. And like Tartaros and Erebos, in Hellas he might have had shrines but no temples and probably no cult either. In the Orphic hymns, he is mentioned as the soul of the world from which all life emanates. Callimachus, in calling Uranus Akmonides, claims him as the son of Akmon, and Eustathius in Alcman tells us that the sons of Uranus were called Akmonidai.
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Aether (mythology). The list of authors can be seen in the page history.|