In Greek mythology, Hemera (/ˈhɛmərə/; Ancient Greek: Ἡμέρα, romanizedHēméra, lit.'Day' [hɛːméra]) was the personification of day and one of the Greek primordial deities. She is the goddess of the daytime and, according to Hesiod, the daughter of Erebus and Nyx (the goddess of night).[1]

Hemera
Primordial goddess of the day
Aphrodisias Museum Hemera or Day 4627.jpg
Relief of Hemera from the Aphrodisias Sebasteion
Personal information
ParentsErebus and Nyx or Chaos
SiblingsAether, Hypnos, Thanatos, Oizys, Momus, Apate, the Moirai (Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos), the Oneiroi, Eris (Hesiod), the Furies (variant accounts), Moros
ConsortAether, Uranus (Cicero)
ChildrenGaia (Hyginus)
Uranus (Hyginus)
Thalassa (Hesiod, Hyginus), Hermes (Cicero)
Roman equivalentDies

MythologyEdit

The poet Bacchylides states that Nyx and Chronos are the parents, but Hyginus in his preface to the Fabulae mentions Chaos as the mother/father and Nyx as her sister.

Hemera was the female counterpart of her brother and consort, Aether (Light), but neither of them figured actively in myth or cult. Hyginus lists their children as Uranus, Gaia, and Thalassa (the primordial sea goddess), while Hesiod only lists Thalassa as their child.

According to Cicero, Hemera and Uranus were the parents of Hermes.[2]

According to Hesiod's Theogony, Hemera left Tartarus just as Nyx entered it; when Hemera returned, Nyx left:[3]

Nyx and Hemera draw near and greet one another as they pass the great threshold of bronze: and while the one is about to go down into the house, the other comes out at the door."

Pausanias seems to confuse Hemera with Eos when saying that she carried Cephalus away. Pausanias makes this identification with Eos upon looking at the tiling of the royal portico in Athens, where the myth of Eos and Kephalos is illustrated.[4] He makes this identification again at Amyklai and at Olympia, upon looking at statues and illustrations where Eos (Hemera) is present.

CiceroEdit

Hemera is remarked upon in Cicero's De Natura Deorum, where it is logically determined that Dies (Hemera) must be a god, if Uranus is a god.[5]

CitationsEdit

General referencesEdit

  • Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website.
  • Cicero, Marcus Tullius, De Natura Deorum in Cicero: On the Nature of the Gods. Academics, translated by H. Rackham, Loeb Classical Library No. 268, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press, first published 1933, revised 1951. ISBN 978-0-674-99296-2. Online version at Harvard University Press.
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W. H. S. Jones, Litt.D., and H. A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
  • Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. Three vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Hemera at Wikimedia Commons