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In Greek mythology, Erebus (play /ˈɛrəbəs/), also Erebos (Ancient Greek: Ἔρεβος, "deep darkness, shadow"), was the son of a primordial god, Chaos, and represented the personification of darkness. Erebus married his sister Nyx (goddess of the night) and their offspring include: Aether, Cer, Hemera, Charon, the Hesperides, Hypnos, the Moirae, Momus, Nemesis, Oneiroi, Phlegethon, Styx, and Thanatos.

In Greek literature the name Erebus is also used to refer to a region of the Underworld where the dead had to pass immediately after dying, and is sometimes used interchangeably with Tartarus.[1][2][3][4][5]



The perceived meaning of Erebus is "darkness"; the first recorded instance of it was "place of darkness between earth and Hades". Hebrew עֶרֶב (ˤerev) 'sunset, evening' is sometimes cited as a source.[1][6] However, an Indo-European origin, at least for the name Ἔρεβος itself, is likelier.

Classical literature

According to the Greek oral poet Hesiod's Theogony, Erebus is the offspring of Chaos, and brother to Nyx.

From Chaos came forth Erebus and black Night; but of Night were born Aether and Day, whom she conceived and bore from union in love with Erebus.

Hesiod,Theogony (120-125)[7]

The Roman writer Hyginus, in his Fabulae described Erebus as the father of Geras the god of old age.[8]

In William Shakespeare's, The Cronicle History of Henry the Fifth, one of Henry's soldiers, Pistol directs his anger towards Mistress Dorothy:

I 'll see her damned first; to Pluto's damned lake, by this hand, to the infernal deep, with Erebus and tortures vile also. Hold hook and line, say I. Down, down, dogs! down, faitors! Have we not Hiren here?

Shakespeare, King Henry IV (2.4)[9]

See also

  • Erebus in popular culture


  1. ^ a b Elizabeth, Alice (1896). The Sources of Spenser's Classical Mythology. New York: Silver, Burdett and Company. pp. 52, 55. 
  2. ^ Morford, Mark P. O. (1999). Classical Mythology: Sixth Edition. New York: Oxford University Press US. pp. 36, 84, 253, 263, 271. ISBN 0195143388, 9780195143386. 
  3. ^ Peck, Harry Thurston (1897). Harper's Dictionary of Classical Literature and Antiquities, Volume 1. New York: Harper. pp. 620. 
  4. ^ Rengel, Marian (2009). Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z. Infobase Publishing. pp. 51. ISBN 1604134127, 9781604134124. 
  5. ^ Turner, Patricia (2001). Dictionary of Ancient Deities. Oxford University Press. pp. 170. ISBN 0195145046, 9780195145045. 
  6. ^ Harper, Douglas. "Online Etymology Dictionary: Erebus". Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  7. ^ Evelyn-White, Hugh G. (1914). The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 
  8. ^ Atsma, Aaron. "Hyginus, Fabulae 1-49". Theoi E-Texts Library. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 
  9. ^ Clark, W. G.. "William Shakespeare, King Henry IV., Part II". The Perseus Digital Library Project. Retrieved 1 July 2011. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Erebus — macrops …   Википедия

  • Erebus — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El término Erebus puede referirse a: Erebus o Érebo. En la mitología griega dios primordial personificación de la oscuridad. Monte Erebus. Volcán activo de la Antártida situado en la costa oriental de Isla de Ross.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Erebus — ist die lateinische Schreibung von Erebos, dem griechischen Gott der Finsternis. Davon abgeleitete Namen tragen: mehrere britische Kriegs und Forschungsschiffe, siehe HMS Erebus ein antarktischer Vulkan, siehe Mount Erebus eine antarktische Bucht …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Erebus — Er e*bus, n. [L., fr. Gr. ?.] 1. (Greek Myth.) A place of nether darkness, being the gloomy space through which the souls passed to Hades. See Milton s Paradise Lost, Book II., line 883. [1913 Webster] 2. (Greek Myth.) The son of Chaos and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Erebus — place of darkness between earth and Hades, from L. Erebus, from Gk. Erebos, of unknown origin, perhaps from Semitic (Cf. Heb. erebh sunset, evening ), or from PIE *regw es darkness. Used figuratively of darkness from 1590s …   Etymology dictionary

  • Erĕbus [1] — Erĕbus (E. Latr.), Gattung der Eulchen (Schmetterlinge), das Endglied der unteren Taster ist ebenso lang od. viel länger, als das vorhergehende; Art: Riechende E. (E. odorus, Noctua odora), Flügel ausgebreitet, gezähnt, braun, schwarz gewellt,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Erĕbus [2] — Erĕbus, 1) thätiger Vulkan unter 78° südl. Br. auf dem Antarktischen Festlande Victorialand, wurde von Capitän Roß 1842 entdeckt u. zu 12,400 Fuß Höhe gefunden; 2) kleine Bai im Arktischen Polarmeere, an der Südwestecke von Nord Devon gelegen u.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Erĕbus — Erĕbus, 1) tätiger Vulkan auf einer Insel an der Ostküste des antarktischen Viktorialands, unter 771/2° südl. Br., 3770 m hoch, 1841 von James Roß entdeckt. – 2) Kleine Bai der Barrowstraße im Nördlichen Eismeer, an der Südweststrecke von… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Erebus — Erĕbus, tätiger Vulkan auf einer Insel an der Küste des antarktischen Viktorialandes, 3890 m hoch, 1841 von Roß entdeckt …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • EREBUS — inferorum fluv. et Deus. Pater Noctis ex Chao et Caligine progenitus, ut refert Hygin. Fab. Poet. c. 1. Cic. tamen de Nat. Deor. Noctem Erebi uxorem facit. Id quicquid est, Poetae frequenter Erebum pro ipsa inferorum sede collocant. Sic Virg. Aen …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Erebus — Erebus, Mount a mountain that is an active ↑volcano on Ross Island in Antarctica …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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