Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Hesiodic Terminology
Cosmos is the universe considered as a harmonious and orderly system. In several Mediterranean religions, the cosmos was a complex system of interrelationships between gods, humans, political entities, ancestors, and others--the interrelationships all had their place in the universe and all had their appointed roles. The divine relationships between the gods served as the model for the cosmos, and the stars often served as the map.
Chaos, a Greek term translated as "chasm" by West, is the first being to come into existence in Hesiod's Theogony. In the Greek, it is essentially a great abyss, and empty, formless, and infinite space, not at all like our notion of things out of order. Chaos is responsible for the existence of Nyx, who later bears some of the more terrible aspects of the universe, such as War and Famine. For this reason, Chaos becomes associated with the darker aspects of the universe.
Parthenogenesis is reproduction without sexual intercourse. It is used by many of the earliest deities, including Chaos, Nyx, and Eros. In these early instances the main reason behind it seems to be the lack of other sexual partners. Later, very powerful gods use this method to produce offspring without the messiness sometimes involved in having a partner (sort of like what Madonna does today). Zeus uses parthenogenesis to produce Athena all by himself out of his own head. Hera gives him tit for tat and also parthenogenically produces the god Hephaistos.
Cosmology is the study or theory of the form, content, organization, and structure of the universe.
Cosmogony is a theory or account of the origin of the universe. Numerous cosmogonical accounts of the universe exist in addition to Hesiod's Theogony, such as the Hittite "Kingship of Heaven" myth, the Babylonian myth Enuma Elish, and the account of creation in the biblical book of Genesis. (See Hesiod's Near Eastern Sources)
Theomachy is war against gods and among gods. Within the Theogony, there are several instances of theomachy, such as the uprising of Kronos and his siblings against Ouranos, and the overthrow of Kronos by Zeus and his siblings. Many Near Eastern myths also prominently feature theomachy, such as the Hittite myth of the overthrow of Alalu by Anu, and the overthrow of him by Kumarbi. In addition, the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish gives us the story of the overthrow of Tiamat by Marduk. A common feature of many of these Near Eastern stories is that cosmogony is somehow dependent on a grand, cataclysmic theomachy.
  Caldwell, Richard S. Hesiod’s Theogony. Focus Information Group, Inc., 1987.
  Heidel, Alexander, The Babylonian Genesis. The University of Chicago Press, 1951.
  Walcot, P. Hesiod and the Near East. University of Wales Press, 1966.
  "Anatolian Religion." Britannica.com. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  "Hellenistic Religion." Britannica.com. Encyclopedia Britannica. 25 June 2000
  "Mesopotamian Religion." Britannica.com. Encyclopedia Britannica. 25 June 2000.
Relevant genealogical information:
Timeline of Relevant Events
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint