Oizys was the ancient Greek goddess of grief, anxiety, and depression. In fact, her Roman name “Miseria” is where the modern term “misery” comes from. She characterized the spirit of the miserable human condition of deep sadness.
Oizys is the daughter of the goddess Nyx. The Greek writer Hesiod says that Nyx gave birth to Oizys and her twin, Momus, alone. The Roman writer, Cicero, however, says that Oizys and Momus were fathered by Erebus. Other sisters of Oizys and Momus were the goddesses Philotes and and Nemeisis, also known as Envy. The twins’ brothers included Geras, Somnia, and Mors, according to the Roman writer Pseudo-Hyginus.
Oizys was a second generation primordial goddess who sometimes only shows up in the mythologies as a spirit. Whereas some of Nyx’s children were helpful to humans, Oizys was always portrayed as a malevolent spirit, ready to harm human kind.
While Oizys was the goddess of sadness and anxiety, her twin Momus was the god of satire and mockery. Known for his opinionated wit, Momus was kicked off of Mount Olympus for finding fault with all of the god’s and goddess’s creations. According to Aesop’s fables, the only being created by the gods Momus found virtually no fault with was Aphrodite. Momus complained about the sounds her sandals made when she walked, however.
Unlike his sister Oizys, Momus would be known for comical satire. He would eventually be characterized as a clownish harlequin. Oizys would never gain any light-hearted favor in the stories told by any writer.
Oizys was a lesser known goddess, even to the ancient Greeks. She did not cultivate a large following as did other more well-known goddesses such as Hera or Iris. She was believed to have evil intentions towards humanity beyond causing woe and distress.
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