In Greek mythology, Phosphorous was the Morning Star, or what we know today as the planet Venus. When the orbit locations of the Earth and Venus are just right, it can be seen an hour before the sun rises in the eastern sky or an hour after the sun sets in the western skies. Venus is the third-brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon. There are myths about Venus that include Jupiter and Saturn, which can also be seen in the sky at certain times. Since Jupiter and Saturn move higher across the sky and Venus always stays low, there are myths about the Morning Star trying to become the best of the gods (higher than them all) but never succeeding.
According to the ancient Greek poet, Hesiod, Phosphorous was the son of Aatraeus, who was the god of dusk (the time when the sun almost sets), and Eos, who was a Titan goddess of dawn (the time when the sun is about to rise). There are other interpretations that keep Eos as his mother, but names his father as either Cephalus, an Athenian, or Atlas, the Titan who was cursed with the brutal task of holding up the sky, forever, as punishment for his role in the war between the Titans and the Olympians.
Ovid, a Latin poet, said that Hesperus, who represented the Evening Star, was identical to Phosphorous; they were basically the same being. It’s just that Venus is called the Morning Star when the planet can be seen in the early morning hours, and is called the Evening Star when a person sees it just after the sun sets, at night. Since they’re the same being, the children of Hesperus are that of Phosphorous.
He had a son named Daedalion (not to be confused with the dandelion flower), a great warrior who was transformed into a hawk by Apollo. This was done to save his life, when he jumped off Mount Parnassus after his daughter had died. Daedelion’s warrior courage and his angry sadness was said to be the reason for a hawk’s strength and its tendency to hunt other birds. Phosphorous had another son, Ceyx, who was a Thessalian king. He, along with his wife, were transformed into kingfisher birds after their deaths at sea at the hands of Zeus.
Phosphorous’ was also the father of the Hesperides, who were nymphs (female nature gods) of the evening time and of the light of sunset. They lived in and looked after a garden located in the western corner of the world.
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