Pontus was born in the void state of Chaos, at a time before anything ever existed. In Chaos, there was nothing at all; though, Chaos can also refer to everything in the space created when the heaven and earth split and became two separate places. That space in between was indeed chaos, because in it everything eventually came to life, including human beings. Like the primordial beings Gaea and Uranus, he existed since the beginning, when everything came to be. He was the sea itself, and according to the Greek poet Hesiod, Pontus was born from Mother Earth, Gaea, and had no father.
Pontus, or Pontos (a different spelling of his name), translates to “sea”. He and Gaea created Nereus, who was known as the “Old Man of the Sea”, though Pontus could also be referred to by that name, too, as could several other gods associated with water. His son, Nereus, was the father of the sea nymph Thetis, who was the mother of the famous Greek warrior Achilles, a hero of the Trojan War whom Homer wrote about in the Iliad.
He and Gaea also gave birth to Thaumus, who represented the wonders and dangers of the sea such as hurricanes and even waves. They had a third and forth child, Phorcys and Ceto, who together gave birth to monsters that included the Graeae, three old, grey sisters who shared one tooth and one eye; their names were Dino, Enyo and Pephredo. Phorcys and Ceto also gave birth to the Gorgons; they were Stheno, Euryale, and the most famous of the three, Medusa, a winged monster with venomous snakes for hair. The last child of Pontus and Gaea was Eurybia, a minor goddess (also known as the “Strong Goddess) who represented having power and mastery over the seas. She could even control the winds, which helped boaters move on the waters, and the showing of constellations, which navigators used back then as a map to travel the seas.
Pontus was also paired with Thalassa, an ancient goddess of the sea, and together they spawned all sea life, from starfish to seahorses to the different species of sharks. The two also gave birth to the Telchines, who lived on the Greek island of Rhodes. They were a mix of different things; they had flippers in place of hands and the head of a dog. Some of these individuals included Argyron, Megalesius, Nicon and Skelmis.
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