In the history of Greek gods, there is a group of gods that came before all else. These primordial gods are almost conceptual in nature, representing much vaster domains than those that would come after them. These gods continue to pop up in tale throughout the span of Greek myth, usually functioning more as places or concepts than actual characters.
The First Gods
The first god to appear in Greek myth is Chaos (or Kaos), who represented the void. He was shortly thereafter he was joined by Gaia, who both was and represented the Earth.
Chaos would give birth to two children, the Nyx (Night} and Erebus (Darkness). They in turn would give birth to Aether (Light) and Hemera (Day). Gaia would soon give birth to her own primordial children, Uranus (Sky) and Pontus (Sea).
The Other Gods
While these are the first gods of myth are generally agreed upon, there are others that tend to be lumped in with the primordial gods. The most important of these is probably Tartarus, who is both a primordial god and who will later become known as a prison for monsters.
There are, though, a number of other primordial concepts that are usually added to this list. A few of them include Aion (Eternity). Moirai (Fate) and sometimes Chronos (Time). Depending on which mythology you choose to read, there may be dozens of others concepts added to the list of primordial gods.
What They Represent
More important than who these gods were to the Greek is what they represented. These were the gods that represented the big concepts from the beginning of time, the gods that laid the foundations for all of the other gods.
When you see the primordial gods in Greek tales, they usually exist as either the gods that are somehow greater in scope than the actual gods (like Gaia) or as the gods that gave birth to the other gods (Chronos). These are the gods that are even less connected to humanity than their Greek counterparts, usually having no interaction with humans at all.
The primordial gods are a group of gods that help to lay the foundation for what will come next in the Greek world. As concepts, they’re too big to make human. Instead, they help to give birth to the things that are more easily understood and provide the background for stories that have a great impact on the lives of those who followed the ancient Greek religions. Though they don’t play a large role in the ancient tales, they nonetheless are what most of these stories are built upon.
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