His Children: Nereus, Thaumas, Phorkys, Keto, and Eurybia
Pontos begot as his oldest child unlying and truthful
Nereus, which is the name by which the Old Man is called
because he's nemertes, "unerring", and gentle, and isn't forgetful of
righteousness, but is a knower of just and gentle proposals.
And there are others whom Pontos begot by mingling with Gaia:
mighty Thaumas, lordly Phorkys, lovely-cheeked Keto,
and Eurybia, who has an adamant heart in her breast.
Pontos fathered as his oldest child Nereus, who never lies and is always truthful, which is what the Old Man is called, because he's 'nemertes', he's unerring and gentle, and doesn't forget righteousness, but he knows about just and gentle proposals.
And Pontos fathered other children, by sleeping with Gaia: Thaumas the mighty, Phorkys the lordly, beautiful Keto, and cold-hearted Eurybia.
Frazer's Comment ::
Gaia, who is the mother of Pontos's other children, is also probably the mother of Nereus. Hesiod emphasizes Nereus's thruthfulness by punning on his name with the adjective nemertes, "unerring". The gentleness of Nereus's speech and his concern for truth and justice remind us of the Muses' inspiration of the nobles (called "kings" in the text) acting as judges.
Hesiod probably connected the name Thaumas with the Greek word for wonder. The derivation of Phorkys is uncertain; it may come from the name of a fish or from an epithet of the sea meaning "gray". The name Keto can be connected with the Greek word for sea monster. Eurybia gets her name from an epithet of sea divinities meaning "wide-ruling".
The Daughters of Nereus
Nereus begot a numerous progeny, goddesses all,
bourne to him in the exhaustless sea by lovely-haired Doris,
the daughter of Okeanos, the river that flows in unending completion:
Protho, Eukrante, Sao the savioress, Amphitrite,
Thetis, Eudora, peaceful Galene, sea-green Glauke,
Kymothoe, Speio the swift one, beautiful Thalia,
holy Pasithea, Erato, Eunike, a rosy-armed goddess,
charming Melite, protecting Eulimine, noble Agaue,
Doto the giver and Proto, Pherousa, mighty Dynamene,
isle-haunting Nesaia, shore-haunting Aktaia, Protomedeia,
bountiful Doris, Panope, beautiful Galateia,
and lovely Hippothoe, Hipponoe, rosy-armed goddess,
and Kymodoke (who with wave-calming Kymatolege and
fair-ankled Amphitrite easily gentles the waves on
the misty face of the sea and the blasts of the raging winds), and
Kymo, Eione, and lovely-crowned Halimede,
and the smile-loving goddess Glaukonome, Pontoporeia,
and Leiagore and Euagore, Laomedeia,
knowing Poulynoe, thoughtful Autonoe, Lysianassa,
buxom Euarne, a shapely and very beautiful girl,
Psamathe, graceful nymph of the strand, goddess Menippe,
Neso, Eupompe, righteous Themisto, provident Pronoe,
and Nemertes possessing the mind of her father immortal.
These, then, are the daughters who were begotten by blameless Nereus,
fifty daughters in all, knowers of blameless works.
Nereus fathered many children, daughters all, born in the sea, mothered by Doris who has beautiful hair, the daughter of Okeanos, the un-ending river: Protho, Eukrante, Sao the savior, Amphitrite, Thetis, Eudora, peaceful Galene, sea-green Glauke, Kymothoe, Speio the swift, beautiful Thalia, holy Pasithea, Erato, Eunike who has beautiful arms, charming Melite, protecting Eulimine, noble Agaue, Doto the giver and Proto, Pherousa, mighty Dynamene, isle-haunting Nesaia, shore-haunting Aktaia, Protomedeia, bountiful Doris, Panope, beautiful Galateia, and lovely Hippothoe, Hipponoe who also has beautiful arms, and Kymodoke (who with wave-calming Kymatolege and Amphitrite easily calms the waves on the face of the sea and the blasts of the raging winds), and Kymo, Eione, and Halimede who has pretty hair, and the smile-loving goddess Glaukonome, Pontoporeia, and Leiagore and Euagore, Laomedeia, knowledgeable Poulynoe, thoughtful Autonoe, Lysianassa, buxom Euarne (a shapely and very beautiful girl), Psamathe a graceful nymph, Menippe, Neso, Eupompe, righteous Themisto, provident Pronoe, and Nemertes who is like her father in mind. These are the daughters of blameless Nereus, fifty in all, who know about the blameless works of men.
The Nereids are fifty beautiful girls who live in the sea near the shore and bestow blessings on men. The remind us of the Muses and the Okeanids. One of them is named Erato, "Lovely One", like one of the Muses; another Eudora, "Giver of Good", like one of the Okeanids; and their mother is Doris, after whom one of them is named, is an Okeanid.
Their names suggest that they preside over two main areas, the sea and the councils of men. The latter group, which is distinguished by being listed last, take after their father in that they are gentle speakers concerned with justice and truth. Most significant are Leiagore and Euagore, whose names I interpret with Marg to mean "Gentle in Speech" and "Good in Speech"; and Themisto, "Righteousness"; Pronoe, "Foresight"; and Nemertes, "The Unerring One", whose name is derived from the adjective used in line 235 to describe her father.
Hesiod seems very close to imagining the state as a ship, a metaphor first found in Alkaios. Vergil is much in the spirit of Hesiod when in Aeneid 1.142, he describes Neptune, with the help of Triton and one of the Nereids, calming the storm, and compares him to an orator bringing a rioting mob under control.
The Children of Thaumas
Thaumas took as his wife the daughter of deep-swirling Okeanos,
shining Elektra, and she gave birth to Iris, the swift one,
and the lovely-haired Harpies, Aello and Okypete,
who contend with the blasts of the winds and the birds as they fly on
wings that are swift; rapidly do they swoop from on high.
Thaumas married Elektra, the shining daughter of Okeanos, and she gave birth to Iris, the swift, and the Harpies, who have beautiful hair, Aello and Okypete, who deal with the gusts of the winds and the birds as they fly on swift wings; quickly they dive from on high.
Thaumas ("Wonder") and Elektra ("Shining") are fitting parents for bright divinites that strike men with wonder: the rainbow Iris and the winds Aello ("Whirlwind") and Okypete ("Swift to Attack"), called Harpies ("Snatchers") probably because they snatch men off the face of the sea. The idea of brightness is closely associated with that of swiftness, which is another characteristic of both Iris and the Harpies. Hesiod apparantly thinks of their swiftness as an inheritance from their grandfather, Okeanos, for the adjective okus, "swift", which appears in the first part of the name Okypete and is used of Iris and the wings of the Harpies, can be thought of (wrongly) as also appearing in the first part of the name Okeanos.
The Progeny of Phorkys and Keto: The Monsters
Then Keto, mating with Phorkys, produced the lovey-cheeked Graiai,
who were gray-haired from birth and so are called by the name of
Graiai both by gods immortal and earth-going men:
beautifully gowned Pemphredo, Enyo in gown of bright saffron.
And she gave birth to the Gorgons, who dwell across glorious Okeanos
at earth's end near Night and the beautifully singing Hesperides:
Sthenno, Euryale, and she who grievously suffered, Medusa.
She (Medusa) was mortal, they (the other two Gorgons)
immortal and ageless. He of the Black Mane lay with Medusa,
in a soft meadow reclining, in blossoming flowers of the spring,
so that when Perseus came and cut off her head from her body
out of her mighty Chrysaor leaped and the horse we call Pegasos.
Pegasos was named from his birth by the pegai, the "streams", of Okeanos,
Chrysoar from the aor chryseion, the "gold sword", he weilded.
Pegasos, leaving the earth, the mother of flocks, flew off and
went to the gods, and there he dwells in the palace of Zeus and
brings the bolts of thunder and lightening to Zeus of the Counsels.
And Crysoar begot the three-headed creature named Geryon
on Kallirhoe, who is a daughter of glorious Okeanos.
Geryon it was whom the mighty strength of Herakles slew
by his shambling cattle off in the isle Erytheia
on that day when Herakles drove those broad-faced cattle
back to sacred Tiryns; going over Okeanos,
there he slew both Orthos and the herdsman Eurtion
in that shadowy steading far over glorious Okeanos.
And she gave birth to another uncontrollable monster,
who in no way resembles either immortals or mortals,
in a great hollow cave: the divine and powerful Echidna,
who is a creature half girl, a glancing-eyed, lovely-cheeked girl,
half a serpent of monstrous size, frightening, enormous,
flashing, an eater of raw flesh, under the holy earth.
There is her hollow below, her cave down under the rock,
far away from gods immortal and mortal men;
there have the gods apportioned to her her glorious palace;
baneful Echidna dwells below in the land of the Arimoi,
being a nymph immortal and ageless all of her days.
And they say that Typhaon mingled with her in love,
he who is frightening, evil, and lawless with her of the bright eyes,
and that having conceived she bore him powerful children.
First she produced the dog Orthos to serve as Geryon's helper.
Then she gave birth to one uncontrollable, not to be mentioned:
Kerberos, a feeder of raw flesh, Hades' brazen-voiced dog,
who is possessed of fifty heads and is shameless and mighty.
The third child of Echidna was Hydra, a pain-devising monster,
Hydra of Lerna, whom Hera, the goddess with white arms, reared
out of her unappeasable anger at Herakles' strength - but
Hydra was slain with the pitiless bronze by Zeus's son Herakles,
the heir of Amphitryon; stalwart Iolas assisted him,
and Athena, the driver of spoils, gave him her counsels.
And she gave birth to Chimaira, the breather of fire irresistible,
who was a creature frightening and huge, swift-footed and mighty,
and possessed of three heads: that of a fierce-eyed lion,
that of a she goat (chimaira), and that of a powerful serpent;
in front a lion, a serpent behind, in the middle a she goat,
she breathed forth the frightening strength of blazing fire.
Valiant Bellerophon slew Chimaira with Pegasos's help.
And, when she had mated with Orthos, she bore him baneful
Phiz, the Thebans' destroyer, and also the lion of Nemea,
who was reared by Hera, the glorious consort of Zeus, and
placed in the hills of Nemea to be a plague unto men.
There he dwelled and cheated the race of men of their lives,
lording it over the area of Nemea, Tretos, and Apesas,
but he was brought to submission by powerful Herakles' strength.
Keto's last child, her youngest, by mingling in love with Phorkys,
was the terrible serpent who lives in a lair of the dark earth
out at the world's farthest limits and guards the apples of gold.
These, then, are all the monsters whom Keto and Phorkys produced.
Then Keto, with Phorkys, produced the beautiful Graiai,who were born with grey hair, and so are called Graiai by both men and gods alike: Pemphredo in beautiful gowns, Enyo in saffron robes. And Keto gave birth to the Gorgons, who live across the Great River Okeanos at the end of the earth, near the home of Night, and the Hesperides who have beautiful singing voices: Sthenno, Euryale, and Medusa, who suffered greatly. Medusa was mortal, while the other two were immortal and ageless.
Poseidon slept with Medusa in a beautiful spring meadow with blossoming flowers in the spring, and, when Perseus came and cut off Medusa's head, he released Chrysoar and Pegasus. Pegasus was named by the pegai, the streams of Okeanos. Chrysoar from the aor chryseion, the gold sword he weilds. Pegasus left the earth and flew to the gods, and there he lives, in Zeus' palace, where he brings Zeus the bolts of thunder and lightening. Chrysoar slept with Kallirhoe, a daughter of Okeanos, and they produced the 3-headed creature named Geryon. Geryon was slain by Hercules when he drove the killer horses of Diomêdes across Okeanos to the city of Tiryns (east of Tripoli, south of Argos); there he slew both Orthos and the herdsman Eurytion in the shadowy fields where the cattle resided.
Keto gave birth to another uncontrollable monster, who isn't like mortals OR immortals, in a huge cave: the divine and powerful Echidna, who is half beautiful girl, half huge serpent. She's huge, and eats raw flesh, living under the holy earth. There, under the earth, far from both gods and men, the gods have given her a glorious palace; terrible Echidna lives under the land of the Arimoi (either ancient Armenia or part of the southern coast of Modern Turkey), because she's still a nymph, immortal and ageless. And they say that Typhoeus made love to her; he who is frightening, evil, lawless, with she of the bright eyes; and that she gave birth to powerful children by him.
First, she produced Orthos, the dog companion of Geryon. Then she gave birth to the uncontrollable Cerberus, who eats raw flesh; Hades' dog, who has 50 heads and no shame. Echidna's third child was the Hydra, that monster who dreams up pains. Hydra of Lerna (across the lake from Tiryns, basically), who Hera raised and sent against Hercules because she hated his strength - but Hydra was killed with Hercules' bronze sword. Hercules, the heir of Amphitrion; loyal Iolaos helped him, and Athena gave him advice.
And Keto gave birth to the Chimera, who breathes fire, who is a frightening, huge, swift, and mighty creature with 3 heads. Chimera's heads are that of a lion, a female goat, and a snake. Chimera's body is a lion in front, a snake behind, and between is the middle of a female goat, and yet she breathes fire. Chimera mated with Orthos the dog, and gave birth to the Sphinx, who destroyed Thebes, and the Lion of Nemea, who was raised by Hera and placed in the hills of Nemea to torment and torture the men there. There the Lion dwelled, killing men and lording it over Nemea, Tretos, and Apesas (all are in or around modern-day Corinth). The Lion was slain by powerful Hercules. Chimera was slain by the valiant hero Bellerophon.
Keto's last child, her youngest, from making love to Phorkys, was the Serpent who lives in a cave at the end of the world and guards the Golden Apples of the Hesperides.
These are all of the monsters that Keto and Phorkys produced.
It is not clear who the mothers of Echidna, Chimaira, and Phix and the Nemean Lion are, but i think that the following outline of the genealogy of the monsters (based on E.Siegmann, Hermes 96) probably acribes them correctly. Keto is the mother of Echidna and Chimaira, and Chimaira is the mother of Phix and the Nemean Lion. There are four lines of descent from Keto and Phorkys:
First that of the Graiai and the Gorgons. One of the Gorgons, Medusa, gives birth by Poseidon (He of the Black Mane) to Pegasos and Chrysaor; and Chrysaor begets Geryon.
Second that of Echidna. She gives birth by Typhaon (an alternate form of Typhoeus) to Orthos, Kerberos, and Hydra.
Third that of Chimaira. She gives birth by Orthos to Phix (an alternate form of Sphinx) and the Nemean Lion.
Fourth that of the serpent who guards the golden apples of the Hesperides.
The first three lines of descent end with the description of a labor of Herakles in which a monster is slain; and the last reminds us of another of his labors, that of bringing back the golden apples of the Hesperides. Hesiod probably omits this labor because its performance did not entail the slaying of the serpent who guards the apples. The mention of the serpent and the apples at the end of the catalogue of monsters looks back to the mention of the Hesperides at its beginning (275), thus enclosing this section in a neat ring-composition.
We are told of three monster-slayers, Herakles, Perseus, and Bellerophon, by far the most famous of whom is Herakles. Later in Theog., Zeus even allows him to slay the eagle that preys on the liver of Prometheus (526-33).
Although Hesiod does not describe the death of Phix (Sphinx), his audience probably knew the story of her fatal encounter with Oidipous (Oedipus). But in the earliest version of the story, to which Hesiod may be alluding, Oidipous may have slain her in combat instead of forcing her to commit suicide by solving her riddle.
The monsters tend to live in the far west across Okeanos where the Underworld begins (the idea that the far west, the place of the setting sun, is where the Underworld begins is found in Egyptian literature of a very early date). But monsters can also live in caves on the earth, which are thought of as leading into the world below. Thus we are asked to imagine Echidna gloriously housed ina hollow somewhere under the earth, probably in Asia Minor.
We know that Greek stories about monster-slayers owe a great deal to Near Eastern mythology. The Near East, which was the great breeding ground of the composite monster, gave birth to Chimaira, Sphinx, Echidna, and Typhoeus. The idea of the sphinx seems to have come to Greece from Egypt by way of Phoenicia, for the original Egyptian one has a wingless lion's body and the head of a man (the pharaoh), while later Phoenician ones resemble the Greek Sphinx in having winged Lion's bodies and women's heads.
The monster-slayers of the present section foreshadow Zeus as the slayer of Typhoeus. Just as Hera rears Hydra and the Nemean Lion to test the strength of Herakles, so Gaia will produce Typhoeus to be the last enemy of Zeus.
omijesus, that's a lot of writing, ne? >.<