The creation of the universe. The year is 2000 BC and the ancient Greeks have just entered the territory that is now associated with them. Egypt is still a great power. A part of this meandering and evolving world the Greeks begin to wonder and wander. They begin to enrich their culture with various stories and legends to explain and adjust to the question of their origin.
So what are these stories? What are these myths? Let’s find out.
The Pelasgian Myth: Creation of the Universe
Eurynome, the Goddess of all things awakens and finds nothing to rest her feet on. She divides the sea from the sky dancing alone on its lonely waves. She dances south and dances north. Lost in herself as she rubs her hands together to catch the wind she creates the great serpent Ophion. She dances along and Ophion mesmerized and enchanted grows lustful. The Goddess and the serpent mate.
She transforms into a dove and lays the universal egg. On her bidding, Ophion coils around the egg seven times till it breaks in half. Outcome all things that exist: the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.
The goddess and the serpent make their home on Mount Olympus. Ophion offends the goddess by claiming that he created the universe. She kicks him with her heel, bruises his forehead, kicks out his teeth, and banishes him to the dark caves below the Earth. (Never horde credit guys, NEVER!). From these lost teeth of Ophion springs the first man.
Now the Goddess creates the seven planetary powers. She places a Titaness and a Titan over each. Thei and Hyperion for the Sun, Phoebe and Atlas for the Moon, and so on. The first man created is called Pelasgus, the ancestor of the Pelasgians. He springs from the soil of Arcadia. He teaches all those who come later to him, the art of making huts, growing acorn, and sewing tunics.
THUS BEGAN CIVILIZATION.
The Homeric Myth: An Adaptation?
The world in this myth is known by the name Tethys and is girdled by Oceanus and this goes on to create all Gods and all living creatures. Tethys is the mother of all children.
Note the similarities between the previous myth and this one. The roles of Eurynome and Ophion and Tethys and Oceanus are quite identical. Some Historians say that the Homeric myth is a version of the Pelasgian creation myth.
In coming so far, we have made it halfway through the major Greek creation myths. So catch up with us in the second part and let’s explore what more stories do this ancient world has to tell us.
Meanwhile, if you would like to read about historical rulers and warriors, check out our history blog.