Mythology Monday: Children of the Night: Of Nightmares and Doom

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You know how in a LOT of Greek myths the bad guys learn this horrible prophecy of their death by some small child and go out of their way to kill said small child, but actually end up forging small child into big hero? That’s thanks to Moros, child of the night (Nyx). Moros is the personification of doom, specifically the sense of impending doom that leads men to take drastic actions that actually lead them to their doomed fate. Also, he’s the god of depression. He was balanced by the spirit of hope, Elpis, the only good thing in Pandora’s box.

Moros often worked through the Oneiroi, the personification of dreams. But what about Morpheus you ask? Well, he’s sometimes described as one of the Oneiroi or even the leaders of the Oneiroi. See, the Oneiroi were not humanoid. Often described as black winged demons, or bat like creatures, the Oneiroi would pour out of Erebos, the land of eternal darkness beyond the rising sun in the dark of the night. The Oneiroi passed through one of two gates (pylai). The first of these, made of horn, was the source of the prophetic god-sent dreams, while the other, constructed of ivory, was the source of dreams which were false and without meaning. The term for nightmare was melas oneiros or the black dream, which makes me think of the Oni from teen-wolf, but that’s Japanese mythology.

There were three notable Oneiroi. Morpheus, who would appear as a man in the dreams of kings and could present human images; Icelos or Phobetor, who could grant visions of animals; and Phantasos, who could bring images of elements.

The Oneiroi were either the son of Nyx alone, Nyx and Erebus, Gaia, or a son of Hypnos. In the Illiad, Oneiroi is sent by Zeus to visit the dreams of Agamemnon to plant the seeds of war. So, basically, the Trojan War began thanks to inception.

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2 thoughts on “Mythology Monday: Children of the Night: Of Nightmares and Doom

  1. Pingback: Mythology Monday: Pandora’s Box | Kaitlin Bevis

  2. Pingback: Mythology Monday: Chthonic Deities | Kaitlin Bevis

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