In every belief system there is a beginning. Unless there isn’t which I still can’t wrap my brain around because it’s literally beyond my imagination and makes my head hurt when I try to think of it. But people still write a beginning. In Christianity the beginning comes when God creates our world. In Norse mythology the beginning also comes when our world is created – more or less. I’m simplifying to the extreme for that one.
In Ancient Greek mythology the beginning seems to coincide more with the Big Bang Theory.
*NOTE: There are different versions of the creation myth in Greek mythology. I’ve taken one. Wikipedia is a good place to find the others.*
In the beginning there was Chaos and Chaos was nothing. From Chaos came four primordial deities (the protogenoi). These were Gaia, Tartarus, Nyx, and Erebus.
Gaia became the earth while Tartarus became the black pit that exists below the Underworld. The worst of the wicked are sent to Tartarus for an eternity of torture. Erebus became the darkness while Nyx represented the night.
While Tartarus seems to lose his god-like presence to become a place, and Erebus seems likewise to become darkness, Gaia and Nyx retain their goddess status. Although Nyx is mentioned rarely, it’s implied she’s incredibly powerful – so much so that Zeus is reluctant to cross her. Gaia plays an important part in the time of the Titans though when the Olympians take over she fades into the background as the earth.
- Chaos – what existed before the beginning of time
Protogenoi (primordial gods):
- Gaia – Mother Earth
- Tartarus – Pit under the Underworld
- Nyx – Night
- Erebus – Darkness
There’s a lot more to the beginning of creation in Greek mythology than what I’ve written but this is the short and simple version. I only wanted to throw out names and some basic info about them, not give an hour-long lecture.