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"Titaness of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky
Member of the "Titans
""Pergamonmuseum - Antikensammlung - Pergamonaltar 32.jpg
In the frieze of the "Great Altar of Pergamon (Berlin), the goddess who fights at Helios' back is conjectured to be Theia[1]
Other names "Euryphaessa, "Aethra (probably)
Personal information
Consort "Hyperion
Offspring "Helios, "Selene, "Eos
Parents "Gaia and "Uranus

In "Greek mythology, Theia ("/ˈθə/; "Ancient Greek: Θεία, "translit. Theía, also rendered Thea or Thia), also called Euryphaessa "wide-shining", is a "Titaness. Her brother/consort is "Hyperion, a Titan and god of the "sun, and together they are the "parents of "Helios (the Sun), "Selene (the Moon), and "Eos (the Dawn).



The name Theia alone means simply "goddess" or "divine"; Theia Euryphaessa (Θεία Εὐρυφάεσσα) brings overtones of extent (εὐρύς, eurys, "wide", root: εὐρυ-/εὐρε-) and brightness (φάος, phaos, "light", root: φαεσ-).


Earliest account[edit]

"Hesiod's "Theogony gives her an equally primal origin, said to be the eldest daughter of "Gaia (Earth) and "Uranus (Sky).[2] "Robert Graves also relates that later Theia is referred to as the cow-eyed "Euryphaessa who gave birth to "Helios in myths dating to "Classical Antiquity.[3][4]

Later myths[edit]

Once paired in later myths with her Titan brother "Hyperion as her husband, "mild-eyed Euryphaessa, the far-shining one" of the "Homeric Hymn to Helios, was said to be the mother of "Helios (the Sun), "Selene (the Moon), and "Eos (the Dawn).

"Pindar praises Theia in his Fifth "Isthmian ode:

"Mother of the Sun, Theia of many names, for your sake men honor gold as more powerful than anything else; and through the value you bestow on them, o queen, ships contending on the sea and yoked teams of horses in swift-whirling contests become marvels."

She seems here a goddess of glittering in particular and of glory in general, but Pindar's allusion to her as "Theia of many names" is telling, since it suggests assimilation, referring not only to similar mother-of-the-sun goddesses such as "Phoebe and "Leto, but perhaps also to more universalizing "mother-figures such as "Rhea and "Cybele.


Hyperion's family tree [5]
"Uranus "Gaia "Pontus
"Oceanus "Tethys "Hyperion THEIA "Crius "Eurybia
The "Rivers The "Oceanids "Helios "Selene [6] "Eos "Astraeus "Pallas "Perses
"Cronus "Rhea "Coeus "Phoebe
"Hestia "Hera "Poseidon "Zeus "Leto "Asteria
"Demeter "Hades "Apollo "Artemis "Hecate
"Iapetus "Clymene (or "Asia[7] "Themis (Zeus) "Mnemosyne
"Atlas [8] "Menoetius "Prometheus [9] "Epimetheus The "Horae The "Muses

Theia in the sciences[edit]

Theia's mythological role as the mother of the Moon goddess "Selene is alluded to in the application of the name to a "hypothetical planet which, according to the "giant impact hypothesis, collided with the "Earth, resulting in the Moon's creation.

Theia's alternate name Euryphaessa has been adopted for a species of Australian leafhoppers "Dayus euryphaessa (Kirkaldy, 1907).

A Theia figure has been found at the "Necropolis of Cyrene.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ M.M. Honan, Guide to the Pergamon Museum, Berlin 1904, etc.
  2. ^ "Hesiod, Theogony, 132.
  3. ^ "Graves, Robert, The Greek Myths, 42.a
  4. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 371; of "cow-eyed, "Karl Kerenyi observes that "these names recall such names as "Europa and "Pasiphae, or Pasiphaessa—names of moon-goddesses who were associated with "bulls. In the mother of Helios we can recognize the moon-goddess, just as in his father "Hyperion we can recognise the sun-god himself" (Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks, 1951, p. 192).
  5. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony 132–138, 337–411, 453–520, 901–906, 915–920; Caldwell, pp. 8–11, tables 11–14.
  6. ^ Although usually the daughter of Hyperion and Theia, as in "Hesiod, "Theogony 371–374, in the "Homeric Hymn to Hermes (4), 99–100, Selene is instead made the daughter of Pallas the son of Megamedes.
  7. ^ According to "Hesiod, "Theogony 507–511, Clymene, one of the "Oceanids, the daughters of "Oceanus and "Tethys, at "Hesiod, "Theogony 351, was the mother by Iapetus of Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus, while according to "Apollodorus, 1.2.3, another Oceanid, Asia was their mother by Iapetus.
  8. ^ According to "Plato, "Critias, 113d–114a, Atlas was the son of "Poseidon and the mortal "Cleito.
  9. ^ In "Aeschylus, "Prometheus Bound 18, 211, 873 (Sommerstein, pp. 444–445 n. 2, 446–447 n. 24, 538–539 n. 113) Prometheus is made to be the son of "Themis.
  10. ^ Joyce Reynolds and James Copland Thorn (2005). "Cyrene's Thea figure discovered in the Necropolis". Libyan Studies. "doi:10.1017/S0263718900005525. 


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