Eleusis is a town and municipality in West Attica, Greece. It is situated about 18 kilometres northwest from the centre of Athens, it is located at the northernmost end of the Saronic Gulf. North of Eleusis are Magoula, while Aspropyrgos is to the northeast. Eleusis is the seat of administration of West Attica regional unit, it is the birthplace of Aeschylus. Today, Eleusis is a major industrial centre, with the largest oil refinery in Greece as well as the home of the Aeschylia Festival, the longest-lived arts event in the Attica Region. On 11 November 2016 Eleusis was named the European Capital of Culture for 2021; the word Eleusis first appears at the Orphic hymn «Δήμητρος Ελευσινίας, θυμίαμα στύρακα». Hesychius of Alexandria reports that the older name for Eleusis was Saesara. Saesara was the mythic daughter of Celeus and granddaughter of Eleusinus, the first settler of Eleusis; the municipality Elefsina was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of the following two former municipalities, that became municipal units: Elefsina MagoulaThe municipality has an area of 36.589 km2, the municipal unit 18.455 km2.
Eleusis was a deme of ancient Attica, belonging to the phyle Hippothoöntis. It owed its celebrity to its being the chief seat of the worship of Demeter and Persephone, to the mysteries celebrated in honour of these goddesses, which were called the Eleusinia, continued to be regarded as the most sacred of all the Grecian mysteries down to the fall of paganism. Eleusis stood upon a height at a short distance from the sea, opposite the island of Salamis, its situation possessed three natural advantages. It was on the road from Athens to the Isthmus of Corinth; the town itself dates from the most ancient times. It appears to have derived its name from the supposed advent of Demeter, though some traced its name from an eponymous hero Eleusis, it was one of the 12 independent states into which Attica was said to have been divided. It was related that in the reign of Eumolpus, king of Eleusis, Erechtheus, king of Athens, there was a war between the two states, in which the Eleusinians were defeated, whereupon they agreed to acknowledge the supremacy of Athens in every thing except the celebration of the mysteries, of which they were to continue to have the management.
Eleusis afterwards became an Attic deme, but in consequence of its sacred character it was allowed to retain the title of polis and to coin its own money, a privilege possessed by no other town in Attica, except Athens. The history of Eleusis is part of the history of Athens. Once a year the great Eleusinian procession travelled from Athens along the Sacred Way. Eleusis was the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, or the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore, which became popular in the Greek speaking world as early as 600 BC, attracted initiates during Roman Empire before declining mid-late 4th century AD; these Mysteries revolved around a belief that there was a hope for life after death for those who were initiated. Such a belief was cultivated from the introduction ceremony in which the hopeful initiates were shown a number of things including the seed of life in a stalk of grain; the central myth of the Mysteries was Demeter's quest for her lost daughter, abducted by Hades. It was here that Demeter, disguised as an old lady, abducted by pirates in Crete, came to an old well where the four daughters of the local king Keleos and his queen Metaneira found her and took her to their palace to nurse the son of Keleos and Metaneira, Demophoon.
Demeter raised Demophoon, anointing him with nectar and ambrosia, until Metaneira found out and insulted her. Demeter arose insulted, casting off her disguise, and, in all her glory, instructed Meteneira to build a temple to her. Keleos, informed the next morning by Metaneira, ordered the citizens to build a rich shrine to Demeter, where she sat in her temple until the lot of the world prayed to Zeus to make the world provide food again. During the Greco-Persian Wars, the ancient temple of Demeter at Eleusis was burnt by the Persians in 484 BC; when the power of the Thirty Tyrants was overthrown after the Peloponnesian War, they retired to Eleusis, which they had secured beforehand, but where they maintained themselves for only a short time. Under the Romans Eleusis enjoyed great prosperity, as initiation into its mysteries became fashionable among the Roman nobles, it was destroyed by Alaric I in 396 CE, from that time disappears from history. Pausanias has left us only a brief description of Eleusis.
They say that the Rharian plain was the first place in which corn was sown and first produced a harvest, that hence barley from this plain is employed for making sacrificial cakes. There the so-called threshing-floor and altar of Triptolemus are shown; the things within the wall of the Hierum a dream forbade me to describe."The Rharian plain is mentioned in the Homeric Hymn to Artemis.
Lake Copais spelled Kopais or Kopaida, was a lake in the centre of Boeotia, west of Thebes. It was drained in the late 19th century; the area where it was located, is still known as Kopaida. A one-time island in the lake was modified in ancient times into a megalithic citadel, now called Gla, though its ancient name is not known, it may be the city of Arne mentioned by Homer. When the lake existed, the towns of Haliartus and Chaeronea were on its shores. Rivers feeding the lake included the Cephissus and Triton; the lake was surrounded by fertile land, but the lake encroached on the surrounding land because of inadequate drainage. In response to this, in 1867–1887 Scots and French engineers reclaimed the land for the British Lake Copais Company, by building channels to drain water from the lake to the Cephissus and from there to Lake Yliki. In total about 200 square kilometres were reclaimed; this land was returned to the Greek government in 1952. The Kopais Lake Agency was created in 1957 to supervise the draining of the lake and building of a new road.
The task was completed that same year, but the agency with full-time staff of 30 still existed until 2010. Before this the lake drained into the sea by numerous subterranean channels; some of these channels were artificial. Modern excavation has found enormous channels dug in the 14th century BCE which drained water into the sea to the northeast. Homer and other ancient authors refer to Copais as the "Cephisian lake", named for the river Cephissus. Strabo, argues that the poetic expression refers to the smaller Lake Hylice, between Thebes and Anthedon. There was a legend that the lake came into being when the hero Heracles flooded the area by digging out a river, the Cephissus, which poured into the basin. Polyaenus explains that he did this because he was fighting the Minyans of Orchomenus: they were dangerous horseback fighters, Heracles dug the lake in order to unhorse them. Another story has the lake overflow in the mythical time of Ogyges, resulting in the Ogygian deluge; the travel writer Pausanias and the 5th century BCE comic playwright Aristophanes record that in antiquity Lake Copais was known for its fish the eels.
Ghembaza, Therese. "The Mysteries of Lake Copias and the Island of Gla". Therese Ghembaza. Strabo. "Geography". Perseus website. See 9.2.16-27 Pausanias. "Description of Greece". Perseus website. Google Earth air view of the Lake Copais plain Google Earth ground view across the Lake Copais plain from the south Google Earth ground view across the Lake Copais plain from the eastWikimedia Commons
Noah's Ark is the vessel in the Genesis flood narrative through which God spares Noah, his family, examples of all the world's animals from a world-engulfing flood. The story in Genesis is repeated, with variations, in the Quran, where the ark appears as Safina Nūḥ. Searches for Noah's Ark have been made from at least the time of Eusebius, believers in the Ark continue to search for it in modern times. Many searches have been mounted for the ark, but no confirmable physical proof of the ark has been found. There is no scientific evidence that Noah's Ark existed as it is described in the Bible, nor is there evidence in the geologic record for the biblical global flood; the structure of the ark are homologous with Temple worship. Accordingly, Noah's instructions are given to him by God: the ark is to be 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, 30 cubits high; these dimensions are based on a numerological preoccupation with the number sixty, the same number characterising the vessel of the Babylonian flood-hero.
Its three internal divisions reflect the three-part universe imagined by the ancient Israelites: heaven, the earth, the underworld. Each deck is the same height as the Temple in Jerusalem, itself a microcosmic model of the universe, each is three times the area of the court of the tabernacle, leading to the suggestion that the author saw both ark and tabernacle as serving for the preservation of human life, it has a door in the side, a tsohar, which may be either a roof or a skylight. It is to be made of Gopher wood a word which appears nowhere else in the Bible - and divided into qinnim, a word which always refers to birds' nests elsewhere in the Bible, leading some scholars to emend this to qanim, reeds; the finished vessel is to be smeared with koper, meaning pitch or bitumen: in Hebrew the two words are related, kaparta... bakopper. For well over a century scholars have recognised that the Bible's story of Noah's ark is based on older Mesopotamian models; because all these flood stories deal with events that happened at the dawn of history, they give the impression that the myths themselves must come from primitive origins, but the myth of the global flood that destroys all life only begins to appear in the Old Babylonian period.
The reasons for this emergence of the typical Mesopotamian flood myth may have been bound up with the specific circumstances of the end of the Third Dynasty of Ur around 2004 BCE and the restoration of order by the First Dynasty of Isin. There are nine known versions of the Mesopotamian flood story, each more or less adapted from an earlier version. In the oldest version, inscribed in the Sumerian city of Nippur c.1600 BCE, the hero is King Ziusudra. This is known as the Sumerian Flood Story and derives from an earlier version; the Ziusudra version tells how he rescues life when the gods decide to destroy it. This remains the basic plot for several subsequent heroes, including Noah. Ziusudra's Sumerian name means "He of long life". In Babylonian versions his name is Atrahasis. In the Atrahasis version, the flood is a river flood; the version closest to the biblical story of Noah, as well as its most source, is that of Utnapishtim in the Epic of Gilgamesh. The most complete text of Utnapishtim's story is a clay tablet dating from the 7th century BCE, but fragments of the story have been found from as far back as the 19th century BCE.
The last known version of the Mesopotamian flood story was written in Greek in the 3rd century BCE by a Babylonian priest named Berossus. From the fragments that survive, it seems little changed from the versions of two thousand years before; the parallels between Noah's Ark and the arks of Babylonian flood-heroes Atrahasis and Utnapishtim have been noted. Atrahasis' ark was circular, resembling an enormous quffa, had one or two decks. Utnapishtim's ark was a cube and had six decks with seven compartments on each, each divided into nine subcompartments. Noah's Ark had three decks. There is believed to be a linear progression from circular to square to rectangular; the most striking similarity is the near-identical deck areas of the three arks: 14,400 cubits2, 14,400 cubits2, 15,000 cubits2 for Atrahasis', Utnapishtim's, Noah's ark, respectively. This has led professor Finkel to conclude that "the iconic story of the Flood and the Ark as we know it today originated in the landscape of ancient Mesopotamia, modern Iraq."Linguistic parallels between Noah's ark and the ark of the Babylonian flood-hero Atrahasis have been noted.
The word used for "pitch" in Genesis is not the normal Hebrew word, but is related to the word used in the Babylonian story. The Hebrew word for "ark" is nearly identical to the Babylonian word for an oblong boat given that "v" and "b" are the same letter in Hebrew: bet. However, the causes for God/gods having sent the flood differ. In the Hebrew myth the flood comes as God's judgment on a wicked humanity. In the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, the reasons are not given and the flood appears to be the result of the caprice of the gods. In the Atrahasis version of the Babylonian flood story, the flood was sent by the gods to reduce human over-population, after the flood, other measures were introduced to prevent the problem recurring. There is consensus among scholars that the Torah wa
An ocean is a body of water that composes much of a planet's hydrosphere. On Earth, an ocean is one of the major conventional divisions of the World Ocean; these are, in descending order by area, the Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans. The word "ocean" is used interchangeably with "sea" in American English. Speaking, a sea is a body of water or enclosed by land, though "the sea" refers to the oceans. Saline water covers 361,000,000 km2 and is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas, with the ocean covering 71% of Earth's surface and 90% of the Earth's biosphere; the ocean contains 97% of Earth's water, oceanographers have stated that less than 5% of the World Ocean has been explored. The total volume is 1.35 billion cubic kilometers with an average depth of nearly 3,700 meters. As the world ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, it is integral to life, forms part of the carbon cycle, influences climate and weather patterns; the World Ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but because much of it is unexplored, the number of species that exist in the ocean is much larger over two million.
The origin of Earth's oceans is unknown. Extraterrestrial oceans may be composed of water or other compounds; the only confirmed large stable bodies of extraterrestrial surface liquids are the lakes of Titan, although there is evidence for the existence of oceans elsewhere in the Solar System. Early in their geologic histories and Venus are theorized to have had large water oceans; the Mars ocean hypothesis suggests that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was once covered by water, a runaway greenhouse effect may have boiled away the global ocean of Venus. Compounds such as salts and ammonia dissolved in water lower its freezing point so that water might exist in large quantities in extraterrestrial environments as brine or convecting ice. Unconfirmed oceans are speculated beneath the surface of natural satellites; the Solar System's giant planets are thought to have liquid atmospheric layers of yet to be confirmed compositions. Oceans may exist on exoplanets and exomoons, including surface oceans of liquid water within a circumstellar habitable zone.
Ocean planets are a hypothetical type of planet with a surface covered with liquid. The word ocean comes from the figure in classical antiquity, the elder of the Titans in classical Greek mythology, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of the sea, an enormous river encircling the world; the concept of Ōkeanós has an Indo-European connection. Greek Ōkeanós has been compared to the Vedic epithet ā-śáyāna-, predicated of the dragon Vṛtra-, who captured the cows/rivers. Related to this notion, the Okeanos is represented with a dragon-tail on some early Greek vases. Though described as several separate oceans, the global, interconnected body of salt water is sometimes referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean; the concept of a continuous body of water with free interchange among its parts is of fundamental importance to oceanography. The major oceanic divisions – listed below in descending order of area and volume – are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, other criteria.
Oceans are fringed by smaller, adjoining bodies of water such as seas, bays and straits. The mid-ocean ridges of the world are connected and form a single global mid-oceanic ridge system, part of every ocean and the longest mountain range in the world; the continuous mountain range is 65,000 km long. The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1.4 quintillion metric tons, about 0.023% of Earth's total mass. Less than 3% is freshwater; the area of the World Ocean is about 361.9 million square kilometers, which covers about 70.9% of Earth's surface, its volume is 1.335 billion cubic kilometers. This can be thought of as a cube of water with an edge length of 1,101 kilometers, its average depth is about 3,688 meters, its maximum depth is 10,994 meters at the Mariana Trench. Nearly half of the world's marine waters are over 3,000 meters deep; the vast expanses of deep ocean cover about 66% of Earth's surface. This does not include seas not connected to the World Ocean, such as the Caspian Sea; the bluish ocean color is a composite of several contributing agents.
Prominent contributors include dissolved organic chlorophyll. Mariners and other seafarers have reported that the ocean emits a visible glow which extends for miles at night. In 2005, scientists announced that for the first time, they had obtained photographic evidence of this glow, it is most caused by bioluminescence. Oceanographers divide the ocean into different vertical zones defined by physical and biological conditions; the pelagic zone includes all open ocean regions, can be divided into further regions categorized by depth and light abundance. The photic zone includes the oceans from the surface to a depth of
Titus Flavius Josephus, born Yosef ben Matityahu, was a first-century Romano-Jewish historian, born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry. He fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 CE to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor's family name of Flavius. Flavius Josephus defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship, he became an advisor and friend of Vespasian's son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the city's destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod's Temple soon followed.
Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish Antiquities of the Jews; the Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Greek and Roman audience; these works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.. Born into one of Jerusalem's elite families, Josephus introduces himself in Greek as Iōsēpos, son of Matthias, an ethnic Jewish priest, he was the second-born son of Matthias. His older full-blooded brother was called Matthias, their mother was an aristocratic woman who descended from the royal and ruling Hasmonean dynasty. Josephus's paternal grandparents were Josephus and his wife—an unnamed Hebrew noblewoman, distant relatives of each other and direct descendants of Simon Psellus. Josephus's family was wealthy.
He descended through his father from the priestly order of the Jehoiarib, the first of the 24 orders of priests in the Temple in Jerusalem. Josephus was a descendant of the high priest Jonathon, he was educated alongside his brother. In his early twenties, he traveled to negotiate with Emperor Nero for the release of 12 Jewish priests. Upon his return to Jerusalem, at the outbreak of the First Jewish–Roman War, Josephus was appointed the military governor of Galilee, but he strove with John of Gischala over the control of Galilee, who like Josephus, had amassed to himself a large band of supporters from Gischala and Gabara, including the support of the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. Josephus fortified several towns and villages in Galilee, among which were Tiberias, Bersabe and Tarichaea, in anticipation of a Roman onslaught, resisted the Roman army in its siege of Yodfat until it fell to the Roman army in the lunar month of Tammuz, in the thirteenth year of Nero's reign. After the Jewish garrison of Yodfat fell under siege, the Romans invaded.
According to Josephus, he was trapped in a cave with 40 of his companions in July 67 CE. The Romans asked the group to surrender. Josephus suggested a method of collective suicide. Two men were left, who became prisoners. In 69 CE, Josephus was released. According to his account, he acted as a negotiator with the defenders during the Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE, in which his parents and first wife died. While being confined at Yodfat, Josephus claimed to have experienced a divine revelation that led to his speech predicting Vespasian would become emperor. After the prediction came true, he was released by Vespasian, who considered his gift of prophecy to be divine. Josephus wrote that his revelation had taught him three things: that God, the creator of the Jewish people, had decided to "punish" them. To many Jews, such claims were self-serving. In 71 CE, he went to Rome in the entourage of Titus, becoming a Roman citizen and client of the ruling Flavian dynasty. In addition to Roman citizenship, he was granted accommodation in a pension.
While in Rome and under Flavian patronage, Josephus wrote all of his known works. Although he uses "Josephus", he appears to have taken the Roman praenomen Titus and nomen Flavius from his patrons. Vespasian arranged for Josephus to marry a captured Jewish woman, whom he divorced. About 71 CE, Josephus married an Alexandrian Jewish woman as his third wife, they had three sons. Josephus divorced his third wife. Around 75 CE, he married his fourth wife, a Greek Jewish woman from Crete, a member of a distinguished family, they had two sons, Flavius Justus and Flavius Simonides Agrippa. Josephus's life story remains ambiguous, he was described by Harris in 1985 as a law-observant Jew who believed in the com
Thebes is a city in Boeotia, central Greece. It played an important role in Greek myths, as the site of the stories of Cadmus, Oedipus and others. Archaeological excavations in and around Thebes have revealed a Mycenaean settlement and clay tablets written in the Linear B script, indicating the importance of the site in the Bronze Age. Thebes was the largest city of the ancient region of Boeotia and was the leader of the Boeotian confederacy, it was a major rival of ancient Athens, sided with the Persians during the 480 BC invasion under Xerxes. Theban forces under the command of Epaminondas ended the power of Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC; the Sacred Band of Thebes famously fell at the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC against Philip II and Alexander the Great. Prior to its destruction by Alexander in 335 BC, Thebes was a major force in Greek history, was the most dominant city-state at the time of the Macedonian conquest of Greece. During the Byzantine period, the city was famous for its silks.
The modern city contains an Archaeological Museum, the remains of the Cadmea, scattered ancient remains. Modern Thebes is the largest town of the regional unit of Boeotia. Thebes is situated in a plain, between Lake Yliki to the north, the Cithaeron mountains, which divide Boeotia from Attica, to the south, its elevation is 215 metres above mean sea level. It is about 50 kilometres northwest of Athens, 100 kilometres southeast of Lamia. Motorway 1 and the Athens–Thessaloniki railway connect Thebes with Athens and northern Greece; the municipality of Thebes covers an area of 830.112 square kilometres, the municipal unit of Thebes 321.015 square kilometres and the community 143.889 square kilometres. In 2011, as a consequence of the Kallikratis reform, Thebes was merged with Plataies and Vagia to form a larger municipality, which retained the name Thebes; the other three become units of the larger municipality. The record of the earliest days of Thebes was preserved among the Greeks in an abundant mass of legends that rival the myths of Troy in their wide ramification and the influence that they exerted on the literature of the classical age.
Five main cycles of story may be distinguished: The foundation of the citadel Cadmea by Cadmus, the growth of the Spartoi or "Sown Men". The immolation of Semele and the advent of Dionysus; the building of a "seven-gated" wall by Amphion, the cognate stories of Zethus and Dirce. The tale of Laius, whose misdeeds culminated in the tragedy of Oedipus and the wars of the "Seven Against Thebes", the Epigoni, the downfall of his house. See Theban pederasty and Pederasty in ancient Greece for detailed discussion and background; the exploits of Heracles. The Greeks attributed the foundation of Thebes to Cadmus, a Phoenician king from Tyre and the brother of Queen Europa. Cadmus was famous for teaching the Phoenician alphabet and building the Acropolis, named the Cadmeia in his honor and was an intellectual and cultural center. Archaeological excavations in and around Thebes have revealed cist graves dated to Mycenaean times containing weapons and tablets written in Linear B, its attested name forms and relevant terms on tablets found locally or elsewhere include, te-qa-i, understood to be read as *Tʰēgʷai̮s, te-qa-de, for *Tʰēgʷasde, and, te-qa-ja, for *Tʰēgʷaja.
It seems safe to infer that *Tʰēgʷai was one of the first Greek communities to be drawn together within a fortified city, that it owed its importance in prehistoric days — as — to its military strength. Deger-Jalkotzy claimed that the statue base from Kom el-Hetan in Amenhotep III's kingdom mentions a name similar to Thebes, spelled out quasi-syllabically in hieroglyphs as d-q-e-i-s, considered to be one of four tj-n3-jj kingdoms worthy of note. *Tʰēgʷai in LHIIIB lost contact with Egypt but gained it with "Miletus" and "Cyprus". In the late LHIIIB, according to Palaima, *Tʰēgʷai was able to pull resources from Lamos near Mount Helicon, from Karystos and Amarynthos on the Greek side of the isle of Euboia; as a fortified community, it attracted attention from the invading Dorians, the fact of their eventual conquest of Thebes lies behind the stories of the successive legendary attacks on that city. The central position and military security of the city tended to raise it to a commanding position among the Boeotians, from early days its inhabitants endeavoured to establish a complete supremacy over their kinsmen in the outlying towns.
This centralizing policy is as much the cardinal fact of Theban history as the counteracting effort of the smaller towns to resist absorption forms the main chapter of the story of Boeotia. No details of the earlier history of Thebes have been preserved, except that it was governed by a land-holding aristocracy who safeguarded their integrity by rigid statutes about the ownership of property and its transmission over time; as attested in Homer's Iliad, Thebes was o
Oceanus known as Ogenus or Ogen, was a divine figure in classical antiquity, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of the sea, an enormous river encircling the world. R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *-kay-an-. In contrast, Michael Janda has reminded the scientific community of an earlier comparison of the Vedic dragon Vṛtra's attribute āśáyāna- "lying on " and Greek Ὠκεανός, which he sees as phonetical equivalents of each other, both stemming from a Proto-Indo-European root *ō-kei-ṃno- "lying on", related to Greek κεῖσθαι. Janda furthermore points to early depictions of Okeanos with a snake's body, which seem to confirm the mythological parallel with the Vedic dragon Vṛtra. Another parallel naming can be found in Greek ποταμός and Old English fæðm "embrace, fathom", notably attested in the Old English poem Helena as dracan fæðme "embrace of the dragon" and is furthermore related to Old Norse Faðmir or Fáfnir the well-known name of a dragon in the 13th century Völsunga saga.
According to Homer, Oceanus was the ocean-stream at the margin of the habitable world, the father of everything, limiting it from the underworld and flowing around the Elysium. Hence Odysseus has to traverse it. In the Iliad, Hera mentions her intended journey to her foster parents, namely "Oceanus, from whom they all are sprung": Helios rises from the deep-flowing Oceanus in the east and at the end of the day sinks back into the Oceanus in the west; the other stars "bathe in the stream of Ocean". Oceanus is called βαθύρροος and ἀψόρροος, the latter quality being reflected in its depiction on the shield of Achilles: In Greek mythology, this ocean-stream was personified as a Titan, the eldest son of Uranus and Gaia. Oceanus' consort is his sister Tethys, from their union came the ocean nymphs referred to as the three-thousand Oceanids, all the rivers of the world and lakes. In most variations of the war between the Titans and the Olympians, or Titanomachy, along with Prometheus and Themis, did not take the side of his fellow Titans against the Olympians, but instead withdrew from the conflict.
In most variations of this myth, Oceanus refused to side with Cronus in the latter's revolt against their father, Uranus. He is, it appears, some sort of an outlaw to the society of Gods, as he does not—and unlike all the other river gods, his sons—take part in the convention of gods on Mount Olympus. Besides, Oceanus appears as a representative of the archaic world that Heracles threatened and bested; as such, the Suda identifies Oceanus and Tethys as the parents of the two Kerkopes, whom Heracles bested. Heracles forced Helios to lend him his golden bowl, in order to cross the wide expanse of the Ocean on his trip to the Hesperides; when Oceanus tossed the bowl about, Heracles stilled his waves. The journey of Heracles in the sun-bowl upon Oceanus became a favored theme among painters of Attic pottery. In Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, this Titan was depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and horns and the lower body of a serpent. On a fragmentary archaic vessel of circa 580 BC, among the gods arriving at the wedding of Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis, is a fish-tailed Oceanus, with a fish in one hand and a serpent in the other, gifts of bounty and prophecy.
In Roman mosaics, such as that from Bardo, he might cradle a ship. Oceanus appears in Hellenic cosmography as well as myth. Both Homer and Hesiod refer to Okeanós Potamós, the "Ocean Stream"; when Odysseus and Nestor walk together along the shore of the sounding sea they address their prayers "to the great Sea-god who girdles the world". Cartographers continued to represent the encircling equatorial stream much as it had appeared on Achilles' shield. Herodotus was skeptical about the physical existence of Oceanus and rejected the reasoning—proposed by some of his coevals—according to which the uncommon phenomenon of the summerly Nile flood was caused by the river's connection to the mighty Oceanus. Speaking about the Oceanus myth itself he declared: As for the writer who attributes the phenomenon to the ocean, his account is involved in such obscurity that it is impossible to disprove it by argument. For my part I know of no river called Ocean, I think that Homer, or one of the earlier poets, invented the name, introduced it into his poetry.
Some scholars believe that Oceanus represented all bodies of salt water, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the two largest bodies known to the ancient Greeks. However, as geography became more accurate, Oceanus came to represent the stranger, more unknown waters of the Atlantic Ocean, while the newcomer of a generation, ruled over the Mediterranean Sea. Late attestations for an equation with the Black Sea abound, the cause being – as it appears – Odysseus' travel to the Cimmerians whose fatherland, lying beyond the Oceanus, is described as a country divested from sunlight. In the fourth century BC, Hecataeus of Abdera writes that the Oceanus of the Hyperboreans is neither the Arctic nor Western Ocea