In ancient Greek religion, Phoebe was one of the first generation of Titans, who were one set of sons and daughters of Uranus and Gaia. Phoebe is a Titaness whose consort was her brother Coeus, with whom she had two daughters, who bore Apollo and Artemis, Asteria, a star-goddess who bore an only daughter, Hecate. Given the meaning of her name and her association with the Delphic oracle, Phoebe was seen as the Titan goddess of prophecy and oracular intellect. Through Leto, Phoebe was the grandmother of Artemis; the names Phoebe and Phoebus came to be applied as synonyms for Apollo respectively. According to a speech, that Aeschylus in The Eumenides puts in the mouth of the Delphic priestess herself, Phoebe received control of the Oracle at Delphi from Themis: "Phoebe in this succession seems to be his private invention," D. S. Robertson noted, reasoning that in the three great allotments of oracular powers at Delphi, corresponding to the three generations of the gods, "Ouranos, as was fitting, gave the oracle to his wife Gaia and Kronos appropriately allotted it to his sister Themis."
In Zeus' turn to make the gift, Robertson speculates, Aeschylus could not report that the oracle was given directly to Apollo, who had not yet been born, thus Phoebe was interposed. These supposed male delegations of the powers at Delphi as expressed by Aeschylus are not borne out by the usual modern reconstruction of the sacred site's pre-Olympian history. Aeschylus, Persians. Seven against Thebes. Suppliants. Prometheus Bound. Edited and translated by Alan H. Sommerstein. Loeb Classical Library No. 145. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-674-99627-4. Online version at Harvard University Press. Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F. B. A. F. R. S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Caldwell, Hesiod's Theogony, Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Company. ISBN 978-0-941051-00-2. Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Massachusetts.
Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Homeric Hymn to Hermes, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Massachusetts. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Robertson, D. S. "The Delphian Succession in the Opening of the Eumenides" The Classical Review 55.2. JSTOR 703888
Chaos refers to the void state preceding the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths, or to the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth. Greek χάος means "emptiness, vast void, abyss", from the verb χαίνω, "gape, be wide open, etc.", from Proto-Indo-European *ǵheh2n-, cognate to Old English geanian, "to gape", whence English yawn. It may mean space, the expanse of air, the nether abyss or infinite darkness. Pherecydes of Syros interprets chaos like something formless which can be differentiated. Hesiod and the Pre-Socratics use the Greek term in the context of cosmogony. Hesiod's chaos has been interpreted as either "the gaping void above the Earth created when Earth and Sky are separated from their primordial unity" or "the gaping space below the Earth on which Earth rests". In Hesiod's Theogony, Chaos was the first thing to exist: "at first Chaos came to be" but next came Gaia and Eros. Unambiguously "born" from Chaos were Nyx. For Hesiod, like Tartarus, though personified enough to have borne children, was a place, far away, underground and "gloomy", beyond which lived the Titans.
And, like the earth, the ocean, the upper air, it was capable of being affected by Zeus' thunderbolts. Passages in Hesiod's Theogony suggest that Chaos was located above Tartarus. Primal Chaos was sometimes said to be the true foundation of reality by philosophers such as Heraclitus; the notion of the temporal infinity was familiar to the Greek mind from remote antiquity in the religious conception of immortality. This idea of the divine as an origin influenced the first Greek philosophers; the main object of the first efforts to explain the world remained the description of its growth, from a beginning. They believed that the world arose out from a primal unity, that this substance was the permanent base of all its being. Anaximander claims that the origin is apeiron, a divine and perpetual substance less definite than the common elements. Everything is generated from apeiron, must return there according to necessity. A conception of the nature of the world was that the earth below its surface stretches down indefinitely and has its roots on or above Tartarus, the lower part of the underworld.
In a phrase of Xenophanes, "The upper limit of the earth borders near our feet. The lower limit reaches down to the "apeiron"." The sources and limits of the earth, the sea, the sky and all things are located in a great windy-gap, which seems to be infinite, is a specification of "chaos". In Aristophanes's comedy Birds, first there was Chaos, Night and Tartarus, from Night came Eros, from Eros and Chaos came the race of birds. At the beginning there was only Chaos, dark Erebus, deep Tartarus. Earth, the air and heaven had no existence. Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Erebus, from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Eros with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest, he mated in deep Tartarus with dark Chaos, winged like himself, thus hatched forth our race, the first to see the light. That of the Immortals did not exist until Eros had brought together all the ingredients of the world, from their marriage Heaven, Ocean and the imperishable race of blessed gods sprang into being.
Thus our origin is much older than that of the dwellers in Olympus. We are the offspring of Eros. We have wings and we lend assistance to lovers. How many handsome youths, who had sworn to remain insensible, have opened their thighs because of our power and have yielded themselves to their lovers when at the end of their youth, being led away by the gift of a quail, a waterfowl, a goose, or a cock. For Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, Chaos was an unformed mass, where all the elements were jumbled up together in a "shapeless heap". Ante mare et terras et quod tegit omnia caelum unus erat toto naturae vultus in orbe, quem dixere chaos: rudis indigestaque moles nec quicquam nisi pondus iners congestaque eodem non bene iunctarum discordia semina rerum. Before the ocean and the earth appeared— before the skies had overspread them all— the face of Nature in a vast expanse was naught but Chaos uniformly waste, it was a undeveloped mass, that nothing made except a ponderous weight. According to Hyginus: "From Mist came Chaos.
From Chaos and Mist, came Night, Day and Ether." An Orphic tradition had Chaos as the son of Chronus and Ananke. Fifth-century Orphic cosmogony had a "Womb of Darkness" in which the Wind lay a Cosmic Egg whence Eros was hatched, who set the universe in motion; the motif of Chaoskampf is ubiquitous in myth and legend, depicting a battle of a culture hero deity with a chaos monster in the shape of a serpent or dragon. The same term has been extended to parallel concepts in the Middle East and North Africa, such as the abstract conflict of ideas in the Egyptian duality of Maat and Isfet or the battle of Horus and Set; the origins of the Chaoskampf myth most lie in the Proto-Indo-European religion whose descendants all feature some variation of the story of a storm god fighting a sea serpent representing the clash between the forces of order and chaos. Early work by German academics such as Gunkel and Bousset in comparative mythology popularized translating
Sophocles is one of three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays have survived. His first plays were written than or contemporary with those of Aeschylus, earlier than or contemporary with those of Euripides. Sophocles wrote over 120 plays during the course of his life, but only seven have survived in a complete form: Ajax, Women of Trachis, Oedipus Rex, Electra and Oedipus at Colonus. For 50 years, Sophocles was the most celebrated playwright in the dramatic competitions of the city-state of Athens that took place during the religious festivals of the Lenaea and the Dionysia, he competed in 30 competitions, won 24, was never judged lower than second place. Aeschylus won 13 competitions, was sometimes defeated by Sophocles, while Euripides won four competitions; the most famous tragedies of Sophocles feature Oedipus and Antigone: they are known as the Theban plays, although each play was a part of a different tetralogy, the other members of which are now lost. Sophocles influenced the development of drama, most by adding a third actor, thereby reducing the importance of the chorus in the presentation of the plot.
He developed his characters to a greater extent than earlier playwrights such as Aeschylus. Sophocles, the son of Sophilus, was a wealthy member of the rural deme of Hippeios Colonus in Attica, to become a setting for one of his plays, he was born there. Sophocles was born a few years before the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC: the exact year is unclear, although 497/6 is the most likely. Sophocles was born into a wealthy family and was educated. Sophocles' first artistic triumph was in 468 BC, when he took first prize in the Dionysia theatre competition over the reigning master of Athenian drama, Aeschylus. According to Plutarch, the victory came under unusual circumstances. Instead of following the usual custom of choosing judges by lot, the archon asked Cimon and the other strategoi present to decide the victor of the contest. Plutarch further contends that following this loss Aeschylus soon left for Sicily. Although Plutarch says that this was Sophocles' first production, it is now thought that his first production was in 470 BC.
Triptolemus was one of the plays that Sophocles presented at this festival. In 480 BC Sophocles was chosen to lead the paean, celebrating the Greek victory over the Persians at the Battle of Salamis. Early in his career, the politician Cimon might have been one of his patrons, although if he was, there was no ill will borne by Pericles, Cimon's rival, when Cimon was ostracized in 461 BC. In 443/2 he served as one of the Hellenotamiai, or treasurers of Athena, helping to manage the finances of the city during the political ascendancy of Pericles. According to the Vita Sophoclis, in 441 BC he was elected one of the ten generals, executive officials at Athens, as a junior colleague of Pericles, he served in the Athenian campaign against Samos. In 420 BC, he welcomed and set up an altar for the image of Asclepius at his house, when the deity was introduced to Athens. For this, he was given the posthumous epithet Dexion by the Athenians, he was elected, in 413 BC, one of the commissioners who responded to the catastrophic destruction of the Athenian expeditionary force in Sicily during the Peloponnesian War.
Sophocles died at the age of ninety or ninety-one in the winter of 406/5 BC, having seen within his lifetime both the Greek triumph in the Persian Wars and the bloodletting of the Peloponnesian War. As with many famous men in classical antiquity, his death inspired a number of apocryphal stories; the most famous is the suggestion that he died from the strain of trying to recite a long sentence from his Antigone without pausing to take a breath. Another account suggests. A third holds. A few months a comic poet, in a play titled The Muses, wrote this eulogy: "Blessed is Sophocles, who had a long life, was a man both happy and talented, the writer of many good tragedies. According to some accounts, his own sons tried to have him declared incompetent near the end of his life. One of his sons, a grandson called Sophocles became playwrights. An ancient source, Athenaeus’s work Sophists at Dinner, contains references to Sophocles' homosexuality or bisexuality. In that work, a character named Myrtilus, in a lengthy banquet speech claims that Ion of Chios writes in his book Encounters, that Sophocles loved boys as much as Euripides loved women.
Myrtilus repeats an anecdote told by Ion of Chios that involves Sophocles flirting with a serving boy at a symposium. Myrtilus claims that in a work by Hieronymus of Rhodes entitled Historical Notes it is said that Sophocles once lured a boy outside to have sex, afterwards the boy left with Sophocles' cape, while the boy's own cape was left with Sophocles Among Sophocles' earliest innovations was the addition of a third actor, which further reduced the role of the chorus and created greater opportunity for character development and conflict between characters. Aeschylus, who dominated Athenian playwriting during Sophocles' early career, followed suit and adopted the third character into his own work towards the end of h
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese, it is situated in the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological figure Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan. In European Renaissance arts, Arcadia was celebrated as an harmonious wilderness. Arcadia has its present-day capital at Tripoli, it covers about 18% of the Peloponnese peninsula, making it the largest regional unit on the peninsula. Arcadia has a ski resort on Mount Mainalo, located about 20 km NW of Tripoli. Other mountains of Arcadia are the Lykaion in the west; the climate consists of hot summers and mild winters in the eastern part, the southern part, the low-lying areas and the central area at altitudes lower than 1,000 m. The area receives rain during fall and winter months in the rest of Arcadia. Winter snow occurs in the mountainous areas for much of the west and the northern part, the Taygetus area, the Mainalon. After the collapse of the Roman power in the west, Arcadia remained as part of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire.
Arcadia remained a beautiful, secluded area, its inhabitants became proverbial as herdsmen leading simple pastoral unsophisticated yet happy lives, to the point that Arcadia may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise, immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues, by Jacopo Sannazaro in his pastoral masterpiece, Arcadia. After the Fourth Crusade, the area became a part of the Principality of Achaea, but was progressively recovered by the Byzantine Greeks of the Despotate of the Morea from the 1260s on, a process, completed in 1320; the region fell into the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1460. With the exception of a period of Venetian rule in 1687–1715, the region remained under Turkish control until 1821; the Latin phrase Et in Arcadia ego, interpreted to mean "Even in Arcadia there am I", is an example of memento mori, a cautionary reminder of the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death. The phrase is most associated with a 1647 painting by Nicolas Poussin known as "The Arcadian Shepherds".
In the painting the phrase appears as an inscription on a tomb discovered by youthful figures in classical garb. Arcadia was one of the centres of the Greek War of Independence which saw victories in their battles including one in Tripoli. After a victorious revolutionary war, Arcadia was incorporated into the newly created Greek state. Arcadia saw small emigration. In the 20th century, Arcadia experienced extensive population loss through emigration to the Americas. Many Arcadian villages lost half their inhabitants, fears arose that they would turn into ghost towns. Arcadia now has a smaller population than Corinthia. Demographers expected that its population would halve between the early 21st century; the population has fallen to 87,000 in 2011. An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter magnitude scale shook Megalopoli and the surrounding area in 1965. Large numbers of buildings were destroyed. Within a couple of years, the buildings were rebuilt anti-seismically; this earthquake revealed an underground source of lignite in the area, in 1967 construction began on the Megalopoli Power Plant, which began operating in 1970.
The mining area south of the plant is the largest mining area in the peninsula and continues to the present day with one settlement moved. In July and August 2007 forest fires caused damage in Arcadia, notably in the mountains. In 2008, a theory proposed by classicist Christos Mergoupis suggested that the mummified remains of Alexander the Great, may in fact be located in Gortynia-Arkadia, in the Peloponnese of Greece. Since 2008, this research is ongoing and being conducted in Greece; the research was first mentioned on CNN International in May 2008. When, during the Greek Dark Ages, Doric Greek was introduced to the Peloponnese, the older Arcadocypriot Greek language survived in Arcadia. Arcadocypriot never became a literary dialect. Tsan is a letter of the Greek alphabet occurring only in Arcadia, shaped like Cyrillic И; the Tsakonian language, still spoken on the coast of modern Arcadia, is a descendant of Doric Greek, as such is an extraordinary example of a surviving regional dialect of Greek.
The principal cities of Tsakonia are the Arcadian coastal towns of Tyros. The regional unit Arcadia is subdivided into 5 municipalities; these are: Gortynia Megalopoli North Kynouria South Kynouria Tripoli As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Arcadia was created out of the former prefecture Arcadia. The prefecture had the same territory as the present regional unit. At the same time, the municipalities were reorganised, according to the table below. Arcadia was divided into four provinces: Province of Gortynia—Dimitsana Province of Kynouria—Leonidio Province of Mantineia—Tripolis Province of Megalopoli—MegalopolisNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece; the main towns in modern Arcadia are Tripoli, Vytina, Lagkadia, Leonidio, Levidi and Stemnitsa. Ancient cities include Acacesium, Astros, Daseae, Gortys, Heraia, Lykaio, Lycos
In ancient Greek religion and myth, the Anemoi were wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which their respective winds came, were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions. The earliest attestation of the word in Greek and of the worship of the Winds by the Greeks, are the Mycenaean Greek word-forms, a-ne-mo-i-je-re-ja, a-ne-mo,i-je-re-ja, i.e. "Priestess of the Winds". These words, written in Linear B, are found on KN Fp 13 tablets; the Anemoi are subject to the god Aeolus. They were sometimes represented as gusts of wind, at other times were personified as winged men, they were sometimes depicted as horses kept in the stables of the storm god Aeolus, who provided Odysseus with the Anemoi in the Odyssey. The Spartans were reported to sacrifice a horse to the winds on Mount Taygetus. Astraeus, the astrological deity, Eos/Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, were the parents of the Anemoi, according to the Greek poet Hesiod. Of the four chief Anemoi, Boreas was the north wind and bringer of cold winter air, Zephyrus was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early-summer breezes, Notus was the south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn.
The deities equivalent to the Anemoi in Roman mythology were the Venti. These gods had different names, but were otherwise similar to their Greek counterparts, borrowing their attributes and being conflated with them. Boreas was the bringer of winter. Although taken as the north wind, the Roman writers Aulus Gellius and Pliny the Elder both took Boreas as a north-east wind, equivalent to the Roman Aquilo. Boreas is depicted as being strong, with a violent temper to match, he was shown as a winged old man with shaggy hair and beard, holding a conch shell and wearing a billowing cloak. Pausanias wrote that Boreas had snakes instead of feet, though in art he was depicted with winged human feet. Boreas' two sons Calaïs and Zetes, known as Boreads, were in the crew of the Argo as Argonauts. Boreas was associated with horses, he was said to have fathered twelve colts after taking the form of a stallion, to the mares of Erichthonius, king of Dardania. These were said to be able to run across a field of grain without trampling the plants.
Pliny the Elder thought that mares might stand with their hindquarters to the North Wind and bear foals without a stallion. The Greeks believed that his home was in Thrace, Herodotus and Pliny both describe a northern land known as Hyperborea "Beyond the North Wind" where people lived in complete happiness and had extraordinarily long lifespans, he is said to have fathered three giant Hyperborean priests of Apollo by Chione. Boreas was said to have kidnapped Orithyia, an Athenian princess, from the Ilisos. Boreas had taken a fancy to Orithyia and had pleaded for her favours, hoping to persuade her; when this failed, he reverted to his usual temper and abducted her as she danced on the banks of the Ilisos. Boreas wrapped Orithyia up in a cloud, married her, with her, Boreas fathered two sons—the Boreads and Calais—and two daughters—Chione, goddess of snow, Cleopatra.. From on, the Athenians saw Boreas as a relative by marriage; when Athens was threatened by Xerxes, the people prayed to Boreas, said to have caused winds to sink 400 Persian ships.
A similar event had occurred twelve years earlier, Herodotus writes: Now I cannot say if this was why the Persians were caught at anchor by the stormwind, but the Athenians are quite positive that, just as Boreas helped them before, so Boreas was responsible for what happened on this occasion also. And when they went home they built the god a shrine by the River Ilissus; the abduction of Orithyia was popular in Athens before and after the Persian War, was depicted on vase paintings. In these paintings, Boreas was portrayed as a bearded man in a tunic, with shaggy hair, sometimes frosted and spiked; the abduction was dramatized in Aeschylus's lost play Oreithyia. In other accounts, Boreas was the lover of the nymph Pitys. Boreas was claimed to have killed one of Apollo's many male lovers Hyacinthus out of jealousy. Boreas killed Hyacinthus by deflecting a discus that Hyacinthus had thrown straight into his head and killed him. Though his death was said to be an accident on Apollo's part many thought that Boreas was the true culprit.
The Roman equivalent of Boreas was Aquilo. This north wind was associated with winter; the poet Virgil writes: For the wind which came directly from the north the Romans sometimes used the name Septentrio. Zephyrus, sometimes known in English as just Zephyr, in Latin Favonius, is the Greek god of the west wind; the gentlest of the winds, Zephyrus is known as the messenger of spring. It was thought. Zephyrus was reported as having several wives in different stories, he was said to be the husband of goddess of the rainbow. He abducted the goddess Chloris, gave her the domain of flowers. With Chloris, he fathered Karpos, he is said to have vied for Chloris's love with his brother Boreas winning her
Rhea is a character in Greek mythology, the Titaness daughter of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus as well as sister and wife to Cronus. In early traditions, she is known as "the mother of gods" and therefore is associated with Gaia and Cybele, who have similar functions; the classical Greeks saw her as the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses, but not as an Olympian goddess in her own right. The Romans identified her with Magna Mater, the Goddess Ops. Most ancient etymologists derived Rhea by metathesis from ἔρα "ground", although a tradition embodied in Plato and in Chrysippus connected the word with ῥέω, "flow", "discharge", what LSJ supports. Alternatively, the name Rhea may be connected with words for the pomegranate, ῥόα ῥοιά; the name Rhea may derive from a pre-Greek or Minoan source. Graves suggested that Rhea's name is a variant of Era,'earth'. According to Hesiod, Cronus sired six children by Rhea: Hestia, Hera, Hades and Zeus in that order; the philosopher Plato recounts that Rhea and Phorcys were the eldest children of Oceanus and Tethys.
Gaia and Uranus told Cronus that just as he had overthrown his own father, he was destined to be overcome by his own child. Rhea and Gaia devised a plan to save the last of them, Zeus. Rhea gave birth to Zeus in a cavern on the island of Crete, gave Cronus a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes, which he promptly swallowed, her attendants, the warrior-like Kouretes and Dactyls, acted as a bodyguard for the infant Zeus, helping to conceal his whereabouts from his father. In some accounts, by the will of Rhea a golden dog guarded a goat which offered her udder and gave nourishment to the infant Zeus. On, Zeus changed the goat into an immortal among the stars while the golden dog that guarded the sacred spot in Crete was stolen by Pandareus. Rhea had "no strong local cult or identifiable activity under her control", she was worshiped on the island of Crete, identified in mythology as the site of Zeus's infancy and upbringing. Her cults employed rhythmic, raucous chants and dances, accompanied by the tympanon, to provoke a religious ecstasy.
Her priests impersonated her mythical attendants, the Curetes and Dactyls, with a clashing of bronze shields and cymbals. The tympanon's use in Rhea's rites may have been the source for its use in Cybele's – in historical times, the resemblances between the two goddesses were so marked that some Greeks regarded Cybele as their own Rhea, who had deserted her original home on Mount Ida in Crete and fled to Mount Ida in the wilds of Phrygia to escape Cronus. A reverse view was expressed by Virgil, it is true that cultural contacts with the mainland brought Cybele to Crete, where she was transformed into Rhea or identified with an existing local goddess and her rites. Rhea was referred to in ancient times by the title Meter Theon and there where several temples around Ancient Greece dedicated to her under that name. Pausanias mentioned temples dedicated to Rhea under the name Meter Theon in Anagyros in Attika, Megalopolis in Arkadia, on the Acropolis of Ancient Corinth, in the district of Keramaikos in Athens, where the statue was made by Pheidias.
In Sparta there was further more a sanctuary to the Meter Megale. Olympia had both an altar as well as a temple to the Meter Theon: "A temple of no great size in the Doric style they have called down to the present day Metroion, keeping its ancient name. No image lies in it of the Meter Theon, but there stand in it statues of Roman emperors."Her temple in Akriai, Lakedaimon was said to be her oldest sanctuary in Peloponessos: "Well worth seeing here are a temple and marble image of the Meter Theon. The people of Akriai say that this is the oldest sanctuary of this goddess in the Peloponessos."Statues of her were standing in the sanctuaries of other gods and in other places, such as a statue of Parian marble by Damophon in Messene. The scene in which Rhea gave Chronos a stone in the place of Zeus after his birth was assigned to have taken place on Petrakhos Mountain in Arcadia as well as on Mount Thaumasios in Arcadia, both of which were holy places: "Mount Thaumasios lies beyond the river Maloitas, the Methydrians hold that when Rhea was pregnant with Zeus, she came to this mountain and enlisted as her allies, in case Kronos should attack her and his few Gigantes.
They allow that she gave birth to her son on some part of Mount Lykaios, but they claim that here Kronos was deceived, here took place the substitution of a stone for the child, spoken of in the Greek legend. On the summit of the mountain is Rhea's Cave, into which no human beings may enter save only the women who are sacred to the goddess."The center of the worship of Rhea was however on Crete, where the Ida Mountain was said to be the place of the birth of Zeus. There was a "House of Rhea" in Knossos: "The Titanes had their dwelling in the land about Knosos, at the place where to this day men point out foundations of a house of Rhea and a cypress grove, consecrated to her from ancient times."Upon the Ida Mountain, there was a cave sacred to Rhea: "In Crete there is said to be a sacred cave full of bees. In it, as storytellers say, Rhea gave birth to Zeus. At the appointed time each year a great blaze is seen to come out of the cave, their story goes
Spontaneous generation refers to an obsolete body of thought on the ordinary formation of living organisms without descent from similar organisms. The theory of spontaneous generation held that living creatures could arise from nonliving matter and that such processes were commonplace and regular. For instance, it was hypothesized that certain forms such as fleas could arise from inanimate matter such as dust, or that maggots could arise from dead flesh. A variant idea was that of equivocal generation, in which species such as tapeworms arose from unrelated living organisms, now understood to be their hosts; the idea of univocal generation, by contrast, refers to exclusive reproduction from genetically related parent of the same species. The doctrine of spontaneous generation was coherently synthesized by Aristotle, who compiled and expanded the work of earlier natural philosophers and the various ancient explanations for the appearance of organisms, was taken as scientific fact for two millennia.
Though challenged in the 17th and 18th centuries by the experiments of Francesco Redi and Lazzaro Spallanzani, spontaneous generation was not disproved until the work of Louis Pasteur and John Tyndall in the mid-19th century. Rejection of spontaneous generation is no longer controversial among biologists. By the middle of the 19th century, experiments of Louis Pasteur and others refuted the traditional theory of spontaneous generation and supported biogenesis. Spontaneous generation refers both to the supposed processes by which different types of life might emerge from specific sources other than seeds, eggs, or parents, to theoretical principles presented in support of any such phenomena. Crucial to this doctrine are the ideas that life comes from non-life and that no causal agent, such as a parent, is needed; the hypothetical processes by which life emerges from nonliving matter on a time scale of minutes, weeks, or years are sometimes referred to as abiogenesis. Such ideas have no operative principles in common with the modern hypothesis of abiogenesis, which asserts that life emerged in the early ages of the planet, over a time span of at least millions of years, subsequently diversified, that there is no evidence of any subsequent repetition of the event.
The term equivocal generation, sometimes known as heterogenesis or xenogenesis, describes the supposed process by which one form of life arises from a different, unrelated form, such as tapeworms from the bodies of their hosts. In the years following Louis Pasteur's 1859 experiment, the term "spontaneous generation" fell out of favor. Experimentalists used a variety of terms for the study of the origin of life from nonliving materials. Heterogenesis was applied to the generation of living things from once-living organic matter, Henry Charlton Bastian proposed the term archebiosis for life originating from inorganic materials. Disliking the randomness and unpredictability implied by the term "'spontaneous' generation," in 1870 Bastian coined the term biogenesis to refer to the formation of life from nonliving matter. Soon thereafter, English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley proposed the term abiogenesis to refer to this same process and adopted biogenesis for the process by which life arises from existing life.
Active in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, early Greek philosophers, called physiologoi in antiquity, attempted to give natural explanations of phenomena, ascribed to the agency of the gods. The physiologoi sought the material principle or arche of things, emphasizing the rational unity of the external world and rejecting theological or mythological explanations. Anaximander, who believed that all things arose from the elemental nature of the universe, the apeiron or the "unbounded" or "infinite," was the first western thinker to propose that life developed spontaneously from nonliving matter; the primal chaos of the apeiron, eternally in motion, served as a substratum in which elemental opposites generated and shaped the many and varied things in the world. According to Hippolytus of Rome in the third century CE, Anaximander claimed that fish or fish-like creatures were first formed in the "wet" when acted on by the heat of the sun and that these aquatic creatures gave rise to human beings.
Censorinus, writing in the 3rd century, reports: Anaximander of Miletus considered that from warmed up water and earth emerged either fish or fishlike animals. Inside these animals, men took. Anaximenes, a pupil of Anaximander, thought that air was the element that imparted life and endowed creatures with motion and thought, he proposed that plants and animals, including human beings, arose from a primordial terrestrial slime, a mixture of earth and water, combined with the sun's heat. Anaxagoras, believed that life emerged from a terrestrial slime. However, he held that the seeds of plants existed in the air from the beginning, those of animals in the aether. Xenophanes traced the origin of man back to the transitional period between the fluid stage of the earth and the formation of land, under the influence of the sun. In what has been seen as a prefiguration of a concept of natural selection, Empedocles accepted the spontaneous generation of life but held that different forms, made up of differing combinations of parts, spontaneously arose as though by