Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tethys and Oceanus

The name Tethys comes from the Greek word têthê, "the nurse" or "grandmother."

Tethys was the daughter of Uranus and Gaia and both wife and sister of Oceanus. She was often written of in Greek poetry but never worshiped by people.  She was goddess of the rivers, springs, wells (fresh water,) rain clouds, and mother to about three thousand daughters called the Oceanids (who each embodied a spring or river.) Of their 3000 daughters, some were more important than others. They are Doris, Metis, and Styx.
Oceanos (Okeanos) was the embodiment of the world ocean. Oceanus was said to be a mild god, when the Titans revolted against their father, Oceanus was the only one who did not attack his father. During this war Tethys raised Hera as her step-child. Oceanos was often depicted as a crab-claw horned god with the tail of a serpentine fish in place of legs, similar to his river-god sons, and Tethys was depicted with gray wings on her forehead to represent the rain clouds.

Not only is one of Saturn's moons named after Tethys but an ocean that existed in the Mesozoic era is too.

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