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Ouranus, Primordial God of the Sky

OURANOS (Uranus) was the primordial god (protogenos) of the sky. The Greeks imagined the sky as a solid dome of brass, decorated with stars, whose edges descended to rest upon the outermost limits of the flat earth. Ouranos was the literal sky, just as his consort Gaia (Gaea) was the earth. Ouranos and Gaia had twelve sons and six daughters. He locked the eldest of these--the giant Kyklopes (Cyclopes) and Hekatonkheires (Hecatoncheires)--away inside the belly of Earth. Gaia suffered immense pain and persuaded her Titan sons to rebel. Four of these positioned themselves at the corners of the world, ready to grasp their father as he descended to lie with Earth, while the fifth, Kronos (Cronus), took his place in the centre and there castrated Ouranos with an adamantine sickle. The sky-god's blood fell upon the earth, producing the avenging Erinyes and the Gigantes (Giants). Ouranos prophesied the fall of the Titanes and the punishments they would suffer for their crimes--a prophecy brought to fruition by Zeus who deposed the five brothers and cast them into the pit of Tartaros. Ouranos does not appear in early Greek art but Egyptian depictions of their sky-goddess Nut demonstrate how he was imagined--as a gigantic, star-spangled man with long arms and legs, resting on all fours, with his finger-tips in the far east, his toes in the far west, and his arching body raised to form the dome of the sky. In the Roman era he was often depicted as Aion, god of eternal time, in the form of a man holding the zodiac-wheel, standing above the reclining Gaia (Earth). #mythology

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