5 Minor Gods
By: CJ
Great gods are feared and never forgotten but did you ever think of the gods who were not as powerful? 5 minor gods who have much importance in Greece were not as powerful, but never forgotten because their names have become immortalized through our English dictionary. Chaos, Nemesis, Echo, Ether, and Eros are some of those gods whose names were immortalized and still used as words in the modern day.

When all the elements escaped from Chaos, Eros was one of the first beings to see earth. Eros is the god of love, sex, and lust
and sometimes worshiped as the god of fertility (crystalinks). In some cases instead of the god being released from the void of Chaos, Eros was the son of Ares and Aphrodite (Low 117). In most circumstances the god Eros is known to be in the form of a child, similar to cupid, the roman god of love. There are some other forms that are believed to be Eros’s true form like a winged boy or infant but no one knows for sure. Eros also has two different types of arrows, golden arrows with dove feathers caused instant love, or lead arrows with owl caused indifference (crystalinks). Eros in the modern dictionary means love and it is derived from the god of love Eros and is still used to this day. “In order to recognize order, you have to have disorder to counteract it.” (Bolton 34) In Greece in order to have order, the god Chaos was used to keep the balance between chaos and order. The Greeks believed that chaos was a shapeless void and contained within Chaos were the elements. The elements fought constantly against one another until a mysterious force terminated the war and the elements escaped form Chaos, thus generating creation (Bolton 35). It is known that after the elements escaped, Gaia, Tartarus, Ether, Nyx, Erebus, and Eros were born (Theoi). Chaos became a word in the modern dictionary because the god Chaos was an empty void and the elements fighting each other inside of him was named after Chaos due to the occasion being very chaotic.

When the elements escaped the void of chaos there was another element that escaped named Ether. Ether is the god of upper air of
heaven that is bright and even glows. There were three types of airs in Greek mythology, upper air Ether, middle air Chaos, and lower air Erebos who all lived in harmony. It is said that at night Nyx releases her veil of darkness thus creating night and in the morning, Hemera, sister/ wife, dissolves the veil revealing day. Stars were also supposedly born from the fires of the Ether. Ether was also the home and protector of the gods and heaven (theoi). Ether in the English dictionary means a colorless inhalant or upper sky/ heaven strictly named after the god of heaven Ether.

Nemesis, goddess of divine justice or vengeance, was known as the daughter of Zeus but in according to Hesoid, Nemesis was the daughter of Nyx and Erebus. The goddess targets “human arrogance towards the gods and their laws” and is basically a judge of whether your actions deserve a good or bad fortune (crystalinks). Nemesis’s name even means to deal out or distribute. The goddess used her abilities fairly though and dispensed happiness not too much and not too little and did the same for dealing out bad favors. Nemesis is derived for the ancient Greek words nemêsis and nêmo meaning “dispenser of dues” (theoi). In the modern dictionary the word nemesis means something that a person cannot conquer, showing the goddess Nemesis only as a bad person even though she gave out good consequences too.

Echo was not much of a god but more of a loyal servant. Zeus had
many affairs with mortals and immortals and his wife Hera was not
happy about any of it. For every time he had an affair he hired the nymph echo to distract his wife Hera, Hera grew angry at Echo and cursed her to repeat the last few words that were said by anyone for
the rest of her life. The semi-goddess loved the god Narcissus but the god saw a pool of water with his reflection and stayed there until the day he died. Echo was loved by the god Pan but turned down his love, the enraged god cut Echo in to pieces and scattered her body parts around the world, and is the reason why we hear echo’s everywhere (pantheon). Echo in the dictionary means a reflection of sound because of the Greek goddess Echo having the curse of repeating the last words she heard.

Those five gods may not have been as powerful as the king of gods Zeus or even Poseidon but their names were recorded in the dictionary and history. Chaos, beginner of the world, Eros, the one who started mankind, Ether, the guard of heaven, Nemesis, the giver of consequences, and Echo, repeater of noises, all had two things in common. Being gods and goddesses, and all being immortalized through history and the dictionary.

Works cited
THEOI GREEK MYTHOLOGY, Exploring Mythology & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & Art. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. <http://www.theoi.com/>.
"Minor Greek Gods and Goddesses - Crystalinks." Crystalinks Home Page. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. <http://www.crystalinks.com/greekgods2.html>.
Encyclopedia Mythica: Mythology, Folklore, and Religion. Web. 11 Dec. 2011. <http://www.pantheon.org/articles/e/echo.html>.
Low, Alice, Arvis L. Stewart, and Barry R. Katz. The Macmillan Book of Greek Gods and Heroes. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1985. Print.
Bolton, Lesley. The Everything Classical Mythology Book: Greek and Roman Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters from Ares to Zeus. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2002. Print.