Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

Hypnos, the personification of Sleep



"Hypnos is the Lord over all mortal men and all gods"

Homer's Iliad 14.233

Family of Hypnos

Hypnos ("Sleep") was the son of Nyx, the night goddess and Erebus, the god of darkness. God Thanatos ("Death") was his brother.
Hynpos married Pasithea, the goddess of relaxation and rest, and the couple had three sons called "Oneiroi", who were the gods of dreams. The Oneiroi lived in a cave on the shores of the ocean and their names were Morpheus, Phobetor and Phantasos.

The Residence of Hypnos

According to one legend, Hypnos lived on the Greek island of Lemnos, the "Island of Dreams", which was the home of other mysteries.
According to another legend, he resided in the underworld, the realm of Hades, and never saw the sun.

Hera and Hypnos

On several occasions Hera, the wife of Zeus, approached Hypnos and offered him many gifts if he would use his powers on Zeus.

Her aim was to lull Zeus so that she could attack his son Heracles and influence the evolution of the Trojan War.
But Hypnos usually refused to anger Zeus, possibly because he had already come close to having a thunderbolt hurled at him.
One time, Hera swore to give Hypnos one of the younger Graces in marriage, the sweet Pasithea, who was the goddess of relaxation and rest. Hypnos desired Pasithea deeply, so he left together with Hera to find Zeus. Once there, Hera scattered "sweet love and desire" in the heart of Zeus and Hypnos transformed himself into a bird and lulled Zeus, watching him from a pine tree on Mount Ida.
Hypnos was saved by taking refuge with his mother Nyx, whose power Zeus always respected.

Hypnos means "Sleep" in ancient Greek.



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