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Last Update: 04 Apr 2021


Hypnos, the personification of Sleep

Hypnos was the god who lulled the weary and sent dreams to mortals.

"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. The God Thanatos ("Death") was his brother.

Hypnos married Pasithea, the goddess of relaxation and rest, and the couple had three sons, the "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 dwelt 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 goal was to lull Zeus into attacking his son Heracles and influencing the development of the Trojan War.

But Hypnos generally refused to anger Zeus, possibly because Zeus had once been on the verge of hurling a thunderbolt at him before.

Once Hera vowed to give Hypnos one of the younger Graces as a wife, the sweet Pasithea, who was the goddess of relaxation and tranquility.

Hypnos deeply desired Pasithea, so he set out with Hera to find Zeus. Once there, Hera sprinkled "sweet love and desire" into Zeus' heart and Hypnos turned into a bird and lulled Zeus into watching him from a pine tree on Mount Ida.

Hypnos was saved by seeking refuge with his mother Nyx, whose power Zeus always respected.

Hypnos means "Sleep" in ancient Greek.

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