Here are the top interesting facts about Hypnos – the Greek God of sleep:
#1 He was a highly regarded deity, for he, by putting a person to sleep, could enable him to forget all of his worldly problems, and help him to have pleasant dreams.
#2 He made people fall asleep by pouring sleep on the selected individual by dripping water from the rivers of the underworld.
#3 Some Greek scholars claimed that he lived in the underworld, however, other renowned scholars said that he lived in a cave on the Greek island of Lemnos.
#4 The river Lethe (also known as the river of unmindfulness) flows from his cave, where day and night meet. Poppies surrounded the entrance to this cave, making people fall asleep.
#5 According to Homer (the author of the Odyssey and the Iliad, two epic poems that are the main works of ancient Greek literature), he lives on the Greek island of Lemnos, which later on has been known to be his very own dream-island.
#6 In art, he was depicted as a naked youthful man, occasionally with a beard, and wings coming from his temples or shoulder. Furthermore, the Greek god of sleep is sometimes portrayed as a man asleep on a bed of feathers.
#7 His characteristics or traits included either a poppy-stem, a horn of sleep-inducing opium, an inverted torch, or a branch dripping water from the river of unmindfulness.
#8 He turns into a bird at night that makes it quite easy for him to travel. Other Greek gods who can travel use big, flashy chariots.
A Child of Nyx
#9 His father was Erebus (a deity symbolizing the personification of darkness) and his mother was Nyx (the Greek goddess of the night).
#10 He has a brother – Thanatos (Peaceful Death), the Greek god of death. Both were often depicted together in both art and myth because the pair cooperated on various occasions.
#11 For instance, when Zeus’s son, Sarpedon (a Lycian prince), was killed at Troy, Zeus commanded Thanatos and Hypnos to retrieve him from the grime and dirt of the battlefield and return the cleansed body of Sarpedon to his home in Lykia.
#12 Even though Thanatos was the Greek god of death, the Greeks didn’t think of him as a bad guy. Thanatos was linked with a peaceful death, that he liked to carry out with the help of his brother.
#13 There were rumors that Pasithea and Hypnos had a thousand children, however, the most popular belief is that they had 4 sons.
#14 These four children are the influencers of dreams, and they are better known as the Oneiroi, that translates as ”dreams” from ancient Greek. These four children are:
- Morpheus, also known as the Winged God of Dreams, is a cunning imitator of the human form. Furthermore, Morpheus is skilled in representing the speech and the features of men in dreams, as well as the accustomed words and the clothing of each he represents. More importantly, when in the arms of the Winged God of Dreams, people would see a dream about their future, but would also enjoy a sound sleep.
- Phobetor, also known as the Greek Nightmare God, is also responsible for night-time fears and phobias and also specializes in dreams involving animals.
- Phantasus was the one creating the illusional and fake dreams and had no animus form.
- Ikelos was the one creating the true dreams, making them more realistic. Ikelos’ appearance was that of a daemon; nevertheless, he appeared in the form of monsters and animals when entering dreams, most frequently a bear or lion.
#15 You might be surprised by how powerful this Greek god actually was. He could subjugate even the most potent of the Greek gods by putting them to sleep.
#16 For instance, in the Illiad, the author narrates an episode about Hera (Goddess of Marriage and Queen of Olympus) who went to Hypnos and asked him to help her by putting Zeus to sleep.
#17 In preparation for this deception, Hypnos made the Queen of Olympus to swear an oath of her true intentions. Then, he agreed to help her deceive Zeus for the hand of Pasithea, the Deity of Hallucinations.
#18 He also helped Medeia, a sorceress’ daughter, in obtaining the Golden Fleece (which was held in Colchis) on Kolchis in the Jason and the Argonauts saga. This fleece was protected by a mighty dragon that never slept; hence, Medeia called upon the Greek god of sleep to cast a spell of slumber on the dragon so that Jason could take the Golden Fleece quickly.
#19 Numerous cultures around the world had mythological figures associated with sleep, a testament to how vital the sleeping state has always been to humankind. For example, he was also found in the following language(s) -Czech, Breton, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Estonian, German, French, Polish, Norwegian, Slovak, Romanian, and Swedish.