Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
SLEEP
Form: Gr. Hypnos; Lat. Somnus.
The son of Night and twin-brother of Death (q.v.) [Il. xiv 231; xvi 672]. With his brother Death, according to Hesiod, he dwells in the eternal darkness of the farthest West [Theog. 759]. Thence he sweeps over land and sea, bringing sleep to men and gods, since he has power over all alike, and could lull to sleep even Zeus himself. On the chest of Cypselus at Olympia, both brothers were depicted as boys sleeping in the arms of their mother, Death being painted in black and Sleep in white [Pausanias, v 18 § 1]. Sleep was represented in art in very various forms and situations, and frequently with the wings of an eagle or a butterfly on his forehead, and a poppy-stalk and a horn, from which he dropped slumber upon those whom he lulls to rest. The earlier conception made Dreams the sisters of Sleep, but in later times the dream-god figures as his son. Hermes was also a god of sleep.
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