Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Sea Gods >> Thaumas


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Wonder, Miracle (thaumazô)

THAUMAS was an old sea god who personified the wonders of the sea. His name was derived from the Greek word thaumatos meaning "miracle" or "wonder." His daughters were the Whirlwinds (Harpyiai) and Rainbow (Iris), and his wife amber-tinged clouds (Elektra).



[1.1] PONTOS & GAIA (Hesiod Theogony 237, Apollodorus 1.10, Hyginus Pref)


[1.1] IRIS, THE HARPYIAI (by Elektra) (Hesiod Theogony 265, Apollodorus 1.10, Hyginus Pref)
[1.2] THE HARPYIAI (by Ozomene) (Hyginus Fabulae 14)
[1.3] IRIS (Plato Theaetetus 155d, Callimachus Delian Hymn, Ovid Metamorphoses 4.479, Vergil Aeneid 9.2, Cicero De Natura Deum 3.20)
[1.4] IRIS, ARKE (Ptolemaeus Hephaestion 6)
[1.5] IRIS, HYDASPES (Nonnus Dionysiaca 26.350)


THAUMAS (Thaumas), a son of Pontus and Ge, and by the Oceanide Electra, the father of Iris and the Harpies. (Hes. Theog. 237, 265, &c. ; Callim. Hymn. in Del. 67 ; Ov. Met. iv. 479, xiv. 845.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Hesiod, Theogony 233 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"And Pontos (Pontus, the Sea) begat Nereus . . . . And yet again he got great Thaumas and proud Phorkys (Phorcys), being mated with Gaia (Gaea, the Earth), and fair-cheeked Keto (Ceto) and Eurybia."

Hesiod, Theogony 265 ff :
"Now Thaumas married a daughter of deep-running Okeanos (Oceanus), Elektra (Electra), and she bore him swift-footed Iris, the rainbow, and the Harpyiai (Harpies) of the lovely hair."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 10 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The children of Pontos (Sea) and Ge (Earth) were Phorkos (Phorcus), Thaumas, Nereus, Eurybia, and Keto (Ceto). Thaumas and Elektra (Electra) had Iris and the Harpyiai (Harpies) named Aello and Okypete (Ocypete)."

Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 62 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"The other kept watch over the far-flung islands, Thaumantia [Iris, daughter of Thaumas] seated on Mimas, whither she had sped."

Plato, Theaetetus 155d (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"Sokrates (Socrates) : He who said that Iris (Rainbow ) was the child of Thaumas (Wonder) made a good genealogy."

Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 5 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) (trans. Pearse) (Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"Arke (Arce) was the daughter of Thaumas and her sister was Iris; both had wings, but, during the struggle of the gods against the Titanes (Titans), Arke flew out of the camp of the gods and joined the Titanes (Titans)."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Pontos (Sea) and Terra (Earth) [Gaia] [were born] : Thaumas, tusciuersus, cepheus . . .
From Thaumas and Electra [were born] : Iris, Harpyiae (Harpies) Celaeno, Ocypete, Podarce."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 14 :
"The three Harpyiae (Harpies), Aellopous, Celaeno, and Ocypete, daughters of Thaumas and Ozomene."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 479 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Iris Thaumantias [‘wondrous rainbow’, daughter of Thaumas] entered heaven again."

Virgil, Aeneid 9. 2 (trans. Day-Lewis) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
"Rose-lipped Iris, daughter of Thaumas."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 20 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"Why should not the glorious Rainbow be included among the gods? It is beautiful enough, and its marvellous loveliness has given rise to the legend that Iris is the daughter of Thaumas (Wonder)."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 26. 350 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"He [the River Hydaspes] had the genuine Titan blood; for from the bed of primeval Thaumas his rosyarm consort Elektra (Electra) brought forth two children--from that bed came a River and a messenger of the heavenly ones, Iris quick as the wind and swiftly flowing Hydaspes, Iris travelling on foot and Hydaspes by water."





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