02:16, 18 Dec 2015
An explanation for those readers who weren't quite sure who or what I was referring to in the story for 'Date of Birth'...
CRIB SHEET FOR FLIRTING WITH DEATH STORY (a mangling of Greek mythology).
Main Character = Thanatos (‘death’), the guide for non-violent/peaceful deaths, ancient Greek precursor of The Grim Reaper.
Sidekick = Hypnos (‘sleep’), his twin brother.
Minor Characters = Apate (‘deception’) and Nemesis (‘indignation, retribution’), two of his sisters.
Cherie, the young woman Thanatos is called to visit. She is not an ancient Greek but a modern-day woman.
Daisy, Cherie’s tortoiseshell cat, who possesses more powers than Cherie ever realises. Also not an ancient Greek, well at least not in this one of her nine lives!
Mentioned = Geras, one of Thanatos’s many brothers, god of old age.
Momus, another of Thanatos’s brothers, god of blame and of poets & writers.
Panacea, goddess of universal remedy/health and daughter of Asclepius (god of medicine & healing) and Epione (goddess of soothing of pain. She was one of four sisters and four brothers.
Aceso, Panacea’s sister, goddess of the healing process.
Hesiod, Greek poet who didn’t think much of Thanatos.
Mick, faithless worm who’s married to Cherie. Not an ancient Greek but a modern-day man.
Pimply Work Experience Youth, acne has long been the bane of teenagers, even ancient Greek ones.
The brothers are always seen together and wear wreaths of poppies. Thanatos dresses in a black cloak, carries a sword in his belt and an inverted torch – indicating the snuffing out of life – in his hand.
The Greek poet Hesiod, active between 750 & 650BC, said this of Thanatos: “He has a heart of iron and his spirit is pitiless as bronze and once he’s seized you he holds fast.”
Author and poet, Homer doesn’t have anything good to say about him either, and the same applies to the lyric/comedy poet and playwright, Alcaeus (born 620BC).
Hesiod only had good things to say about Hypnos – “He roams peacefully over the earth and the sea and is kindly to men.”
In Greek mythology, Chaos, the primeval void, was the first thing that existed. According to Hesiod, Chaos came first and born out of that were Gaia (‘earth mother’), Tartarus (both a deity and the abyss where souls are judged after death), Eros (‘love’), Nyx (‘night) and Erebus (‘darkness’).
Thanatos’ & Hypnos’ Family:
Their parents are mother Nyx (‘night’) and father Erebos (‘darkness’).
Other siblings are:
Brother, Geras (‘old age’ and where the term ‘geriatric’ comes from)
Brother, Momus (‘blame’ and also a god of writers & poets) and his twin sister, Oizys (‘suffering, woe, pain, distress’).
Sister, Nemesis (‘indignation, retribution’)
Brother, Moros (‘doom, destiny’)
Sister, Apate (‘deception’)
Sister, Eris (‘strife’)
Brother, Aether (‘brightness, the upper air’)
Sister, Hemera (‘day’)
Sister, Philotes (‘friendship, love, affection’)
Triplet sisters, The Hesperides (‘evening, sunset’) - the nymphs who guard the golden apples of immortality – Aigle (‘dazzling light’), Erytheia (‘the red one) and Hesperethusa (‘sunset glow’)
Triplet sisters, The Moirai (‘fates’) – three goddesses – Clotho (‘spinner’), Lachesis (‘allotter’) and Atropos (‘unturnable’).
Multiple sisters, The Keres – female death spirits of violent death.
1,000 more brothers, The Oneiroi (‘dreams’), one of whom is Morpheus, God of dreams.
Some legends also connect Charon, the Stygian boatman, with the family.