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Greek deities
Primordial deities
Titans and Olympians
Aquatic deities
Chthonic deities
Other deities
Personified concepts
  • Muses
  • Nemesis
  • Moirae
  • Cratos
  • Zelus
  • Nike
  • Metis
  • Charites
  • Oneiroi
  • Adrasteia
  • Horae
  • Bia
  • Eros
  • Apate
  • Themis
  • Eris
  • Thanatos
  • Hypnos

In Greek mythology, Hypnos was the personification of sleep; the Roman equivalent was known as Somnus . His twin was Thanatos ("death"); their mother was the goddess Nyx ("night"). His palace was a dark cave where the sun never shines. At the entrance were a number of poppies and other hypnogogic plants.

Additional recommended knowledge

Hypnos' offspring consisted of the things that occur in dreams, the Oneiroi. The three principals of these appear in the dreams of kings: Morpheus, Phobetor and Phantasos. According to one story he lived in a cave underneath a Greek island; through this cave flowed Lethe, the river of forgetfulness.  

Endymion, sentenced by Zeus to eternal sleep, received the power to sleep with his eyes open from Hypnos in order to constantly watch his beloved Selene. But according to the poet Licymnius of Chios, it was Hypnos himself who fell in love with the young shepherd Endymion, and allowed him to sleep with his eyes open, the better for the god to enjoy the beauty of his beloved boy.

In art, Hypnos was portrayed as a naked youthful man, sometimes with a beard, and wings attached to his head. He is sometimes shown as a man asleep on a bed of feathers with black curtains about him. Morpheus is his chief minister and prevents noises from waking him. In Sparta, the image of Hypnos was always put near that of death.

His sons are Morpheus the Principal God of Dreams, Phobetor God of Dreams and Phantasos God of Dreams.

Popular Culture

  • In Pokémon, the English name of a specific creature is Hypno.
  • In Monkeybone, Hypnos is the main villain, portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito. He is depicted as a satyr.
  • In Flames has a song written to Hypnos on The Jester Race album, called Lord Hypnos.
  • Horror / science fiction author H. P. Lovecraft had a short story called "Hypnos."
  • In Saint Seiya, Hades arc, one of the final gods to be beaten before fighting Hades is Hypnos.
  • In the Incarnations of Immortality book series by Piers Anthony, Hypnos is briefly mentioned as a minor incarnation.
  • A boss in Resident Evil: Survivor is named Hypnos Type-T.
  • Hypnos made numerous appearances in the Persona series.
  • Polish progressive metal band Riverside (band) makes a reference to Hypnos in their third studio album Rapid Eye Movement (album) (track 4 - Schizophrenic Prayer: "Hypnos give us your hand").
  • Hypnos was featured in a pornographic film called "sleepy sex".

See also

  • Hesiod's Theogony
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hypnos". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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