In Hesiod’s Theogony (123-124), written circa 750 BCE, after Earth came forth from primordial Chaos, Chaos brought forth Darkness and Night. Night then brought forth Day, and Earth brought forth Heaven “to cover her on every side."
In this hymn, Night is described as the Goddess of passionate love, sleep, night-time festivities, dreams, rest from toil, astronomy, and the recurrence of daylight. It ends with a plea to forestall inevitable death, grant well-being, and banish fears until the light of day.
Statius, Thebaid 3. 406 ff :
"(Night) came on, and laid to rest the cares of men and the prowlings of wild beasts, and wrapped the heavens in her dusky shroud, coming to all with kindly influence."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 25. 570 :
"Quiet Nyx (Night) covered all the earth in her dark shades."
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 742 :
"Nyx (Night) threw her shadow on the world."
Aratus, Phaenomena 468 ff :
"On a clear night, when Nyx (Night) in the heavens shows to men (sic) all her stars in their brightness..."
Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 1075 (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.E.) :
"Oh! thou divine Nyx (Night)! how slowly thy chariot threads its way through the starry vault..."
3. Νυκτός, - Night, Goddess of Night
θυμίαμα - incense
δαλούς. - torch, beacon light
Νύκτα - Night, literally, "prevailing pure kore tension-force"
θεῶν - divine
γενέτειραν - geneteiran, mother, parent, creator; also, daughter
ἀείσομαι - eternal (ἀεί) + synchronized entity meta (σομαι)
ἠδὲ - here; seen
καὶ - and
ἀνδρῶν. - manly?
Νὺξ - Night
γένεσις - genesis, creator
πάντων, - of all
ἣν - here
καὶ - and
Κύπριν - Cyprian, a name of Aphrodite, of Cyprus; love, passion
καλέσωμεν - call summon (καλέ) + embodied (σωμεν)
κλῦθι, - call, unlock, core loosen divine
μάκαιρα - happy, blessed
θεά, - Goddess
κυαναυγής, - cyan, dark, dark-blue (κυαν) + arising, light, light-giving (αυγής)
ἀστεροφεγγής,- starry (ἀστερο) + fire, burning, light, splendor (φεγγής,)
ἡσυχίῃι - rest, quiet, silence, stillness
χαίρουσα - take pleasure, rejoice
καὶ - and
ἠρεμίῃι - rest, quietude, bring to rest, stop
πολυύπνωι, - "sleeping much" = multi, many, poli )πολυ) + sleep (ύπνωι,)
εὐφροσύνη, - mirth, merriment, glad thoughts, cheer = essence pure (εὐ) + mindful, wise, prudent, have understanding? (φροσύνη,)
τερπνή, - delightful, pleasant, enjoyment
φιλοπάννυχε, - loving (φιλο) + all (πάν) + night (νυχε,) ="friend of all-night festivals"
μῆτερ - mother
ὀνείρων, - of dreams
ληθομέριμν' - forget (ληθο) + care, thought, solicitude, anxiety (μέριμν')
ἀγαθή - good, goodness
τε - too then
πόνων - work, hard work, toil, labor
ἀνάπαυσιν - arising (ἀνά) + pause (παυσιν) = repose, rest, relaxation, recreation
ἔχουσα, - contain, have, hold, possess, hold fast
ὑπνοδότειρα, - sleep, hypno (ὑπνο) + gift giver (δότειρα)
φίλη - loving
πάντων, - all
ἐλάσιππε, - horse-driving, horse-riding = come, march, ride (ἐλάσ) + by horse (ιππε)
νυχαυγής, - night (νυχ) + rising, lit, shining (αυγής)
ἡμιτελής, - half-finished, half-complete = half (ἡμι) + complete, finished, resolved (τελής)
χθονία - earth
ἠδ' - already, by this time, now already
οὐρανία - sky, Ourania, Goddess of the Sky
πάλιν - return, back, again, once more, in turn, restore, circling, recur
αὐτή, - alone, autonomously
ἐγκυκλία, - circular, round, recurrent, revolving in a cycle, everyday, ordinary = essence generative, engender (ἐγ) + circle, circular, in a cycle (κυκλία) =circling egg
παίκτειρα = playful (παίκ) + wonder, marvel, sign, portent (τειρα)
διώγμασιν - the chase, the hunt, pursuit (probably because the constellations appear to "chase" one another across the sky)
ἠεροφοίτοις, - air (ἠερο) + repeated going or coming, one who regularly goes or comes (φοίτοις) = air-traveler, air-traversing, air-walking
ἣ - center
φάος - light, especially daylight
ἐκπέμπεις - send out or forth from, bring out by calling, send out, send forth = essence core, from out of (ἐκ) + send (πέμπεις)
ὑπὸ - beneath, under
νέρτερα - nether, belonging to the afterlife, underground
καὶ - and
πάλι - return, back, again, once more, in turn, restore, circling, recur
φεύγεις - flee, take flight (opp. chase); purpose or endeavor to get away
εἰς - is
Ἀίδην - the netherworld/afterlife, place of departed spirits, the grave; Adonis, Hades, God of the Afterlife
δεινὴ - marvelously strong, powerful
γὰρ - generate
ἀνάγκη - necessity, inevitability, Ananke, Goddess of Necessity
πάντα - all
κρατύνει. - rule, govern, strong, mighty, firm; confirm, harden, become stronger
νῦν - now, at present
δε, - of, from
μάκαιρα, - happy, blessed
(καλ)ῶ, - bring forth
πολυόλβιε, - whole life, blessings, prosperity, wealth = many, multi, poli (πολυ) + whole (όλ) + life (βιε)
πᾶσι - all
ποθεινή, - long for, desire
εὐάντητε, - gracious, accessible = essence pure (εὐ) + against, over against, on the opposite side, anti (άντη) + too then (τε)
κλύουσα - call forth, release, unlock; "hear, give ear to"
ἱκετηρίδα - olive branch which suppliants held in hand as symbol of their condition, one who comes to seek aid or protection or purification, suppliant
ἔλθοις - come, "essence loosen divine entity"
εὐμενέουσα, - gracious, kindly = essence pure (εὐ) + might, power (μενέ) + substance, essence (ουσα) φόβους - fearful, awe-ful, terrifying, phobic; prophetic, illuminating
δ' - of, from
ἀπόπεμπε - banish, exorcise, send away, dispatch
νυχαυγεῖς. - "shine by night" = night (νυχ) + light, arising light, morning light, dawn (αυγεῖς)