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Chaos (or Khaos) was a swirling mass of energy from which Gaia, otherwise called Mother Earth emerged. It was the father of the entire Greek Mythology family. It refers to void state pre-existing the creation of the universe or cosmos in the Greek creation myths, more specifically the initial "gap" created by the original separation of heaven and earth. Its Norse counterpart is Ginnungagap.

Family

Nyx, Erebus, Gaia, Tartarus, Ouranos (children)

Aether, Hemera, Hypnos, Thanatos, Oizys, Momus, Moros, Moirae, the Keres, Apate, Hesperides, Oneiroi, Eris, Nemesis, Geras, Dolos, Lyssa, Alecto, Megaera, Tisiphone, Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Crius, Iapetus, Cronus, Theia, Phoebe, Tethys, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Typhon, Phorcys, Ceto (grandchildren)

Etymology

It comes from the Greek word χάος which means "emptiness, vast void, chasm, abyss", also from the verb χαίνω, which means "gape, be wide open", and also from Proto-Indo-European *ghen-, cognate to Old English geanian, which means "to gape" or "to yawn".

Background

According to Hesiod, before the earth, sea, heavens, the entire universe, and the gods, Chaos already existed as a formless moving mass. It was lifeless and formless matter wherein all primordial elements of creation were mixed and compressed together, so that nothing could be distinguished from one another. Chaos is also from which Gaia came to be. Without a mate, Chaos also bore Erebos, Nyx, Chronos, Ananke and Aether.

References