MYTH EURYNOME You will find Zeus, Demeter and Pan on a list of major Greek gods and goddess but not Eurynome. By the time Classical mythology came around, Eurynome had shrunk to being a gentle sea goddess (just one of Zeus' many loves) - a far cry from the all-powerful ruler and creatrix she once was. In the Titan cults that preceded the Classical Olympic cults, Eurynome was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, hence an Oceanid. She was married to Ophion and the two ruled together on Mount Olympus until they lost their thrones to Cronos and Rhea (Zeus' parents). In another ancient story, Eurynome - sometimes called the Goddess of All Things - reached out to the chaos at the beginning of time, embraced it, and made order in the world. Through her sacred dance to separate the water from the sky, winds were born; from her womb came the land and the stars and then, surprisingly, she created rulers for the planets - one male and one female so that balance would be maintained forever. The themes of her story - unity, peace and balance - were recognised in 1945 when the peace-keeping United Nations was formally established in the orderly spirit of Eurynome to stress the need for understanding between people and the power of working for a unified cause. Eurynome was also compassionate. When Hephaestus was thrown off Mount Olympus by his mother Hera for being crippled, it was Eurynome along with the sea nymph, Thetis that caught and raised him in a secret cave. Despite giving birth to all existing things, and unusually for Greek gods and goddesses, Eurynome was only ever worshipped in Arcadia. Given the pastoral nature of the region, this was probably because she was seen as the goddess of pastureland. Her name means 'wide-ruling' or 'she of broad-pastures' from the Greek words "eurys" ('wide') and "nomos" ('ruling') or "nomia" ('pasture land'). As an Oceanid, she was half woman and half fish (what we might call a mermaid) and was said to have been the mother of all pleasure, embodied in the beautiful triplets she bore Zeus. Known as the Charities or Graces: "Aglaea" ('Splendor'), "Euphrosyne" ('Mirth') and "Thalia" ('Good Cheer') were sent by Zeus to persuade his sister Demeter to leave the cave she hid in after Poseidon (also her brother) assumed the form of a stallion and coupled with her. According to Pausanias, Eurynome's sanctuary was located where "the river Lymax ('after-birth') falls into the Neda". Surrounded by cypresses, it was opened only once in every year when sacrifices were offered to a wooden statue of the deity bound in golden chains. Pausanias described the path to this holy spot as "from of old and difficult of approach because of the roughness of the ground". Today, nobody seems to know its location. But unlike Mount Eliaos (the site of Demeter's cave), the conflux of the two rivers can be found on a map and there are only so many routes from Ancient Phigaleia that head in that direction. And even if a path does not lead to the Sanctuary, the natural beauty of your environment will draw you on. De-stress and breathe the same fresh air as the fascinating mythological figures that once inhabited this enchanting area.
Description of Greece