Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Signs of second shipwreck found at Antikythera, Kore of Thera to be on display, sixth anniversary exhibition of the Acropolis Museum

Let's do another news round-up, shall we, as much has happened in and concerning Greece--and no, I am nto talking about the current economic situation, which is of course horrible. Today on the agenda: signs of second shipwreck found at Antikythera, the Kore of Thera will be on display as of next year, and the Acropolis Museum celebrates its sixth anniversary with antiquities from Samothrace.

Signs of second shipwreck found at Antikythera

The Archaeology News Network reports that the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, in collaboration with the American Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, has completed the digital underwater surveying and dimensional precision display of the Shipwreck of Antikythera.

Last year’s imprinting pinpointed the exact shipwreck site of the vessel that carried the Antikythera Mechanism. However, the proximity of other findings such as anchors and amphorae from the same era made archaeologists consider the possibility that there was a second cargo vessel that accompanied the original ship. Therefore it became imperative to map a wider area of 350X45 meters approximately.

Archaeologists now can put all the findings together and draw conclusions about the possible relationship between the two wreck positions. The detailed mapping creates a clearer picture of the relationship between the two sites, while the placement of the findings in the now imprinted area enhances the understanding of all the findings in the two positions.

Resources for the investigation/excavation were provided by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, American, European and Greek organizations, to meet the needs in qualified technical and scientific personnel. The Catherine Laskaridis Foundation contributed greatly by offering the vessel that was used as the basis of the research team.

The Ephorate of Underwater Activities and its partners will continue research at the end of the summer season. The Antikythera shipwreck research is conducted on a five-year plan. The mapping was done by a specialized team of the University of Sydney using the autonomous underwater vehicle Sirius.

Kore of Thera will be on display as of next year
A 2.3-meter-high archaic-era statue dubbed the 'Kore of Thera', which was found during excavations on Santorini 15 ago will be exhibited on the renowned holiday island’s archaeological museum next year, the culture ministry announced. Additionally, an agreement between the ministry and the island’s municipal government will fund excavation in the area of Medieval Kastelia. Thera is the ancient name of the island.

Acropolis Museum celebrates its sixth anniversary with antiquities from Samothrace
The Acropolis Museum is celebrating its sixth anniversary on June 20 with the inauguration of the temporary exhibition 'Samothrace. The mysteries of the great gods'. The exhibition, a cooperation of the Acropolis Museum and the Antiquity Ephorates of the prefectures of Rodopi and Evros and the expert of Samothrace antiquities Dimitris Matsas, will open for the public on June 20 and will run until September 30. The museum’s Board of Directors President, Dimitris Pandermalis, stressed in a Press Conference about the exhibition that:

“In our country we have the advantage that most of the exhibitions presented in museums can be related to archaeological sites and excavations. Moreover, the history of the discovery and preservation of antiquities enriches our knowledge and allow for a better interpretation of the exhibits”

The relationship between the ancient Hellenes and their Gods was well known and existed publicly in daily life. However, from very early times, mystery cults began to emerge that were accessible only to those who had been accepted into the rites following certain trials. The most famous ‘Mysteries’ in antiquity were those of Eleusis and Samothrace. The strict prohibition against insiders ever divulging the contents of the sacraments has not allowed much information to be gleaned about the ancient mysteries. Archaeological excavations in the Sanctuary at Samothrace, however, have brought to light buildings and paraphernalia belonging to the cult that allow us to form an impression of events.

“Insiders believed that by invoking the Great Gods they would be saved from any serious dangers at sea and, as members of the Mysteries, they would become more just and pious people. The rituals were held at night, the Sanctuary illuminated with torches, during which initiates had to participate in a purification ceremony, to confess their greatest sins, to attend the sacred narrative speech that included mythological stories, to wear the wide, purple sash around their waists and to witness the unveiling of sacred symbols."

As an introduction to the Mysteries of Samothrace, an assortment of finds has been selected from the site of Mikro Vouni, located a few kilometers southwest of the sanctuary, where excavations have revealed a settlement with an organized social structure of the 2nd millennium BC. Of particular importance are the Minoan stamp seals and seal impressions with representations of a double ax and fish, which have counterparts at Knossos. Perhaps the ancient tradition that gave rise to the Mysteries originated in prehistoric Crete and from there spread to other places, where it became the basis for subsequent historical developments.

The arrangement of the exhibition within the gallery is inspired by two circular constructions in the sanctuary. The first is the Theatral Circle with tiers for standing spectators, an altar in the center and pedestals around the periphery for statues from which survive many examples of bronze eyelashes. In this place was also discovered the golden lion of Persian origin, which once adorned a garment or object. For the content of the exhibition, please visit this article on The Archaeological News Network.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Seven Sages Series: the wisdom of Thales of Miletus

Thales of Miletus (Θαλῆς ὁ Μιλήσιος) was a pre-Socratic Hellenic philosopher and mathematician from Miletus in Asia Minor. According to Herodotus, Thales predicted the solar eclipse of May 28, 585 BC. Diogenes Laërtius quotes the chronicle of Apollodorus of Athens as saying that Thales died at the age of 78 during the 58th Olympiad (548–545 BC) and attributes his death to heat stroke while watching the games.

Thales' parents were Examyes and Cleobuline, and his family traced their line back to Kadmus, the mythological Phoenician prince of Tyre. Many, most notably Aristotle, regard him as the first philosopher in the Hellenic tradition. Thales attempted to explain natural phenomena without reference to mythology, and almost all of the other Pre-Socratic philosophers follow him in attempting to provide an explanation of ultimate substance, change, and the existence of the world without reference to mythology. He was not only a philosopher but also a businessman, and he also became involved in politics in his lifetime--like many of the Sages.

If Thales wrote down any ethical guidelines or other works of prose (a treaty entitle 'On the Solstice' and one entitled 'On the Equinox' are mentioned by other ancient writers), they have sadly been lost to us. Proclus acknowledged Thales as the discoverer of a number of specific theorems, both mathematical, geometric, and philosophical, and he is recognised as one of the--if not the--first mathematician.

Thales was esteemed in his times as an original thinker, and one who broke with tradition and not as one who conveyed existing mythologies. He never attributed organization or control of the cosmos to the Gods. Thales hypothized that water had the potentiality to change the myriad of things of which the universe is made, the botanical, physiological, meteorological and geological states--in fact, he proposed that the primary principle is water. He believed that the disk of the earth rests on water. Thales did not mention any of the Gods who were traditionally associated with the simple bodies; we do not hear of Okeanos or Gaea: we read of water and earth.

Thales has been credited with the discovery of five geometric theorems: (1) that a circle is bisected by its diameter, (2) that angles in a triangle opposite two sides of equal length are equal, (3) that opposite angles formed by intersecting straight lines are equal, (4) that the angle inscribed inside a semicircle is a right angle, and (5) that a triangle is determined if its base and the two angles at the base are given. His mathematical achievements are difficult to assess, however, because of the ancient practice of crediting particular discoveries to men with a general reputation for wisdom.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

PAT ritual announcement: the Dipolieia

On the first of July, two days after the Skiraphoria, Elaion is organizing another PAT ritual. This time, the ritual is for the Dipolieia. The Dipolieia appears to have been a sacrifice on the altar of Zeuis Polieus on the Acropolis and not a public festival involving a procession or rites conducted in homes. It was for the administration of Athens. The Dipolieia, because of its association with the Bouphónia, has caused a great amount of ambiguity between scholars.

The Dipolieia (Διπολεῖα) has much contradictory evidence and differences of opinion on it's function and importance. It seems to have been primarily for Zeus. The Dipolieia appears not to be a festival involving the Polis as a whole but--like the Bouphónia that was held during it--purification was of great importance. I have written about the Bouphónia before; the post can be found here. In short, the odd ritual of the Bouphónia comes down to this:

"Every year on the fourteenth day of Skirophorion, from the time of Erechtheus (1397 - 1347 BC) to--at least--the second century AD, an odd ritual was reenacted. It was called the 'Bouphónia'  (βουφόνια), and was part of another festival; the 'Dipolieia', a feast in honor of Zeus Polieus (Zeus of the City).
On top of the Acropolis, oxen are released from the temple of Zeus Polieus. Outside lie cakes on a table, and the oxen are herded past them. Nearby, two women with bowls of water in their hands and a man who is sharpening an axe and knife watch. One of the oxen in line reaches for one of the cakes and devours it. One of the nearby men shouts at the ox, and rushes to the man who is sharpening his weapons. He grabs the double-bladed axe and with one big swing, ends the life of the ox. The Ox-Slayer drops the axe and flees the scene. The slain animal is sacrificed properly to Zeus Polieus. And a hunt begins for the murderer of Zeus' sacred ox. He is found and brought to trial. The blame is passed from the Ox-Slayer, to the man with the weapons, to the women with the water and eventually the weapons themselves. They are found guilt and tossed off of a cliff. The ox is stuffed and put out on the field, in front of a plough. 

[...] It seems to me that there is an underlying theme to this myth, and its subsequent festival: that an animal which is slaughtered by a man alone, is killed, yet an animal which is slaughtered by a group becomes a sacrifice. Everyone is 'to blame' for the death of the ox, simply by being there, and in order to break the circle, an inanimate object--which, obviously, cannot defend itself, thus the cycle cannot possibly continue--is chosen to bear the blame, thus taking it off of everyone else. "

The Bouphónia is an ancient ritual, archaic even in classical times. It's most likely best to simply celebrate the Dipolieia, and not the Bouphónia. So for this purpose, we inviteyou all to join us on 1 July at the regular 10 AM EDT to honour Zeus. The ritual can be found here and if you would like to discuss the PAT ritual with others, feel free to do so here.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dionysos and the ancient hellenic theater

Bryan Hill of Ancient Origins recently put up a very interesting article on ancient Hellenic theater and the monumental amphitheaters in honor of Dionysos. For the entire article, please visit the website linked above, but I want to post parts of the post here to wet your appitite, so to speak.

To the ancient Hellenes, theater was a form of entertainment taken very seriously. People would come from all across the Hellenic world to attend the popular theaters held in open air amphitheaters. In their glory days, some amphitheaters could hold crowds of up to 15,000 people, and some were so acoustically precise that a coin dropped at the center of the performance circle could be heard perfectly in the back row. The theater was a place where politics, religion, the human condition, popular figures, and legends were all discussed and performed with great enthusiasm. The origin of the dramatic arts in Greece would come in the 6th century BC, when the tyrant Pisistratus, who, at the time, ruled the city of Athens, established a series of public festivals. In the 6th century B.C. a priest of Dionysos, named Thespis, introduced a new element that is considered to be the birth of theater.

For a stage, the Greeks used the existing landscape around them. They found hillsides with large open spaces to construct stone amphitheaters with open sides and staggered rows of seats. Theater buildings were called 'theatrons' or 'seeing places' and consisted of three main elements: the orchestra, the skene, and the audience. The centerpiece of the theater, called the orchestra, was a large circular or rectangular area where the play, dance, religious rites and acting took place. The orchestra was placed on a level terrace at the base of a hill.  Adjacent to it were doorways for actors and chorus members called paodio. These were tall arches that opened onto the orchestra in which the performers entered.

Situated behind the orchestra was the skene: a large rectangular building used as a backstage. In the beginning, the skene was a tent or hut but later it became a permanent stone structure. Here, actors would change their costumes and masks and these structures were sometimes painted to serve as backdrops.Rising from the circle of the orchestra was the audience. Because of the theater’s close connection with religion, they were often located in or near sanctuaries.  For example, the Theater of Dionysos in Athens was situated in the sacred precinct of Dionysos at the foot of the Acropolis. 

One particular theater, built to honor the god Dionysos, was called Epidaurus. It was the greatest theater in the western world and is considered a feat of engineering by today’s standards. Fifty five semi-circular rows of seats were built into the hillside with such precision that the theater has perfect acoustics. Two and a half thousand years later, it is still in use and is the largest of the surviving Hellenic theaters.

Friday, June 26, 2015

PAT ritual announcement: the Skiraphoria

For the second PAT ritual of the month, Elaion would like to present to you the rituals for the Skiraphoria. Yes, you read that right--rituals. The Skiraphoria was celebrated mainly by women, perhaps to contrast the Greater Dionysia celebrated mostly by men, but we have decided to create a separate ritual for men which excludes portions of the festival but does allow them to participate. It's the first rite we have ever made gender-specific but we think it's important to do so.

The Skiraphoria was celebrated over a three day period and we have few details about it. What we do know is that the Skira, or Skiraphoria--both are correct--is most likely a fertility festival, mostly of the earth so that a good harvest was ensured for the following year, which started a little more than half a month later. Demeter was certainly honored during the festival, as well as her daughter Kore, as the Goddess of spring growth. Yet, many other deities are tied to the harvest and the success of the nation in some way, especially in Athens from where most of the surviving material originated. There, Athena Skiras, Poseidon Pater, and Dionysos also had a role to play.

What we know of the rites is that a gathering left Athens on the day of the Skiraphoria, and another delegation left Eleusis. At Skiron, a precinct on the road to Eleusis, stood a sanctuary dedicated to Athena Skiras, Poseidon Pater, Demeter and Kore. Here, the two delegations met, and the priests and priestesses of all Theoi involved interacted in some way; Plutarch mentions that one of the three “sacred plowings” of the Athenians took place at this time. It is, perhaps, possible that at this time, the priestesses of Athena and the priests Poseidon made amends with the priestesses of Demeter and Kore--there was bad blood between them for, as Apollodorus reminds us:

"Athena, therefore, called the city Athens after herself, and Poseidon in hot anger flooded the Thriasian plain and laid Attica under the sea." [3.14.1]

The Thriasian plain is where Eleusis is located, and it would have been entirely flooded during this episode. Perhaps the Athenian deities ritually made amends for this during the Skiraphoria? Alternatively, or perhaps additionally, during the reign of Erechtheus in Athens, war broke out against the Eleusinians, who were assisted by Eumolpus, whose mother was Khione, daughter of Boreas, and whose father was said to be Poseidon Himself. Eumolpus attacked Ahens because, as he put it, that land belonged to his father. Could the rituals of the Skiraphoria be penance for this war as well, where Poseidon (and Athena) 'rode out' to meet Demeter and Kore in the middle for a rite that would settle their grievances?

The details of the procession to the Skiron and the subsequent ritual are largely lost to us. Although debated by certain scholars, it seems that those in the procession--or perhaps only the priests and priestesses--carried umbrella-type canopies over their heads which were of a bright white color. It is possible that this was only one large canopy per group, and it was held over the heads of the priests and priestesses by others in the procession. The canopy was or were called 'skiron' as well. Of the sanctuary itself, we know very little besides its location and deities. It is, however, said to have been the place where the first sowing took place, tying the Skiraphoria rituals back in with the purpose of fertility.

The Skiraphoria was celebrated over a three day period, but when this procession took place is unclear. To bring fertility, the women abstained from intercourse on these days, and to this end they ate garlic to keep the men away. We also know that during the Skiraphoria, offerings were thrown into the sacred caves of Demeter located in a cliff at Eleusis: cakes shaped like snakes and phalluses, and very real piglets. These became the Thesmoi--'things laid down'--that were removed in the Thesmophoria. The piglets were fertility symbols, but also related to the myth of Demeter, Persephone and Hades, because it is said that, when Hades opened a chasm to swallow up Persephone--the caves of Demeter--a swineherd called Eubouleus was grazing his pigs and they were swallowed up in the chasm as well.

For the men, there was a race in which they carried vine-branches from the sanctuary of Dionysos to the temple of Athena Skiras. The winner was given the Fivefold Cup, or 'pentaploa', containing wine, honey, cheese, some corn and olive oil. Only the winner was allowed to pour libations to Athena from the cup, and ask Her to bless these fruits of the season.

For these rites, we will honor Demeter, Kore, Athena, Poseidon, and Dionysos. The female version of the rite which includes Demeter and Kore as well as the Thesmoi, and that of the men has sacrifices to Poseidon, Athena, Dionysos, and Demeter. We also encourage the men to perform some sort of athletic feat afterwards to honour Athena.

The PAT ritual will take place on the 29th of June, at the usual 10 am EDT. The rituals can be found here for the women, and here for the men. We look forward to your participation and if you would like to discuss the rite or festival with others, feel free to join us on Facebook on the event page. We hope you will join us!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ghosts and zombies--fears of the ancient Hellenes

Protothema recently posted an article on a very interesting find: necrophobia caused Ancient Hellenes in Sicily to make sure that their dead were pinned down in their tombs. Lets explore that fear a little bit today, shall we?

According tot he article, the ancient Hellenes had a real fear of the dead rising from their graves to stalk the living. Passo Marinaro, the necropolis of a Hellenic colony in Sicily, used from the 5th through to the 3rd centuries BC, shows a number of tomb occupants forcibly pinned down to prevent them from rising. More than half of the 2,905 burials had various grave offerings such as terracotta vases, figurines and metal coins covering the individuals inside to prevent them from leaving the tomb.

Pittsburgh University archaeologist Carrie Sulosky Weaver referred to one tomb in particular that belonged to an individual of unknown sex who had experienced serious malnutrition and illness. The head and feet of the individual were covered completely in amphora fragments. According to Weaver in Popular Archeology:

“The heavy amphora fragments found in Tomb 653 were presumably intended to pin the individual to the grave and prevent it from seeing or rising.”

Another tomb, labelled 693, contained a child of unknown sex from around 8 to 13 years of age. There were no signs of disease on the body but five large stones were placed on the child’s body to keep it trapped within the tomb.

Necrophobia, or the fear of the dead, is a concept that has been present in Hellenic culture from the Neolithic period to the present, according to Weaver. She underlines that Katadesmoi – tablets with magic spells inscribed – were also found, suggesting that some inhabitants of Kamarina used incantations to raise the dead from their graves. Petitions on tablets were addressed to underworld dieties so that the spirits of the dead could fulfill the request of the person making the petition.

The ancient Hellenes also believed in ghosts; they were the people who could not find the entrance to the Underworld or who didn't have the money to pay Kharon for their passage. Those who were not properly buried were also doomed to wander the Earth for a hundred years. Interestingly enough, Hellenic heroes were also considered ghosts and were honored in the same type of rites as other types of ghosts. 

The Ancient Hellenes held festivals in honor of ghosts, and the Theoi that presided over them, so they would be sated and appeased and would not haunt them. Most of these festivals included a holókaustos and were solemn affairs, conducted at night and without an offering of wine. 

This fear of spirits and other supernatural entities was named 'deisidaimonia' (δεισιδαιμονία). The ceremonies of riddance were known to the Hellenes as apopompai (ἀποποπμαί), 'sendings away'. There isn't a single word in the English language that conveys the practice. Closest would be 'exorcism'. 

Becoming a ghost was not a good thing. While heroes like Hēraklēs, Theseus and Orpheus head into the Underworld and return from it alive, they never do so without a struggle and the fact that heroes were considered ghosts is food for thought. They have seen the Underworld and have not left the whole of it behind. Ghosts were feared and needed to be appeased, fed with blood to sustain them and/or warded off.

Weaver’s research is to be presented in her forthcoming book, titled “The Bioarchaeology of Classical Kamarina: Life and Death in Greek Citizen”, to be released in September by the University Press of Florida.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Beginner's guide to Hellenismos: Generations of Gods

Today's topic for the 'Beginner's guide to Hellenismos' is geneology, and specifically the generations of Gods and how we relate to them in our modern worship. The ancient Hellenic philosophers and mythographers were in agreement that the Gods created the universe--or are the universe itself. There are many variations of the divine family tree, and in the ancient writings, there are also creation stories that range beyond this basic framework. When Hesiod wrote his Theogony, he was adament about the sequence the Gods appeared from Khaos. Within the nothingness, Khaos appeared, then Gaia as the earth Herself, the Tartaros and Eros. The Gods and Godesses who rule over the cycle of night and day followed after and then, slowly, the earth itself took shape. The pre-Olypic and Olympic deities came into being. the universe as we know it was born.

Roughly divided, all our Gods and heroes (who were often raised up to become Gods in their own right) fit into five generational categories. These are the:
  • Protogenoi
  • Uranides
  • Titanes
  • Olympic Gods
  • Heroes/deified mortals
The Protogenoi are the Gods from which the universe is made. They are Gods like Khaos, Gaia, Ouranos, and Nyx. In general, these Theoi are more abstract and less defined than, say, the Olympians. They are cruder, more powerful Gods who, together, form the tapistry of earth and life. We simply could not live without Them as They are the air we breath, the earth we walk on, the water we drink and the death that eventually lays us to rest. and yet, neither we, nor the ancient Hellenes revered them often. They are distant and hav very little to do with the individual's lifecycle.

The Uranides formed the world created by the Protogenoi into the world we know now. They are the children of the Protogenoi and They are in charge of  more specific domains. They give us the constellations, intellect, light, memory, navigation, and many other things without which we simply would not be able to live the life we live. Like the Protogenoi, these Gods make up the tapestry of the universe and did not recieve much direct worship in state festivals.

The Titanes are Gods with whom we are more familiar. They are Helios, Hekate, Lêtô, Selênê and many others. This is the first generation of Gods we are more familiar with by name than function--and also the first generation whose names don't always directly relate to the domains they are familiar with, although we know them through mythology. Lêtô, for example, is identified as the Goddess of motherhood and protectress of the young while we mostly know her as mother of Apollon and Artemis. These Gods often times--but not always--recieved individual worship and were sometimes included in state festivals. They feature in mythology and possess well-rounded personalities that we know (unlike, say, the Protogenoi).

We all know the Olympic Gods. They are the Gods we worship most. They are also the sole 'generation' of Gods who span two generations: they are the children of the Uranides (like the Titanes), and the children of the Olympians. Zeus and His brothers and sisters for example, were born from Rhea and Kronos (both Uranides), but Their children (Hēphaistos, Artemis, Apollon, etc.) are also counted amongst the Olympians. In general, if a Gods is said to reside on Mount Olympos, They are known as an Olympic God. Alternatively--or perhaps erroneously--the Olpmpic Gods are interpreted to be solely the Dodekatheon, the Twelve Olympians who ruled over humanity and the Gods from the top of the mountain. The most canonical version of the Dodekatheon is: Aphrodite, Apollon, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hēphaistos, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Poseidon, and Zeus. Theoi who were held in high regard in a certain city-state would have held the thrones, according to the people who lived in that city-state, and many different Gods have been counted amongst the Dodekatheon over the centuries. Needless to say, most (state) worship in ancient times focussed on the Olympians.

The heroes of Hellenismos recieve(d) quite a bit of worship. Many heroes were local ones, but we have all heard of Hēraklēs, of Perseus and Theseus, of Atalanta and Odysseus. These heroes represent the most powerful, most virtuoes of all humans and teach us the qualities the Theoi enjoy seeing in us. Many of these heroes were fathered (and sometimes mothered) by the divine and they are thus part of the divine line. In fact, the heroes can be counted amongst the Olympians.

While the main body of our worship focusses on the Olympians, the Olympians did not come to power in a vacuum. The Old Gods presided over the building blocks of the previous generation, like the Olypmians preside over the building blocks of all three. Looking over the list, it's easy to trace the domains of the Olympians back to their predecessors--or even the God or Goddess They hold sway over directly. While the Olympian generation of Gods rule our daily lives, They operate in the framework of the Titans, the Uranides and the Protogenoi. These intricate lines built a web that is of vital importance to see in order to understand not only Hellenic mythology but also the Gods themselves.

Take, for example, light. Light allows us to see, the sun that provides it gives us heat and makes it possible to grow crops. Without light, there would be no life, so let's trace the concept of light through these generations:
  • Protogenoi: In Ancient Hellenic literature, Ouranos is the son and husband of Gaia. In some versions of geneology, Aether, God of Light is his father. He Himself is God of the sky.
  • Uranides: Hyperion is the God of light, father of Helios, son of Ouranos. Theia, Helios' mother, incidentally, is the Goddess of sight. It is interesting to note that the ancient Hellenes believed that light came from the eyes, so that the eyes allowed us to see what's in front of us. Sight.
  • Titanes: Helios is generally considered the God of the sun--either as the sun itself or as the driver of the chariot that guides the sun across the sky dome every day. Hyperion is His father.
  • Olympians: by Hellenistic times Apollon had become closely connected with the sun in cult. and in his epithet 'Phoibos' He became the shining one, the God to thank for the light.
  • Heroes: there are many heroes who were involved with the sun in some way to remind us of this fact. Take Phaëton, son of Helios, who attempted to drive his father's chariot but lost control and set the earth on fire.
Save for Apollon (but He is included because He was/is so often conflated with Helios), all of these Gods are related. Their domains are related. Their tasks become more focussed, specialized, specific, but all their domains are on the same tree--the same subject: light and all it does. It's also interesting to note that in some versions of genealogy, the Horae (seasons) are said to be the children of Helios.

We see this tracing of domains through the generations a lot in Hellenic mythology, if not in family line then in a system where abstract concepts are passed down to younger Gods in a more specialized version. For example, Uranides Iapetos (God of the mortal life-span) and His son Menoitios (God of violent anger and rash action), Titanes Pallas (God of warcraft and the Hellenic campaign season of late spring and early summer), and Olympians Ares and Athena were all involved with warfare, although the act became more and more defined through the generations.

When we pray for something in a specific domain, we often focus on the Olympians who rule over it. Logical, as They seem to have taken over these tasks from the older generations. Yet, there is value in looking beyond the Olympians on ocassion, if only to understand better how these domains influence our lives. This is why it is worth the effort investing time in genealogy.