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Pontos and Gaia (Gaea, the Earth) were parents of the ancient deities known as the Old Men of the Sea. By Thalassa, his watery female counterpart, he was the father of fish and other sea creatures. Poseidon, king of the sea, wed Pontos’ eldest granddaughter Amphitrite.
In Greco-Roman mosaics Pontos is depicted as a giant head with a watery-gray beard and crab-claw horns rising from the sea. However, in most mosaic art, Okeanos (Oceanus) supercedes him as the sea personified.
“Verily at first Khaos (Chaos, the Chasm) [Air] came to be, but next wide-bosomed Gaia (Gaea, Earth) . . . and dim Tartaros (the Pit) in the depth of the wide-pathed Earth, and Eros (Love), fairest among the deathless gods, who unnerves the limbs and overcomes the mind and wise counsels of all gods and all men within them. From Khaos (Chaos) came forth Erebos (Darkness) and black Nyx (Night); but of Nyx (Night) were born Aither (Aether, Light) and Hemera (Day), whom she conceived and bore from union in love with Erebos. And Gaia (Earth) first bore starry Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven), equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought forth long Ourea (Mountains) . . . She bore also the fruitless deep with his raging swell, Pontos (Pontus, Sea), without sweet union of love.”
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