In Greek mythology the primordial deities are the first entities or beings that come into existence. These deities are a group of gods from which all the other gods descend. They preceded the Titans, the descendants of Gaia and Uranus.
Although generally believed to be the first gods produced from Chaos, some sources[who?] mention a pair of deities who were the parents of the group. These deities represent various elements of nature. Chaos has at times been considered, in place of Ananke, the female consort of Chronos.
The primordial gods are depicted as places or realms. A common example is Tartarus, who is depicted as the Underworld, Hell, and a bottomless abyss. His sibling, Erebus, is also depicted as a place of pitch-black darkness or a vast emptiness of space.
Their mother, Chaos, is depicted as an empty void. Other siblings that include Gaia are depicted as Mother Nature or the Earth. Pontus or Hydros are depicted as the oceans, lakes, and rivers. Chronos is depicted as time and of eternity.
Alcman (ca. 600 BC) made the water-nymph Thetis the first goddess, producing poros (path), tekmor (marker) and skotos (darkness) on the pathless, featureless void.
Orphic poetry (ca. 530 BC) made Nyx the first principle, Night, and her offspring were many. Also, in the Orphic tradition, Phanes (a mystic Orphic deity of light and procreation, sometimes identified with the Elder Eros) is the original ruler of the universe, who hatched from the cosmic egg.
Aristophanes (ca. 456–386 BC) wrote in his Birds, that Nyx is the first deity also, and that she produced Eros from an egg.