Dysnomia (deity)

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Dysnomia
Personification of Lawlessness
Member of the Family of Eris
AbodeUnderworld (possibly)
Personal information
ParentsEris[1]
SiblingsLethe, Ponos, Algos, Hysminai, Limos, Phonoi, Androktasiai, Neikea, Amphillogiai, Pseudea, Logoi, Machai, Atë, Horkos

In Greek mythology, Dysnomia (/dɪsˈnmiə/; Ancient Greek: Δυσνομία means 'lawlessness') was the daemon of "lawlessness", who shares her nature with Atë ("ruin"). She was a companion of the latter deity, Adikia (Injustice), and Hybris (Violence). Dysnomia makes a rare appearances among other personifications in poetical contexts that are marginal in ancient Greek religion but become central to Greek philosophy: see Plato's Laws.

Family[edit]

Dysnomia was imagined by Hesiod among the daughters of "abhorred Eris" ("Strife").[2]

"And hateful Eris bore painful Ponos ("Hardship"),
Lethe ("Forgetfulness") and Limos ("Starvation") and the tearful Algea ("Pains"),
Hysminai ("Battles"), Makhai ("Wars"), Phonoi ("Murders"), and Androktasiai ("Manslaughters");
Neikea ("Quarrels"), Pseudea ("Lies"), Logoi ("Stories"), Amphillogiai ("Disputes")
Dysnomia ("Anarchy") and Ate ("Ruin"), near one another,
and Horkos ("Oath"), who most afflicts men on earth,
Then willing swears a false oath."[3][4]

Mythology[edit]

In a surviving fragment of Solon's poems, a contrast is made to Eunomia, a name elsewhere given to one of the Horae, the embodiments of order. Both were figures of rhetoric and poetry; neither figured in myth or Greek religious cult — although other personifications did, like Harmonia, "Agreement";[5] whether Harmonia is only a personification is debatable.[6]

"This is what my heart bids me teach the Athenians, that Dysnomia (Lawlessness) brings the city countless ills, but Eunomia (Lawfulness) reveals all that is orderly and fitting, and often places fetters round the unjust. She makes the rough smooth, puts a stop to excess, weakens insolence (hubris), dries up the blooming of ruin (ate), straightens out crooked judgements, tames deeds of pride, and puts an end to acts of sedition and to the anger of grievous strife."[7]

Legacy[edit]

In 2005, Dysnomia was chosen as the name for the moon of the dwarf planet Eris.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 230
  2. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 230
  3. ^ Caldwell, p. 42 lines 226-232, with the meanings of the names (in parentheses), as given by Caldwell, p. 40 on lines 212–232.
  4. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 226–232 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ OCD s. "homonia"
  6. ^ Burkert, Greek Religion, p.283.
  7. ^ Solon, fr. 5 (trans. Gerber, Vol. Greek Elegiac, Greek elegy C6th B.C.) Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  8. ^ IAU Circular 8747 - Official publication of the IAU reporting the naming of Eris and Dysnomia

References[edit]

  • Greek Elegaic Solon, Fragments - Greek Elegaic C6th B.C.