Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.

Aphrodite in Art
Aphrodite in Myth
Art Themes

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Hypnos at a Glance

name | Hypnos (’UpnoV)

role | god of sleep

Hypnos in Greek Mythology
Hypnos was the god of sleep in Greek mythology. He is generally depicted in myth and literature as a gentle, benevolent force who brings the restorative gift of sleep to mortals and gods alike.

The ancient Greek poet Hesiod claims that Hypnos was the son of Nyx (the goddess of Night) in the Theogony. In Hesiod's version, he has no father. However, Hypnos does have a brother - the god of death, Thanatos. Hypnos and Thanatos were often portrayed together in both myth and art, and indeed, the pair cooperated on a number of occasions.

One memorable example of the manner in which the brothers worked together is found in Homer's Iliad. In a poignant scene, Homer describes how the hero Sarpedon, so recently killed in battle, is reverently carried away from the battlefield by Hypnos and Thanatos. This scene in turn inspired the ancient Greek artist Euphronios to paint a magnificent image that represented the gods, complete with wings and armor, gently lifting the lifeless body of Sarpedon.

Hypnos also acted alone in mythology, literature, and poetry. There is a delightful interlude in the Iliad that involves Hypnos, Hera, and Zeus. Hera visits Hypnos, and asks him for a favor - you see, the goddess wants to distract her husband Zeus from the events taking place. So she requests that the god of sleep use his powers on Zeus. However, Hypnos is reluctant to meddle with the ruler of Olympus. Hera then offers Hypnos an irresistible bride as a bribe - Pasithea, one of the younger Graces or Charites. In the end, the god of sleep agrees to cast his spell on Zeus.

It was also believed that Hypnos was the father of the Dreams. This means that he was therefore the god Morpheus's father.

Hypnos was known as Somnus in Roman mythology.

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.

Bulfinch's Mythology

Bulfinch's Mythology

The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.

Mythography Forums

Mythography Forums

Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!