The Ancient World

Eurynome (yoo RIHN uh mee): The moon.

A startled light arose from the wastes of Chaos and became the goddess, Eurynome. She danced across the edge of nothingness and the path of her dancing became the margins of sea and sky. The North Wind pursued her as she fled, dancing. The West Wind and the South Wind and the East Wind joined the hunt; they surrounded her and became the coils of the Universal Serpent, Ophion . She was a prisoner of these coils and they closed about her. She turned herself into a white bird and flew away. She nested in the sky and laid a clutch of silver eggs. which were the sun and the earth and the planets and all the stars that stud the sky. Upon the earth were trees, flowers, birds, beasts, and man. Eurynome means "far wanderer," the first name given to the moon. Ophion means "moon-serpent." And long before there were any gods, the ancient ones believed in the all-mother, the moon-goddess.

This text was taken from Gods, Demigods & Demons, An Encyclopedia of Greek Mythology, by Benard Evslin, copyright 1975, published by Scholastic Book Services inc.

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