Thursday, March 6, 2014

Word from Mythology: Chaos

The word from mythology today is CHAOS, which is a Greek word borrowed into English; the ch- in the spelling is a clue. The Greek word is khaos, χάος. In the ancient Greek story of creation, the world originally was "chaos," a void without form or shape, literally the "gap" between heaven and earth at the beginning of creation. In some of the ancient Greek writers, Chaos was one of the most primitive of the gods, along with Gaia (the earth), Tartarus (the underworld), and Eros (love).

Later on, the word chaos came to refer to a mixture of elements that had not yet taken shape in the process of creation, hence our modern sense of things being "chaotic."

The image below is the depiction of "Magnum Chaos," The Great Chaos, as designed by Lorenzo Lotto for the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Bergamo, Italy.





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