Gaea in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
or GE (Γαια or Γῆ), the personification of the earth. She
appears in the character of a divine being as early as the
Homeric poems, for we read in the Hiad (3.104) that black
sheep were sacrificed to her, and that she was invoked by
persons taking oaths. (3.278, 15.36, 19.259, Od. 5.124.) She
is further called, in the Homeric poems, the mother of
Erechthens and Tithyus. (Il. 2.548, Od. 7.324, 11.576; comp.
Apollon. 1.762, 3.716. According to the Theogony of Hesiod
(117, 12,5, &c.), she was the first being that sprang front
Chaos, sand gave birth to Uranus and Pontus. By Uranus she
then became the mother of a series of beings,--Oceanus,
Coeus, Creius, Hyperion, Iapetus, Theia, Rheia, Themis,
Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Thetys, Cronos, the Cyclopes, Brontes,
Steropes, Arges, Cottus, Briareus, and Gyges. These children
of Ge and Uranus were hated by their father, and Ge
therefore concealed. them in the bosom of the earth; but she
made a large iron sickle, gave it to her sons, and requested
them to take vengeance upon their father. Cronos undertook
the task, and mutilated Uranus. The drops of blood which
fell from him upon the earth (Ge), became the seeds of the
Erinnyes, the Gigantes, and the Melian nymphs. Subsequently
Ge became, by Pontus, the mother of Nereus, Thaumas,
Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia. (Hes. Th. 232, &c.; Apollod.
1.1.1, &c.) Besides these, however, various other divinities
and monsters sprang from her. As Ge was the source from
which arose the vapours producing divine inspiration, she
herself also was regarded as an oracular divinity, and it is
well known that the oracle of Delphi was believed to have at
first been in her possession (Aeschyl. Eum. 2; Paus.
10.5.3), and at Olympia, too, she had an oracle in early
times. (Paus. 5.14.8.) That Ge belonged to the Δεοὶ χθίνιοι,
requires no explanation, and hence she is frequently
mentioned where they are invoked. (Philostr. Va. Apoll.
6.39; Ov. Met. 7.196.) The surnames and epithets given to Ge
have more or less reference to her character as the all-
producing and all-nourishing mother (mater omniparens et
alma), and hence Servius (Serv. ad Aen. 4.166) classes her
together with the divinities presiding over marriage. Her
worship appears to have been universal among the Greeks, and
she had temples or altars at Athens, Sparta, Delphi,
Olympia, Bura, Tegea, Phlyus, and other places. (Thuc. 2.15;
Paus. 1.22.3, 24.3, 31.2, 3.11.8, 12.7, 5.14.8, 7.25.8,
8.48.6.) We have express statements attesting the existence
of statues of Ge in Greece, but none have come down to us.
At Patrae she was represented in a sitting attitude, in the
temple of Demeter (Paus. 7.21.4), and at Athens, too, there
was a statue of her. (1.24.3.) Servius (Serv. ad Aen.
10.252) remarks that she was represented with a key.
At Rome the earth was worshipped under the name of Tellus
(which is only a variation of Terra). There, too, she was
regarded as an infernal divinity (Δέα χθόνια) being
mentioned in connection with Dis and the Manes, and when
persons invoked them or Tellus they sank their arms
downwards, while in invoking Jupiter they raised them to
heaven. (Varro, de Re Rust. 1.1. 15; Macr. 3.9; Liv. 8.9,
10.29.) The consul P. Sempronius Sophus, in B. C. 304, built
a temple to Tellus in consequence of an earthquake which had
occurred during the war with the Picentians. This temple
stood on the spot which had formerly been occupied by the
house of Sp. Cassius, in the street leading to the Carinae.
(Flor. 1.19.2; Liv. 2.41; V. Max. 6.3.1; Plin. Nat. 34.6,
14; Dionys. A. R. 8.79.) Herfestival was celebrated on the
15th of April, immediately after that of Ceres, and was
called Fordicidia or Hordicidia. The sacrifice, consisting
of cows, was offered up in the Capitol inthe presence of the
Vestals. A male divinity, to whom the pontiff prayed on that
occasion, was called Tellumo. (Hartung, Die Relig. der Röm.
vol. ii. p. 84, &c.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman
biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.
Gaia in Wikipedia
Gaia (pronounced /ˈɡeɪ.ə/ or /ˈɡaɪ.ə/; from Ancient Greek Γαῖα
"land" or "earth"; also Gæa, Gaea or Gea, from Koine and
Modern Greek Γῆ) is the primal Greek goddess personifying
the Earth, the Greek version of "Mother Nature", of which the
earliest reference to the term is the Mycenaean Greek ma-ka
(transliterated as ma-ga), "Mother Gaia", written in Linear B
Gaia is a primordial deity in the Ancient Greek pantheon and
considered a Mother Titan or Great Titan.
Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Terra Mater or
Tellus. Romans, unlike Greeks, did not consistently
distinguish an Earth Titan (Tellus) from a grain goddess