Which Greek or Roman deities have dominion over Time?

Draconis 09/16/2017. 2 answers, 1.278 views
greek roman

Most concepts seem to have a particular deity unambiguously associated with them. But Time, fundamental as it is, does not—in the Greek pantheon, for example, there is Chronus, later conflated with Cronus; and several different versions of the Horae; and Aeōn.

Are there any other Greek or Roman deities specifically associated with the passage of time, or the manipulation of time? And were any specifically known as "the god of Time"? (I'm curious mostly about time in the sense of χρόνος/tempus, but deities associated with vicis, καίρος, or αἰών also qualify.)

3 Comments
bleh 07/30/2017
Since when was Khronos not the god of time? I've learned this all wrong
Draconis 07/30/2017
@bleh I tend to think of Chronus as the personification of time, rather than the deity of it—like how Eros is the personification of love, but Aphrodite has dominion over it.
bleh 07/30/2017
@Draconis Ah. I always equated Eros as the god of love, and Aphrodite as the goddess of making stuff fall in love, and so in that logic, Khronos would be the god of time

2 Answers


heather 07/31/2017.

A pretty thorough list can be found here (relevant sections in the following list are mostly copied from the linked articles):

Greek:

  • Aion - associated with time, the orb or circle encompassing the universe, and the zodiac. Associated with eternity/afterlife. The "time" represented by Aion is unbounded.
  • Ananke - is a personification of inevitability, compulsion and necessity. Ananke marks the beginning of the cosmos. Daughter of Chronus.
  • Chronus - governed linear, chronological time, divided into past, present, and future.
  • Kronos - Titan, not to be confused with Chronus (as pointed out in your question). Could slow/manipulate time.
  • Horae - goddesses of seasons and natural portions of time.

Roman:

  • Aeternitas - divine personification of eternity. Part of many cults, like the Greek Aion.
  • Anna Perenna - deity of the 'circle' of the year (per annum).
  • Chronos (= Chronus)
  • Saturn (= Kronos)
  • Vertumnus - god of seasons and change, much like the Greek Horae.

The Greeks/Romans seem to have subdivided time and its passage into different types - eternal, regular, natural, specific lengths of time, and so on. The closest I think you get to a complete god of time is Chronus, whom you cited, but even he does not completely govern time.

4 comments
bleh 07/30/2017
I don't think any of those are associated with the passing of time, merely associated
heather 07/30/2017
@bleh I'd have to disagree - look at, for example, Vertumnus - god of seasons and change, as in the passing of those seasons. Ditto for the Horae. Anna Perenna - the passing of the year. (A few examples from my list.)
bleh 07/31/2017
I suppose. Did not read most of them, sorry. Can you edit out the ones that are about passing time?
heather 07/31/2017
@bleh I must have misunderstood some of the words cited as acceptable - I thought gods/goddesses related to fate were alright. I'll remove those.

bleh 07/31/2017.

This is a bit of a stretch, but wouldn't Helios be the passer of time?

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 38. 235 ff :
"[Helios the Sun speaks: ] ‘I carry the measures of time, surrounded by the four Horai (Horae, Seasons), about the same centre, until I have passed through a whole house [of the Zodiac] and fulfilled one complete month as usual . . . Against Mene the Moon [Selene] I move my rolling ball . . . and pass on my endless circuit about the turning-point of the Zodiakos, creating the measures of time.’" (emph mine)

I feel like this is a big stretch because we never see anything that mentions that Helios has been able to actually manipulate time, just this one quote that says he is the one responsible for making time fly. Also, since I don't know what greek is, I can't really check the roots either. But it's worth a shot looking at.

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