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Thanatos
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Thanatos

In Greek mythology, Thanatos ("death") was the personification of death (Roman equivalent: Mors). He was a creature of bone-chilling darkness. He was a son of Nyx and twin of Hypnos. He plays little role in the myths. He became rather overshadowed by Hades the lord of death. Night, the destructive, brought forth a horde of villainous immortals. Thanatos was one of that wretched lot.

Night’s offspring are described as: horrible, painful, cruel, brooding, mocking and malignant.(Theogony, 212). (The one exception is ’loving Affection’ who is placed between Deception and Old Age.)

Thanatos might be poetically called the brother of Sleep and the son of Night.

In art, Thanatos was depicted as a young man carrying a butterfly, wreath or inversed torch in his hands. He sometimes has two wings and a sword attached to his belt.


In Freudian psychology, Thanatos is the death instinct, which opposes Eros. The "death instinct" identified by Sigmund Freud, which signals a desire to give up the struggle of life and return to quiescence and the grave.