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Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses for Kids - Hypnos
The myths and legends surrounding Hypnos, the primordial god of sleep

Hypnos for kids
Discover the myths surrounding Hypnos, the Primordial Greek god of sleep. The role of Hypnos was the God of sleep who brought nightmares but also some relief to troubled mortals in the shape of dreams. Hypnos was the son of the primordial gods Erebus (God of Darkness) and Nyx (the dark Goddess of Night) and the brother of the many of the dark gods of death, night and the Underworld.

Hypnos for kids
The Oneiroi were his triplet sons, called called Morpheus, Phobetor (known as Icelus to the gods) and Phantasos, and their role was that of the gods of dreams. Additional facts about the mythology of individual gods and goddesses can be accessed via the following links:

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Greek Gods and Goddesses

Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses



Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep

Who was Hypnos?
Hypnos was one of the primeval gods who was a son of Nyx was believed to be the mother of everything mysterious and anything that was inexplicable, such as death, disease, sleep, ghosts, dreams, witchcraft and enchantments. His father was Erebus, who reigned in a palace in the dark regions of the Underworld. His twin brother was Thanatos, a god of Death who was feared and hated as the enemy of mankind and whose hard heart knew no pity. Hypnos was the God of sleep who brought nightmares but also brought some relief to troubled humans via dreams. According to Greek mythology his cavernous palace was in the Underworld where the sun never shines. At the entrance of his palace were a garden of poppies which symbolized death, eternal sleep and oblivion. The hypnotic properties of the poppy has long been used to treat insomnia allowing sleep to people who have trouble sleeping.

Picture of Hypnos carrying poppies with his mother Nyx

Picture of Nyx

The Children of Hypnos - The Oneiroi
The sons of Hypnos were called the Oneiroi, the dark-winged spirits of dreams. The Greek word for dream was 'oneiros'. The Greek phrase for nightmare was melas oneiros meaning 'black dream'. Their names of three of the many Oneiroi were Morpheus, Phobetor (known as Icelus to the gods) and Phantasos.

Hypnos, the Oneiroi and the Gates of Horn and Ivory
The Oneiroi shared the cavernous palace of Hypnos from which they emerged each night like a flock of bats. The nightly route of the Oneiroi passed through one of two gates. One gate was made from horn, the second gate was made from ivory. The Oneiroi who passed through the gates of horn would carry prophetic or true god-sent dreams. The phrase originated in the Greek language, in which the word for "horn" is similar to that for "fulfil". The Oneiroi who passed through the gates of ivory carried false dreams, without true meaning. The Greek word for "ivory" is similar to that for "deceive".

Hypnos (Roman Counterpart was Somnus)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Hypnos, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Hypnos was Somnus.

The Brothers and Sisters of Hypnos
According to Greek Mythology Hypnos was the son of Nyx, the dark goddess of Night and Erebus whose province was the Underworld before the emergence of Hades. The siblings of Hypnos were all death spirits:

Hypnos and his twin brother Thanatos

Hypnos and his twin brother Thanatos

Family Tree and Genealogy of Hypnos
The following Family Tree illustrates the genealogy family members and genealogy of Hypnos, providing an overview of the relationships between Nyx and some of the principle Greek gods and goddesses of darkness and the Underworld.

Hypnos Family Tree

Hypnos and the Dynasties of Greek Gods
According to Greek mythology, Hypnos and the Ancient Greek gods and goddesses consisted of three major dynasties from different generations:

  • The First generation of Ancient Greek Gods included Hypnos
  • The Second generation were the Titans
  • The Third generation of were the famous Olympian gods


  • Interesting information and Facts about the Greek god Hypnos
  • Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep
  • Stories and Legends in Greek Mythology associated with the ancient Greek god Hypnos
  • Facts and information about the Gods and Deities of the Ancient World for schools and kids
  • Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep

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