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Chronos (Greek Χρόνος time) in Greek mythology, the god of time. It symbolizes the passage of time and the life time.


Chronos comes from the myths of the Orphic, an ancient religious current in Greece, southern Italy and the Black Sea coast (from about the sixth / fifth century BC). Accordingly, he had suffered himself from the dark chaos and created the creator God of the Aether the silver world-egg. For this, in turn, the most revered of the Orphists light God Phanes, identified with Helios, but also with Eros and Dionysus was born.

In the speculative poetry Orphic Chronos plays an important role, but a Chronos cult has never existed in ancient times. There was also no fixed iconography and no Chronos representations in the archaic and classical Greek art. The oldest known depiction is on a relief from the Hellenistic period. There Chronos appears as a beardless figure with large wings. Chronos was the personification of an abstract idea and not part of the Greek folk religion. The same applies to Phanes, who also had no popular cult.

Since about the mid-14th century Chronos is represented in the visual arts as a bearded old man with a sickle and hourglass ( only at this time there are hourglasses ); as for example in the oil painting The Wheel of Fortune by Walter Crane. In the Baroque period then often occurs a female figure beside him, the plaintiff wife, or the mourners, such as the monument Radebeuler Chronos and the mourners.

Chronos and Kronos

Some ancient sources set equal to Chronos and Kronos, father of Zeus. It is a folk etymology, the two gods had originally nothing to do with each other. The Kronos myth probably comes from a Greek proto, vorarchaischen tradition (late 3rd millennium BC to the 8th century BC).


The Four Seasons Chronos

Baroque monument " Chronos and the mourners " in the churchyard of the Church of Peace in Radebeul- Kötzschenbroda

Chronos, waiting Cimitero monumental di Staglieno

The Chrono fountain at Hofstraße in Würzburg by Peter Alexander Wagner (1730 - 1809)