Notes on etymology: AUR, OUR, OR, HORA….HORAI, HORAE

Excerpted from “A New System, Or, an Analysis of Ancient Mythology (Volume 3); Wherein an Attempt Is Made to Divest Tradition of Fable; And to Reduce the Truth” by Jacob Bryant


Aur, sometimes expressed Or, Ur, and Our, signifies both light and fire. Hence came the Orus of the Egyptians, a title given to the Sun. [46]Quod solem vertimus, id in Hebræ o est , Ur; quod lucem, et ignem, etiam et Solem denotat. It is often compounded with the term above, and rendered Abor, Aborus, Aborras: and it is otherwise diversified. This title was often given to Chus by his descendants; whom they styled Chusorus. From Aur, taken as an element, came Uro, Ardeo; as a Deity, oro, hora. Zeus was styled Cham-Ur, rendered by the Greeks; and under this title was worshipped at Halicarnassus. He is so called by Lycophron. [47] — Open source of excerpt: Gutenberg

Note, from AUR is derived get:

AURORA(Roman), EOS (Greek) the dawn goddesses

Aurora is the Roman personification of the dawn.  She is also the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Eos.  The Aurora Borealis also called the Merry Dancers are shimmering, colorful light bands caused by the solar winds interacting with the earth’s atmosphere are named after the Goddess Aurora.  In Alaska, Canada, northern Europe and other places close to the North Pole, as well as in the Antarctic, the night brings a wavy curtain of green, blue, red and other colored lights stretching across the sky.  As evening passes to midnight and on to dawn, the folds of the curtain make fantastic decorations over the heavens, forming arcs, rays and wreaths.  This is the aurora.  It has been called a symphony of light, at times leaping into the distance, at other times moving slowly forward.

Aurora, the goddess, is seen as a lovely woman who flies across the sky announcing the arrival of the sun.  Aurora has two siblings: a brother, the sun, and a sister, the moon.  She has had quite a number of husbands and sons.  Four of her sons are the four winds (north, south, east, and west). According to one myth, her tears caused the dew as she flies across the sky weeping for one of her sons, who was killed.  Aurora is certainly not the most brilliant goddess as she asked Zeus to grant one of her husbands immortality, but forgot to ask everlasting youth.  As a result, her husband soon became aged.  Aurora is not one of the better-known goddesses.

In Roman mythology, Aurora was the goddess of the dawn.  Inuit people of Alaska, Canada and Greenland believe that the aurora is the fire of torches lighting the way to heaven for the spirits of the dead.  The beautiful pink rays which sometimes appear are thought to be the color of blood shed in the struggles between the spirits.  The Vikings of northern Europe took the aurora to be a huge flame.  In japan, an entry in the ancient “Nihon Shoki” is thought to refer to the aurora, while in China a great many sketches resembling the aurora remain.  The dark red aurora was considered to be an omen of ill fortune.

Dawn-goddesses were frequently warlike, arising each morning to battle with things of the Night such as Eos single-handedly chased out of the sky.  Ovid among others called Eos the “Saffron Mother,” and many ancient poets allude to her rosy-red (saffron-dyed_ fingers.  She arrived on the earth each morning in a war chariot drawn by bright roan horses.  The Dionysiaca calls her “far-shooting Eos” since she is a mistress of archery.

In Hesiod’s Theogony she is the “All Seeing,” indicating she was once a Sun-mother like All-seeing Shapash in the lands of the patriarchs.  Because Greeks perceived the sun as a male principle only, the plethora of Sun-mothers co-opted from other cultures were transformed into Dawn-goddesses or Moon-goddesses.  Such names as alluded to the Sun as “Bright” or “Shining” need not be altered in order to revamp them as Moon-goddesses.  For example, the Greek goddess Leto, allegedly a Moon-goddess, is actually the same as the Arabic Sun-mother Allatu, which is how it came about that even in the Greek reassessment of Leto’s significance; she remained the mother of Sun (Apollo) and of Moon (Artemis).  Dawn-goddesses however had features of the All Mother so deeply ingrained in them, they had to be placed at the cusp of night and morning because they once had rule over Life and Death, Light and Dark, Wellness and Disease, and were less easily demoted to the role of Moon-goddess only.

The goddess Aurora is also known as Ostara, or Eostre of the Norse.”

Eos – The Dawn

Eos was the Greek personification of the Dawn, the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia and the sister of Helios (Sun) and Selene (Moon).  At the close of each night, rosy-fingered, saffron-robed Eos rises from her couch in the east and mounts her chariot drawn by the horses Lampus and Phaethon.  Her godly duty is to ride to Mount Olympus and announce the approach of her brother Helios.  When Helios appears Eos becomes Hemera (Day) and she journeys along with him on his travels until, now transformed into Hespera (Dusk), she announces their safe arrival on the western shores of the great Ocean.” — Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn


Note: In earlier times Zeus (or Cham-Ur) was regarded as the parent (ZEUS paired with THEMIS (Hesiod Theogony 901, Pindar Frag 30, Apollodorus 1.13, Pausanias 5.17.1, Orphic Hymn 43, Hyginus Fabulae 183)) of the Horai or Horae, but in later times the Horai or Horae became regarded as ministers of Zeus, divinities of weather.

“THE HORAI (or Horae) were the goddesses of the seasons and the natural portions of time. They presided over the revolutions of the heavenly constellations by which the year was measured, while their three sisters spinned out the web of fate. The Horai also guarded the gates of Olympos and rallied the stars and constellations of heaven.

The Horai were particularly honoured by farmers* who planted and tended their crops in time with the rising and setting of the stars–measures of the passing seasons. The three were usually named Eunomia (Good Order, Good Pasture), Eirene (Peace, Spring), and Dike (Justice) goddesses who individually represented the conditions required for farming prosperity*. The association of agriculture with law and order can also be found in the divinities of Zeus, Demeter and the Daimones Khryseoi

Another set of Horai personified the twelve hours of the day.”

“Hesiod, Theogony 901 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
“Next he [Zeus] led away bright Themis (Divine Law) who bare the Horai (Horae, Seasons), and Eunomia (Good Order), Dike (Justice), and blooming (thallô) Eirene (Irene, Peace), who mind the works of mortal men, and the Moirai (Fates) to whom wise Zeus gave the greatest honour, Klotho (Clotho), and Lakhesis, and Atropos who give mortal men evil and good to have.”
[N.B. Eirene might also denote spring, and Eunomia, good pastures.]

Pindar, Odes Fragment 30 (trans. Sandys) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
“[Themis] the primal bride of Zeus Soter (Saviour). And she bare him the Horai (Horae, Seasons) with golden fillet and gleaming fruit,–the Horai that are ever true.”

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 13 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
“With Themis, the daughter of Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven), he [Zeus] fathered his daughters the Horai (Horae), by name Eirene (Irene, Peace), Eunomia (Lawfulness), and Dike (Justice).”

Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 17. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
“The figures of Horai (Horae) next to them [statues of Hera and Zeus in the Heraion at Olympia], seated upon thrones . . . Beside them stands an image of Themis, as being mother of the Horai.”

— Source: HORAI, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

The Japanese Hoori myth, given its Cain and Abel type agriculture-hunting motif … is likely of the same provenance.

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