1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Uranus (god)

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26300571911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 27 — Uranus (god)

URANUS (Heaven), in Greek mythology, the husband of Gaea (Earth), and father of Cronus (Saturn) and other deities. As such he represents the generative power of the sky, which fructifies the earth with the warmth of the sun and the moisture of rain. For the legend of his treatment by Cronus and its meaning, see Saturn. Uranus and other Greek gods anterior to Zeus were probably deities worshipped by earlier barbarous inhabitants of the land.

The Roman Caelus (or Caelum) is simply a translation of the Greek Οὐρανός, not the name of a distinct national divinity. There is no evidence of the existence of a cult of Caelus, the occurrence of the name in dedicatory inscriptions being due to Oriental influences, the worship of the sky being closely connected with that of Mithras. Caelus is sometimes associated with Terra, represented in plastic art as an old, bearded man holding a robe stretched out over his head in the form of an arch.

See Wissowa, Religion der Römer (1902), p. 304; and his article in Pauly-Wissowa’s Realencyclopädie, iii. pt. 1 (1867); also Steuding in Roscher’s Lexikon der Mythologie and De Vit’s Onomasticon (suppt. to Forcellini’s Lexicon).