According to Greek Mythology, Gaia had many children. All of them were with a partner, except for three:

Is it ever explained how these children were conceived?

1 Answer 1


Ourea I'd never heard of before, so I looked that one up. Turns out that was not one entity, but rather a word used to designate the mountains. Wikipedia names 10 of them, but other references I found seem to indicate any mountain was considered one of the Ourea. So this is effectively saying "the Earth gave birth to the mountains".

That same Wikipedia reference claims they were the "parthenogenetic offspring of Gaia alone", which means there was no partner; they just happened.

I'm not sure if there's another original source that mentions them, but this is what Hesiod had to say:

And Gaia (Earth) first bore starry Ouranos (Heaven), equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought forth long Ourea (Mountains), graceful haunts of the goddess Nymphai who dwell amongst the glens of the hills. She bore also the fruitless deep with his raging swell, Pontos (Sea), without sweet union of love.

That last phrase there is key. It appears to be applied to Pontos only, but since no partner is mentioned for the previous children either, I think we can assume it applies to them as well.

  • 2
    Ourea was the mountains in the same way Gaia was the earth. Not so much her name was designated to mean mountains, she was the mountains.
    – Daft
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 10:13
  • @Daft - Yes, that's kind of the sense I get too. In other words, one shouldn't really personify Gaia to the extent where it seems weird to you to talk about giving birth without a partner. Gaia wasn't a large woman walking around. Gaia was the earth.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 11:10
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    She was both a woman and the earth, she gave birth to the universe and at the same time she was the universe. Much in the same way Ourea was both a woman and the mountains. We're talking about Greek gods here.
    – Daft
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 11:14
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    @Daft - Interesting. The former I got, but where are you getting the latter from? From what I saw, the mountains were generally considered male (with white beards), and there was one being for each mountain.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 12:08

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