THE PROTOGENOI EROS IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY
In reference to Greek mythology, the name of Eros is most commonly associated with the Roman god Cupid, the god who causes people to fall in love due to his arrows. The name Eros though was given to two gods in Greek mythology, and the earliest of these was a Protogenoi, a primordial god of the Greek pantheon.
The Protogenoi Eros
Hesiod’s Theogony is, today, the most widely used source for the genealogy of the Greek gods, and Hesiod thus names Eros as one of the four original Protogenoi, being born at the beginning of time, alongside Chaos, Gaia and Tartarus; although it is said that Eros was the fourth of these deities to come into existence.
Hesiod’s version of the timeline of the Greek gods is not the only one to survive, and in the Orphic tradition, Eros is equated with Phanes, the Protogenoi of Creation, born from the world egg at the beginning of time. Other sources name Eros a son of Nyx or of Chaos.
Aristophanes, in the comedic play The Birds, would name the Protogenoi Eros as father of the birds.
Eros God of Procreation
Eros was the Greek god of Procreation, Sexual Desire and Love but as well as Phanes, the role of Eros would see him heavily linked with, or equated with, other early deities, including Thesis (Creation) and Physis (Nature). No great tales were told though of the Protogenoi Eros, and his mythology would become convoluted with that of the later Eros, the son of Aphrodite.