The vacant and infinite space which existed according to the ancient cosmogonies previous to the creation of the world,1 and out of which the gods, men, and all things arose. A different definition of Chaos is given by Ovid,2 who describes it as the confused mass containing the elements of all things that were formed out of it.

According to Hesiod, Chaos was the mother of Erebus and Nyx. Some of the later poets use the word Chaos in the general sense of the airy realms, of darkness, or the lower world.



  1. Hesiod. Theogony, 116.
  2. Metamorphoses i, 1 ff.


  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.