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Oceanus, in Greek mythology, the river that flowed around the Earth (conceived as flat), for example, in the shield of Achilles described in Homer’s Iliad, Book XVIII. Beyond it, to the west, were the sunless land of the Cimmerii, the country of dreams, and the entrance to the underworld. In Hesiod’s Theogony, Oceanus was the oldest Titan, the son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaea (Earth), the husband of the Titan Tethys, and father of 3,000 stream spirits and 3,000 ocean nymphs. In the Iliad, Book XIV, Oceanus is identified once as the begetter of the gods and once as the begetter of all things although the comments were isolated, they were influential in later thinking. Oceanus also appears in Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound.
In art Oceanus was a common subject he appears on the François Vase (see Kleitias), the Gigantomachy of the altar at Pergamum, and numerous Roman sarcophagi. As a common noun, the word received almost the modern sense of ocean.
This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences
The research vessel (R/V) Oceanus is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by Oregon State University.
Oceanus is a mid-sized research vessel designed for expeditions lasting two to four weeks. It was delivered to Woods Hole in November 1975, and its first scientific voyage was made in April 1976. In 1994, the ship underwent a major mid-life refit, which included the construction of a new deck house and new pilot house, along with increases in laboratory space and accommodations for scientists. Oceanus accommodates a crew of 12 and a scientific party of 13 for up to 30 days at sea.
Oceanus was transferred to OSU from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in March 2012 to replace its sister ship, R/V Wecoma.
The ship was designed by John W. Gilbert Associates of Boston and constructed by Peterson Builders of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Its name is drawn from Greek mythology. The Titan Oceanus, father of the river gods and sea nymphs, was represented as a great stream of water encircling the Earth. Oceanus was believed to be the source of all bodies of water.
Outfitted with three winches and a crane, Oceanus is often used for deploying oceanographic buoys and moorings and for hydrographic surveys, though it is capable of all types of chemical, biological, and geological studies. Oceanus spent most of its time working in the North Atlantic, with occasional trips to the Mediterranean, South Atlantic, and Caribbean. With her move to Oregon State University, Oceanus continues her scientific mission throughout the Pacific, with trips ranging from the Bering Sea in the north, to the equator in the south, and as far west as Hawaii.
Other types of Casio
- Pro Trek
History of Casio Oceanus Watches
The Japanese brand, Casio was incepted in the year 1946. The foundations of this celebrated electronic consumer products manufacturing brand were laid down by a fabrication technology engineer, Tadao Kashio. This renowned brand is headquartered in Japan's prefecture, Tokyo. Ever since its inception, the Casio has been delivering innovation in the electronic products segment. Casio is the brand that invented the world's first entirely electric compact calculator. After gaining a hold on inventing calculators, Casio grew exponentially and indeed it became a market expert.
However, later in the year the 1970s due to rigorous competition in the calculator manufacturing and market saturation, Casio resorted to diversify its production. And in a bid to do so it entered into the watch manufacturing.
To establish a name for itself in the watch industry it launched the first Casio digital quartz watch named the Casiotron, in the year 1974. Debuting this watch was not an easy task for the Casio. Rather it resulted from carrying out intensive research on LCI quartz technologies. However, even after being electronic the Casio watches were very affordable.
Although, the Casio G shock watch has been very popular among watch connoisseurs its Casio Oceanous collection is also no way behind. The Casio Oceanus watches blend together the functionalities and characteristics of Casio G Shock and Waveceptor watch series. The Casio Oceanus collection carries an amalgamation of advanced technology and enchanting design aesthetics. The watches from the Oceanus collection are solar-powered and radio-synchronized. By adding these high-end series of this watches to its catalogue, the Casio has certainly claimed that it was second to none than any other luxury watch brand.
Apart from featuring the sophisticated technicalities the Casio Oceanus watches entice the watch enthusiasts through their appealing metallic look. The beauty exuded by these Casio solar watches effectively amuse the masses of all age groups. It aptly distinguishes itself from the other mechanical watches in many aspects. Unlike other mechanical timepieces, it possesses a provision of setting the time using GPS technology. Furthermore, different micromotors embedded inside it control its functioning from inside.
Features and Characteristics the Casio Oceanus
All the resurrected models under the Casio Oceanus collection is equipped with an analogue watch face. Although, the older version was believed to be equipped with the combined analogue and digital dials. Moreover, to control the functioning of dials for a time, stopwatch, seconds, the day of week and hours, the watches are fitted with five independent motors from inside. It is the first watch to offer a 5 motor technology paired with atomic solar technology.
The Oceanus watches are even your perfect companions for expeditions to Europe, North America, Japan, and China. This is because these Casio atomic watches are capable of synchronizing themselves according to the time signals of these mentioned countries. The Synchronization locations for these aforementioned countries are the Japanese time signal (JJY), the American time signal (WWVB) from Colorado, and the European time signals from both England (Time from NPL), Germany (DCF77) and China in Shangqiu City, China. Furthermore, to offer you a superior performance these Casio atomic watches are equipped with the sapphire crystal and titanium surfaces. Thus making the watches is highly resistive to scratches. While staying committed to their unquestionable performance, in the instances of the multi-band signal failure the Casio Oceanus watches support the function of auto synchronising themselves on any place of the world.
The Casio Oceanus Collection
The Casio Oceanus assortment consists of few of the very robust and ergonomic watch models. The watches available under the Casio Oceanus collection are:
Oceanus 600 series
The Casio Oceanus OCW-T600 watch series is the simplest watches from the Oceanus collection. These timepieces have the property of being water resistive up to 100 meters and are capable of displaying the time in 29 different world time zones.
The Casio Oceanus Cachalot OCW-P1000-1AJF series of wristwatches are basically the marine watches designed for underwater sports. These watches feature a rotating bezel and a yacht timer chronograph.
Oceanus 700 series
The Oceanus OCW-M700 features an analogue dial face without any LCD screen. Unlike other Casio Oceanus line of watches, it includes a subdial to display the status of the ocean tides in the current time zone. It is the only Oceanus model to support this feature.
Oceanus 1000 Series "Manta"
The Oceanus Manta is one of the most expensive watches from the Oceanus collection. Launched on June 1, 2007, this Casio watch features a sapphire crystal and the MULTI-BAND 5 technology. Moreover, this watch is exempted from the feature of tide meter. It is quite similar to the 600 series watch style but it is thinner than both the 700 and 600 Oceanus series watches.
Apart from these, the Casio Oceanus ocw-s100-1ajf model is also highly popular among the watch admirers. This Casio watch is available in a 39mm case size and has exceptional shock-resistant properties. This model is very classic and looks very appealing when clothed on wrists.
So add these Japanese iconic Casio Oceanus watch models to your collection. And surely, you will love to flaunt them on your tender wrists.
PARENTAGE OF OCEANUS
Hesiod, Theogony 132 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"She [Gaia, Earth] lay with Ouranos (Uranus, Sky) and bare deep-swirling Okeanos (Oceanus), Koios (Coeus) and Krios (Crius) and Hyperion and Iapetos (Iapetus), Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoibe (Phoebe) and lovely Tethys. After them was born Kronos (Cronus)."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 2 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Ouranos (Uranus, Sky) . . . fathered other sons on Ge (Earth), namely the Titanes (Titans) : Okeanos (Oceanus), Koios (Coeus), Hyperion, Kreios (Crius), Iapetos (Iapetus), and Kronos (Cronus) the youngest also daughters called Titanides : Tethys, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe (Phoebe), Dione, and Theia."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 66. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"The Titanes (Titans) numbered six men and five women, being born, as certain writers of myths relate, of Ouranos (Uranus) and Ge (Gaea), but according to others, of one of the Kouretes (Curetes) and Titaia (Titaea), from whom as their mother they derive the name they have. The males were Kronos, Hyperion, Koios (Coeus), Iapetos (Iapetus), Krios (Crius) and Okeanos (Oceanus), and their sisters were Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe (Phoebe) and Tethys. Each one of them was the discover of things of benefit to mankind, and because of the benefaction they conferred upon all men they were accorded honours and everlasting fame."
Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Aether and Terra (Earth) [were born various abstractions] . . . [From Caelum (Ouranos, Sky) and Terra (Gaia, Earth) were born ?] Oceanus, Themis, Tartarus, Pontus, the Titanes . . . Hyperion, and Polus [Koios (Coeus)], Saturnus [Kronos (Cronus)], Ops [Rhea], Moneta [Mnemosyne], Dione."
[N.B. Hyginus' Preface survives only in summary. The Titanes should be listed as children of Ouranos (Caelum) and Gaia not Aither (Terra) and Gaia, but the notation to this effect seems to have been lost in the transcription.]
Hephaestus, Eileithyia, Tethys and Oceanus, Athenian black-figure dinos C6th B.C., British Museum
THE CHILDREN OF OCEANUS
Hesiod, Theogony 337 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"Tethys bore to Okeanos (Oceanus) the swirling Potamoi (Rivers), Neilos (Nile), Alpheios (Alpheus), and deep-eddying Eridanos (Eridanus), Strymon and Maiandros (Meander), Istros (Istrus) of the beautiful waters, Phasis and Rhesos (Rhesus) and silver-swirling Akheloios (Achelous), Nessos (Nessus) and Rhodios (Rhodius), Heptaporos (Heptaporus) and Haliakmon (Haliacmon), Grenikos (Grenicus) and Aisepos (Aesepus), and Simoeis, who is godlike, Hermos (Hermus) and Peneios (Peneus), and Kaikos (Caicus) strongly flowing, and great Sangarios (Sangarius), and Ladon, and Parthenios (Parthenius), Euenos (Evenus) and Ardeskos (Ardescus), and Skamandros (Scamander), who is holy.
She [Tethys] brought forth also a race apart of daughters [Okeanides (Oceanids)], who with lord Apollon and the Rivers have the young in their keeping all over the earth, since this right from Zeus is given them. They are Peitho, Admete, Ianthe and Elektra (Electra), Doris and Prymno and Ourania (Urania) like a goddess, Hippo and Klymene (Clymene), Rhodeia and Kallirhoe (Callirhoe), Zeuxo and Klytia (Clytia), and Idyia and Pasithoe, Plexaura and Galaxaura and lovely Dione, Melobosis and Thoe, and Polydora the shapely, Kerkeis (Cerceis) of the lovely stature, and ox-eyed Plouto (Pluto), Xanthe and Akaste (Acaste), Perseis and Ianeira, Petraie the lovely, and Menestho, and Europa, Metis and Eurynome, Telesto robed in saffron, Khryseis (Chryseis), and Asia, and alluring Kalypso (Calypso), Eudora and Tykhe (Tyche), and Amphiro and Okyroe (Ocyroe), and Styx, who among them all has the greatest eminence. Now these are the eldest of the daughters who were born to Tethys and Okeanos, but there are many others beside these, for there are three thousand light-stepping daughters of Okeanos scattered far and wide, bright children among the goddesses, and all alike look after the earth and the depths of the standing water."
Homerica, The Cercopes (from Suidas s.v. Kerkopes) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"Kerkopes (Cercopes). These were two brothers living upon the earth who practised every kind of knavery . . . Their mother [was] a daughter of Memnon . . . The Kerkopes were sons of Theia and Okeanos (Oceanus)."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 136 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"[The Okeanides (Oceanids)] offspring of fruitful (polyteknos) Tethys and of him who with his sleepless current encircles the whole earth, children of your father Okeanos (Oceanus)."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 528 ff :
"[The Okeanides (Oceanids) :] By the side of the ceaseless stream of Okeanos (Oceanus), my father."
Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes 304 ff :
"What more fertile plain will you find in place of ours [Thebes] . . . this deep-soiled land and the water of Dirke which is the most nourishing of the streams (potamoi) that earth-encircling (gaiaokhos) Poseidon [i.e. Okeanos] and Tethys' children pour forth."
Oceanus, Greco-Roman mosaic from Antioch C2nd A.D., Hatay Archaeology Museum
Aristophanes, Clouds 264 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"[Comedy-Play :] Come, oh! Nephelai (Clouds), whom I adore, come and show yourselves to this man, whether you be resting on the sacred summits of Olympos, crowned with hoar-frost, or tarrying in the gardens of Okeanos (Oceanus), your father, forming sacred Choruses with the Nymphai (Nymphs)."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The Titanes (Titans) had children. Those of Okeanos (Oceanus) and Tethys were called Okeanides (Oceanids) : Asia, Styx, Elektra (Electra), Doris, Eurynome, Amphitrite, and Metis."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 32 :
"But Pherekydes (Pherecydes) [poet C6th B.C.] says that he [the Eleusinian agricultural-hero Triptolemos] was born of Okeanos (Oceanus) and Ge [i.e. from Water and Earth]."
Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 40 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"And the maiden [Artemis] fared unto the white moutain of Krete (Crete) leafy with woods thence unto Okeanos (Oceanus) and she chose many Nymphai (Nymphs) all nine years old, all maidens yet ungirdled. And the River Kairatos (Caeratus) was glad exceedingly, and glad was Tethys that they were sending their daughters to be handmaidens to the daughter of Leto."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 69. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"To Okeanos (Oceanus) and Tethys, so the myths relate, were born a number of sons who gave their names to Rivers (Potamoi), and among them was Peneios (Peneus), from whom the river Peneios in Thessalia (Thessaly) later got its name."
[N.B. Diodorus rationalises the myth--the river-gods become men who give their names to rivers.]
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 72. 1 :
"According to the myths there were born to Okeanos (Oceanus) and Tethys a number of children who gave their names to Rivers (Potamoi), and among their number were Peneios (Peneus) and Asopos (Asopus)."
Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 2. 8 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
"[The river] Meles through his son [Homer] will grant to the Peneios (Peneus) to be &lsquosilver-eddied&rsquo, to the Titaresios to be &lsquonimble&rsquo and &lsquoswift&rsquo, and to the Enipeus to be &lsquodivine&rsquo, and to the Axios to be &lsquoall-beautiful&rsquo, and he will also grant to the Xanthos (Xanthus) to be born from Zeus, and to Okeanos (Oceanus) that all Rivers spring from him."
Anonymous (perhaps Pamprepius of Panopolis), Fragments (trans. Page, Vol. Select Papyri III, No. 140) (Greek poetry C4th A.D.) :
"A fountain-nymphe (nymphe pegaiê) . . . dear daughter of father Okeanos (Oceanus), queen of the plantation! How should I need your streams?"
Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Oceanus and Tethys [were born] the Oceanides--namely yaea, Melite, Ianthe, Admete, Stilbo, Pasiphae, Polyxo, Eurynome, Euagoreis, Rhodope, lyris, Clytia, teschinoeno, clitenneste, Metis, Menippe, Argia. Of the same descent Rivers : Strymon, Nile, Euprhates, Tanais, Indus, Cephisus, Ismenus, Axenus, Achelous, Simois, Inachus, Alpheus, Thermodoon, Scamandrus, Tigris, Maeandrus, Orontes."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 9. 497 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Gods have loved their sisters yes, indeed! Why Saturnus [Kronos (Cronus)] married Ops [Rhea], his kin by blood, and Oceanus Tethys . . . But the gods above are laws unto themselves."
Ovid, Fasti 5. 79 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Titan Tethys was once married to Oceanus, whose translucent waters scarf the broad earth. Their child Pleione couples with sky-lifting Atlas--so the story is--and bears the Pleiades."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6. 352 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"The Limnai (Lakes), liquid daughters of Okeanos (Oceanus) raised their surface."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 23. 280 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[When Dionysos set the river Hydapses on fire :] Okeanos (Oceanus) also cried out against Dionysos in menacing words, pouring a watery roar from his manystream throat, and eluging the shores of the world with the flood of words which issued from his everlasting mouth like a fountain : &lsquoO Tethys! Agemate and bedmate of Okeanos, ancient as the world, nurse of commingled waters, selfborn, loving mother of children, what shall we do? Now Rainy Zeus blazes in arms against me and your children. Even as Asopos (Asopus) found the father Zeus Kronion (Cronion) his destroyer, in the bastard shape of a bird, so Hydaspes has found Bakkhos (Bacchus) the son.&rsquo"
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 38. 108 ff :
"Loudbooming Okeanos (Oceanus), girdled with the circle of the sky, who leads his water earth-encompassing round the turning point which he bathes, was joined in primeval wedlock with Tethys. The water bride-groom begat Klymene (Clymene), fairest of the Neiades (Naiads), whom Tethys nursed on her wet breast, her youngest, a maiden with lovely arms . . . Her father united the girl to the heavenly charioteer [Helios,Sun]. The lightfoot Horai (Horae, Hours) acclaimed Klymene's bridal with Helios Phaesphoros (Lightbringer), the Nymphai Neides (Naiad Nymphs) danced around in a watery bridal-bower the fruitful maiden was wedded in a flaming union, and received the hot bridegroom into her cool arms . . . and Okeanos beside his bride Tethys sounded his song with all the fountains of his throat."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 41. 142 ff :
"[Beroe goddess and city] star of the Lebanon country, yearsmate of Tethys, running side by side with Okeanos (Oceanus), who begat thee in his bed of many fountains when joined in watery union with Tethys--Beroe the same they named Amymone when her mother brought her forth on her bed in the deep waters!"
OCEANUS & THE GENESIS OF THE GODS
Okeanos (Oceanus) was sometimes represented as the primordial waters from which the Earth and the cosmos arose.
Homer, Iliad 14. 200 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"[Hera addresses Aphrodite :] &lsquoSince I go now to the ends of the generous earth on a visit to Okeanos (Oceanus), whence the gods have risen, and Tethys our mother who brought me up kindly in their own house, and cared for me and took me from Rheia, at that time when Zeus of the wide brows drove Kronos (Cronus) underneath the earth and the barren water. I shall go to visit these, and resolve their division of discord, since now for a long time they have stayed apart from each other and from the bed of love, since rancour has entered their feelings. Could I win over with persuasion the dear heart within them and bring them back to their bed to be merged in love with each other I shall be forever called honoured by them, and beloved.&rsquo"
Homer, Iliad 14. 300 ff :
"[Hera addresses Zeus :] &lsquoI [Hera] am going to the ends of the generous earth, on a visit to Okeanos (Oceanus), whence the gods have risen, and Tethys our mother, who brought me up kindly in their own house, and cared for me. I shall go to visit these, and resolve their division of discord, since now for a long time they have stayed apart from each other and from the bed of love, since rancour has entered their feelings.&rsquo"
Homer, Iliad 14. 244 ff :
"[Hypnos, god of sleep, addresses Hera :] &lsquoAny other one of the gods, whose race is immortal, I would lightly put to sleep, even the stream of that River Okeanos (Oceanus), whence is risen the seed of all the immortals."
Aristophanes, Birds 685 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"The Immortals did not exist until Eros (Love) had brought together all the ingredients of the world, and from their marriage Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven), Okeanos (Oceanus, Water), Ge (Gaea, Earth) and the imperishable race of blessed gods (theoi) sprang into being."
Plato, Theaetetus 152e (trans. Fowler) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"And on this subject [i.e. that all things are derived from flow and motion] all the philosophers . . . may be marshalled in one line--Protagoras and Herakleitos (Heraclitus) and Empedokles (Empedocles)--and the chief poets in the two kinds of poetry, Epikharmos (Epicharmus), in comedy, and in tragedy, Homer, who, in the line &lsquoOkeanos (Oceanus) the origin of the gods, and Tethys their mother,&rsquo has said that all things are the offspring of flow and motion."
Orphic Hymn 83 to Oceanus (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"Okeanos (Oceanus) I call, whose nature ever flows, from whom at first both Gods and men arose."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 22. 280 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Tethys! Agemate and bedmate of Okeanos (Oceanus), ancient as the world, nurse of commingled waters, selfborn, loving mother of children."
OCEANUS & THE WAR OF THE TITANS
Hesiod, Theogony 398 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"Styx . . . was first to come to Olympos [to side with Zeus against the Titanes (Titans)] as her own father [Okeanos (Oceanus)] had advised her."
Pindar, Fragment 30 (trans. sandys) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"First did the Moirai (Fates) in their golden chariot bring heavenly Themis, wise in counsel, by a gleaming pathway from the springs of Okeanos (Oceanus) to the sacred stair of Olympos, there to be the primal bride of the Saviour Zeus."
[N.B. During the Titan-War the Titanides (TItanesses) resided in the house of Okeanos along with Hera and the other goddesses.]
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 3 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Now Ge (Gaea, Earth) . . . persuaded the Titanes (Titans) to attack their father . . . So all of them except Okeanos (Oceanus) set upon Ouranos (Uranus, Sky)."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6. 155 ff :
"After the first Dionysos [Zagreus] had been slaughtered, Father Zeus . attacked [Gaia, Earth] the mother of the Titanes (Titans) with avenging brand, and shut up the murderers of horned Dionysos [the Titanes who had dismembered the godling Zagreus] within the gate of Tartaros [after a long war]: the trees blazed, the hair of suffering Gaia (Earth) was scorched with heat . . . Now Okeanos (Oceanus) poured rivers of tears from his watery eyes, a libation of suppliant prayer. Then Zeus clamed his wrath at the sight of the scorched earth he pitied her, and wished to wash with water the ashes of ruin and the fiery wounds of the land. Then Rainy Zeus covered the whole sky with clouds and flooded all the earth [in the Great Deluge of Deukalion (Deucalion)]."
OCEANUS & THE CHAINING OF PROMETHEUS
In the play Prometheus Bound by Aiskhylos (Aeschylus), the Titan Okeanos (Oceanus) appears on the scene as a sympathetic fellow-Titan. His daughters, the Okeanides (Oceanids), formed the chorus of the play.
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 286 - 397 (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"[Enter Okeanos (Oceanus) on a winged steed.] [Prometheus is chained to a crag in the Kaukasos (Caucasus) mountains.]
Okeanos : I have come to the end of a long journey in my passage to you, Prometheus, guiding by my own will, without a bridle, this swift-winged bird. For your fate, you may be sure, I feel compassion. Kinship, I think, constrains me to this and, apart from blood ties, there is none to whom I should pay greater respect than to you. You shall know this for simple truth and that it is not in me to utter vain and empty words come, tell me what aid can I render you? For you shall never say that you have a friend more loyal than Okeanos.
Prometheus : Ha! What have we here? So then you too have come to stare upon my sufferings? How did you summon courage to quit the stream that bears your name and the rock-roofed caves you yourself have made and come to this land, the mother of iron? Is it that you have come to gaze upon my state and join your grief to my distress? Look upon me here--a spectacle, the friend of Zeus, who helped him to establish his sovereign power, by what anguish I am bent by him!
Okeanos : I see, Prometheus and I want to give you the best advice, although you yourself are wily. Learn to know yourself and adapt yourself to new ways for new also is the ruler among the gods. If you hurl forth words so harsh and of such whetted edge, perhaps Zeus may hear you, though throned far off, high in the heavens, and then your present multitude of sorrows shall seem but childish sport. Oh wretched sufferer! Put away your wrathful mood and try to find release from these miseries. Perhaps this advice may seem to you old and dull but your plight, Prometheus, is only the wages of too boastful speech. You still have not learned humility, nor do you bend before misfortune, but would rather add even more miseries to those you have. Therefore take me as your teacher and do not add insult to injury, seeing that a harsh monarch now rules who is accountable to no one. So now I will depart and see whether I can release you from these sufferings. And may you hold your peace and be not too blustering of speech. Or, can it be that for all your exceeding wisdom, you do not know that chastisement is inflicted on a wagging tongue?
Prometheus : I envy you because you have escaped blame for having dared to share with me in my troubles. So now leave me alone and let it not concern you. Do what you want, you cannot persuade him for he is not easy to persuade. Beware that you do not do yourself harm by the mission you take.
Okeanos : In truth, you are far better able to admonish others than yourself. It is by fact, not by hearsay, that I judge. So do not hold back one who is eager to go. For I am confident, yes, confident, that Zeus will grant me this favor, to free you from your sufferings.
Prometheus : But you are not inexperienced, and do not need me to teach you. Save yourself, as you know best while I exhaust my present lot until the time comes when the mind of Zeus shall abandon its wrath.
Okeanos : Do you not know then, Prometheus, that words are the physicians of a disordered temper?
Prometheus : If one softens the soul in season, and does not hasten to reduce its swelling rage by violence.
Okeanos : What lurking mischief do you see when daring joins to zeal? Teach me this.
Prometheus : Lost labor and thoughtless simplicity.
Okeanos : Leave me to be affected by this, since it is most advantageous, when truly wise, to be deemed a fool.
Prometheus : This fault will be seen to be my own.
Okeanos : Clearly the manner of your speech orders me back home.
Prometheus : So that you won't win enmity for yourself by lamenting for me.
Okeanos : In the eyes of the one who is newly seated on his omnipotent throne?
Prometheus : Beware lest the time come when his heart is angered with you.
Okeanos: Your plight, Prometheus, is my instructor.
Prometheus : Go away, depart, keep your present purpose.
Okeanos : Your urging meets my eagerness for my four-footed winged beast fans with his wings the smooth pathway of the air and truly he will be glad to rest his knees in his stall at home. [Exit.]"
OCEANUS GOD OF THE RIVER OCEANUS
Homer, Iliad 14. 311 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"The house of deep-running Okeanos (Oceanus)."
Homer, Iliad 20. 5 ff :
"[Zeus] told Themis to summon all the gods into assembly. She went everywhere and told them to make their way to Zeus' house. There was no River who was not there, except only Okeanos (Oceanus)."
Homer, Iliad 21. 194 ff :
"Not powerful [river] Akheloios (Achelous) matches his strength against Zeus, not the enormous strength of Okeanos (Oceanus) with his deep-running waters, Okeanos, from whom all rivers are and the entire sea and all springs and all deep wells have their waters of him, yet even Okeanos is afraid of the lightning of great Zeus and the dangerous thunderbolt when it breaks from the sky crashing."
Homer, Odyssey 4. 561 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"The world's end, the Elysian fields . . . Snow and tempest and thunderstorms never enter there, but for men's refreshment Okeanos (Oceanus) sends out continually the high-singing breezes of the west (aetai zephyroio)."
Hesiod, Theogony 337 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"Tethys bore to Okeanos (Oceanus) the swirling Potamoi (Rivers) . . . [and the Okeanides (Oceanids) who] alike look after the earth and the depths of the standing water."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 139 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"Okeanos (Oceanus), him who with his sleepless current encircles the whole earth."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 302 ff :
"[Okeanos (Oceanus)] the stream that bears your name and the rock-roofed caves you yourself have made [for your home]."
Plato, Cratylus 400d & 401e (trans. Fowler) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"[Plato constructs philosophical etymologies for the names of the gods :]
Sokrates (Socrates) : Let us inquire what thought men had in giving them [the gods] their names . . . The first men who gave names [to the gods] were no ordinary persons, but high thinkers and great talkers . . . Herakleitos (Heraclitus) [philosopher C6th to 5th B.C.] says, you know, that all things move and nothing remains still, and he likens the universe to the current of a river, saying that you cannot step twice into the same stream . . . Well, don't you think he who gave to the ancestors of the other gods the names &lsquoRhea&rsquo and &lsquoKronos&rsquo (Cronus) [derived by Plato from the Greek words &lsquoflow&rsquo and &lsquotime&rsquo] had the same thought as Herakleitos? Do you think he gave both of them the names of streams merely by chance? Just so Homer, too, says--&lsquoOkeanos (Oceanus) the origin of the gods, and their mother Tethys&rsquo and I believe Hesiod says that also. Orpheus, too, says--&lsquoFair-flowing Okeanos was the first to marry, and he wedded his sister Tethys, daughter of his mother.&rsquo See how they agree with each other and all tend towards the doctrine of Herakleitos."
Aratus, Phaenomena 566 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek astronomical poem C3rd B.C.) :
"Okeanos (Oceanus) himself will give thee signs at either horn--the East or the West--in the many constellations that wheel about him, when from below he sends forth each rising sign."
Orphic Hymn 83 to Oceanus (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"To Okeanos (Oceanus), Fumigation from Aromatics. Okeanos I call, whose nature ever flows, from whom at first both Gods and men arose sire incorruptible, whose waves surround, and earth's all-terminating circle bound: hence every river, hence the spreading sea, and earth's pure bubbling fountains spring from thee. Hear, mighty sire, for boundless bliss is thine, greatest cathartic of the powers divine: earth's friendly limit, fountain of the pole, whose waves wide spreading and circumfluent roll. Approach benevolent, with placid mind, and be forever to thy mystics kind."
Orphic Hymn 11 to Pan :
"Old Okeanos (Oceanus), too, reveres thy [Pan's] high command, whose liquid arms begird the solid land."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 13. 949 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Tethys and Oceanus . . . [took] away my [the sea-god Glaukos' (Glaucus')] mortal essences. They purified me with a ninefold chant that purges my sins then bade me plunge my body beneath a hundred rivers. Instantly torrents cascaded down from near and far and poured whole seas of waters on my head."
Ovid, Fasti 5. 79 ff (trans.Boyle) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Oceanus, whose translucent waters scarf the broad earth."
Statius, Achilleid 1. 50 (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"He [Poseidon] was coming from Oceanus his host, gladdened by the banquet, and his countenance suffused with the nectar of the deep."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6. 352 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[During the Great Deluge :] Now the barriers of the sevenzoned watery sky were opened, when Zeus poured down his showers. The mountain-torrents roared with fuller fountains of the loudsplashing gulf. The Limnai (Lakes), liquid daughters cut off from Okeanos (Oceanus) raised their surface. The fountains shot spouts of the lower waters of Okeanos into the air."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 8. 110 ff :
"[Hera speaks :] &lsquoI am afraid Kronides (Cronides) [Zeus], who is called my husband and brother, will banish me from heaven for a woman's bed . . . I will leave heaven because of their earthly marriage, I will go to the uttermost bounds of Okeanos (Oceanus) and share the hearth of primeval Tethys thence I will pass to the house of and abide with Ophion (the Snake) [i.e. Okeanos].&rsquo"
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 23. 236 ff :
"[Dionysos calls out to the River Hydaspes when he tries to drown the god's army :] &lsquoIf your Okeanos (Oceanus) makes you so haughty, consider Eridanos (Eridanus) struck by the bolt of Zeus, your brother burnt with fire : a cruel sorrow it was for your watery ancestor [Okeanos], who is girdled by the world's rim, who pours all those mighty streams of water to posses the earth, when he saw his own son burnt up and made no war on Olympos, nor contended with his flood against the firebarbed thunderbolt. Pray spare your waters awhile, or I may see you Hydaspes, burnt up in fiery flames like Eridanos.&rsquo"
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 23. 280 ff :
"[Dionysos set the streams of the river Hydaspes aflame :] Okeanos (Oceanus) also cried out against Dionysos in menacing words, pouring a watery roar from his manystream throat, and deluging the shores of the world with the flood of words which issued from his everlasting mouth like a fountain : &lsquoO Tethys! Agemate and bedmate of Okeanos, ancient as the world, nurse of commingled waters, selfborn, loving mother of children, what shall we do? Now Rainy Zeus blazes in arms against me and your children. Even as Asopos (Asopus) found the father Zeus Kronion (Cronion) his destroyer, in the bastard shape of a bird, so Hydaspes has found Bakkhos (Bacchus) the son. Nay, I will bring my water against he lightnings of Zeus, and drown the fiery Sun in my quenching flood, I will put out the Stars of heaven! Kronion shall see me overwhelm Selene (the Moon) with my roaring streams. Under the region of the Bear, I will wash with my waters the ends of the axle and the dry track of the Wain. The heavenly Dolphin, which long ago swam in my deep sea, I will make to swim once more, and cover him with new seas. I will drag down from heaven the fiery Eridanos (Eridanus) whose course is among the stars, and bring him back to a new home in the Celtic land: he shall be water again, and the sky shall be bare of the river of fire. The starry Fishes that swim on high I will pull in to the sea and make them mine again, to swim in water instead of Olympos. Tethys, awake! We will drown the stars in water, that I may see the Bull, who once swam over a waveless sea, tossed on stormier waves in the paths of the waters after the bed of Europa. Selene herself, bullshaped and horned driver of cattle, may be angry to see my horned bullshaped form. I will travel high into the heaven, that I may behold Kepheus (Cepheus) drenched and the Wagggoner in soaking tunic, as Earthshaker [Poseidon] once did when about Korinthos (Corinth) soaking Ares once boldly shouted defiance of battle against stars! I will swallow the shining Goat, the nurse of Zeus, and I will offer infinite water to the Waterman as a suitable gift. Get ready, Tethys, and you, O Thalassa (Sea)! For Zeus has been delivered of a base son in bull shape, to destroy all Rivers and all creatures together, all blameless: the thyrsus wand has slain the Indians, the torch has burnt Hydaspes!&rsquo
So he cried blustering in a flood of speech from his deep waves. Father Zeus turned aside the menace of his angry son, for he massed the clouds and flung out a thunderclap he stayed the flaming attack of Dionysos, and calmed the anger of boundless Okeanos. Hera also made an infinite noise resound through the air, to restrain the wrath of Dionysos' fiery power. Then old Hydaspes held out a wet hand to merciful Bakkhos, and appealed to the fiery son of Zeus in words that bubbled out of his lips : &lsquo. . . I am ashamed to appear before my father [Okeanos], because the murmuring stream which I draw is mingled with blood, and I pollute Poseidon with clots of gore this it was, only this that armed to strive against Dionysos. By your father, protector of guests and suppliants, have mercy on Hydaspes, now hot and boiling with your fire!&rsquo"
Oceanus and Tethys, Greco-Roman mosaic from Zeugma C1st-2nd A.D., Gaziantep Museum
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 38. 108 ff :
"Loudbooming Okeanos (Oceanus), girdled with the circle of the sky, who leads his water earth-encompassing round the turning point which he bathes, was joined in primeval wedlock with Tethys. The water bride-groom begat Klymene (Clymene), fairest of the Neiades (Naiads), whom Tethys nursed on her wet breast, her youngest, a maiden with lovely arms. For her beauty Helios (the Sun) pined . . . The torch of love was stronger than the blaze of his car and the shining of his rays, when over the bend of the reddened Okeanos as he bathed his fiery form in the eastern waters, he beheld the maiden close by the way, while she swam naked and sported in her father's waves . . . Her father united the girl to the heavenly charioteer [Helios]. The lightfoot Horai (Hours) acclaimed Klymene's bridal with Helios Phaesphoros (Lightbringer), the Nymphai Neides (Naiad Nymphs) [Okeanides] danced around in a watery bridal-bower the fruitful maiden was wedded in a flaming union, and received the hot bridegroom into her cool arms . . . and Okeanos beside his bride Tethys sounded his song with all the fountains of his throat.
As he [Phaethon son of Helios and Klymene (Clymene)] sprang from the childbed, the daughters of Okeanos cleansed him, Klymene's son, in his grandsire's waters, and wrapt him in swaddlings. The Stars (Asteres) in shining movement leapt into the stream of Okeanos which they knew so well, and surrounded the boy, with Selene Eileithyia (our Lady of Labour), sending forth her sparkling gleams . . .
Often in the course of the boy's training Okeanos would have a pretty game, lifting Phaethon on his midbelly and letting him drop down he would throw the boy high in the air, rolling over and over moving in a high path as quick as the wandering wind, and catch him again on his arm then he would shoot him up again, and the boy would avoid the ready hand of Okeanos, and turn a somersault round and round till he splashed into the dark waters, prophet of his own death. The old man groaned when he saw it, recognizing the divine oracle, and hid all in prudent silence, that he might not tear the happy heart of Klymene the loving mother by foretelling the cruel threads of Phaethon's Fate."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 41. 142 ff :
"Tethys, running side by side with Okeanos (Oceanus), who begat thee in his bed of many fountains when joined in watery union with Tethys."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 41. 155 ff :
"Okeanos (Oceanus), first messenger of the laws for the newborn child [Beroe goddess of the city famous for its laws], sent his flood for the childbed round the loins of the world, pouring his girdle of water in an everflowing belt."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 43. 286 ff :
"[Poseidon led the sea-gods into battle against the army of Dionysos :] The Potamoi (Rivers) came roaring into the battle with Dionysos, encouraging their lord, and Okeanos (Oceanus) gaped a watery bellow from his everflowing throat while Poseidon's trumpet sounded to tell of the coming strife."
For MORE information on the cosmic river see THE RIVER OKEANOS
OCEANUS, CALLISTO & THE CONSTELLATION BEAR
Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 177 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Tethys, wife of Oceanus and foster mother of Juno [Hera], forbids its [the constellation of Ursa Major, the Bear] setting in Oceanus."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 508 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Omnipotens (the Almighty) [Zeus] swept away both son [Arkas (Arcas)] and mother [Kallisto (Callisto), a love of Zeus] . . . whirled in a wind together through the void, and set them in the sky as neighbouring stars [Ursa Major and Ursa Minor]. Juno [Hera], in fury when that concubine shone midst the stars, descended to the sea, to Tethys and old Oceanus, whom the gods greatly revere, and to their questioning replied : &lsquoYou ask why I, Regina Deorum (Queen of the Gods), come hither from the mansions of the sky? I am dethroned another reigns my words are false unless, when night darkens the world, you see, new-honoured in heaven to injure me, twin constellations at the utmost pole, where earth in last and shortest circle turns. Who now would hesitate to insult Juno [Hera]? . . . She whom I forbade to be a woman [by transforming her into a bear], made a goddess! Thus the guilty pay! So great my sovereignty! . . . But you who reared me, if your hearts are touched by my disgrace, debar from your green deeps that sevenfold star that at the price of shame was set in heaven, nor let that prostitute your waters' pure integrity pollute.&rsquo The Sea-gods (Di Mari) gave assent, and Saturnia [Hera] departed heavenwards through the cloudless air with her light chariot.'"
OCEANUS GOD OF THE SEA
Okeanos (Oceanus) was equated with Pontos (Pontus, the Sea) by late classical writers. The association occurred after Greek explorers reached the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, to discover a salty, rather than fresh-water, sea.
Oceanus in Greek mythology, the son of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth), brother and husband of Tethys, the personification of the great river believed to encircle the whole world.
Oceanid a sea nymph, any of the daughters of Oceanus and Tethys.
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Molly Williams: the first female firefighter
Recently, while watching an episode of The Alienist, I was curious if the character of Sara Howard, played by Dakota Fanning, was based on a real person. After all, the show was based on events in New York City in late 1800 and included such individuals as Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan. It appears, Fanning’s character, to some degree, was based on Isabella Goodwin, the first female detective in New York City. While reading about Goodwin, I asked myself who was the first female firefighter. A quick search online revealed that to be Molly Williams.
According to her Wikipedia entry, Molly Williams was an African-American, which meant that she was also the first black person to be a firefighter in New York’s history. Unfortunately, not much was known about Williams, except that “she was held as a slave belonging to a New York City merchant by the name of Benjamin Aymar who was affiliated with the Oceanus Engine Company #11 in 1818.”
English language Wikipedia entry for Molly Williams (screenshot)
The fact that Molly Williams was an enslaved person may explain why hardly any information was recorded about her. But the entry about her in the online encyclopedia did have few clues to which I could cling. What is the history of Oceanus Engine Company 11? Who is Benjamin Aymar? Perhaps answering these questions may shine some light into the life of Molly Williams.
Oceanus Engine Company No. 11 was one of the volunteer fire companies that existed in New York before 1865. According to George William Sheldon (1843-1914) who, in 1882, published The Story of the Volunteer Fire Department of the City of New York, Engine 11 was “Organized before 1783. Located, in 1796, in Hanover Square, and after 1813 in Old Slip. About 1836 removed to 118 Wooster Street, and after 1854 located at 99 Wooster Street. Went out of service in 1865.” In the appendix of his work, Sheldon lists members of the engine companies for the years 1793 and 1796 only.
In 1885, James Frank Kernan (1840-1907) published Reminiscences of the Old Fire Laddies and Volunteer Fire Departments of New York and Brooklyn. Kernan also had an appendix in his work where Oceanus Engine Company 11 was listed. Unfortunately, he only gave a list of officers prior to disbandment of the company in 1865, and no specific list of its prior members.
From Sheldon’s The Story, page 351
Both Sheldon in 1882 and Kernan in 1885, appear to be the earliest authors on the subject of firefighters that mention Molly. Their accounts although tell a similar story, vary in some details. In Sheldon’s book, on pages 46 and 47, I read the following:
“One of the famous ‘volunteers’ of the earlier days was an old negro woman named Molly, a slave of John Aymar (the father of William Aymar). Mr. Aymar, by-the-way, was the last of the old Knickerbockers of New York a fine, trim old gentleman, who continued to wear the style of dress common among the better-to-do old Knickerbockers–a long-tailed coat, knee-breeches, silver shoe-buckles, and the inevitable queue. One of his sons was Benjamin Aymar, the founder of the eminent mercantile house of Aymar & Company. Well, Molly was his slave, and a very distinguished volunteer of No. 11 Engine. She used to be called ‘Volunteer No. 11.’ I can see her now, with her nice calico dress and check apron, a clean bandanna handkerchief neatly folded over her breast, and another wound about her head and rising up like a baby pyramid. Once, during a blinding snow-storm in 1818, there was a fire in William Street, and it was hard work to draw the engine but among the few who had hold of the drag-rope was Molly, pulling away for dear life. This may have been the only time that she took hold of the rope, but afterward, when asked what engine she belonged to, she always replied, ‘I belong to old ‘Leven I allers runs wid dat ole bull-gine.’ You could not look at Molly without being impressed by her really honest face–it was a beaming light-house of good nature.
Within the pages of Kernan’s work, ignoring some of the unfortunate language of the author, I read the following on pages 58 and 59:
While on the subject of “aunties,” I must not forget an incident which occurred many years ago, when one of these faithful creatures particularly distinguished herself. She was a servant in the employ of old Benjamin Aymar, and familiarly known as “Molly.” It was her boast that she was as good a fire laddie as many of the boys who at that time bragged of being such. Her master belonged to 11 engine, and as a natural sequence “Molly’s” sympathies were with that particular “machine.” It is truthfully related of her, that in 1818, while a terrific fire was raging in William Street, she did what few of her sex would have done. A blinding snow-storm was prevailing at the time, and it was almost impossible to drag the engine to the fire or secure members enough to hold the rope. Among the few who helped drag the engine to the fire was “Molly,” and her heroic action on this occasion has been frequently alluded to in the most flattering terms. It used to be her boast, when asked what engine she belonged to, to say, “I belong to ole ‘Leven I allers run wid dat ole bull-gine.” There are some to-day who remember “Molly” quite as well as they do “ole ‘Leven.”
Another historian mentioning Molly was Augustine E. Costello (1848-1909), who in 1887 published Our Firemen. A History of the New York Fire Departments, Volunteer and Paid. Costello makes mention of Molly twice in his work, but strangely, the two accounts vary in their details. First, I find the following on pages 151 and 152:
Among the women who used to minister to the comfort of the laddies was the servant of a member of No. 11 Engine, Mr. Benjamin Aymar. She was known as “Molly.” Molly considered herself to be permanently attached to No. 11, and stood up for the superiority of the machine under all circumstances. She boasted that she belonged to “ole ‘Leven,” and used to say, “I allers runs wid dat ole bullgine.” On one occasion, in 1818, a blinding snowstorm prevailed when a fire broke out in William Street. The boys had the utmost difficulty in dragging their engine through the snow-obstructed streets, and had not men enough on the rope. Molly came along, hitched on to the rope and helped to drag the machine to the fire. This deed of Molly’s was often recounted in the station houses.
Then on page 503 another mention of Molly as follows:
Mr. Pentz’s reminiscences of fire matters in the good old times would fill a respectable volume. One of his earliest recollections as a boy is of seeing Molly, a slave of John Aymar, who was quite a character in her day, helping the firemen to drag old 11 Engine through a snowdrift in William Street in the winter of 1818. It was Molly’s boast that she belonged to “Ole ‘Leben,” and always ran with it.
Mr. Pentz in Costello’s account is Adam Perry Pentz (1811-1887), who came from a long line of firemen. It is important to note here that Pentz died in February 1887, which was the same year when Costello published his work. If Costello interviewed Pentz personally, I wonder what was Pentz’s condition at the time of his reminiscing could I rely on the details of his story?
From the Aymar of New York by Benjamin Aymar, published in 1903
John Aymar was born on January 23, 1758 in New York to Daniel Aymar (1733-1815) and Ann Magdalene Magny (1738-177?). He was the grandson of Jean Eymar and Francoise Belon. Eymar was a Hugenot and the progenitor of the name in America, having adopted the spelling Aymar in his life time.
As early as 1787, John signed his name John D. Aymar. This is the same John Aymar that is called “the last of the old Knickerbockers of New York” in Molly Williams’ accounts as to him being the “master” of Williams is yet to be verified. He died on October 20, 1832 in New York and was originally buried in St. Thomas’ churchyard, but removed to The Green-Wood Cemetery on May 10, 1864. He was married three times: first to Jane Lagear (1765-1786) on April 14, 1785 second to Judith Quereau (1767-1799) on April 22, 1787 and last to Elizabeth Quereau (1774-1854) on August 14, 1800. He did not have any children with his first wife, and between his second and third wives, had fifteen children as follows:
- Hannah (1788-1813)
- Daniel (1790-1825)
- Benjamin (1791-1876)
- William (1794-1794)
- Ann Magdalene (1795-1879)
- Jane (1797-1828)
- John Quereau (1799-1864)
- Samuel (1801-1879)
- William (1802-1884)
- Judith (1805-1888)
- Francis (1806-1827)
- Elizabeth (1808-1858)
- Caroline (1810-1874)
- Louisa (1811-1842)
- Hannah (1813-1877)
Many Aymar family members who died before 1838, the year when The Green-Wood Cemetery was founded, were removed from their original place of interment and reburied in Green-Wood.
One common trait between Sheldon, Kernan, and Costello is that they depicted Molly as brave and yet uneducated, and as a servant and yet so grateful of her position. In 2018, Kyle T. Bulthuis wrote Tobacconist, Methodist, African, Patriot: Uncovering the Real Peter Williams in Early Republic New York City for New York History journal. Describing historians of 20th Century, he wrote that their “work [was] built upon a long tradition of infantilizing blacks,” such that can be observed in the works of the above mentioned authors.
The style of their works aside, between Sheldon, Kernan, and Costello, none of them give Molly’s surname. So where did Williams come in? It is also hard to distinguish between them about the first name Molly: was it her nickname or actual name? Nothing else is known about her origins either: was it Benjamin Aymar or John Aymar who was “the master” of Molly?
I will return to the issue of surname Williams, but first I had to dive into the Aymar genealogy in order to answer the question of who was the person who enslaved her. The search lead to The Green-Wood Cemetery, where I found fifty persons with that surname laid to rest. The list included two Benjamins and four Johns, who were buried in Section 100, as follows:
- Benjamin N. Aymar buried in Lot 681 on January 2, 1849
- Benjamin Aymar buried in Lot 681 on March 19, 1876
- John Q. Aymar buried in Lot 681 on November 29, 1844
- John Q. Aymar Jr. buried in Lot 682 on December 2, 1844
- John D. Aymar buried in Lot 679 on May 10, 1864
- John Q. Aymar buried in Lot 682 on October 12, 1864
According to the Cemetery’s records, in July 1844, the following Aymar family members purchased lots in Section 100.
- Lot 679 by William Aymar
- Lot 680 by Samuel Aymar
- Lot 681 by Benjamin Aymar
- Lot 682 by John Q. Aymar
To return to the list of Benjamins and Johns buried in The Green-Wood Cemetery, with help of Aymar of New York, I know the following to be correct: Benjamin N. Aymar (1823-1848) and John Q. Aymar (1819-1843), buried in Lot 681, were sons of Benjamin Aymar (1791-1876), purchaser of the lot John Q. Aymar Jr. (1830-1831), buried in Lot 682 on December 2, 1844, was son of John Q. Aymar (1799-1864), purchaser of the lot and lastly, John D. Aymar (1758-1832), buried in Lot 679 on May 10, 1864, was father of William Aymar (1802-1884), purchaser of the lot.
While looking through the records of persons buried in the four Aymar lots, I saw a name that made me whisper to myself, “It must be her.” On April 22, 1857, Diana Williams was buried in Lot 682 of John Q. Aymar. I was not sure if “Molly” could be short form of Diana, but the records of the cemetery indicated that Diana Williams was born in West Indies, and died on April 21, 1857 at the age of 90 years. This means she was born about 1767, and would have been about 51 years old in 1818 when “a terrific fire was raging in William Street.” Could Diana Williams be the same person as Molly Williams, our first female firefighter? Before I can conclusively say that, there are few other nuances to the story that I have to consider.
From the records of The Green-Wood Cemetery
The four Aymar lots are conjoined and are located on top of the Ocean Hill off of Vision Path from Atlantic Avenue. A gray granite monument faces the path, and as I approached it, the family name AYMAR is clearly visible inscribed on the bottom. On the left panel of the monument, I read: Dinah. Faithful Family Servant.
As early as 1850, Diana Williams was recorded living in the household of John Q. Aymar (1799-1864), brother of Benjamin Aymar. Information about Diana in the Cemetery’s records does not match to what was recorded about her in the census. In 1850, she was recorded as being 80 years old and born in North Carolina and five years later, when the New York State census was enumerated, she was listed as 85 years old servant but born in Virginia.
Diana Williams’ inscription on Aymar family monument, Lot 682, Section 100
From the Aymar genealogy, I know that Benjamin Aymar (1791-1876) was the one who was associated with Oceanus Engine Company No. 11, as his children were not yet born when the story of Molly Williams took place. It is still not clear if Benjamin’s father, John D. Aymar (1758-1832), was the one who had enslaved Molly, or if it was Benjamin himself who was the “employer” of Williams. One thing is certain is that Benjamin, son of John D. Aymar, was the same person who founded Aymar & Company, as mentioned by Sheldon. Benjamin and his brother, John Q., were partners in the firm (see below).
I know Diana Williams was a servant in John Q. Aymar’s household, but I am still not sure if she was the same person as Molly Williams. Sometime in 1820s, John Q. moved into the house of his brother, Benjamin, at 42 Greenwich Street. Is it possible when she was living with Benjamin Aymar, the family called her Molly, and later she moved to John Q. Aymar’s household, she was called Diana/Dinah? Maybe it is a bit of a stretch, but Kernan did write that she was “familiarly known as ‘Molly.'” In any case, there’s much more sleuthing to do on my part. Before I continue the story of Molly Williams, I must turn my attention to Peter Williams.
Tethys Goddess: Ancient Greek Titaness of Primal Fresh Water
Facts about Tethys Goddess of: primal fresh water Parents: Uranus and Gaia Siblings: Titans, the Cyclops, and the Hecantoncheires Consort: Oceanus (Okeanos) Children: Oceanids, including Doris Ptotamoi (river gods such...
by World History Edu · Published April 20, 2021 · Last modified April 21, 2021
Gaul To Britannia, The Crossing of Oceanus Britannicus
Sea travel in ancient times could be a dangerous business and travelling into unfamiliar territory and the uncertainty of what might be encountered, a perilous affair. The shores of Gaul were once considered as being at the end of the world and almost another world. Accounts of Emperor Claudius’ legions on the eve of his invasion of Britain in 43 A.D., tells of them at first flatly refusing to face a voyage to Britannia, this place outside the world with its dangers of being wrecked or castaway on a hostile shore. Although Julius Caesar in 55 B.C. had shown that an invasion across Oceanus Britannicus from Gaul was feasible, Claudius’ army may still have feared that anyone travelling that far could fall off the edge of the earth.
Gesoriacum, Bononia (Boulogne). Vici.org. Creative commons attribution share alike
Following the conquest, Britannia became a Roman province. As a province it developed a number of ports to handle the increase in shipping, including Portus Dubris (Dover), Portus Rutupiae (Richborough), Portus Lemanis ((Lympne) and in Gaul, Gesoriacum. Gesoriacum developed around an expanding port and linked the continent to Britannia. The sea journey across Oceanus Britannicus (the English Channel) from Gesoriacum to the port of Rutupiae in Britannia (Richborough, Kent) was recorded in the Antonine Itinerary as a distance of four-hundred and fifty stadia, 56.25 Roman miles. This was the most direct route to Britannia. It is thought that three hundred and fifty stadia would be closer to the actual distance, however the need to navigate hazards in the channel could account for the the extra one hundred stadia recorded in the Itinerary. Depending on the weather, the journey across the channel to Britannia could take a ship six to eight hours.
Departing Gesoriacum. Vici.org. Creative commons attribution share alike.
For those travellers who were accustomed to sailing the Mediterranean, the weather conditions they could encounter on Oceanus Britannicus would be considerably more hazardous. Oceanus Britannicus was known for its precarious waters, with massive tides and currents accompanied by variable winds which could make for a difficult crossing. The channel during the winter is far more prone to violent winds than the stormiest region of the Mediterranean. Although the frequency of powerful winds blowing through the channel is greatly reduced during the summer, modern records suggest that ships sailing between Britain and the continent in July still expect to encounter strong or gale force winds on two percent of occasions. In the Mediterranean, tides are hardly perceptible in comparison to tides around the coast of Britain, which can rise and fall anywhere between 1.5 to 14 meters twice daily. Romans made ships for these harsher conditions which would withstand the tidal waters of the north western hemispere. Ships were designed with high bows and sterns to protect against heavy seas and storms. These vessels were also built flat bottomed, enabling them to ride in shallow waters and on ebb tides.
Navigation across the channel was aided by pharos. The lighthouse Tour d’Ordre at Gesoriacum and on the opposite coastline, a pair of pharos, momumental structures at a height of over twenty metres, were situated on the headland flanking either side of the major port of Dubris. The remains of one of these lighthouses survives within Dover Castle. The Romans also maintained a fleet, the Classis Britannica, present in the channel from the 1st century A.D. which provided security for crossing vessels. The fleets purpose was to transport men and supplies and patrol the channel keeping the sea routes free of pirates. The fleet with its headquarters in Gesoriacum, the major Roman naval base for the north of the Empire, also had a permanent base at Dubris (Dover) and Lemannis (Lympne).
Roman Pharos, Dover Castle. The Roman lighthouse is the structure to the right of the church.
On arrival in Gaul at the port in Gesoriacum, a traveller would find himself in the midst of a hub of activity: merchant ships and naval vessels in the harbour and the busy shipyards carrying out repairs and maintenance. Journey plans for crossing Oceanus required flexibility. There was no routine sailings and to organise his passage the traveller would set about finding the next available ship. He would also need to be aware that not only unsuitable weather conditions prevented sailings, also on ill-omened days on dates such as the 24 August, 5th October and 8th November, no ship would leave port. Once the next available sailing was found, a deck passage would be booked with the master of the ship, the magister navis.
Ships were merchant vessels not given over to comforts for those passengers on board. There were no cabins, although sometimes small tent-like shelters were used. Before sailing, the ships authorities would always carry out the pre-sailing sacrifice to the gods of a sheep or a bull at the harbour’s temple. Larger ships might have had an altar and a sacrifice could be made on board. If the omens were not right, the sailing would be delayed, positive signs combined with good weather ensured departure. The traveller, anxious for his own personal protection, might also have appealed to Mercury, the god of safe travel. Julius Caesar wrote that Mercury was the most popular god in Gaul and Britannia. One common practice for protection was to wear a brooch depicting a cockerel, herald of each new day, which was associated with the god.
The White Cliffs of Dover. James Web, 1859
Ancient sea journeys could be uncomfortable and fearful. Once on board, the traveller might settle his nerves and occupy himself by talking with other passengers or perhaps by watching the handling of the vessel the helmsman guiding the ship, pushing and pulling on the tiller bars or the sailors trimming the lines of the main sail and the deckhands carrying out their duties.
The journey across Oceanus Britannicus with all its possible hazards was nevertheless, a relatively short crossing. On a fine day, there would be a clear and comforting view of Britannia. Approaching the coast of this remote province, the high chalk cliffs of Dover towered, “stupendous masses of natural bulwarks,” was how they were described by one Roman general. For the traveller it must have been a very welcoming sight.
Template:Deity character Oceanus (Ωκεανός) or Okeanos was believed to be the world-ocean, or river encircling the world in Greek mythology. He was the Titan God of the Seas, rivers and water, and a child of Oranos and Gaia. His sister was Tethys, and together they created the Potamoi and Oceanids, gods of rivers, streams and springs.
In other tales, Oceanus was portrayed as the 'origin of everything.' He was said to be a river-god whose broad, mighty stream repeatedly flowed in on itself.
During the deposition of his father, Oceanus chose not to side with his five younger brothers. Similarly, Oceanus and the Titanesses remained neutral during the Titanomachy , and when the Titans were defeated, Zeus allowed Oceanus to remain with his task of supplying the rivers and streams. In some tales, he was the son of Nyx.
Oceanus is not in many myths except in the Iliad where he is addressed in a prayer.
Oceanus did not take part in the Titanomachy, but in Rick Riordan's The Last Olympian, the second Titanomachy takes place and he has an undersea battle with Poseidon, Olympian of the seas. When the other Titans lose their part of the war, Oceanus backs off from Poseidon.