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Ponos /ˈpˌnɒs/ or Ponus /ˈpnəs/ (Ancient Greek: Πόνος Pónos; "toil, labour") was the god of hard labor and toil in Greek mythology. His mother was the goddess Eris ("discord"), who was the daughter of Nyx ("night"). He was the brother of Algos, Lethe, Limos, and Horkos.[1] According to some accounts, Ponos attested as the son of Nyx and Erebus ("darkness").


Hesiod's account[edit]

In Hesiod's Theogony (226–232), Ponos' genealogy was described along with his other daemones-siblings:

And hateful Eris bore painful Ponos ("Hardship"),
Lethe ("Forgetfulness") and Limos ("Starvation") and the tearful Algea ("Pains"),
Hysminai ("Battles"), Makhai ("Wars"), Phonoi ("Murders"), and Androktasiai ("Manslaughters");
Neikea ("Quarrels"), Pseudo-Logoi ("Lying Stories"), Amphillogiai ("Disputes")
Dysnomia ("Anarchy") and Ate ("Ruin"), near one another,
and Horkos ("Oath"), who most afflicts men on earth,
Then willing swears a false oath.[2]

Cicero's account[edit]

In Cicero's De Natura Deorum, an alternative genealogy was given to Ponos:

"...Sky (Aether) and Day (Hemera), as also their brothers and sisters, which by ancient genealogists are thus named: Love (Amor) Deceit (Dolus), Fear (Metus), Labor (Ponos), Envy (Invidentia), Fate (Fatum), Old Age (Senectus), Death (Mors), Darkness (Tenebrae), Misery (Miseria), Lamentation (Luctus), Favor (Gratia), Fraud (Fraus), Obstinacy (Pertinacia), the Destinies (Fates), the Hesperides, and Dreams (Somnia); all which are the offspring of Erebus and Night (Nox) ..."


  1. ^ Grimal, Pierre; A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop (1996). The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. p. 152. ISBN 0-631-20102-5.
  2. ^ Translation by Richard Caldwell, Hesiod's Theogony, Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Company (June 1, 1987). ISBN 978-0-941051-00-2.