Here is a brief insight into Gaia, who is known as the Goddess of Earth, and her importance according to Greek mythology.
Gaia, the beautiful, rose up, Broad blossomed, she that is the steadfast base Of all things. And fair Gaia first bore The starry Heaven, equal to herself, To cover her on all sides and to be A home forever for the blessed Gods. - Hesiod (A Greek poet who lived in 700 BC)
The goddess of Earth is known as Gaia or Gaea. She is considered as Mother Goddess and was worshiped in form of a deity by ancient Greeks. She is held in high-esteem in Greek mythology. They believe beginning of life on earth is from Gaia and she is treated as a divine being.
Gaia is the daughter of Chaos. She is believed to be the mother as well as the wife of Uranus - the sky and Pontus - the sea. According to mythology she is a primeval goddess who was the mother of other Gods. She played a significant role in myths. She was also known to control the population of the world.
Gaia and her Children
Gaia gave birth to Uranus and Pontus through parthenogenesis. Later she married both of them for the sake of propagation. Hesiod, in his work Theogony narrates Uranus hated all the children Gaia bore him.
Six sons and daughters and one hundred armed giants, Hecatonchires, and one-eyed giants, the Cyclopes were born out of the bed-lock of Uranus and Gaia. The six daughters and sons were the Titans of the earth. Uranus imprisoned his children in Tartarus. However, their youngest child Cronus killed Uranus after plotting the conspiracy with his mother.
The twelve titans were Oceanus, Phoebe, Rhea, Coeus, Crius, Cronus, Hyperion, Iapetus, Tethys, Theia, Themis, and Mnemosyne.
After the death of Uranus, Gaia delivered Typhon and Echidna, children of Tartarus. She made Aristaeus immortal.
Gaia had coupled with Pontus, the sea-god to produce five children. They were Nereus, known as the old man of the sea, Euboea, the "strong goddess of the sea, Thaumas, considered as the wonder of the sea, Phorcys and Ceto. They were all considered as titans.
The other children of Gaia are Alecto, Tisiphone and Megaera, the Erives, the Ash Tree Nymphs known as Meliads, Atlas, Acheron, Antaeus, and Python.
There are many historians who believe Gaia to be the deity behind Oracle. According to their works, she had passed on her power to create to Poseidon, Apollo and Themis. In ancient Greece, the oaths sworn in the name of Gaia are considered most sacred and binding compared to oaths sworn in the name of other gods.
Historians have excavated a Athenian vase painting where she is holding the baby Erichthonius, the future king of Athens. In another painting she is depicted as a woman reposing on the earth who is surrounded by many infant gods of fruits, the Carpi.
The Greeks worship Gaia even today. The ancient Greeks considered her as a Mother of all things and they believe every movable and living beings sprang up from her.