GAEA or GE
The Protogenos and the personification of the earth. Mother Earth emerged at the beginning of creation to form the foundation of the universe.
She appears in the character of a divine being as early as the Homeric poems, for we read in the Iliad (III) that black sheep were sacrificed to her, and that she was invoked by persons taking oaths. She is further called, in the Homeric poems, the mother of Erechtheus and Tithyus.
By Uranus she then became the mother of a series of beings, — Oceanus, Coeus, Crius Hyperion, Japetus, Theia, Rheia, Themis, Mnemosyne,, Phoebe, Tethys, Cronos, the Cyclopes, Brontes, Steropes, Arges, Cottus, Briareus, and Gyges.
These children of Ge and Uranus were hated by their father, and Gaia therefore concealed them in the bosom of the earth but she made a large iron sickle, gave it to her sons and requested them to take vengeance upon their father.
Cronos undertook the task, and mutilated Uranus. The drops of blood which fell from him upon the earth (Ge), became the seeds of the Erinnyes, the Gigantes, and the Melian nymphs. Subsequently Ge became, by Pontus, the mother of Nereus, Thaumas, Phorcys, Ceto, and Eurybia. (Theogony of Hesiod 232. Apollodorus i)
Besides these, however, various other divinities and monsters sprang from her. As Ge was the source from which arose the vapours producing divine inspiration, she herself also was regarded as an oracular divinity and it is well known that the oracle of Delphi was believed to have at first been in her possession and at Olympia, too, she had an oracle in early times.
That Ge belonged to the Deoi chthonioi requires no explanation, and hence she is frequently mentioned where they are invoked. ( Metamorphoses by Ovid VII)
The surnames and epithets given to Ge have more or less reference to her character as the all-producing and all-nourishing mother (mater omniparenset et alma), and hence Servius classes her together with the divinities presiding over marriage.
Her worship appears to have been universal among the Greeks, and she had temples or altars at Athens, Sparta, Delphi, Olympia, Bura, Tegea, Phlyus, and other places.
We have express statements attesting the existence of statues of Ge in Greece, but none have come down to us. At Patrae she was represented in a sitting attitude, in the temple of Demeter and at Athens, too, there was a statue of her. Servius remarks that she was represented with a key.
At Rome the earth was worshipped under the name of Tellus (which is only a variation of Terra). There, too, she was regarded as an infernal divinity being mentioned in connection with Dis and the Manes, and when persons invoked them or Tellus they sank their arms downwards, while in invoking Jupiter they raised them to heaven.
The consul P. Sempronius Sophus, in b. c. 304, built a temple to Tellus in consequence of an earthquake which had occurred during the war with the Picentians. This temple stood on the spot which had formerly been occupied by the house of Cassius, in the street leading to the Carinae.
Her festival was celebrated on the 15th of April, immediately after that of Ceres, and was called Fordicidia or Hordicidia. The sacrifice, consisting of cows, was offered up in the Capitol in the presence of the Vestals. A male divinity, to whom the pontiff prayed on that occasion, was called Tellumo.
I. "SKY was the first who ruled over the whole world. And having wedded Earth, he begat first the Hundred-handed, as they are named: Briareus, Gyes, Cottus, who were unsurpassed in size and might, each of them having a hundred hands and fifty heads. After these, Earth bore him the Cyclopes, to wit, Arges, Steropes, Brontes, of whom each had one eye on his forehead. But them Sky hound and cast into Tartarus, a gloomy place in Hades as far distant from earth as earth is distant from the sky.
And again he begat children by Earth, to wit, the Titans as they are named: Ocean, Coeus, Hyperion, Crius, lapetus, and, youngest of all, Cronus; also daughters, the Titanides as they are called: Tethys, Rhea, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Dione, Thia.
But Earth, grieved at the destruction of her children, who had been cast into Tartarus, persuaded the Titans to attack their father and gave Cronus an adamantine sickle. And they, all but Ocean, attacked him, and Cronus cut off his father's genitals and threw them into the sea; and from the drops of the flowing blood were born Furies, to wit, Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera. And, having dethroned their father, they brought up their brethren who had been hurled down to Tartarus, and committed the sovereignty to Cronus."
Fifth century B.C. statue from Thebes showing show Gaia on her throne and holding a newborn infant, a symbol of fertility
"And Earth first bare starry Heaven, equal to herself, to cover her on every side, and to be an ever-sure abiding-place for the blessed gods. And she brought forth long Hills, graceful haunts of the goddess-Nymphs who dwell amongst the glens of the hills. She bare also the fruitless deep with his raging swell, Pontus, without sweet union of love.
But afterwards she lay with Heaven and bare deep-swirling Oceanus, Coeus and Crius and Hyperion and Iapetus, Theia and Rhea, Themis and Mnemosyne and gold-crowned Phoebe and lovely Tethys. After them was born Cronos the wily, youngest and most terrible of her children, and he hated his lusty sire.
(ll. 139-146) And again, she bare the Cyclopes, overbearing in spirit, Brontes, and Steropes and stubborn-hearted Arges (6), who gave Zeus the thunder and made the thunderbolt: in all else they were like the gods, but one eye only was set in the midst of their fore-heads. And they were surnamed Cyclopes (Orb-eyed) because one orbed eye was set in their foreheads. Strength and might and craft were in their works.
(ll. 147-163) And again, three other sons were born of Earth and Heaven, great and doughty beyond telling, Cottus and Briareos and Gyes, presumptuous children. From their shoulders sprang an hundred arms, not to be approached, and each had fifty heads upon his shoulders on their strong limbs, and irresistible was the stubborn strength that was in their great forms. For of all the children that were born of Earth and Heaven, these were the most terrible, and they were hated by their own father from the first."