Dysnomia (deity)

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Dysnomia[pronunciation?] (Δυσνομία; "lawlessness"), imagined by Hesiod among the daughters of "abhorred Eris" ("Strife"),[1] is the daemon of "lawlessness", who shares her nature with Atë ("ruin"); she makes rare appearances among other personifications in poetical contexts that are marginal in ancient Greek religion but become central to Greek philosophy: see Plato's Laws.


In a surviving fragment of Solon's poems, a contrast is made to Eunomia, a name elsewhere given to one of the Horae, the embodiments of order. Both were figures of rhetoric and poetry; neither figured in myth or Greek religious cult — although other personifications did, like Harmonia, "Agreement";[2] whether Harmonia is only a personification is debatable.[3]

In 2005, Dysnomia was chosen as the name for the newly discovered moon of the dwarf planet Eris.[4]


  1. Hesiod, Theogony 225ff, lists ponos (toil), Lethe (forgetfulness), limos (starvation), the algea (pains), hysminai (fights) and Machai (battles), phonoi (murders) and Androktasiai (manslaughter), the neikea (quarrels), the pseudologoi (lies), the amphilogiai (disputes), Dysnomoa (lawlessness) and Ate (blind ruin), "who share one another's natures", and horkos (oath)." Compare the ills of mankind in the Hesiodic version of Pandora.
  2. OCD s. "homonia"
  3. Burkert, Greek Religion, p.283.
  4. IAU Circular 8747 - Official publication of the IAU reporting the naming of Eris and Dysnomia

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