The mythical creatures were fabulous beasts from Greek and Roman myths. I have also included monsters.

Please note that I have moved the article on Centaurs to its own page, where I have listed some individual Centaurs.

  Unusual Beings
  Immortal Horses
  Other Animals
  Monsters


Please note the following topics below, have been moved to pages of their own.

  Giants
  Nymphs
  Centaurs      



Genealogy: Giants and Monsters

Fact and Figures: Astronomy

Related Pages:
     Giants
     Nymphs
     Centaurs      






Unusual Beings

  Satyrs
  See Centaurs page
  Myrmidons
  Dragon-teeth Men
  Earthborn Kings
  Argus Panoptes
  Geryon
  Graeae
  Ker

Σάτυροι
Satyrs
 

The satyrs (Σάτυροι) were woodland spirits, often depicted in arts with head and upper body of man, horns and pointy ears, and goat legs. They were also depicted with large erect phallus.

They were often seen accompanying Dionysus, the god of wine and ecstasy. They were shown in drunken revelry and orgy, dancing with Dionysus' female followers, the maenads.

Pan, the god of shepherd was a satyr, so was probably Silenus or Seilenus. Silenus was one of the loyal followers of Dionysus, who brought up the wine god.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Pan, Dionysus, Silenus.



Μυρμιδών
Myrmidons
 

The Myrmidons (Μυρμιδών) were originally worker ants. On the island of Aegina, Hera sent a plague that wiped out the inhabitants of the island. Aeacus the king of Aegina was the son of Zeus and Aegina; therefore he was a target of her enmity.

Aeacus and his mother were the only survivors on the island. Aeacus saw ants that were unaffected from the pestilence. Aeacus prayed to his father that if he and his mother were to survive on the island, he need to repopulate the island with people. Aeacus asked that the people were as hardy as the worker ants.

Zeus answered his son's prayer by transforming the ants into human. These ants became known as Myrmidons. The Myrmidons were also fierce warriors as well as loyal subjects. See also Aegina and Aeacus in the Wrath of Heaven.

When Aeacus exiled his two sons, Peleus and Telamon, for murdering their half-brother, Phocis, Peleus went to Phthia. A group of Myrmidons followed Peleus to Thessaly.

When the Greeks fought in the Trojan War, Peleus' son, Achilles, brought the Myrmidons to Troy. These Myrmidon warriors wore black armour and shields. Neoptolemus, the grandson of Peleus, brought the Myrmidons home after the war.


A different tradition says that the Myrmidons had no such remarkable beginning, but were descendants of Myrmidon, a Thessalian nobleman. Myrmidon married Peisidice, the daughter of Aeolus, king of Thessaly. Myrmidon was the father of Actor and Antiphus. As king of Phthia, Actor or his son invited Peleus to stay in Thessaly.

The term myrmidon later became to mean, "hired ruffian", according to the Oxford Dictionary.

 
Related Information
Name
Myrmex - "Ant".
Myrmidons, Μυρμιδών.

Related Articles
Aegina, Aeacus, Peleus, Achilles, Aeolus, Zeus, Hera.

Aegina and Aeacus.



(Σπαρτοί)
Dragon-teeth Men (Sparti)
 

Dragon-teeth men were armed warriors, who sprang out of the earth, after they were sowed the teeth of a dragon in the soil. They would immediately attack anyone in their presence.

One way to defeat them was to make them fight one another. A hero could hurl rocks at them, so they would face and attack one another.


Cadmus came to face-to-face against them, when he was looking for a new home in Boeotia. Cadmus killed a dragon that guarded a spring, sacred to Ares. Athena advised Cadmus how to defeat dragon-teeth men. Only five of the dragon-teeth men survived.

These became Cadmus most loyal supporters when he founded the city of Thebes. They were known as the Sparti, which means "Sown-Men". Some of them married into Cadmus' royal families. The five original Sparti were named: Echion, Chthonius, Hyperenor, Pelorus and Udaeüs or Udaeus.

Echion had married Agave, Cadmus' daughter, and became the father of Pentheus.

Chthonius was the father of Nycteus and Lycus, both sons became regent of Thebes, after Pentheus' death. Chthonius' granddaughter, Nycteis, had married Polydorus, son of Cadmus. While Chthonius's other granddaughter, Antiope was the mother of the twins Amphion and Zethus, co-rulers of Thebes. Both Nycteis and Antiope were Nycteus' daughters.

And Udaeüs was the ancestor of the blind Theban seer, Teiresias.


Jason, the hero of the Argonautica, also faced these dragon teeth warriors, as one of the tasks set by Aeëtes (Aeetes), the king of Colchis. Medea, Aeëtes' own daughter, helped Jason defeated them with the same strategy: making them fights one another.

 
Related Information
Name
Sparti, Spartoi, Σπαρτοί - "Sown Men".

Related Articles
Cadmus, Jason, Medea.

Argonauts, House of Thebes, Colchis.



Earthborn Kings
 

The following earth-born kings were the early rulers of Attica and Athens. They were beings: part man and part serpent.

Cecrops was the first such king. It was during this time that Poseidon and Athena contested for the patronage of Athens.

Erichthonius was also part man and part serpent. Erichthonius was the son of Hephaestus and Gaea. Hephaestus had wanted to marry Athena, the virgin war goddess. When Hephaestus tried to ravish Athena, the goddess managed to ward him off, causing Hephaestus' semen to fall on earth, which Erichthonius was born.

Athena entrusted Cecrops' daughters (Aglauros, Pandrosos and Herse) to guard a chest, warning them not to open the box. Their curiosity of what was in the box, brought about their madness and death, since they couldn't resist opening the box. What they discovered was the infant Erichthonius. Madness overcame the daughters of Cecrops; they ran off the cliff and fell to their death.

Athena then reared Erichthonius, until he was old enough to become king of Athens.


There are earth-born kings, such as Lelex and Pelasgus (Pelasgos), who ruled in Argos, Arcadia and Messenia. Though, Apollodorus had also reported that he might be the son of Zeus and Niobe, and brother of Argus, king of Argos.

It doesn't say anything about Pelasgus or Lelex having a tail of serpent. They were born from the earth.

 
Related Information
Name
In Attica or Athens:
Cecrops
Erichthonius

In Peloponnese:
Pelasgus, Pelasgos.

Related Articles
Poseidon, Athena.

Athens.



Argus Panoptes
 

Argus Panoptes was a watchman with a hundred eyes.

Hera had set Argus to watching Io, who had been transformed into a cow. Hera wanted to keep Zeus away from Io. With a hundred eyes watching Io, Zeus had no hope of spiriting Io away without detection from Argus. Even when Argus slept, some of his eyes would continue to watch, while the rest of the eyes were closed.

Zeus decided to send his resourceful son, Hermes. Hermes was dressed as a shepherd. Hermes lulled Argus to sleep, before the god killed the watchman with his sword.

Hera rewarded Argus for his service, by placing his eyes on the tail of the peacock, which was her favourite bird.

Argus Panoptes had been credited for killing the monster Echidna.

 
Related Information
Name
Argus Panoptes - "All Seeing".
Argus, Ἄργος.

Related Articles
Io, Zeus, Hera, Hermes, Echidna.


Argus Panoptes Guarding the Heifer (Io)
Red Figure pitcher, c. 460 BC
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston



Γηρυονεύς
Geryon
 

Geryon was the son of Chrysaor and the Oceanid Callirrhoë. Geryon was the king of Erytheia (Cadiz), in Spain. Geryon was a man or monster with three bodies, joined at the waists.

Geryon was the owner of cattle, which was placed in the care of Eurytion, his herdsman. Orthus, a two-headed hound, guarded them. Orthus was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna, and was closely related to the more famous hound, Cerberus.

As one of his labour, Heracles had to fetch the cattle of Geryon. Heracles killed Orthus and the herdsman, and drove off the cattle. When Geryon found out about the killing and theft, Geryon pursued Heracles. Heracles killed Geryon at the River Anthemus.

 
Related Information
Name
Geryon, Geryones, Γηρυονεύς.

Related Articles
Chrysaor, Orthus, Typhon, Echidna, Heracles.



Γραίαι
Graeae
 

The Graeae were two ancient hags. The Graeae were two daughters of Phorcys and Ceto, and were named Enyo and Pemphredo. They were the sisters of the Gorgons and possibly of Echidna and Ladon.

These ancient hags lived in a cave in one of the mountains in Libya, near Lake Tritonis. They were born with gray hair, and said to have the necks of swan. The Graeae shared an eye and a tooth between themselves.

Perseus stole the eye from them, so he could gained information of where he could find weapon to kill Medusa, as well as where to find the lair of the Gorgons. Perseus either returned the eye to them, or threw it into the lake.

 
Related Information
Name
Graeae, Γραίαι – "Gray Women".

Related Articles
Phorcys and Ceto, Gorgons, Medusa, Perseus.



Κἣρες
Keres
 

The Keres (Κἣρες) were death spirits, where they resembled the Erinyes (or Furies): female, fangs and talons. They were said to carry off the dead to the Underworld.

Apart from Hesiod's work, I've failed to find any reference from other sources.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Erinyes (or Furies).






Immortal Horses and Other Animals

Magic horses appeared quite frequently in Greek myths. They were the steeds of the gods or the heroes. Some were swift as the wind; some could fly, and even talk to human.

  Pegasus
  Arion
  Xanthus and Balius
  Ocyrrhoe      

Unfortunately some of these horses have no name. This includes the horse of Tros, king of Troy. Zeus gave the divine horse to Tros as compensation for when Zeus had abducted the king's son, Ganymede. This was the same horse that Heracles made war upon Troy, when King Laomedon refused to pay the hero for killing the sea monster. Later Aeneas received this horse during the Trojan War, but lost them to Diomedes, the Argive champion.


Πήγασος
Pegasus
 

Winged horse of Bellerophon. Pegasus, or Πήγασος, was the offspring of Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. The winged steed was born, when the blood fell into sea from Medusa's neck. Pegasus was born at the same time as Chrysaor.

Bellerophon was only able to tame the steed when Athena gave the hero a golden bridle. Bellerophon used Pegasus in all his adventure: killing the monster Chimaera, defeating the Solymi and Amazons.

When Bellerophon thought to fly Pegasus to Olympus, the home of the gods, they send a gadfly to sting Pegasus. Bellerophon was thrown off his horse; the hero became lame for his misdeed. After this, Pegasus lived in the stable in Olympus offering his service to Zeus, carrying his thunderbolts.

 
Related Information
Name
Pegasus, Pegasos, Πήγασος.

Related Articles
Bellerophon, Gorgon Medusa, Chrysaor, Chimaera, Perseus, Poseidon, Athena.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see Pegasus.


Pegasus
Gustave Moreau
Musée Gustave Moreau, Paris



Ἀρίων
Arion
 

Immortal horse. Arion was the offspring of Poseidon and Demeter. Poseidon lusted and chased after his sister Demeter, not long after Persephone's abduction. Demeter tried to hide from her brother, by changing herself into a mare, hiding among the other horses in Arcadia. Nevertheless, Poseidon found her, transformed himself into a stallion and mounted her. Demeter gave birth to a girl named Desponia, and the colt known as Arion.

Arion was owned by Oncius in Arcadia. Arion was fabulously swifter than any other horses, which Heracles won from Oncius. However Heracles gave up Arion to Adrastus, the king of Argos.

In the war of the Seven Against Thebes, when Theban defeated the Argives, Arion saved Adrastus' life by carrying the king from the battlefield, and brought him safely to Athens.

 
Related Information
Name
Arion, Areion, Ἀρίων.

Related Articles
Demeter, Poseidon, Heracles, Adrastus.

Seven Against Thebes.



Xanthus and Balius
 

The immortal horses of Achilles. They were the offspring of Zephyrus, god of the west wind, and Podarge, on of the Harpies.

The horses originally belonged to Peleus, Achilles' father, when the hero had married the sea goddess Thetis. Peleus received the pair of horses as one of the wedding gifts from the gods.

When the Trojan War broke out between the Greeks and the Trojans, Peleus gave his gifts to Achilles: his armour, helmet, and the chariot drawn by Xathus and Balius.

Xanthus and Balius wept at the death of Patroclus, companion of Achilles. Hera gave them human speeches.

 
Related Information
Name
Xanthus, Ξάνθος.
Balius, Βαλίος.

Related Articles
Zephyrus, Harpies, Achilles, Peleus, Thetis.

Trojan War.



Ὠκυρρόη
Ocyrrhoe
 

According to Ovid, Ocyrrhoe was the daughter of Aeolus and Chariclo. At birth, she was endowed with the gift of prophecy by Apollo. She later became the mother of Phasis, by Apollo. Ocyrrhoe had been raped by Aeolus, the son of Hellen. So great was her gift in the prophecy that the gods feared Ocyrrhoe would reveal all their secrets to mortals. Apollo was helpless to prevent his father, Zeus, from transforming her into a mare.


However, in the Poetica Astronomia, Hyginus say that she was the daughter of Cheiron, known as Melanippe. Here the circumstance for her transformation was different to Ovid's version. Like Ocyrrhoe, Aeolus had raped Melanippe, so that she fell pregnant.

Fearing that her father would kill her for being pregnant, she kept her condition a secret. When she was due to deliver her baby, Melanippe fled from home and hid in the woods. When she heard that her father was approaching, she prayed to the god to hide her. Shortly after she gave birth, she was immediately transformed her into a mare. Later she was placed among the stars, as the constellation known as the "Horse", "Little Horse" or Equuleus.

 
Related Information
Name
Ocyrrhoe, Ὠκυρρόη; Melanippe, Menalippe – "Black Horse".

Theia, Θεία; Evippe, Εὐίππη.

Sources
Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Poetica Astronomia was written by Hyginus.

Related Articles
Equuleus. Cheiron, Aeolus, Apollo, Poseidon.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see Equuleus.






Other Animals

  Laelaps and the Teumessian Vixen
  Maera
  Cretan Bull
  Golden Fleece      
  Cerynitian Hind, see Heracles' Third Labour
  Calydonian Boar
  Crommyonian Sow
  Erymanthian Boar
  Nemean Lion
  Eagle     

Laelaps and the Teumessian Vixen
 

Laelaps (Λαίλαπς) was the magical hound that Zeus had given to Europa. Laelaps was swiftest hound that was fated to always catch his preys. The hound came into the possession of her son Minos, who in turn, gave to his mistress, Procris, before she gave the hound to her husband Cephalus.

Amphitryon, stepfather of Heracles, borrowed Laelaps from Cephalus so he could hunt the Teumessian Vixen, the fox that Hera had decreed - would never be captured.

Since Fates made Laelaps to be able to catch all creatures and the Teumessian Vixen could not be captured, Zeus decided to turned both hound and fox into stone. It was said that Zeus might have placed them both among the stars, so Laelaps would continue to endless pursuit of the Teumessian Vixen. Laelaps was possibly the constellation known as Canis Major.

 
Related Information
Name
Laelaps, Λαίλαπς – "Hurricane".
Canis Major (constellation).

Teumessian Vixen, Αλοπεκος Τευμεσιος.

Related Articles
Europa, Minos, Cephalus, Procris, Zeus, Hera.

Cephalus and Procris.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellations of Canis Major.



Μαἳρα
Maera
 

Maera was the faithful hound of Icarius, an Athenian follower of the wine god Dionysus.

Icarius was the father of the maiden Erigone. Dionysus had taught Icarius how to make wine.

One day, Icarius travel on the road in a wagon, when he met some shepherds. Icarius shared his wineskin. The shepherd fell into a drunken stupor and when they woken up, they thought Icarius had tried to poison them. The shepherds bashed Icarius to death and buried him under a tree.

Erigone became concern for her father's whereabouts, set off with Maera to find him. Maera led the maiden to the grave. The hound howled in its grief, before leaping off the cliff to its death. Erigone was also distraught over her father's death, hanged herself from the tree, above her father's grave.

Taking pity on his followers and the hound, Dionysus placed them in the sky as the constellations Bootes (Icarius), Virgo (Erigone), and Maera as the constellation Sirius. Others say the constellation Canis Major or Canis Minor was Maera.

Dionysus did not let the shepherds escape for murdering Icarius. Dionysus caused madness in Athens, where all the maidens hanged themselves. The Athenians found out from the oracle what had caused this phenomenon. They captured the murderers and hanged them.

From that time onward, the Athenians held annual festival in honour of Icarius and his daughter during the grape harvest, where the girls swung on trees in the swings.

The Greeks believed that the constellation Canis Minor and the Dog Star - Sirius - heralded a coming of a drought.

 
Related Information
Name
Maera, Μαἳρα.

Sirius (dog's star).
Canis Minor (constellation):
   Procyon (Greek),
   Canicula (Roman).

Related Articles
Dionysus.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellations of Canis Major or Canis Minor, Boötes and Virgo.



Cretan Bull
 

Minos, the king of Crete, had prayed to Poseidon, to send him a bull, so he could honour and sacrifice to the sea god. Poseidon answered the king's prayer, by sending a beautiful, white bull from the sea. However, Minos broke his word to the god, refusing to sacrifice the beautiful bull to Poseidon.

What was special about the Cretan Bull was its ability to walk on the water surface.

Poseidon punished Minos by making the king's wife, Pasiphaë (Pasiphae), the daughter of the sun god Helius, to fall in love with the bull. Pasiphaë copulated with the Cretan Bull, given to a monstrous offspring called Minotaur. The Minotaur had a body of man, but a head of a bull. Minos confined the monster in the Labyrinth.

Later, Heracles had to perform the seventh labour, which was to fetch the Cretan Bull for his cousin Eurystheus. Minos, who was embarrassed with the incident with his wife and bull, was eager to give the bull away to Heracles. Heracles brought the bull to Greece, by riding on its back as it swam to Tiryns.

After this task was completed, Heracles released the bull into the country, which roamed until it arrived in the plain of Marathon in Attica. Since then, the bull was renamed to the Marathonian Bull.

Aegeus, the king of Athens, sent Androgeus, the son of Minos, to confront the bull and was killed. His death was the source of the war between Crete and Athens. Winning the war, Minos forced Aegeus to pay a tribute every nine years. Minos demanded seven youth and seven maidens as tribute. The Athenian youths and maidens were left in the Labyrinth, to feed his monster, the Minotaur, offspring of the Cretan (Marathonian) Bull.

After Theseus became king, the hero decided to get rid of the bull that ravaged the plain of Marathon. Theseus killed the Marathonian Bull.

 
Related Information
Name
Cretan Bull,
Marathonian Bull.

Related Articles
Minotaur, Minos, Pasiphaë, Heracles, Theseus, Aegeus, Poseidon.



Χρυσόμαλλον Δέρας
Golden Fleece
 

The Golden Fleece was the goal of Jason's quest with the Argonauts. According to the Fabulae, Hyginus wrote that the Golden Fleece was an offspring of the sea god Poseidon and Theophane, daughter of King Bisaltes of Thrace.

Because of Theophane's beauty, she had many suitors asking for her hand in marriage, but she was loved by Neptune (a Roman name for Poseidon). Neptune took her away from the suitors and brought her to the island of Crumissa, but her suitors followed her there. Neptune tried to hide her, by transforming Theophane into a ewe, and the other inhabitants of Crumissa into sheep. However, the suitors began slaughtering the sheep as food. The gods transformed Theophane's suitors into wolves.

Neptune then transformed himself into a ram and mated with Theophane who was still in the form a ewe. Theophane gave birth to a golden-fleeced ram. This ram could fly and talk in human tongue.

In Ovid's story about Arachne, who wove a tapertery had mention Neptune deceiving Bisaltes as a ram, but give no other indication with the tale of Theophane as Hyginus had given.

The Golden Fleece was the same flying ram that Helius, the sun god, sent to Orchomenus to save the children of Athamas from being sacrifice.

Phrixus and his sister Helle jumped onto the ram and flew northeast. Helle fell and drowned in Hellespont. Phrinux arrived in Colchis where he married the daughter of King Aeëtes (Aeetes). Phrinux gave the ram to his father-in-law. Aeetes placed the ram in the grove, nailing the fleece to a golden tree. A dragon "that never sleeps" guarded the grove.

The Golden Fleece became the source of the quest that included Jason and his crew, known as the Argonauts. It was Medea, the daughter of Aeetes, who helped Jason to gain the ram.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Poseidon, Neptune, Helius, Athamas, King Aeëtes, Jason, Medea.

Argonauts.



Calydonian Boar
 

The Calydonian Boar was sent by Artemis to punish King Oeneus for failing to honour her in sacrifice.

The giant, wild boar caused widespread damages and death to the rural region around Calydon. Oeneus asked for the heroes in Greece to hunt down the boar. This tale is told fully in the Calydonian Boar Hunt in the Houses of Elis and Calydon page.

In the war between the Argos and Thebes, the exiled Calydonian prince, Tydeus, carried the shield with the image of the Calydonian Boar, though Tydeus does appeared in the list of hunters.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Atalanta, Meleager, Oeneus, Artemis, Tydeus.

Calydonian Boar Hunt.



Crommyonian Sow
 

Crommyonian Sow was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. It was a giant wild pig named Phaea. The giant sow caused havoc and death around the rural regions of Attica and the Isthmus of Corinth.

Theseus killed the Crommyonian Sow, in one of his early adventures.

 
Related Information
Name
Crommyonian Sow, Phaea.

Related Articles
Typhon, Echidna, Theseus.



Erymanthian Boar
 

Erymanthian Boar was the giant wild boar that roamed around Mount Erymanthus, in northern Arcadia.

Heracles captured the boar, when he trapped in the snow for his fourth labour. Since the boar was still alive, Eurystheus cowardly hid inside a huge bronze jar. Eurystheus ordered Heracles to show his future successes outside the walls of Tiryns.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Heracles, Eurystheus.



Λέων της Νεμέας
Nemean Lion
 

The Nemean Lion was an offspring of Typhon and Echidna. The lion lived in the cave near Nemea. The hide of the lion was invulnerable to all weapons.

The only way Heracles could kill the lion was to strangle the lion to death. After showing the lion to Eurystheus, Heracles used the hide as cloak worn over his head and shoulder for protection.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Typhon and Echidna, Heracles, Eurystheus.



Eagle (Aquila)
 

The eagle of Zeus (Jupiter). Not only was the eagle a bird sacred to Zeus or his Roman counterpart, Jupiter, he often used the Eagle in special errands.

Zeus had used his eagle to steal Aphrodite's slipper and give it to Hermes, who was infatuated with the love goddess at that time. In return for slipper, Aphrodite had to sleep with Hermes.

At Dardania, the Eagle carried off Ganymede, the son of Tros, to become Zeus's lover and the cupbearer of the gods, at Olympus. Zeus compensated Tros, for the loss of his son, by giving two divine horses and the vine of gold to the king. Though, some people say that Zeus had transformed himself into an eagle when he abducted Ganymede.

In the Golden Ass, the eagle helped the heroine, Psyche, to fill a jar of water from the Styx, which was part of task to Venus (Aphrodite).

Most of the times, Zeus sends the eagle as a favourable signs for someone who pray to him.

At Salamis, before Heracles set out to besiege Troy, the hero Telamon was soon to become father of the future hero, Ajax. Heracles prayed to his father, and Zeus answered his prayer by sending the eagle flying above them. Heracles had prayed that his friend's son would be a brave hero. Telamon named his son Aias (Ajax), after the eagle (aietos).

In the Iliad, Agamemnon had also prayed to Zeus for the sign that the Greeks would in the end, defeat the Trojans in the long war. Again, Zeus sends his eagle as a good omen.

Zeus later placed his eagle as the constellation, Aquila.

Do not confuse this eagle with the Caucasian Eagle, the offspring of Typhon and Echidna.

 
Related Information
Name
Aquila – "Eagle".

Related Articles
Zeus, Jupiter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Venus, Ganymede, Tros, Telamon, Ajax, Agamemnon, Heracles, Psyche.






Monsters

  Typhon
  Ceto
  Cetus
  Echidna
  Python
  Ladon
  Delphyne
  Campe
  Hydra
  Chimaera
  Himaira     
  Gryphon (Griffin)     
  Scylla
  Sphinx
  Cerberus
  Orthus
  Minotaur     
  Gorgons
  Lamia
  Empusae
  Sirens
  Harpies
  Stymphalian Birds
  Caucasian Eagle
  Phoenix


Genealogy: Giants and Monsters.



Τυφών
Typhon
 

Typhon was a giant winged monster with a hundred heads. Typhon (Τυφών) was an offspring of Gaea ("Earth") and Tartarus, and according to Apollodorus, the creature was born in Cilicia.

Typhon was a gigantic winged monster that was part man and part beast. Typhon was also taller than the tallest mountain. Under Typhon's arms there was a hundred dragon-heads. Below his thighs were the massive coils of vipers. Typhon was a terribly horrifying sight and was deadly since flame would gush from his mouth.

Typhon fathered many monsters upon Echidna: Cerberus, Chimaera, Orthus, the Hydra, Nemean Lion, Sphinx, Caucasian Eagle, Crommyonian Sow and vultures. According to Hyginus, Typhon was said to be father of Scylla.

Even though the Olympians had recently won the war against the Titans, the younger gods feared to face the monsters. Zeus tried to fight Typhon, until the monster cut off Zeus' sinews from his hands and feet. This prevented Zeus from using his thunderbolts, Zeus' most deadly weapon. Zeus was helpless and could not prevent Typhon from imprisoning Zeus in a cave.

After some time, Hermes, the son of Zeus, recovered the sinews and rescued his father. When the sinews were restored to Zeus, he returned to fight Typhon with his thunderbolts.

Zeus killed the monster by blasting his thunderbolts at Typhon, before burying the creature under Mount Aetna (Etna) or the entire island of Sicily.

There is various reference of how and where Typhon was killed.

Homer alluded to Zeus scourging the land of Arimi in Cilicia, by unleashing his thunderbolts, until Typhon was killed.

 
Related Information
Name
Typhon, Typhöeus, Typhaon, Τυφών.

Related Articles
Gaea, Tartarus, Zeus, Hermes.

Creation.

Genealogy: Monsters.



Κητώ
Ceto
 

Ceto (Κητώ) was a sea-monster, the daughter of Pontus ("Sea") and Gaea ("Earth"). Ceto was the sister of the sea gods, Nereus and Phorcys.

Not much detail is known about Ceto, except that she was mother of several monstrous offspring by her brother Phorcys. Ceto was the mother of Ladon, Gorgons (except Medusa), Graeae, and possibly of Echidna.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Pontus ("Sea"), Gaea, Nereus, Phorcys, Echidna, Ladon, Gorgons, Graeae.

Genealogy: Monsters.



Κετος
Cetus
 

Cetus was a sea monster that Poseidon sent to punish Cassiopeia, wife of King Cepheus of Joppa, and mother of Andromeda. Cassiopeia had boasted that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereïds, the sea nymphs.

The city would be spared if they sacrificed Andromeda to Cetus. The unfortunate princess was chained to the rock in the cliff. Perseus told the king that he would save her if he was allowed to marry Andromeda. Perseus either killed Cetus with the sickle of adamant, given to him by Hermes, or he used the head of the Gorgon Medusa to turn the sea monster into stone.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Perseus, Andromeda, Medusa, Gorgons, Hermes.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see Cetus.



Ἔχιδνα
Echidna
 

Echidna was a monster, part woman and part snake. She was the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, or perhaps of Tartarus and Gaea.

By Typhon, Echidna was the mother of many monstrous offspring: Cerberus, Chimaera, Orthus, the Hydra, Nemean Lion, Sphinx, Caucasian Eagle, Crommyonian Sow and vultures.

Though Echidna never grew old, she was not immortal. Echidna met her death at the hand of Argus Panoptes.

 
Related Information
Name
Echidna, Ἔχιδνα.

Related Articles
Typhon, Argus Panoptes.

Genealogy: Monsters.



Πύθων
Python
 

Python was the giant serpent that guarded the Oracle of Delphi.

Some traditions say that Hera sent Python tried to attack Leto, mother of Apollo and Artemis. Apollo killed the monster.

Apollo took over the oracle, and held the Pythian Games in honour of Python. Apollo's prophetesses were given the title, Pythia.

 
Related Information
Name
Python, Πύθων.

Related Articles
Apollo, Artemis, Leto, Hera.


Apollo Defeats Python
Statue, 16th century
Musée du Louvre, Paris



Λάδων
Ladon
 

Ladon was the dragon with a hundred heads that guarded the golden apples of Hesperides. Ladon could also speak with countless different voices. Ladon was an offspring of Typhon and Echidna, or of Phorcys and Ceto.

In the eleventh labour, Heracles was ordered to fetch the apples for Eurystheus. According to the most popular tradition, Heracles got the Titan Atlas to retrieve the apples. Alternative sources say that Heracles fetched the apples himself, after killing Ladon.

 
Related Information
Name
Ladon, Λάδων.

Related Articles
Typhon, Echidna, Phorcys, Ceto, Atlas, Hesperides, Heracles.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see Draco.



Δελφύνη
Delphyne
 

According to Apollodorus, when the monster Typhon had severed Zeus' sinews and confined the god in a cave, Typhon had set the she-dragon Delphyne to guard Zeus, to prevent his escape. But Hermes and Aegipan managed to recover Zeus' sinews and rescu Zeus without Delphyne' detection of their presence.

Hesiod made no mention of this she-dragon, when he described the battle between Zeus and Typhon.

 
Related Information
Name
Delphyne, Δελφύνη.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Theogony was written by Hesiod.

Related Articles
Typhon, Zeus.



Κάμπη
Campe
 

In the Creation myth, Campe was a monster whom Cronus set to guard the Hundred-Handed and the Cyclops in Tartarus. In order to free the Hundred-Handed and the Cyclopes, Zeus had to kill Campe.

Apollodorus was the only author who gave name to Campe. Apollodorus doesn't give any description of what this monster look like.

 
Related Information
Name
Campe, Κάμπη.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Cronus, Zeus.

Cyclops, Hundred-Handed, Titans, Olympians.



Ὕδρα
Hydra
 

Hydra (Ὕδρα) was the monstrous offspring of Typhon and Echidna. The Hydra lived in the near the spring Amymone, at Lerna. The monster lived with the giant crab.

The Hydra had nine heads, one of them immortal, therefore, invulnerable to weapons. The other heads were even more dangerous, since if one head were cut off, two heads would grow in its place.

Heracles second labour was to kill the Hydra. To prevent more heads growing from where it was severed, Heracles' nephew and companion, Iolaüs (Iolaus), would use firebrand to cauterise the neck stump.

Heracles buried the immortal head under a large boulder.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Typhon, Echidna, Heracles, Iolaüs.



Σκύλλη
Scylla
 

The six-headed monster that resided at the Strait of Messina.

Scylla (Σκύλλη) was originally a beautiful maiden who was loved by a minor sea god named Glaucus. The sorceress Circe was in love with Glaucus, but the sea god did not return her love. In a jealous rage, Circe poured one of her potion into area where Scylla normally bathed. Scylla was transformed into a monster with six long necks, with the head of ugly hounds.

According to Hyginus, Scylla was born a monster. She was an offspring of Typhon.

Scylla's lair was on the opposite side of the strait, where a giant whirlpool, the Charybdis (Χάρυβδις), bring complete destruction to any ship sailing nearby.

To escape both Scylla and Charybdis was virtually impossible. If the ship sailed near Scylla, they would lose sailors, but sailing too close to Charybdis would destroy the entire ship.

However, the Argonauts did manage to pass through Scylla and Charybdis, because of the sea goddess Thetis. Her husband, Peleus was one of the Argonauts.

In the Odyssey, Odysseus lost six of his men to Scylla, the first time his ship passed through the strait. A month later, Odysseus lost his entire ship and crew, when the gods send strong winds, driving his ship back to the strait. This time, Charybdis swallowed his ship. Odysseus was the only survivor.

The Christian saying, "between the devil and the deep blue sea" actually alluded to and orginated from Scylla and Charybdis.

 
Related Information
Name
Scylla, Σκύλλη.

Related Articles
Circe, Thetis, Peleus, Odysseus.

Odyssey, Argonauts.


Scylla
Carving from Milos, 5th century BC
British Museum, London



Σφίγξ
Sphinx
 

The Sphinx was a creature with a head and chest of a woman, body and legs of lion and wings of an eagle. The Sphinx was an offspring of Echidna and either Orthus or Typhon.

The Sphinx lived on the road west of Thebes. It was custom of the Sphinx to tell the riddle to travelling heading towards Thebes. If the traveller answers the riddle correctly, the traveller would be allowed to pass her. Giving the wrong answer, the Sphinx would kill and devour the traveller.

When Creon became regent at the death of King Laius, he offered the kingdom of Thebes and his beautiful sister, Jocasta (newly widowed) in marriage. When Oedipus correctly answered the riddle, the Sphinx killed itself by jumping off the cliff.

Oedipus became king, and unwittingly married his mother (Jocasta) and became father of their children.

See the House of Thebes for the entire tale of Oedipus.


In Egyptian mythology, the Sphinx appeared to be wingless.

 
Related Information
Name
Sphinx, Σφίγξ.

Related Articles
Echidna, Orthus, Typhon. Creon, Laius, Oedipus.



Χίμαιρα
Chimaera
 

Chimaera was a fire-breathing monster that lived in the mountains around Lycia. Chimaera was another monstrous offspring of Typhon and Echidna. Chimaera had the head and body of a lion, legs of a goat, and had a snake instead of a tail. Some images of the Chimaera showed it has a head of goat as well as that of the lion.

Iobates, king of Lycia, received a message from his son-in-law, King Proëtus (Proetus) of Tiryns, to kill Bellerophon, an exiled Corinthian prince. The gods frowned upon host who killed a guest, so Iobates decided to send Bellerophon to his death, requesting the hero to kill the monster Chimaera for him.

To avoid the fire from Chimaera, Bellerophon won and tamed Pegasus, the winged steed. Bellerophon was able to kill Chimaera with his bow and arrows, at a safe distance from the monster.

See Bellerophon about his other adventure.

 
Related Information
Name
Chimaera, Chimera, Χίμαιρα.

Related Articles
Typhon, Echidna, Bellerophon, Pegasus.


Chimaera
Bronze statue, 4th century BC
Museo Archeologico, Florence



Himaira
 

The Himaira is a creature similar to the Chimaera. It is a beast that was part lion, part goat, but unlike the Chimaera, no serpent head for a tail.

I have not found in myth regarding to Himaira, but it has been depiced in a couple of artwork.

 
Related Information
Name
Himaira.

Sources
 
Related Articles
Chimaera.



Γρὓπης
Gryphon (Griffin)
 

Gryphon or Griffin was a giant mythical creature with the head and wings of an eagle, but the body and hindquarters of a lion. Some say that the Gryphon's fron legs were that of the eagle with talons, instead of lion claws.

There are only a few references of the gryphons in the Greek mythology. The Greek historian, Herodotus, who claimed they come from the land of the Hyperboreans. The gryphons were most likely of Asiatic origin.

In his play Prometheus Bound, Aeschylus mentioned the gryphons with their sharp beaks. Aeschylus says that the gryphons lived around the river rolling gold alongside with the hounds of Zeus and the mounted one-eyed Arimaspians.

The geographer Pausanias reported that the gryphons were seen guarding their hoards of gold from the thieving one-eyed Arimaspians, their neighbours.

Aeschylus and Pausanias weren't the only ones who mentioned the griffons being guardian of gold hoard. The 3rd century CE sophist, Flavius Philostratus, wrote in The Life of Apollonius of Tyana that the griffins could also mine the earth, searching for gold.

However, there are many depictions of gryphons in paintings, both in Bronze Age Crete and Greece, as well as in classical Greece. In the Minoan civilisation (Bronze Age), seals have been found, where naked woman or goddess held a griffin by the ear. This goddess was known as the Mistress of Animals (potnia theron), who was later identified with the Artemis, goddess of hunting and wild creatures.

Similar griffin-like creatures can be found on cylinder seals, from ancient Babylonia, Syria and the city of Ugarit. Images can also be found in ancient Egypt and Persian. It is possible that gryphon found in Mesopotamia, were anzu, which is translated as "thunder-bird". The difference between the Greek gryphon and the Mesopotamian Anzu, was that the Anzu had the head of lion, instead of the head of eagle.

The griffin reappeared in medieval legend; they were often used on heraldic banners and coat of arms. Most people since the Middle Ages, spelt gryphon as griffin, which is the preferred spelling today.

 
Related Information
Name
Griffin, Gryphon, Γρὓπης.

Sources
Prometheus Bound was written by Aeschylus.

Description of Greece was writeen by Pausanias.

The Life of Apollonius of Tyana was written by Flavius Philostratus, between 231 and 237 CE.



Κήρβερος
Cerberus
 

Cerberus was the three-headed hound that guarded the gate to Hades. According to the Theogony, Hesiod says that Cerberus had fifty heads. Cerberus was the monstrous offspring of Typhon and Echidna.

Cerberus was to keep the deads or shades from returning to the world of living, as well as preventing the living wanting to come in the Hades' home.

Heracles had to bring Cerberus to the surface as the last of his labours. Hades permitted Heracles to try, but without the use of weapon, Heracles had to wrestle and drag the hound to Eurystheus. Eurystheus fearfully told Heracles to send it back to its master.

Cerberus had allowed other living people through, such as Theseus and Peirithoüs, Orpheus, and Pysche. Orpheus was allowed through because of the music he played. Psyche had to fetch the make-up box from Persephone. Cerberus allowed her to pass, because Psyche had given the hound some sweet cakes.

 
Related Information
Name
Cerberus, Cerberos, Κήρβερος.

Related Articles
Typhon, Echidna, Hades, Heracles, Theseus and Peirithoüs, Orpheus, Psyche.

See the Twelfth Labour of Heracles.



Ὄρθρος
Orthus
 

Orthus was the two-headed hound of Geryon. Orthus (Ὄρθρος) was the monstrous offspring of Typhon and Echidna. Orthus was probably the father of the Sphinx, by Echidna.

Geryon was the king of Erytheia (Cadiz), in Spain, and owner of large herds of the white cattle. Geryon had Orthus to guard his prized cattle. Heracles killed Orthus and Eurytion, Geryon's herdsman, before driving the cattle back to Greece.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Typhon, Echidna, Geryon, Heracles.

See the Tenth Labour of Heracles.



Μινώταυρος
Minotaur
 

The Minotaur (Μινώταυρος) was a monster with a head of bull and a body of man. The Minotaur or Asterius (its name at birth) was the son of the Cretan Bull and Pasiphaë (Pasiphae), the wife of King Minos of Crete.

Minos confined the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. To punish Aegeus, for the death of his son, Minos required seven Athenian youth and seven maidens as tribute and sacrifice to the monster, every seven years.

Theseus aided by Ariadne, daughter of Minos, the Athenian hero was able to leave the Labyrinth after killing the Minotaur. See Theseus.

The geographer, Pausanias, reported one of the many scenes of Bathycles' carving on the Spartan throne, where he mentioned that Theseus had captured alive and bound the Minotaur in fetter. Apart from this one reference, all other literal sources say that Theseus killed the Minotaur, not captured the creature.

 
Related Information
Name
Minotaur, Μινώταυρος – "Bull of Minos".
Minotaur, Asterius, Asterios.

Related Articles
Cretan Bull, Theseus, Minos, Pasiphaë, Poseidon.


Minotaur
George Frederick Watts
Oil on canvas, 1877-1886
Tate Gallery, London



Γοργόνες
Gorgons
 

The Gorgons, Γοργόνες, were perhaps the strangest of the monsters that appeared in Classical mythology.

They were winged women, with snakes on their heads instead of hair. A single glimpse of their hideous would turn any creature, mortal and immortal (except for the gods), into stone. They could only be seen safely through reflective surface, such as a mirror, polished metal or on the water surface.

Two of the Gorgons, named Stheno and Euryale, were the immortal offspring of Phorcys and Ceto. The Gorgons were the sisters of Graeae, and possibly of Echidna and Ladon.

According to the Cypria (Epic Cycle), the Gorgons lived at Sarpedon, a rocky island in the Oceanus.


Only Medusa was mortal; the only one that the hero Perseus could kill.

Medusa was formerly a beautiful maiden, whom Athena had turned into a Gorgon, when the goddess found Poseidon had seduced the unfortunate maiden in her temple.

Perseus decapitated Medusa as one of his quest for the wicked Polydectes. The winged horse, Pegasus, was born from the blood that fell into the sea. Some of the blood fell on earth, where Chrysaor was born. Blood that fell on to the sands of the Libyan desert, Medusa was the mother of the snakes.

Even dead, Medusa had the ability to turn people or other creature into stone. Perseus rescued his future wife, Andromeda, by turning the sea-monster into stone. He also turned into stone, Andromeda's uncle and his followers, and later Polydectes.

Another of Medusa' victim was possibly the Titan Atlas. The gods punished Atlas, by making him carry the weight of heaven on his shoulders. Taking pity on the Titan, Perseus turned Atlas into the stone, so that he became Mount Atlas, a mountain in northwest Africa. This myth conflict with Atlas meeting another hero, Heracles, a descendant of Perseus, a couple of generations later.

After Perseus' adventure, the hero gave Medusa's head to Athena, who used the skin on her aegis. Medusa's blood was said to have great healing power. Asclepius used the blood to return someone, who had died, back to life.


According to the 1st century historian Diodorus Siculus, the Gorgons were no monsters; they belonged to a race of woman warriors, similar to those of the Amazons, who dwelled in Libya. They were enemies of the Amazons living in Libya, and of the Atlantians, their neighbour. In a way, they were Amazons, but were of different tribe to the Amazons. The Amazons under the Queen Myrina defeated the Gorgons.

Though the Gorgons were subdued, they regain their power when Medusa ruled as their queen, during the time when Perseus campaigned in Libya. Perseus killed Medusa, and defeated the Gorgons with their army. A few generations later, Heracles completely destroyed the Gorgons, during his 10th labour (to fetch Cattle of Geryon).

 
Related Information
Name
Gorgon, Γοργόν;
Gorgons, Γοργόνες (plural).

Stheno, Σθεννω.
Euryale, Ευρυαλη.
Medusa, Μεδουσα.

Related Articles
Athena, Poseidon, Perseus, Asclepius.

Phorcys, Ceto, Graeae, Pegasus, Chrysaor.

Amazons.


Medusa's Head
Peter Paul Rubens
Oil on canvas, 1618
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna



Λαμία
Lamia
 

Lamia was a beautiful woman from Libya, whom Zeus often visited and made love to. Each time she gave birth to a child, the jealous Hera would murder Lamia's baby. Eventually, Lamia was so overcome with grief that she was driven insane. Lamia became madly jealous of other mothers who could bear children that Lamia was driven to snatching babies from their cribs at night, before devouring them.

For these hideous acts, Lamia was transformed into an ugly hideous monster, with the ability to remove her eyes when she wanted to sleep.

Lamia was something like a Greek version of a vampire or an ogress, the ancient form of the bogey-woman, where mothers would frighten their children into behaving, or else child-eating monster would come and snatch you, and devour you.

 
Related Information
Name
Lamia, Λαμία – "Devourer".
Sources
Library of History was written by Diodorus Siculus.

Knights, Peace and Wasps were written by Aristophanes.

Related Articles
Zeus, Hera.



Ἔνπουσα
Empusae
 

Female demons. The Empusae were Greek version of the vampires or the Succubi. The Empusae were either retinue or offspring of the goddess Hecate. Each Empusa had one leg of a donkey, while the other leg was made of brass. I could only find description of the Empusa in Aristophanes' comedies, Frogs and Assembly Women.

In the dialogue of Dionysus and Xanthias in the Frogs, they talk about how an Empusa had the ability to shift-change, like bull, mule, dog, girl. Usually they preferred to change themselves into beautiful maidens, so they could lure young men to their beds. Once an Empusa have her victim at her mercy, she would drink the blood of young man, until he died. They could be easily frightened off, if you loudly swear at her.

 
Related Information
Name
Empusa, Ἔνπουσα.

Sources
Frogs and Parliament of Women were written by Aristophanes.

Related Articles
Hecate.



Σει&rhoἣνες
Sirens
 

The Sirens were bird-women, who lured sailors to their island with their songs. There were said to be either two or three Sirens. The song of the Sirens would cause to sailors to forget whom they were and where they were going, often causing them to wreck their ships on reef. The Sirens were said to live on the island of Anthemoessa. Those who jumped overboard and swam to the island - would be killed and devoured by the Sirens, or they just simply waste away listening to their songs.

There has been lost of speculation about what they sang, that would lure the sailors to their death. Some think that the songs were different for each sailor, other say that it was not the words, but it was their magical qualities of their voices that lure sailors.

The Argonauts managed to escape the song, because the great musician, Orpheus. Orpheus played his lyre so beautifully, that it drowned out the songs from the Sirens. Only one Argonaut could not resist the song, probably because his hearing was better than the other Argonauts. Butes, the son of Teleon or Poseidon and Zeuxippe, jumped overboard, swimming towards his death. Aphrodite took pity on Butes, spirited the hero away to Lilybaeum, in Sicily, where he became the goddess' lover.

In the Odyssey, Circe warned Odysseus about the Sirens' seductive song, telling the hero the measure he must take to protect his crew. It was simply plugging their ears with bee-wax. Circe knew that Odysseus was curious about the song. Circe suggested that her lover should have himself tied to the ship mast until they pass the island.

 
Related Information
Name
Sirens, Sirenes, Σει&rhoἣνες.

Related Articles
Odysseus, Circe, Orpheus, Aphrodite.

Odyssey, Argonauts.


Siren
Statue for grave, 4th century BC
Archaeological National Museum, Athens



Ἅρπυαι
Harpies
 

A group of winged women. There were said to be only two harpies: Aello and Ocypetes, the daughters of Thaumas, the son of Pontus and Gaea, and the Oceanid Electra. They were the sisters of Iris. Later writers say there was a third Harpy.

The best-known story about the Harpies comes from the Argonauts. Zeus sends to torment and punish the blind seer named Phineus. The Harpies would steal the food from Phineus. Zetes and Calaïs (Calais), the twin sons of Boreas, god of the north wind, had wings and could fly as fast as any creatures. Zetes and Calaïs attacked the Harpies, and would have killed them, had Zeus not send Iris to intervene. Iris told the twins that the Harpies would no longer torment Phineus, or steal his food.

The alternative accounts say that Zetes and Calaïs killed the Harpies, while others say that the Harpies and the twins died from exhaustion and starvation.

One harpy named Podarge was said to be the mother of two divine horses, Xanthus and Balius, by Zephyrus, god of the west wind.

 
Related Information
Name
Harpies, Ἅρπυαι - "Hounds of Zeus",
"Snatchers".

Aëllo, ´Αελλω - "Storm-swift".
Ocypetes, ´Ωκúπετην& - "Swift-flier". Podarge - "Fleetfoot".

Related Articles
Thaumas, Iris, Zetes and Calaïs

Argonauts.



Stymphalian Birds
 

Stymphalian Birds were birds that had originally lived in the swamp at Lake Stymphalus, in Arcadia.

Heracles' sixth labour had involved killing or driving off Stymphalian Birds that had plagued northern Arcadia. Athena gave Heracles a brazen rattle to frighten the birds into flight. Then Heracles shot down many of the birds before driving the rest of them away.

According to Apollonius of Rhodes, the Stymphalian Birds fled to a deserted island sacred to Ares, in the Black Sea. The Argonauts encountered the Stymphalian Birds, where they dropped feather made of bronze. One Argonaut was killed when one of the feathers dropped on his head. Another Argonaut was wounded.

The Argonauts had to hold shields over their heads to protect themselves from the feathers. Two Arcadian warriors remembered how Heracles drove them off with loud rattle. So the Argonauts banged their shields with their swords, and shouted war cries to drive off the birds.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Heracles, Athena.

Argonauts.



Caucasian Eagle
 

The Caucasian Eagle was an offspring of Typhon and Echidna.

When Zeus had the Titan Prometheus bound to a crag, somewhere at the Caucasian mountains. Every day, the giant eagle would come and feed on Prometheus' liver. Prometheus lived centuries of torment from the Caucasian Eagle.

However, Prometheus had foretold to the heroine Io, that he would be freed from his prison, by one of her descendants, Heracles, the greatest hero in the world.

In the eleventh labour, Heracles arrived and killed the Caucasian Eagle, by shooting it down with his arrow. Then Heracles broke the chain that had bounded Prometheus.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Typhon, Echidna, Zeus, Prometheus, Io, Heracles.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellation of the Eagle.



Φοἳνιξ
Phoenix
 

Phoenix (Φοἳνιξ) was a mythical bird that was said to have originated in Asia. The Greeks believed that the Phoenix come from Egypt. The bird was said to be able to breathe fire.

The Greeks, like the historian Herodotus, equated the Phoenix with the Egyptian bird called Bennu. Bennu resembled a large heron, with it long beak and long legs. Bennu was sacred to the sun god of Heliopolis, either Atum or Re.

Later legends says that the bird had the ability to live over a hundred years old, before it begins to build a huge bonfire. The bird would then set it alight before jumping into the bonfire. When the fire died down, the Phoenix would be reborn as a young bird.

 
Related Information
Name
Phoenix, Φοἳνιξ (Greek).
Bennu (Egyptian).









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