The Erinyes

October 9th, 2009 by sabrina

erinyesThe Erinyes (pronounced ee-RIN-ee-eez) are Greek Goddesses of vengeance. Later known as the Furies, there are generally thought to be three of them—Alekto (“the unceasing”), Megaira (“the grudging”), and Tisiphone (“the avenging”). While some sources say that they are daughters of Nyx, Goddess of night, most say that they were born of Gaia. When Kronos castrated his father Ouranos, drops of blood from the wound fell on to Gaia, and she became pregnant with the Erinyes. The sisters are depicted as wearing dark robes and having snakes in their hair, similar to a Gorgon. They live in the Underworld and receive the souls of the death after they have been judged. They purify the souls of good people and send them on their way into the Underworld, but the souls of evil people they cast into the Dungeon of the Damned, where they can torture the souls for eternity.

The Erinyes also act on the earth and were called on by those who had been wronged to come and take vengeance on murderers and oath-breakers. They could punish an individual by chasing him and driving him mad, and they could also punish a kingdom that harbored criminals by causing droughts and famine. The name Erinyes (singular Erinys) is derived from a Greek word meaning “I hunt up,” and they were also known as the Praxidikai (“exacters of justice”), the Poinai (“the retributions”), the Maniai (“the madnesses”), the Arai (“the curses”), the Dasplêtai (“the horrid ones”), the Aei Parthenous (“the eternal virgins”), and the Kynês Enkotoi (“the hounds of wrath”). Those who hoped to soothe them called them by euphemisms such as the Eumenides (“the kindly ones”), the Semnai (“the revered ones”), and the Meilikhioi (“the mild ones”).

This entry was posted on Friday, October 9th, 2009 at 5:00 am and is filed under Greek. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

20 responses about “The Erinyes”

  1. Angie Mroczka said:

    Thanks for sharing. Good information 🙂

  2. Mrs.B. said:

    Thanks for hosting us today! Love the new look for Halloween!

    And for anyone going a Haunting, take one extra entry to any 1 giveaway by posting the word “Goddess” to the entry of your choice!

  3. Wendy Hawksley said:

    Coming from Mrs. B’s to say hi. What a gorgeous blog and an educational welcome!

  4. Nydia said:

    Thanks for this cool tour, Sabrina! These goddesses are literally furious… Loved it!

    Kisses from Nydia.

  5. Diane said:

    great blog!! stopping in from mrs. b.’s!

  6. Spirit said:

    LOve the blog. I just took a workshop about ascended masters, Gods, and Goddesses. Very interesting information to build on that. Thanks.

  7. ELLIE said:

    stopping by from mrs b’s blog

  8. Wendy said:

    Interesting Blog! Thank you for hosting a visit!

  9. Bridgett said:

    Looks great in here! Stopping by from Mrs. B’s blog. Very interesting information too. 🙂


  10. janie said:

    lovely site and enjoyed the blog.. very interesting

  11. Linda said:

    Thank you so much! I love learning things like this, and I’m definitely bookmarking this blog!

  12. Lyn said:

    Thanks for the great post – there’s something fascinating about the darker goddesses. Love your blog!

  13. Angela said:

    Wow, what great info! I am not well versed in Greek god/desses so this was refreshing.

  14. Tabatha said:

    Looking forward to reading more from you. Thankyou.

  15. motheralice said:

    Love the info, thanks so much for hosting all of us from Mrs. B’s!

  16. Kekibird said:

    What wonderful information. Thanks for sharing! And love your background. Following along on the Haunter Tour!

  17. Divaeva said:

    *bookmarked* most awesome – I have a book (wonders where it is) but this is so much better! I will definitely be back –

  18. Vixen said:

    Ohhh, excellent. I love Greek Gods/Goddesses and such. And I love to learn new stuff. You satisfied me twice!

  19. Brianna said:

    I love this website I used it for a school assignment source and I found all that I was looking for! Thanks a million!

  20. Matt said:

    Love it, i have to do a project for the olympics, and guess what goddess I got, Erinyes. Thanks a lot