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Encyclopedia > Erinyes
Two Furies, from an ancient vase.
Two Furies, from an ancient vase.
Greek deities
series
Primordial deities
Titans and Olympians
Aquatic deities
Personified concepts
Other deities
Chthonic deities
Hades and Persephone,
Gaia, Demeter, Hecate,
Iacchus, Trophonius,
Triptolemus, Erinyes
Heroes and the Dead

In Greek mythology the Erinyes (Ερινύες) or Eumenides (or Furies in Roman mythology) were female personifications of vengeance. When a formulaic oath in the Iliad (iii.278ff; xix.260ff) invokes "those who beneath the earth punish whoever has sworn a false oath." The Erinyes are simply an embodiment of the act of self-cursing contained in the oath" (Burkert 1985 p 198). They were usually said to have been born from the blood of Ouranos when Cronus castrated him. According to a variant account, they issued from an even more primordial level—from Nyx, "Night". Their number is usually left indeterminate. Virgil, probably working from an Alexandrian source, recognized three: Alecto ("unceasing," who appeared in Virgil's Aeneid), Megaera ("grudging"), and Tisiphone ("avenging murder"). Dante followed Virgil in depicting the same three-charactered triptych of Erinyes. The heads of the Erinyes were wreathed with serpents (compare Gorgon), their eyes dripped with blood, and their whole appearance was horrific and appalling. Sometimes they had the wings of a bat or bird, or the body of a dog. Image File history File links Deux_furies. ... Image File history File links Deux_furies. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... The ancient Greeks proposed many different ideas about the primordial gods in their mythology. ... This article is about the race of Titans in Greek mythology. ... Twelve Olympians, also known as the Dodekatheon (Greek: Δωδεκάθεον < δωδεκα, dodeka, twelve + θεον, theon, of the gods), in Greek religion, were the principal gods of the Greek pantheon, residing atop Mount Olympus. ... The ancient Greeks had a very small number of see gods. ... In Greek mythology, the Muses (Greek , Mousai: perhaps from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- think[1]) are a number of goddesses or spirits who embody the arts and inspire the creation process with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music and dance. ... Asclepius (Greek also rendered Aesculapius in Latin and transliterated Asklepios) was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology, according to which he was born a mortal but was given immortality as the constellation Ophiuchus after his death. ... For other uses, see Chthon (disambiguation). ... Hades, Greek god of the underworld, enthroned, with his bird-headed staff, on a red-figure Apulian vase made in the 4th century BC. For other uses, see Hades (disambiguation). ... Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874) (Tate Gallery, London In Greek mythology, Persephone (Greek Περσεφόνη, PersephónÄ“) was the Queen of the Underworld of epic literature. ... For other uses, see Gaia. ... This article is about the grain goddess Demeter. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... In Greek mythology, Iacchus is an uncertain person. ... Trophonius (the Latinate spelling) or Trophonios (in the transliterated Greek spelling) was a Greek hero or daimon or god - it was never certain which one - with a rich mythological tradition and an oracular cult at Lebadaea in Boeotia. ... Triptolemus (threefold warrior; also Buzyges), in Greek mythology always connected with Demeter of the Eleusinian Mysteries, might be accounted the son of King Celeus of Eleusis in Attica, or, according to Apollodorus (Library I.v. ... For other uses, see Hero (disambiguation). ... Xena. ... The Furies from Xena. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... Revenge is retaliation against a person or group in response to wrongdoing. ... title page of the Rihel edition of ca. ... For the Marvel Comics character, see Uranos (comics) Uranus is the Latinized form of Ouranos (), the Greek word for sky. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... In Greek mythology, Nyx (, Nox in Roman translation) was the primordial goddess of the night. ... For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... This article is about the city in Egypt. ... In Greek mythology the Erinyes (the Romans called them the Furies) were female personifications of vengeance. ... Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598 Galleria Borghese, Rome The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: ; in Latin Aeneis, pronounced — the title is Greek in form: genitive case Aeneidos) is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC (between 29 and 19 BC) that tells the legendary story... Megaera (Greek: Μέγαιρα, the jealous one) is one of the Erinyes in Greek Mythology. ... Tisiphone can mean:- Two figures in Greek mythology:- One of the Erinyes (or Furies). ... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... See also Gorgona, for the Colombian/Italian islands. ...

Contents

Erinyes in Mythology

Clytemnestra trying to awake the Erinyes while her son is being purified by Apollo, Apulian red-figure krater, 480–470 BC, Louvre (Cp 710)
Clytemnestra trying to awake the Erinyes while her son is being purified by Apollo, Apulian red-figure krater, 480–470 BC, Louvre (Cp 710)

The Erinyes often stood for the rightness of things within the standard order; for example, Heraclitus declared that if Helios decided to change the course of the Sun through the sky, they would prevent him from doing so. However, they were predominantly understood as the persecutors of mortal men and women who broke "natural" laws. In particular, those who broke ties of kinship through murdering a father (patricide), murdering a brother (fratricide), or other such familial killings brought special attention from the Erinyes. It was believed in early epochs that human beings might not have the right to punish such crimes, instead leaving the matter to the dead man's Erinyes to exact retribution. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 481 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1696 × 2112 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 481 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1696 × 2112 pixel, file size: 2. ... After the murder (1882 painting) Clytemnestra (or Clytaemestra) ‘‘(Eng. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Italian region. ... A krater (Greek κρατηρ, from the Greek verb κεραννυμι, to mix. ... This article is about the museum. ... Heraclitus of Ephesus (Ancient Greek - Herákleitos ho Ephésios (Herakleitos the Ephesian)) (about 535 - 475 BC), known as The Obscure (Ancient Greek - ho Skoteinós), was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, a native of Ephesus on the coast of Asia Minor. ... For other uses, see Helios (disambiguation). ... Sol redirects here. ...


The Erinyes were connected with Nemesis as enforcers of a just balance in human affairs. The goddess Nike originally held a similar role as the bringer of a just victory. When not stalking victims on Earth, the Furies were thought to dwell in Tartarus where they applied their tortures to the damned souls there. Note: This article contains special characters. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In classic Greek mythology, below Heaven, Earth, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). ...


The Erinyes are particularly known for the persecution of Orestes for the murder of his mother, Clytemnestra. Since Apollo had told Orestes to kill the murderer of his father, Agamemnon, and that person turned out to be his mother, Orestes prayed to him. Athena intervened and the Erinyes turned into the Eumenides ("kindly ones"), as they were called in instances portraying their more positive, beneficial qualities. The Oresteia is a trilogy of tragedies about the end of the curse on the House of Atreus, written by Aeschylus. ... After the murder (1882 painting) Clytemnestra (or Clytaemestra) ‘‘(Eng. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... The Remorse of Orestes by William-Adolphe Bouguereau For other uses, see Orestes (disambiguation). ... This article is about a character in Greek mythology. ...


Nonetheless, many scholars believe that when they were originally referred to as the Eumenides, it was not to reference their good sides but as a euphemism to avoid the wrath that would ensue from calling them by their true name. The taboo in speaking the names of certain uncanny spirits included Persephone, and there are parallels in many cultures (for instance, the tendency to refer to faeries as "the fair folk" or "the little people"). The Erinyes might also be recognized as Semnai ("the venerable ones"), the Potniae ("the Awful Ones"), the Maniae ("the Madnesses") and the Praxidikae ("the Vengeful Ones"). Euphemism is the substitution of an agreeable or inoffensive expression for one that may offend or suggest something unpleasant to the listener; or in the case of doublespeak, to make it less troublesome for the speaker. ... This article is about cultural prohibitions in general, for other uses, see Taboo (disambiguation). ... Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874) (Tate Gallery, London In Greek mythology, Persephone (Greek Περσεφόνη, Persephónē) was the Queen of the Underworld of epic literature. ... by Sophie Anderson For other uses, see Fairy (disambiguation). ... Little people have been part of the folklore of many cultures in human history, including Ireland, the Philippines, the Hawaiian Islands, Flores Island, Indonesia, and Native Americans. ...


Another myth says that the Erinyes struck the magical horse Xanthus dumb for rebuking Achilles. In Greek mythology, Balius (Dappled) and Xanthus (Blonde) were two immortal horses, the offspring of the harpy Podarge and the West wind, Zephyros (); following another tradition, their father was Zeus. ... For other uses, see Achilles (disambiguation). ...


The Furies (their Roman name) or Dirae ("the terrible") typically had the effect of driving their victims insane, hence their Latin name furor. A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ...


Erinyes in later culture

Detail of a manuscript in Milans Biblioteca Trivulziana (MS 1080), written in 1337 by Francesco di ser Nardo da Barberino, showing the beginning of Dantes Comedy. ... Chaucer: Illustration from Cassells History of England, circa 1902 Chanticleer the rooster from an outdoor production of Chanticleer and the Fox at Ashby_de_la_Zouch castle Geoffrey Chaucer (ca. ... Troilus and Criseyde is Geoffrey Chaucers poem in rhyme royal re-telling the tragic love story of Troilus, a Trojan prince, and Criseyde. ... William-Adolphe Bouguereau, self-portrait (1886). ... Charles-Marie-René Leconte de Lisle (October 22, 1818 - July 17, 1894), was a French poet of the Parnassian movement. ... Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet (May 12, 1842 - August 13, 1912) was a French composer. ... Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980), normally known simply as Jean-Paul Sartre (pronounced: ), was a French existentialist philosopher and pioneer, dramatist and screenwriter, novelist and critic. ... The Oresteia is a trilogy of tragedies about the end of the curse on the House of Atreus, written by Aeschylus. ... Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was an Irish figurative painter. ... Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion is a 1944 triptych painted by the Irish-born artist Francis Bacon. ...

Erinyes in popular culture

Books

  • David Weber has written a science fiction novel, Path of the Fury, in which the last remaining Fury, Tisiphone, helps a soldier to obtain vengeance. It was later rewritten and expanded as In Fury Born.
  • Salman Rushdie references the three furies in his 2001 work Fury.
  • In The Witches of Bailiwick by Sandra Forrester, Beatrice Bailiwick and her friends have to escape the Furies, ghostly figures whose touch can kill.
  • Orson Scott Card's "Eumenides in the Fourth Floor Lavatory", reprinted in Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural, recounts the price paid for violating a natural law.
  • In the novel The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, where they are mentioned and appear several times.
  • In the book The Secret History by Donna Tartt, the Erinyes are described as turning 'up the volume of the inner monologue... made people so much themselves that they couldn't stand it'. Page 39 (Publisher Penguin London 1992)
  • The title of Jonathan Littell's 2006 novel Les Bienveillantes ("The kindly ones") ominously evokes the Erinyes' placative name.
  • In a series of Star Trek novels, the Furies are a race of fearsome-looking aliens whose dominion of several worlds, including Earth, Vulcan and Qo'Nos led to legends of demons and monsters including the Erinyes.
  • Alecto Carrow, a death eater / muggle studies professor with a penchant for punishment, is featured in the 7th Harry Potter book.

Honor Harrington from Honor Among Enemies cover, by David Mattingly. ... Path of the Fury is a stand-alone science-fiction novel by David Weber, in three books of 34 chapters. ... Ahmed Salman Rushdie KBE (Hindi: Urdu: سلمان رشدی; born 19 June 1947) is a British-Indian novelist and essayist. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Eumenides on the Fourth Floor Lavatory is a short science fiction story by Orson Scott Card. ... Jonathan Littell (born 10 October 1967 in New York) is an award-winning French-American writer who writes mainly in French and now lives both in France and Spain. ... Les Bienveillantes is a novel written in French by the American author Jonathan Littell. ... The current Star Trek franchise logo Star Trek is an American science fiction entertainment series and media franchise. ... This article is about Earth as a planet. ... It has been suggested that Tplana-hath be merged into this article or section. ... The demon Satan In folklore, mythology, and religion, a demon is a supernatural being that is generally described as an evil spirit, but is also depicted to be good in some instances. ... This article is about monsters as a kind of legendary creature. ...

Comics

  • Neil Gaiman's ninth volume of The Sandman (Vertigo), entitled The Kindly Ones (1996) revolves around a young woman seeking out the Erinyes for vengeance for the murder of her son. They also appear in many of the other Sandman story arcs, including "The Dolls House".(1989)
  • The DC Comics character Fury (Helena Kosmatos) received her powers from Tisiphone.

Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960) is an English author of science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels, graphic novels, comics, and films. ... For other uses, see Sandman (comics). ... The Kindly Ones (1996) is the ninth collection of issues in the DC Comics series, The Sandman. ... DC Comics is an American comic book and related media company. ... Fury is the codename shared by two DC Comics superheroines, who are mother and daughter. ...

Plays

  • French philosopher, playwright and activist Hélène Cixous re-awakened the Furies in her play The Perjured City or The Awakening of the Furies for theatre company Théâtre du Soleil
  • The Furies are personifications of the protagonist's mental illnesses in the play The Insanity of Mary Girard by Lanie Robertson.

Films

  • The Furies are mentioned by the lead character in the film - An American Haunting (2006).
  • The Furies are portrayed as a baseball loving gang in The Warriors (film), except they are called the Baseball Furies.

The Warriors is a 1979 film directed by Walter Hill and based on the 1965 novel by Sol Yurick. ...

Television Shows

  • The Furies are portrayed by Asa Lindh, Celi Foncesca, Annmarie Dennis, Graciela Heredia, and Smeta Choto in Xena: Warrior Princess.
  • The Furies are also featured extensively in an episode of Charmed. (Hell Hath No Fury). There has been numerous other references to them in different episodes.
  • The Furies are mentioned in an episode (Episode 3X10 - High and Low) of CSI when Warrick Brown mentions the three due to a tattoo that a suspect has
  • The Furies are featured in an episode Blood Ties. (Love Hurts). A Fury is conjured by a jealous husband, and is fueled by jealousy. There are referenced as a Greek Mythology name, though Furies are the Roman mythological name for them.

Xena. ... For other uses, see charm. ... Hell Hath No Fury is an episode of The WB drama series, Charmed. ... Blood Ties is episode 13 of season 5 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. ...

Songs

  • the Ohio based band Over the Rhine references the "Eumenides" in their song "Rhapsodie" (on the Patience release.)

Over-the-Rhine is a neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, that is situated between Downtown and Clifton Heights. ...

Games

  • In Dungeons & Dragons, Erinyes are female devils who are described as possibly fallen angels.
  • In the 1998 computer game, Battlezone, Greek mythology supposedly emerged through visits from an alien civilisation — the Cthonians —, the Furies being a form of weapon which they pursued.
  • The Furies are also mentioned in the popular God of War video game series.
  • Erinyes is the name of a heavy assault fighter in FreeSpace 2.

“D&D” redirects here. ... In the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, devils are lawful evil outsiders native to the Nine Hells of Baator. ... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is an ethereal being found in many religions, whose duties are to assist and serve God. ... Battlezone is a critically acclaimed remake (for Microsoft Windows) of an arcade game of the same name. ... This article is for the PlayStation 2 game. ... FreeSpace 2 is a space simulation computer game developed by Volition, Inc. ...

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Erinyes

Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Note: This article contains special characters. ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ... This article is about the demon Lilith. ...

References

  1. ^ [1]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Erinyes - LoveToKnow 1911 (454 words)
Sometimes one Erinys is mentioned, sometimes several; Euripides first spoke of them as three in number, to whom later Alexandrian writers gave the names Alecto (unceasing in anger), Tisiphone (avenger of murder), Megaera (jealous).
The identification of Erinyes with Sanskrit Saranyu, the swif tspeeding storm cloud, is rejected by modern etymologists; according to M. Breal, the Erinyes are the personification of the formula of imprecation (andpand), while E. Rohde sees in them the spirits of the dead, the angry souls of murdered men.
205, according to whom the Erinyes were primarily local ancestral ghosts, potent for good or evil after death, earth genii, originally conceived as embodied in the form of snakes, whose primitive haunt and sanctuary was the omphalos at Delphi; E. Rohde, Psyche (1903); A. Rapp in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie, and J.
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