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Encyclopedia > Scylla
Three of Scylla's heads as portrayed in The Odyssey (1997) TV miniseries; the film depicts each head striking with snake-like speed and accuracy and devouring men whole.
For Scylla, daughter of Nisus, see Scylla (princess)

Scylla, or Skylla (Greek: Σκύλλα) was one of the many monsters in Greek mythology (one other being Charybdis) that live on either side of a narrow channel of water. The two sides of the strait are within an arrow's range of each other, so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis will pass too close to Scylla and vice versa. The phrase between Scylla and Charybdis has come to mean being in a state where one is between two dangers and moving away from one will cause you to be in danger from the other. Traditionally the aforementioned strait has been associated with the Strait of Messina between Italy and Sicily, but more recently this theory has been challenged, and the alternative location of Cape Skilla in northwest Greece has been suggested. Scylla is a horribly grotesque sea monster, with six long necks equipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp teeth. Her body consisted of twelve canine legs and a fish's tail. She was one of the children of Phorcys and either Hecate, Crataeis, Lamia or Ceto (where Scylla would also be known as one of the Phorcydes). Some sources cite her parents as Triton and Lamia. Image File history File links Scylla_1997. ... Image File history File links Scylla_1997. ... Scylla is a princess of Megara in Greek mythology. ... 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. ... In Greek mythology, Charybdis, or Kharybdis (sucker down, Greek Χάρυβδις), is a sea monster, daughter of Poseidon and Gaia, who swallows huge amounts of water three times a day and then belches it back out again. ... Fusslis Romance painting of Odysseus facing the choice between Scylla and Charybdis. ... Satellite photo of the Strait of Messina with names. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Phorcys and Ceto, Mosaic, Late Roman, Bardo Museum, Tunis, Tunisia In Greek mythology, Phorcys, or Phorkys was one of the names of the Old One of the Sea, the primeval sea god, who, according to Hesiod, was the son of Pontus and Gaia. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... In Greek mythology, Crataeis was a nymph. ... Look up lamia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In Greek mythology, Ceto, or Keto (Greek: Κητος, Ketos, sea monster) was a hideous aquatic monster, a daughter of Gaia and Pontus. ... In Greek mythology the Phorcydes were the children of Phorcys and Ceto and include the Hesperides, the Graeae, the Gorgons, Scylla and Charybdis and other nymphs and monsters, mostly associated with the sea. ... Triton is a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the deep. ... The Lamia who moodily watches the serpent on her forearm (painting by Herbert James Draper, 1909), appears to represent the hetaira. ...

In classical art she was depicted as a fish-tailed mermaid with four to six dog-heads ringing her waist.

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus is given advice by a ghost from the land of the dead to sail closer to Scylla, for Charybdis could drown his whole ship. Odysseus then successfully sails his ship past Scylla and Charybdis, but Scylla manages to catch six of his men, devouring them alive. When this happens, Odysseus takes the empty spot on the boat and helps the men row the ship out of harms way. For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation). ... This article is about the poem by Homer. ... For other meanings, see Odysseus crater, 1143 Odysseus “Ulysses” redirects here. ...

According to Ovid, Scylla was once a beautiful nymph. The fisherman-turned-sea-god Glaucus fell madly in love with her, but she fled from him onto the land where he could not follow. Despair filled his heart. He went to the sorceress Circe to ask for a love potion to melt Scylla's heart. As he told his tale of love about Scylla to Circe, she herself fell in love with him. She wooed him with her sweetest words and looks, but the sea-god would have none of her. Circe was furiously angry, but with Scylla and not with Glaucus. She prepared a vial of very powerful poison and poured it in the pool where Scylla bathed. As soon as the nymph entered the water she was transformed into a frightful monster with twelve feet and six heads, each with three rows of teeth. Angry, growling wolf heads grew from her waist, and she tried to brush them off. She stood there in utter misery, unable to move, loathing and destroying everything that came into her reach, a peril to all sailors who passed near her. Whenever a ship passed, each of her heads would seize one of the crew. For other uses, see Ovid (disambiguation) Publius Ovidius Naso (March 20, 43 BC – 17 AD) was a Roman poet known to the English-speaking world as Ovid who wrote on topics of love, abandoned women and mythological transformations. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... In Greek mythology, Glaucus (shiny, bright or bluish-green) was the name of several different figures, including one God. ... Types of teeth Molars are used for grinding up foods Carnassials are used for slicing food. ... Wolf Wolf Man Mount Wolf Wolf Prizes Wolf Spider Wolf 424 Wolf 359 Wolf Point Wolf-herring Frank Wolf Friedrich Wolf Friedrich August Wolf Hugo Wolf Johannes Wolf Julius Wolf Max Franz Joseph Cornelius Wolf Maximilian Wolf Rudolf Wolf Thomas Wolf As Name Wolf Breidenbach Wolf Hirshorn Other The call...

In a late Greek myth it was said that Heracles encountered Scylla during a journey to Sicily and slew her. Her father, the sea-god Phorcys, then applied flaming torches to her body and restored her to life. Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) “Alcides” redirects here. ...

It is said that by the time Aeneas' fleet came through the strait after the fall of Troy, Scylla had been changed into a dangerous rock outcropping which still stands there to this day. Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598. ... For other uses of Troy or Ilion, see Troy (disambiguation) and Ilion (disambiguation). ...

Scylla and Charybdis are believed to have been the entities from which the phrase, "Between a rock and a hard place" originated.[citation needed] Fusslis Romance painting of Odysseus facing the choice between Scylla and Charybdis. ... Between a Rock and a Hard Place is a book, published in 2004, that recounts the life of Aron Ralston as it leads up to his entrapment in Blue John Canyon in the Utah desert. ...

It has been suggested that the myth of Scylla may have been inspired by real life encounters with giant squid (which are normally dying when near the surface), and she has some similar features to the kraken in Norse mythology and lusca in Caribbean mythology. This article is about the animal. ... For other uses, see Kraken (disambiguation). ... Norse, Viking or Scandinavian mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian peoples, including those who settled on Iceland, where most of the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... Carcass that washed ashore in St. ... “West Indian” redirects here. ...

See also

Fusslis Romance painting of Odysseus facing the choice between Scylla and Charybdis. ...


  • Hanfmann, George M. A., "The Scylla of Corvey and Her Ancestors" Dumbarton Oaks Papers 41 "Studies on Art and Archeology in Honor of Ernst Kitzinger on His Seventy-Fifth Birthday" (1987), pp. 249-260. Hanfman assembles Classical and Christian literary and visual testimony of Scylla, from Mesopotamian origins to his ostensible subject, a ninth-century wall painting at Corvey Abbey.

Corvey Abbey: West end. ...

External links

  • Theoi Project, Skylla references in classical literature and ancient art.
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  Results from FactBites:
Scylla - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (923 words)
Sextus Pompeius denarius, depicting the Pharus of Messina and Scylla.
Scylla is one of the two sea monsters in Greek mythology (the other being Charybdis) which lives on one side of a narrow channel of water.
It has been suggested that the myth of Scylla may have been inspired by real life encounters with giant squid (which are normally dying when near the surface), and she has some similar features to the kraken in Norse mythology and lusca in Caribbean mythology.
HMS Scylla (F71) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (594 words)
Scylla was launched in August 1968 and commissioned in 1970.
In 1975, Scylla was again in 'action' against Iceland during the Third Cod War in 1975 due to further fishing disputes with Iceland.
She lay in a state of disrepair and neglect for ten years until the 27th March 2004, when Scylla was sunk off Cornwall where she began a new -- and no doubt long -- career as an artificial reef, the first of its kind in the UK and Europe.
  More results at FactBites »



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