FuriesGreek Erinyesalso called Eumenidesin Greco-Roman mythology, the chthonic goddesses of vengeance. They were probably personified curses, but possibly they were originally conceived of as ghosts of the murdered.

According to the Greek poet Hesiodthey were the daughters of Gaea Earth and sprang from the blood of her mutilated spouse Uranus. In the plays of Aeschylusthey were the daughters of Nyx ; in those of Sophoclesthey were the daughters of Darkness and of Gaea. Euripides was the first to speak of them as three in number. They lived in the underworld and ascended to earth to pursue the wicked.

Being deities of the underworld, they were often identified with spirits of the fertility of the earth. Article Media. Info Print Cite. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Furies Greco-Roman mythology. See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Thus, the Erinyes the deities of vengeance are born when Uranus is overthrown by Cronus, while their own hour for action comes when Cronus is about to be overthrown by Zeus.

Prompted again by…. GaeaGreek personification of the Earth as a goddess. Mother and wife of Uranus Heavenfrom whom the Titan Cronus, her last-born child by him, separated her, she was also mother of the other Titans, the Gigantes, the Erinyes, and the Cyclopes see giant; Furies ; Cyclops.

History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Dayevery day in your inbox!According to the Myth, Cassandra was astonishingly beautiful and blessed with the gift of foreseeing the future.

greek curses mythology

Her curse was that no one believed her, a fact that weighed heavily on the destruction of Troy during the Trojan War. There are several different versions explaining the gift and curse of Cassandra; the most popular one is that God Apollo fell in love with her and granted her with the gift of prophecy. When Cassandra denied the God and his advances, he placed a curse on her, so that no one would believe her words or her predictions. He gave her a gift that would bring frustration and despair to her.

In the tragedy Agamemnon, Cassandra appears to suggest the God to become hic consort but then breaks her promise, causing his wrath. Thus, Apollo left her the gift of prophecy but cursed her so that no one could or would believe her. According to the second version, Cassandra went to the Temple of Apollo in Troy and his little Temple Snakes licked her ears, allowing her to listen to the future.

This theme is not unknown in Greek Mythology, as the snakes of Apollo have appeared in different myths and versions, allowing people to foresee the future and understand the language of animals. Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy by the Greeks; when the Trojans found the big wooden horse outside the gates of their city Cassandra told them that Greeks will destroy them if they bring the horse in the city.

No one in Troy believed her, and the horse was admitted in the city, with the known results for Troy. Cassandra died in Mycenae, murdered along with Agamemnon by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus.

Based on the myth of Cassandra there is a modern syndrome and metaphor recognized by experts; the Cassandra syndrome or complex, which is applied in cases of valid alarms which are disbelieved. The syndrome applies mostly in psychology and politics or science, and it was named by the French Philosopher Gaston Bachelard in I was bored one day long ago so i looked up my name… which is cassandra, then i learned of this and i love greek myths and everything i was amazed of this.

So i decided i would look it up. I learn more of it everyday and im writing a play about cassandra and apollo and with her family and the war, i really liked this artical. A fine point, and not particularly related. This is very interesting to me. I have always felt that I had a foresight of things and have never clearly been heard…until it happens. It has helped me to more understand the person that I am…Cassandra. I have loved Greek myths and I love to think about what kind of Gods and Goddesses we would need today and what kind of myths we would have.

I love Greek mythologies, but this one is outstanding. Pity Cassandra. Stop and take it in for a moment.

greek curses mythology

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I learn more of it everyday and im writing a play about cassandra and apollo and with her family and the war, i really liked this artical Reply. I should have been named Cassandra. No one heeds my warnings. I think Cassandra is a beautiful name. Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships. I have loved Greek myths and I love to think about what kind of Gods and Goddesses we would need today and what kind of myths we would have Reply.

Anybody else named Cassandra and get called Cassie?? My daughters name is Cassandra and we call her Cassie Reply. Leave this field empty. Facebook Pinterest Twitter Email. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.Flat Style by Ian Bradley. Privacy Terms. Quick links. Board index Greek Learning Greek. Curses in Greek? Here you can discuss all things Ancient Greek. Use this board to ask questions about grammar, discuss learning strategies, get help with a difficult passage of Greek, and more.

I have a very silly problem I only have a very basic understanding of Latin however I'd like to change this fact in the futureand unfortunately even less of Greek. What am I doing on this forum, then? I started writing a novel that's based mostly on Greek mythology, but is set in what became the place we now as Scotland today it's a long story The story itself is written in Hungarian, and later I'd like to translate it to English, but I find it very important to try to make it authentic. However, one of my main characters is of Greek origin, and sometimes tends to speak in Greek, for example if he's upset or angry.

So I should write that in Greek, to differentiate it from the language spoken by the other characters. Do you know any genuine Greek curses? I don't mean anything very explicit, sexual phrases are actually right out for a variety of reasons, but sending the poor guy to Hell or threatening him with getting his head smashed in would communicate his feelings pretty well Thank you for your ideas!

Re: Curses in Greek? I think it's the Greek equivalent of "To Hell with you! The point is that for Greeks, burying a dead person's corpse was very important. With this curse, you're hoping that the person's unburied corpse should be eaten by crows.

greek curses mythology

Generally, Aristophanes is a good source of Greek curses, especially the really obscene ones.These horrible punishments in mythology will make you thankful to live in a modern world, where there is a legitimate legal system to determine the punishments people get for bad acts.

Some people believe that good deeds will bring us rewards and bad deeds will bring us punishment. Some call it karmaothers call it cosmic retribution or even religious reckoning. However, no one punishes like the great Greek gods.

Magic in Ancient Greece: Necromancy, Curses, Love Spells, and Oracles

What follows are some of the worst punishments in mythology. Vote up the punishments you really, really wouldn't want to endure.

greek curses mythology

For his disobedience, Zeus chained Prometheus to a rock on the side of a mountain. But of course, that wasn't enough. Every night, an eagle would come and peck on his abdomen and munch on his liver.

His liver would then regenerated during the day so that the eagle could have at it, again and again, every night. One day, Zeus was kind enough to invite Ixion to Olympus as a guest. Ixion fell for it and somehow impregnated the cloud-Hera, who later bore the monster Centaurus.

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Zeus blasted Ixion with his powerful lightning bolt and bound him to a burning wheel that would spin forever. Erisychthon was a king with a serious case of hubris. He desired a large banquet table, so naturally, he cut down trees from Demeter's grove, because goddesses definitely don't mind when you disrespect them, right? In retaliation, she cursed him with never-ending hunger. He would yearn for anything digestible and eat it, but the hunger was insatiable.

In frustration, Erysichthon ended up eating his own flesh until he perished. Zeus, the king of the gods, was not a very faithful husband. That brings us to the story of the poor Libyan queen, Lamia.She was also known as Alexandra.

According to one myth, god Apollo gave her the gift of foretelling the future and then tried to sleep with her. However, she rejected him and to punish her, he cursed her so that no one would ever believe her prophecies. A different version has it that Cassandra initially consented to sleeping with the god in exchange for the ability to foresee the future, only to break her promise after she received the gift.

After being cursed, she was met with disbelief by her family and by the Trojans. She foretold that Parisher brother, would bring about a war that would destroy their city, if he went to Sparta. Her brother did not believe her, and upon his return from Sparta with Menelaus ' wife, HelenCassandra attacked her for the pain that was about to be caused. She also foretold that Troy would fall by a clever machination of the Greeks, the Trojan Horse, in which they would hide; her fellow citizens did not listen to her words, thus causing the end of the city.

After the fall of Troyshe was taken by Agamemnon back to his home; despite Cassandra 's warnings about the plots of Agamemnon 's wife, Clytemnestrahe went back home where he was murdered by his wife and her lover, Aegisthus.

When she died, her soul was sent to the Elysian Fields, a place in the Underworld where the worthy souls rested. Tweet Share 0.The magical traditions of ancient Greece encompassed spells, curse tablets, drugs, potions, poisons, amulets, and talismans.

For many cultures of the past, there was a very fine line between magic, superstition, religion, and science. The ancient magicians were seen as symbols of wisdom, keepers of secrets, and masters of the arts, mathematics and science, particularly chemistry.

Because magicians were believed to be individuals with access to supernatural powers, they were both feared and respected. Spells and incantations had been used by the Egyptians for thousands of years and the Greeks carried this tradition forward, as evidenced by surviving Greek papyri containing magic records that date back to the 4th and 3rd century BC.

Magical book written in ancient Greek, which consisted of seven pages enclosed by a cover depicting a veiled woman's head and a bearded man. Amulets in ancient Greece were believed to have provided protection or the attraction of positive outcomes to situations or desires. These were worn around the neck or wrist of a person, or placed in physical locations, such as a house, to provide the same intended results.

Commonly, Greek amulets were divided into two broad categories: talismans which were believed to bring good luck and phylacteries which were intended for protection. The materials used for talismans included bones, wood, stones and sometimes semi-precious gemstones. They could also be written on small pieces of papyrus or a metal sheet.

They could be carried in a pouch or small container, or in small bags containing mixed herbs. And to complete the process, one had to invoke a god or goddess usually Hecateor multiple gods, and recite magical words of power.

Dating to 6th century BC, the inscription on the gold lamella was created by block printing. CC by SA 3. In Ancient Greece, no one was safe from the attacks of magic spells, including people of power such as politicians and orators. Magic spells could be made in secrecy and hexes could be buried with the dead, who were believed to have means to carry the curse requests to the underworld. According to Lisa Orkin, many inscriptions on katares or curses found at the Kerameikos cemetery, near the ancient marketplace where politicians made public addresses, would begin with "I bind to the earth".

Katares were also found with figurines and often buried in the graves of youths because, according to German Archaeologist Jutta Stroszeck, it was believed that a premature death would get the spell to the gods of the underworld faster.

Stroszeck's maintains that katares were also dropped in wells, another avenue to the underworld. It is clearly an expression of hate. Katares are not unique to Greece and they have been discovered throughout the Mediterranean. What makes the Greek collection of katares special is that they relate information about the life of a society at its highest point: the Age of Pericles about 2, years ago, when the Parthenon was built.

According to Dr. Derek Collins, "a common type of magic in the fifth century and later involves the metaphor of binding or holding down someone, as a way to thwart their ambitions, activities, or even their powers of perception". Ancient Greek curse tablet. Necromancy, or the practice of invoking the spirits of the dead, was an illegal form of ritual in Ancient Greece but evidence suggests that it was practiced in secrecy.

The Necromanteion was an ancient temple dedicated to the god of the Underworld, Hades, and his consort, the goddess Persephone. The ancient Greeks believed that while the bodies of the dead decayed in the earth, their souls would be released, and travelled to the Underworld via fissures in the earth. The spirits of the dead were said to possess abilities that the living did not have, including the power to foretell the future. Temples were therefore erected in places thought to be entrances to the Underworld to practice necromancy communication with the dead and to receive prophecies.

In Dr. Christopher Faraone's opinion, there is a lot of interesting research that has been done in relation to ancient Greek love spells and incantations. Many ceremonies were kept under strict secrecy, with the Eleusinian Mysteries being a prime example, and we might never truly know everything there is to know about them, suggests Jennifer Wirth.

The Oracles of Delphi, who were priests and priestesses, were perhaps some of the most important people involved with magic rituals in Ancient Greece. The oracles were believed to have the ability to translate cryptic messages direct from the gods, and to make prophetic statements.They could — and did! Of course, the kings and heroes of ancient Greece was also often terrible people, so maybe the gods were just par for the course.

Here are the 13 biggest assholes in Greek myths — because a list of all the assholes would have taken forever. Where to start with this guy? Zeus was of course the guy in charge of the gods and the universe. Like all the gods, Zeus could hold a grudge, so if you pissed him off once, you were completely screwed, as Prometheus found out when he gave humanity fire. To be fair, Zeus had a pretty fucked up childhood. After hearing a prophecy that one of his children would overthrow him, his dad Cronus the Titan ate all of his children — Zeus only escaped because his mom fed Cronus a rock in baby clothes, which he assumed was his kid.

It takes a special kind of asshole to not just kill his own kids, but eat them let alone be dumb enough to mistake a baby for a rock. Uranus was essentially the sky, who made love with Gaia, the Earth — who, according to some versions of the myth, was his mother, by the way. Gaia gave birth to the Titans and a few humongous monsters; Uranus imprisoned the monsters in Tartarus, deep inside his mom, where they hurt the hell out of her no puncausing her to conspire with Chronus to kill and castrate Uranus Gaia was very firm about the castrating part.

Hera turned them into monsters, banned them from giving birth on land, tricked Zeus into murdering them and more — any children resulting were not spared either, as Hercules learned when Hera tried to kill him for his entire life, starting when he was a baby. Hades was the lord of the underworld and death, but he was generally a pretty chill guy. That is, until he saw Persephone, the daughter of the goddess Demeter.

Like so many of the male gods, Pluto believed "why ask a woman on a date when you can just abduct her against her will," and he kidnapped her to be his bride. Zeus eventually forced Hades to give Persephone back to her mom, because everybody was starving to death — but not before he tricked his bride into eating some pomegranate seeds, ensuring she spent three months a year with him in the underworld.

Crime and Punishment: Eternal Damnations as handed down by the Ancient Greek Gods

Even the wisest and kindest could be kind of a dick sometimes. Athena was generally the most levelheaded of all the gods, but even she had a temper. Athena was one of the goddesses who helped start the Trojan war, because she was pissed off when Paris awarded Aphrodite first prize in an impromptu goddess beauty contest. And when she heard about a woman named Arachne, who boasted she was better at weaving than the goddess herself, she challenged the mortal and lost… and was so mad she turned Arcahne into a spider.

The story goes that he was supposed inherit Thessaly, but his uncle Pelias killed the king; when Jason arrived, Pelias sent him to go fetch the Golden Fleece to prove his claim to the throne.

While this was an adventure, it was also a heist, because somebody already owned the Fleece, namely King Aeetes. This did not go well for Jason.

Theseus and the Minotaur - Ancient Greek Mythology Stories -

Why did this not go well for Jason? But she helped Jason to escape by distracting her dad by murdering her own brother, cutting him into pieces because she knew her dad would need to find them all to give his son a proper burial. But it — and Medea — gets worse; when Jason abandoned her, Medea gave his new bride a dress that set her on fire when she put it on, then she killed the kids she had with Jason.

Antaeus was a more traditional asshole. The son of Poseidon and his grandmother Gaia, the half-giant Antaeus literally just hung out by a road and killed anyone stupid enough to agree to fight him in a wrestling match. Thanks to his mother, Antaeus was undefeatable whenever he was touching the ground. He just killed a lot of travelers until Hercules wandered by, picked him up, and crushed him to death.

First of all, King Minos of Crete had the labyrinth built, and stuffed it with the murderous minotaur. No one has ever built a giant maze and put a monster in it with good intentions. Minos tricked Scylla, the daughter of the king of Megara, into helping kill her father — and then afterwards, he decided to drag her behind a boat until she drowned for the crime he talked her into committing.

The King of Athens got pissed, and tricked the kid to fighting a bull, which killed him. Obviously, Minos was shitty to even to people he liked, so he kicked the hell out of Athens and demanded a sacrifice of seven completely innocent Athenian boys and girls every nine years to throw in the labyrinth.

Because Poseidon was also an asshole.


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