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The Erinyes (singular: Erinys) are Greek goddesses or spirits residing in the Underworld. They punish those who swear false oaths and those who commit heinous crimes. Their name can be translated to English as "Avengers."

They are most well known for pursuing Orestes for the crime of matricide, even though he was avenging the death of his father Agamemnon. Orestes was later pardoned in the court of the gods. In Roman mythology, they are known as the Furies, or Dirae.

Their parentage is disputed. In some accounts their parents are Nyx and Erebus, while in others they are born from the blood of Ouranós when he was castrated by Cronus.

Notable Erinyes[]

The exact number of Erinyes is indefinite, but only three are named:

  • Alecto: Her name means "Implacable One." She punishes moral crimes, such as those to anger and lust.
  • Megaera: Her name means "Jealous One." She punishes crimes relating to the breaking of oaths and infidelity, particularly marital infidelity.
  • Tisiphone: Her name means "Avenging Murder." She punishes crimes relating to murder, particularly that of family members.

In Popular Culture[]

In Literature[]

  • Alecto is featured in the information book Worlds Worst Monsters and Villains.

In Video Games[]

  • In the game Hades, developed by Supergiant Games and released in December 6th, 2018, the three Erinyes: Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone, are featured as characters.

Gallery[]


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