October 8, 2017

In ancient Greek mythology, Empusa was the beautiful daughter of the goddess Hecate and the spirit Mormo. She is credited to be the first vampire-type creature in western mythology. However, similar creatures were common in eastern traditions (e.g., Chinese, Hindu) centuries before Empusa made her first appearance.

According with Greek traditions, Empusa feasted on blood by seducing young men. After climax, her victims would fall deep asleep and she would drink their blood and eat their flesh. Wh...

March 19, 2017

The Echidna was a monster with the upper body of a human woman but with the torso and legs of a serpent, who was the mate of the fearsome hundred-headed monster Typhon.

Her ancestry and origin have been a matter of debate for centuries. In older records, such as the Hesiod’s Theogony (a poem by Hesiod composed c. 700 BC), the sea deities Phorcys and Ceto are appointed as Echidna’s parents. However, in newer narratives, like the account of the mythographer Apollodorus (a compendium of Greek myths...

February 7, 2017

In Greek mythology, Geryon was the son of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe, and grandson of Medusa. He was a fearsome giant who dwelt on the island Erytheia, in the far west of the Mediterranean, in the company of the mythic Hesperides (Nymphs of the West).

Geryon had three bodies, three heads, and –in later accounts— four wings, all together in one body. He owned a herd of man-eating cattle, whose coats were tinged red by the light of sunset, that the Greek hero Herakles had to capture as one of his twel...

December 25, 2016

A particularly odd monster, the Amphisbaena is a two-headed reptilian beast most often depicted as a dragon with a head growing out of the tip of its tail. The origin of the myth, however, speaks of a double-headed snake, both heads identical, with the ability to move both forwards and backwards to confuse its enemies. In fact, the word amphisbaena comes from the Greek words amphis (both ways) and bainein (to move), making reference to the main ability of this beast.

The study of depictions of th...

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