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Greek Monsters

Updated on May 7, 2011

Greek Monsters and Creatures List

This is the complete list of Greek Monsters and Creatures from the magical world of Greek Mythology. The list has accurate descriptions and illustrations, so you can get the picture of what they looked like, legend or not.

Centaurs

In Greek mythology, a race of creatures who were half man and half horse (their lower bodies being horselike). They were said to inhabit the region around Mt. Pelionin Thessaly (in central Greece).

Most of the centaurs were slovenly, crude, inhospitable, and beastly characters, although one of their number, Chiron, was known for his kindness and wisdom.Legends claim that the centaurs fought a war with the Lapiths, an early group of Greeks who settled in Thessaly. The Lapith king, Pirithous, made the mistake of inviting his neighbors, the centaurs, to his wedding.There, the horse-men got drunk and tried to kidnap the Lapith women.

The Lapith men gave chase, rescued the women, and slew numerous centaurs. The Greeks called this legendary battle the Centauromachy, which became a common subject of sculpture and other art, an outstanding example being several sculptures on Athens’s Parthenon temple depicting centaurs fighting Lapiths.

Typhon

Thyphon was a fabulous monster, possessing a hundred heads of fierceful dragons, snakes on his body, feathers on his shoulders, born of Gaia and Tartaros -a divine couple, who managed to defeat Zeus, cutting his muscles and tendons from his arms and legs, then inprisoning him in a cave from which he escaped with the help of Hermes and Pan.

Typhon’s mission was to destroy the world in his ascension to the heavens.
He was the most horrific monsters of all, the strongest and the largest. He was the father to some of the most notable monstrous figures of greek mithology: Cerberus, the Hydra, Chimera, Ladon, Sphinx, Orthus, Ethon, and the Nemean lion.

In the second confrontation with Thyphon, Zeus punished him with lightning, burying him under Mount Etna. By this day, the locals of Sicily say that the flames and smoke of the powerful volcano come from the giant creature that stands in its depths.

Sphinx

The Sphinx was a legendary winged monster from the Greek mythology, who had the body of a lion and the head of a woman. Her brothers were Cerberus, Hydra and the Lion of Nemea.Sphinx lived on a rock outside of Thebes, where terrified locals. Some sources say that Zeus’s wife Hera sent the Sphinx to Thebes to punish the king of kidnapping one of the children of Zeus. Others argue that the monster that sent Apollo Thebans failed to properly honor him.

Sphinx addresses any traveler a riddle: “I have four legs in the morning, two legs at noon and three legs at night but I am the weaker when we I have the most legs. What am I?”. Nobody was able to solve this riddle, and therefore he Sphinx was killing and devouring anyone who failed to answer correctly. Finally the Greek hero Oedipus gave the correct answer: “A human being crawling on all fours as a baby, on two legs as an adult and as a crutch in the third leg when older”. Following the answer of Oedipus, the Sphinx killed herself.

Satyrs

In Greek mythology, the satyrs, often called “low noise”, are demons of nature and belonged to the procession of Dionysus.

They were represented in different ways: sometimes the lower body was of a horse, and the top of a man. Often, the lower part of the body was of a goat. In this case, the satyrs had a long tail, thick and bushy. They were plain fancy dancing, drinking and chasing menades with Dionysus and the nymphs. Gradually, their animal traits diminishes.

A role in Greek legends as a satyr plays Marsias.

The satyrs were beings who dwelt in the mountain forest, which is said to have horns, tail and hooves.

It is a satirical description of Greek mythology, but the truth is hiding behind the myth. Mountain hunters disguised as animals, as was the custom of the time, because they needed to sneak closer to the prey so they would kill it with a spear or knife, could be easily confused, half man half animal creatures, uninformed by the inhabitants of the plains, especially in conditions in which these could be almost feral hunters and withdrawn.

Medusa

In Greek mythology, the most famous of the Gorgons, female creatures so hideous that anyone who gazed on them turned to stone. Some ancient myths claimed that Medusa started out as a lovely young woman, but then she had a sexual encounter with Poseidon, god of Theseas, inside one of the goddess Athena’s temples.

The angry goddess punished the girl by turning her into a frightening gargoyle with skin like dried leather and hair made up of live snakes. One of the most famous of the Greek myths tells how the Greek hero Perseus slew Medusa by cutting off her head. At the time, she was pregnant with two of Poseidon’s offspring, Pegasus, the flying horse, and a lowly creature named Chrysaor. Both managed to make their way out of her dead body.

Another myth tells that Medusa, when she was a young and very pretty girlwanted to see the sun, because she was living in north and she wanted tojourney to the south. Medusa asked permission of the goddess Athena which declined.Outraged by the denial of her wish, she said the goddess was just jealous of hergood looks, which made Athena angry and punished her with the monstrous appeareance as a result.

Hecatonchires

The Hecatonchires were monster figures of the ancient greek mithology, three in number,very forceful and ferocious, even stronger than the Titans.Their name means ” The one hundred hands ” , representing their monstrous body with a hundred hands and fifty heads.The Hecatonchires, as Hesiod accounts, were the guardians of Tartarus.

They were the offsprings of the Earth and the Sky ( Gaia and Uranus ) , being thus present at the beginning of all time.They were three brothers: Briareus or the”sea-goat”, Cottus or ” the Angry one” and Gyges or ” the Big-Limbed”.As they were so terrifying, their father Uranus sent them to Tartarus.They were trapped there until Zeus, with an advice from Gaia, released them to help him fight the Titans in the War of the Titans.

With their one hundred hands per each, they threw huge rocks over the Titans,crushing them.As a recognition of their big part in helping him win the war with the Titans, Zeus made them Tartar guardians and later offered them homes: two palaces in Okeanos river to Gyes and Cottos and a residence in the Aegean Sea to Briareos.

Giants

These Greek monsters were a race of large, human-shaped beings who arose from the blood droplets that fell to Earth after theTitan Cronos castrated his father, Uranus.The main mythical giants (or Gigantes) included Eurymedon, Alcyoneus, Porphyrion,Ephialtes, Pallas, Enceladus, Mimas,Polybotes, Hippolytus, and Gration.

The principal myth in which the giants appear was the one in which the Earth-goddess Gaia enlisted their aid in her failed attempt to overthrow Zeus, leader of the Olympian gods. The classical Greeks often depicted the giants’ attack on the gods, called the Gigantomachy, in art and literature.

The Gigantomachy is a mythical battle between gods and giants. The leader of the gods was Zeus and Alcyoneus for the giants. Alcyoneus is an imortal creature, though this quality could be preserved only if he was in his home land, were he was born.
Zeus gets the help of mighty Hercules in this legendary battle, which takes Alcyoneus from his birthplace and kills the giant, ultimately, winning the fight for the gods.

Cyclops

In Greek mythology, cyclops were giants, each having a single eye. In his Theogony, Hesiod wrote that the original three Cyclopes—Arges (“Shiner”), Brontes(“Thunderer”), and Steropes (“Lightning-Maker”)—were the sons of Uranus and Gaia. Uranus feared them and so locked them up in Tartarus in the Underworld.Later, however, Zeus, who had recently defeated the Titans, freed the Cyclopes from Tartarus.

They then worked for the gods, fashioning thunderbolts for Zeus and tridents for Poseidon. An alternate tradition about the Cyclopes came from Homer’s Odyssey, which claimed that they were a race of uncivilized giants dwelling in caves on a remote island. The hero Odysseus and some of his men were trapped in the cave of a Cyclops named Polyphemus and had to blind him to facilitate their escape. Still another ancient legend about the Cyclopes said that some of these giants built the walls of a number of ancient citadels in mainland Greece.

Among these were the walls of Tiryns and Mycenae in the eastern Peloponnesus,which are now known to have been erected by the Mycenaeans.

Cerberus

Cerberus was the guardian creature of the portals of Hades, wherethe dead came.He is a creature of shadows, from a gloomy place where no ray of suncan penetrate the eternal fog, a world of moaning and pain.Cerberos, the hellhound, checked the people who were on their first arrival in a state of shock.

It was a greek monster with three heads and a serpent’s tail.He welcomed the newcomers barking with hisatrocious voice.Cerberus was captures by Heracles, as one of the twelfth labours of Heracles, and dragged from Hades to Eurystheus, who wasso scared that he urged Heracles to send the beast back to underworld.Cerberus is a figure popular to many works of literature like Dantes’s Divine Comedy, Virgil’s Aeneid, some works of art and in greekmythological stories.

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    • profile image

      Lol 

      6 weeks ago

      Yo mama

    • profile image

      Aphrodite 

      2 years ago

      You all! You need to freshen up! Especially you Hades, your so gloomy, lighten up!

    • profile image

      Athena 

      3 years ago

      Wow

    • profile image

      dionysus 

      5 years ago

      welcoming parties at my place

    • profile image

      Pan 

      5 years ago

      I have fianially come out of hiding you shall find me in the great maze of daledus 2 rights past the cyclops den and through the sphinx's lair. Then follow the sent of my greatness.

    • profile image

      Athena 

      5 years ago

      Correct some mistakes.

    • profile image

      Ares 

      5 years ago

      Do you dare forget about my bird?!

      JK!

    • profile image

      ARTEMIS 

      5 years ago

      COOL;]

    • profile image

      Posiden 

      5 years ago

      u are weird

    • profile image

      Kai 

      5 years ago

      Great. That's all

    • profile image

      Tartarus 

      5 years ago

      The awkward moment they get the giant info wrong. They were mine and Gaia's children in revenge on the gods for killing the titans

    • profile image

      thanatos 

      6 years ago

      Good info nothing I didn't know. Though but it was still great

    • profile image

      silverbay1 

      6 years ago

      you are missing a LOT of ones on here......

    • profile image

      okay 

      6 years ago

      it only has some im doing a project and i need as much as i can so this doesn't help

    • profile image

      zeus 

      6 years ago

      Do like my monsters, plus do not forget that i am the god of the sky so that means i watch you every single day!!!!

    • profile image

      hades 

      6 years ago

      do you dare to not mention me on your website i chalenge to a fight with me the god of of beasts and monsters

    • profile image

      cody 

      7 years ago

      i love greek mytholagy

    • catman3000 profile image

      Mark 

      7 years ago from England, UK

      I love all the info on Greek monsters.

      Very well written.

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