Furies


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Related to Furies: Eumenides

Furies

or

Erinyes

(ērĭn`ē-ēz), in Greek and Roman religion and mythology, three daughters of Mother Earth, conceived from the blood of Uranus, when Kronos castrated him. They were powerful divinities that personified conscience and punished crimes against kindred blood, especially matricide. They were usually represented as winged women with serpent hair. Their names were Megaera [jealous], Tisiphone [blood avenger], and Alecto [unceasing in pursuit]. When called upon to act, they hounded their victims until they died in a "furor" of madness or torment. In the myth of Orestes they appear as Clytemnestra's agents of revenge. After Athena absolved Orestes of guilt in the murder of his mother, she gave the Furies a grotto at Athens where they received sacrifices and libations, and became euphemistically known as the Eumenides [kindly ones].

Bibliography

See Aeschylus' play, The Eumenides.

Furies

horrible avengers of crimes. [Gk. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 381]
References in classic literature ?
Tom had n't a word to say for himself, for men don't kiss, caress, or cry when they feel most, and all he could do to express his sympathy and penitence, was to wring his father's hand with a face full of respect, regret, and affection, and then bolt up stairs as if the furies were after him, as they were, in a mild and modern form.
Nor yet staid the terror there: Infernal ghosts and hellish furies round Environed thee; some howled, some yelled, some shrieked, Some bent at thee their fiery darts, while thou Sat'st unappalled in calm and sinless peace.
The Furies they said are attendants on justice, and if the sun in heaven should transgress his path they would punish him.