Home > Gods & Godesses > The Monsters of Greek Myth

The Monsters of Greek Myth

By: Chris Welsh - Updated: 25 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
Anemoi Centaurs Chthonic Cyclops Erinyes

Not all of the Monsters of Greek Myth were monstrous, although many were. In many of the stories from Greek mythology creatures half animal and half man, or man -like but possessed of animal qualities, are prevalent, and not all of them are monsters. In most cases the various races of Greek Myth are similar to the gods and goddesses of Olympus, personifications of some aspect of life familiar to the Greek.

Anemoi - the Four Winds

The wind gods were known as the Anemoi, sometimes depicted as horses, sometimes as men with wings, others just as winds themselves. There were Boreas, the north wind, Notus, the south wind, Zephyrus,the west wind and Eurus, the east wind.


The Greek myths were the origin of these half horse, half man creatures, which became very popular in medieval culture and in modern fantasy literature. Today considered wise scholars, many legends have them as lusty, troublesome tribes.


Not a specific race, the Chthonic were in general "Earth gods", or simply a personification of earthy desires, such as lust.


Often Cyclops is thought to refer to a specific entity out of Greek myth, but the figure in question, Polyphemus, was a member of the Cyclops race - so he was a Cyclops, not the Cyclops. These creatures were the sons of Poseidon, giants with one great eye, and shepherds by nature.


The Dragons of Greek mythology were more great serpents than the western Dragons of the middle ages; but they were prevalent monsters nonetheless.

Erinyes - the Furies

Known as the Furies in Roman counterpart, the Erinyes were the personification of the anger of the dead - nothing to fool about with. While cast as the villain role in many stories, the Erinyes were more figures of justice than evil, haunting those who did dastardly deeds.


Today these figures would simply be called Giants, and they were sort of like second rate Titans. Not immortal as the Titans were, nor as powerful as the gods and goddesses of Olympus, they nevertheless tried to take over and made war on Zeus and his family. They failed in their attempt.


The most famous Gorgon was Medusa; because of this people might say "a Medusa" when they mean "a Gorgon." The classic Medusa was a woman with a head full of snakes for hair, whose gaze could turn a body into stone.


The Nymphs were female spirits linked in some fashion to the land, or the water. Nymphs were also where the Muses came from, nine spirits who specifically were linked to artistic endeavours and were said to inspire artists, writers, and musicians.

Moirae - the Fates

The weavers of the thread of destiny, the Moirae, sometimes called the Fates, were those who had control over the destiny of everything - gods as well as men. Even Zeus feared them and was under their power.

Harpies - the Snatchers

The Greeks had horse-men, and bird-women. These creatures had the bodies of birds and the upper bodies and heads of women. They were the personification of the spirit of death. While man creatures of Greek myth seemed to fill a role or have an agenda, the Harpies seemed to be used as dangerous creatures to be encountered, much as a bear or a lion, but more fearful.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Candice27
    Re: Spilling Salt
    However I would like you to contact me and I need more explanation I need to understand more things and if it’s your desire to help Someone please…
    5 March 2020
  • Mom3
    Re: A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
    Came on my front porch to a black cat lying in a broken chair not afraid of me or my kids at all ....is this bad
    19 November 2019
  • God
    Re: The Number 13
    I died being the 13th guest at a supper and now I hope no one will think 13 is a good number and love to you all and I am so sorry for your loss lily.
    13 November 2019
  • mdg85
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    6 years ago, I was visiting my mon & grandma at my mom's house. While there, a bird flew into my mom's back…
    3 November 2019
  • Jlove
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    After work and picking up my daughter frm school we get home to a lil grey bird in the house just flying…
    1 November 2019
  • Patron saint of fool
    Re: Saluting Magpies
    The Parastrategist and a General theory of strategy The first parallel of corporate strategy is customer focus and is designed for…
    30 September 2019
  • Tootie
    Re: A Black Cat Crossing Your Path
    I had a black cat on my porch all last night sitting there was does that mean
    22 September 2019
  • Dolce
    Re: Do Birds Flying Into A Home Equate To Death?
    Two small birds flew inside my house this morning through roof openings, and flew out again when my son…
    31 August 2019
  • CatLady
    Re: Stonehenge
    As a little girl,I always loved the 'Standing Stones' They were so magic seeming, and every year when me and my family drove down to Cornwall on holiday,…
    7 August 2019
  • Capt'
    Re: Use a Match to Remove a Tick
    I haven't tried it yet, but I read that the removal with match method has nothing to do with burning the tick off. Instead, the…
    15 July 2019