Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
HARPYIAE
The Harpies were originally the goddesses of the sweeping storm, symbolic of the sudden and total disappearance of men. Homer only names one of them, Podarge, or the swift-footed, who, in the shape of a mare, bore to Zephyrus the horses of Achilles. In Hesiod the Harpies appear as winged goddesses with beautiful hair, daughters of Thaumas and Electra, sisters of Iris, with the names of Aello and Okypete. In the later story their number increased, their names being Aellopus, Okythoe, Nikothoe, and Celaeno. They are now represented as half-birds, halfmaidens, and as spirits of mischief. In the story of the Argonauts, for instance, they torment Phineus by carrying off and polluting his food till they are driven off by Calais and Zetes, and either killed or banished to the island of the Strophades, where they are bound on oath to remain. (Cp. SCULPTURE, fig. 4.)
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