Furies by ANGELFIRE999 ()
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In Greek mythology the Erinyes (/ɪˈrɪniˌiːz/; sing. Erinys /ɪˈrɪnɪs/; Greek: Ἐρῑνύες [ῠ], pl. of Ἐρῑνύς [ῡ], Erinys),[n 1] also known as the Furies, were female chthonic deities of vengeance; they were sometimes referred to as "infernal goddesses" (χθόνιαι θεαί). A formulaic oath in the Iliad invokes them as "those who beneath the earth punish whosoever has sworn a false oath". Walter Burkert suggests they are "an embodiment of the act of self-cursing contained in the oath". They correspond to the Dirae in Roman mythology, and some suppose that they are called Eumenides in hell, Furiae on earth, and Dirae in heaven.
According to Hesiod's Theogony, when the Titan Cronus castrated his father, Uranus and threw his genitalia into the sea, the Erinyes as well as the Meliae emerged from the drops of blood when it fell on the earth (Gaia), while Aphrodite was born from the crests of sea foam. According to variant accounts, they emerged from an even more primordial level—from Nyx ("Night"), or from a union between air and mother earth. Their number is usually left indeterminate. Virgil, probably working from an Alexandrian source, recognized three: Alecto or Alekto ("endless"), Megaera ("jealous rage"), and Tisiphone or Tilphousia ("vengeful destruction"), all of whom appear in the Aeneid. Dante Alighieri followed Virgil in depicting the same three-character triptych of Erinyes; in Canto IX of the Inferno they confront the poets at the gates of the city of Dis. Whilst the Erinyes were usually described as three maiden goddesses, the Erinys Telphousia was usually a by-name for the wrathful goddess Demeter, who was worshipped under the title of Erinys in the Arkadian town of Thelpousa.
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