Furies

Furies [fyoor′ēz]
pl.n.
ME < L Furiae, pl. of furia, FURY
Gr. & Rom. Myth.Gr. Myth. Rom. Myth. the three terrible female spirits with snaky hair (Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera) who punish the doers of unavenged crimes

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Group of Greco-Roman goddesses of vengeance.

The Furies lived in the underworld and ascended to earth to pursue the wicked. They were known to the Greeks as the Erinyes, but those who feared to speak their name often called them by euphemisms such as Eumenides ("Kind Ones"). According to Hesiod, they were daughters of Gaea, the earth goddess. Aeschylus made them the terrifying chorus of his tragedy Eumenides, and Euripides was the first to speak of them as three in number.

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▪ Greco-Roman mythology
Greek  Erinyes,  also called  Eumenides,  
 in Greco-Roman mythology, goddesses of vengeance. They were probably personified curses, but possibly they were originally conceived of as ghosts of the murdered. According to the Greek poet Hesiod they were the daughters of Gaea (Earth) and sprang from the blood of her mutilated spouse Uranus; in the plays of Aeschylus they were the daughters of Nyx; in those of Sophocles, they were the daughters of Darkness and of Gaea. Euripides was the first to speak of them as three in number. Later writers named them Allecto (“Unceasing in Anger”), Tisiphone (“Avenger of Murder”), and Megaera (“Jealous”). They lived in the underworld and ascended to earth to pursue the wicked. Being deities of the underworld, they were often identified with spirits of the fertility of the earth. Because the Greeks feared to utter the dreaded name Erinyes, the goddesses were often addressed by the euphemistic names Eumenides (“Kind Ones”) or Semnai Theai (“Venerable Goddesses”).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Furies — A term formerly used for printed or hand painted silk satins, said to have been imported from India …   Dictionary of the English textile terms

  • furies — que les Payens pensoyent tenir le guet sur ceux qui mal faisoyent, et les punir apres leur mort, Furiae furiarum, Eumenides …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Furies — [fyoor′ēz] pl.n. [ME < L Furiae, pl. of furia, FURY] Gr. & Rom. Myth.Gr. Myth. Rom. Myth. the three terrible female spirits with snaky hair (Alecto, Tisiphone, and Megaera) who punish the doers of unavenged crimes …   English World dictionary

  • Furies — Fury Fu ry, n.; pl. {Furies}. [L. furia, fr. furere to rage: cf. F. furie. Cf. {Furor}.] 1. Violent or extreme excitement; overmastering agitation or enthusiasm. [1913 Webster] Her wit began to be with a divine fury inspired. Sir P. Sidney. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Furies — Érinyes  Pour la pièce d Eschyle, voir Les Euménides. Oreste tourmenté par une Éri …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Furies — Synonyms and related words: Alecto, Fury, Megaera, Nemesis, Tisiphone, avenger, burning rage, furious rage, furor, fury, passion, rage, revanchist, tearing passion, the Erinyes, the Eumenides, the Furies, towering rage, vehemence, vindicator,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • FURIES —    See ERINNYES …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • furies — (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. pl. avengers, Erinyes, Eumenides, Dirae. See demon …   English dictionary for students

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