Campe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the mythological monster. To read about the lexicographer, please see Joachim Heinrich Campe.

In Greek mythology, Campe or Kampê (Greek: Κάμπη "crooked"; confer καμπή "a twist, a bend") is the name of a fearsome chthonic drakaina (she-dragon).

Called the Nymph of Tartarus (Ταρταρία νύμφη), Campe was the most loyal servant of Cronus, leader of the Titans and ruler of the Universe. Cronus tasked Campe with guarding the Hekatonkheires and the Cyclopes in Tartarus. She was killed by Zeus when he freed the Cyclopes to help him in the battle with the Titans.[1]

Mythology[edit]

Campe was a half-dragon with a beautiful woman's head and upper body and a scorpion-like tail. Nonnus (Dionysiaca 18.23–264) gives the most elaborated description of her.[2] Joseph Eddy Fontenrose suggests that, for Nonnus, Campe is a Greek refiguring of Tiamat and that "she is Echidna under another name, as Nonnos indicates, calling her Echidnaean Enyo, identifying her snaky legs with Echidna's", and "a female counterpart of his Typhon".[3]

Campe was set by Cronus to guard the Hecatonchires and Cyclopes in Tartarus after he did not release them from their imprisonment by Uranus.

In his lexicon, Hesychius of Alexandria (K.614) noted that the poet Epicharmos had called Campe a kētos, or sea-monster.[4]

Appearance[edit]

Campe is generally depicted as having the head and upper body of a beautiful woman, the lower body of a dragon, a massive scorpion's tail full of venom, snakes around her ankles, and 50 grisly heads of various creatures (wolves, snakes, bears, lions...) bubbling around her waist. Her fingernails were "curved like a crooktalon sickle",[5] and she possessed black wings on her back. More rare depictions describe her as holding scimitars, having snake hair, holding a scythe etc.[citation needed]

Popular culture[edit]

Television[edit]

  • In the TV series Class of the Titans, Campe (voiced by Pam Hyatt in Season One, Pauline Newstone in Season Two) is the jailer of Tartarus; her only escapee was Cronus. She has a woman's head, torso and arms, the body of a snake and has a live scorpion on her back, which can detach itself from her body. She wields a staff. When she wanted to use the Chosen Ones as bait in order to recapture Cronus, as seen in "Prisoner Campe", she finally allied herself with them after an embarrassing fight against Jay. She had to choose between capturing Cronus and saving Herry's life. Her favorite question to ask herself seems to be "Is my enemy's enemy my friend or my enemy?"

Modern literature[edit]

  • Campe (spelled "Kampê") appears as a character in the fourth book in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, The Battle of the Labyrinth, where she is a member of the Titan Kronos' army of monsters. She is first encountered serving as Briares' jailer on Alcatraz. Briares is a Hundred-Handed one, or Hecatonchire, the last one of his kind. She is described as half woman and half dragon. The dragon portion is twenty feet long with black scales, large claws, a barbed tail, and dragon legs made out of hundreds of viper snakes. The human portion had snakes for hair similar to Medusa. Where the human and dragon portions meet, the skin was bubbly, with the heads of various wild animals growing from each bubble. She also wields two poison-tipped scimitars. She is killed by Briares, who threw rocks at her.
  • Campe (spelled "Kampe") is a minor character in the first volume of the graphic novel series Olympians. When Zeus goes down to Tartarus (spelled Tartaros) to free the Cyclopes to help his fight against the Titans, Campe tries to burn him, but Zeus tricks her and kills her. She is shown as a large serpentine dragon with a horn at the tip of her snout.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 1.2.1.
  2. ^ Theoi.com: Kampe, including translated section from Dionysiaca
  3. ^ Fontenrose, Python: A Study of Delphic Myth and Its Origins 1974:243.
  4. ^ Max Mayer Die Giganten und Titanen 1887:232–34.
  5. ^ http://www.theoi.com/Ther/DrakainaKampe.html

References[edit]

  • Butler, George F., "Spenser, Milton, and the Renaissance Campe: Monsters and Myths in The Faerie Queene and Paradise Lost, in Milton Studies 40, Albert C. Labriola (Editor), University of Pittsburgh Press; 1st edition (December 13, 2001). ISBN 978-0-8229-4167-5. pp. 19–37.