List of Greek mythological creatures

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The following is a list of creatures from Greek mythology. The list does not include gods and other divine and semi-divine figures (see List of Greek mythological figures).

Mythological monsters[edit]

Greek myth includes many monstrous beings:

  • Caucasian Eagle, a giant eagle set by Zeus to feed on the ever-regenerating liver of Prometheus; it was a son of Echidna.
  • Centaur (male) or Centauride (female), a head and torso of a human with the legs and behind of a horse.
    • Asbolus, in Greek mythology, was a centaur. He was a seer, or an auger. He was a diviner who read omens in the flight of birds.
    • Chariclo, wife of the centaur Chiron
    • Chiron, the eldest and wisest of the centaurs. The ancient trainer of Heroes.
    • Nessus, famous centaur, known for being killed by Heracles.
    • Onocentaur, head and torso of a human with legs and behind of a donkey.
    • Pholus, a wise centaur and friend of Heracles
  • Cerberus, the three-headed, giant hound that guarded the gates of the Underworld.
  • Charon, a ferryman at the river Styx
  • Charybdis, a sea monster whose inhalations formed a deadly whirlpool or a huge water mouth.
  • Chimera, a three-headed monster with one head of lion, one of a snake, and another of a goat, lion claws in front and goat legs behind, and a long snake tail.
  • Empousai, seductive female vampire demons with fiery hair, a leg of bronze and a donkey's foot. They are especially good at ensnaring men with their beauty before devouring them.
  • Erinyes (Furies), the three goddesses of vengence, who were the offspring of Gaea born from the blood shed when Kronos castrated his father Uranus.
  • Gorgon, monstrous women depicted as having snakes on their head instead of hair, tusks and reptile-like wings.
    • Medusa, whose gaze could turn anyone to stone.
    • Stheno, most murderous of the sisters.
    • Euryale, whose scream could kill.
  • Graeae, three old women with one tooth and one eye among them.
    • Deino
    • Persis or Perso
    • Pemphredo
  • Harpies, creature with torso, head and arms of women, talons, tail and wings (mixed with the arms) of bird.
  • Hippalectryon, a creature with the fore-parts of a rooster and the body of a horse
  • Hippocampi, sea creatures with the fore-parts of horses and the tails of fish and fins instead of hooves.
  • Ichthyocentaurs, a pair of marine centaurs with the upper bodies of men, the lower fronts of horses, and the tails of fish
  • Ipotane, a race of half-horse, half-humans
  • Manticore, a monster with the head of a man, the body of a lion, and a tail that can shoot spikes.
  • Merpeople, human with fish tail after torso (Mermaid as female, Merman as male), they lure adventurers to drown them.
  • Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man; slain by Theseus.
  • Mormo, a vampiric creature who bit bad children
  • Lamia, a vampiric demon which preyed on children
  • Lernaean Hydra, also known as King Hydra, a many-headed, serpent-like creature that guarded an Underworld entrance beneath Lake Lerna. It was destroyed by Heracles, in his second Labour. Son of Typhon and Echdina.
  • Ophiotaurus, a creature part bull and part serpent.
  • Orthrus, a two-headed dog, brother of Cerberus, slain by Heracles.
  • Panes, a tribe of nature-spirits which had the heads and torsos of men, the legs and tails of goats, goatish faces and goat-horns
  • Satyrs and Satyresses, companions of Pan and Dionysus which had human upper bodies, and the horns and hindquarters of a goat
  • Scylla, lover of Poseidon, transformed by Circe into a many-headed, tentacled monster who fed on passing sailors in the straits between herself and Charybdis.
  • Sirens, three bird like women whose irresistible song lured sailors to their deaths
  • Skolopendra, giant sea monster said to be the size of a Greek trireme. It has a crayfish-like tail, numerous legs along its body which it uses like oars to move and extremely long hairs that protrude from its nostrils. Child of Phorcys and Keto.[1]
  • Taraxippi, ghosts that frightened horses
  • Telekhines, skilled metal-workers with the heads of dogs and flippers of seals in place of hands

Mythical animals[edit]

These animals possess some fantastic attribute.

  • Arion, the immortal horse of Adrastus who could run at fantastic speeds
  • Balius and Xanthus, the immortal horses of Achilles
  • Calydonian Boar, a gigantic boar sent by Artemis to ravage Calydon and slain in the Calydonian Boar Hunt
  • Ceryneian Hind, an enormous deer which was sacred to Artemis; Heracles was sent to retrieve it as one of his labours
  • Griffin or gryphon, a creature that combines the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.
    • Hippogriff, head, wings and front body of eagle, and back of horse, they are born by the union of a male gryphon and a mare, or a couple of hippogriff.
  • Golden Fleece, from a golden-haired ram, which was held in Colchis.
  • Erymanthian Boar, a gigantic boar which Heracles was sent to retrieve as one of his labors.
  • Karkinos, a giant crab which fought Heracles alongside the Lernaean Hydra.
  • Laelaps, a female dog destined always to catch its prey
  • Mares of Diomedes, four man-eating horses belonging to the giant Diomedes
  • Nemean Lion, a gigantic lion whose skin was impervious to weapons; it was strangled by Heracles
  • Winged Horse or Pterippi, winged pure white horses.
    • Pegasus, a divine winged stallion that is pure white, son of Medusa and Poseidon, brother of Chrysaor and father of winged horses.
  • Phoenix, a golden-red fire bird of which only one could live at a time, but would burst into flames to rebirth from ashes as a new phoenix.
  • Sphinx has the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face of a woman
  • Stymphalian Birds, man-eating birds with beaks of bronze and sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims
  • Teumessian fox, a gigantic fox destined never to be caught.
  • Unicorn, a beautiful horse-like creature with a magical horn on its forehead
    • Winged unicorn or Alicorn, different and more rare than unicorns due to the fact that they have beautiful wings like Winged Horses.

Giants[edit]

Enormous and monstrous human-like creatures.

  • Agrius and Oreius, when a woman was cursed by Aphrodite to fall in love with a bear, the twin giants were born, they look half-man, half-bear.
  • The Aloadae, twin giants who attempted to storm Olympus
  • Alops, a Sicilian giant, slain by Dionysus
  • Anax, a Lydian giant
  • Antaeus, a Libyan giant who gained strength from constant contact with the earth and wrestled to death all visitors to his realm until slain by Heracles
  • Argus Panoptes, a hundred-eyed giant tasked with guarding over Io
  • Chrysaor, a son of Medusa and Poseidon, sometimes said to be a giant, he was born alongside Pegasus by Perseus slashing their mother's head.
  • Cyclopes (Elder), three one-eyed giants who forged Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' cap of invisibility, and Poseidon's storm-raising trident, they and the hekatoncheires were sons of Gaia and Uranus.
    • Arges
    • Brontes
    • Steropes
  • Cyclopes (Younger), one-eyed giants, they are the sons of Poseidon and very skilled blacksmiths, but not so much as elder ones.
    • Polyphemus, a cyclops who briefly captured Odysseus and his men, only to be overcome and blinded by the hero. For this reason, he is blind to this day.
  • The Gegenees, a tribe of six-armed giants fought by the Argonauts on Bear Mountain in Mysia.
  • Echidna, a giant monstrous women with upper body of a beautiful nymph, while the lower is a giant serpent, she is the wife of Typhon.
  • Geryon, a three-bodied giant who dwelt on the red island of Erytheia, son of Chrysaor and the oceanid Calirrhoe.
  • Gigantes (Giants), they are offspring of Gaia and the blood shed when Cronus castrated his father Uranus.
  • Hyperborean Giants, giants who lived at Hyperborea, they are usually a peaceful tribe.
  • The Hekatoncheires, the Hundred-Handed Ones, giants with fifty heads gods of violent storms and hurricanes, they defeated the titans at a war after the gods rescuing then from tartarus alongside their brothers, the cyclopes.
    • Briareus or Aigaion (Βριάρεως), The Vigorous
    • Cottus (Κόττος), The Furious
    • Gigges (Γύγης), The Big-Limbed
  • The Laestrygonians, a tribe of man-eating giants encountered by Odysseus on his travels.
  • Tityos, a giant slain by Apollo and Artemis when he attempted to violate their mother Leto.
  • Typhon, a monstrous immortal storm-giant who was defeated and imprisoned by Zeus under Mt. Etna. He is the husband of Echidna, and with her they are known as the "Parents of all monsters".

==Dragons==[2] The dragons of Greek mythology were serpentine monsters. They include the serpent-like Drakons, the marine-dwelling Cetea and the she-monster Dracaenae. Homer describes the dragons with wings and legs.

  • The Colchian Dragon, an unsleeping dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece
  • Cychreides, a dragon which terrorised Salamis before being slain by Cychreus
  • Demeter's dragons, a pair of winged dragons that drew Demeter's chariot and, after having been given as a gist, Triptolemus's
  • Giantomachian dragon, a dragon that was thrown at Athena during the Giant war. She threw it into the sky where it became the constellation Draco
  • Lernaean Hydra, also known as King Hydra, a many-headed, serpent-like creature that guarded an Underworld entrance beneath Lake Lerna. It was destroyed by Heracles, in his second Labour. Son of Typhon and Echdina.
  • The Ismenian Dragon, a dragon which guarded the sacred spring of Ares near Thebes; it was slain by Cadmus
  • Ladon, a serpent-like dragon which guarded the Golden apples of immortality of the Hesperides
  • Maeonian Drakon, a dragon that lived in the kingdom of Lydia and that was killed by Damasen
  • Medea's dragons, a pair of flying dragons that pulled Medea's chariot. Born from the blood of the Titans
  • Nemean dragon, a dragon that guarded Zeus' sacred grove in Nemea
  • Ophiogenean dragon, a dragon that guarded Artemis' sacred grove in Mysia
  • Pitanian dragon, a dragon in Pitane, Aeolis, that was turned to stone by the gods
  • Python, a dragon which guarded the oracle of Delphi; it was slain by Apollo.
  • Rhodian dragons, serpents that inhabitied the island of Rhodes; they were killed by Phorbus
  • Thespian dragon, a dragon that terrorized the city of Thespiae in Boeotia
  • Trojan dragons, a pair of dragons sent by Poseidon to kill Laocoön and his sons in order to stop him from telling his people that the Wooden Horse was a trap.
  • Three-Headed Hydra, it is believed, as the offspring of the Lernaean Hydra, are multiple-headed aquatic and very poisonous dragons, like their father, more heads will grow by cutting one off.


Drakons[edit]

Drakons ("δράκους" in Greek, "dracones" in Latin) were giant serpents, sometimes possessing multiple heads or able to breathe fire, but most just spit deadly venom.

The Laconian Drakon was one of the most fearsome of all the drakons.

Cetea[edit]

Cetea were sea monsters. They were usually featured in myths of a hero rescuing a sacrificial princess.

  • The Ethiopian Cetus was a sea monster sent by Poseidon to ravage Ethiopia and devour Andromeda, which was slain by Perseus
  • The Trojan Cetus was a sea monster that plagued Troy before being slain by Heracles.

Dracaenae[edit]

The Dracaenae were monsters that had the upper body of a beautiful woman and the lower body of any sort of dragon. Echidna, the mother of monsters, and Keto, the mother of sea-monsters are two famous dracaenae.

  • Campe, a dracaena that was charged by Kronos with the job of guarding the gates of Tartarus; she was slain by Zeus when he rescued the Cyclopes and Hecatoncheires from their prison
  • Keto, a marine goddess who was the mother of all sea monsters as well as Echidna and other dragons and monsters.
  • Echidna, Wife of Typhon and "Mother of All Monsters"
  • Echidna Argia, a dracaena that ravaged the kingdom of Argos; killed by Argus Panoptes
  • Poena, a dracaena sent by Apollo to ravage the kingdom of Argos as punishment for the death of his infant son Linos; killed by Coraebus.
  • Scythian Dracaena, the Dracaena queen of Scythia; she stole Geryon's cattle that Heracles was herding through the region and agreed to return them on condition he mate with her.
  • Scylla, a dracaena that was the lover of Poseidon, transformed by Circe into a monster that fed on passing sailors in the strait between herself and Charybdis
  • Sybaris, a draceana that lived on a mountain near Delphi, eating shepherds and passing travellers; she was pushed off the cliff by Eurybarus.

Automatons[edit]

Automatons, or Colossi, were men, animals and monsters crafted out of metal and made animate in order to perform various tasks. They were created by the divine smith, Hephaestus. The Athenian inventor Daedalus also manufactured automatons.

  • The Hippoi Kabeirikoi, four bronze horse-shaped automatons crafted by Hephaestus to draw the chariot of the Cabeiri
  • The Keledones, singing maidens sculpted out of gold by Hephaestus
  • The Khalkotauroi, fire-breathing bulls created by Hephaestus as a gift for Aeëtes.
  • The Kourai Khryseai, golden maidens sculpted to Hephaestus to attend him in his household.
  • Talos, a giant man made out of bronze to protect Europa Esther

Legendary tribes[edit]

  • Arimaspi, a tribe of one-eyed men
  • Monopodes or Skiapodes, a tribe of one-legged Libyan men who used their gigantic foot as shade against the midday sun.
  • Panotii, a tribe of northern men with gigantic, body-length ears.
  • Pygmies, a tribe of one and a half foot tall African men who rode goats into battle against migrating cranes
  • Acephali (Greek akephalos, plural akephaloi, from a-, "without", and kephalé, "head") are human without head, with their mouths and eyes being in their breasts.
  • Amazons, a nation of all-female warriors

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Burkert, Walter (1982). Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-04770-9. 
  • Morford, Mark; Robert Lenardon (2003). Classical Mythology (7 ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.