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Orestes Pursued by the Furies by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

Alecto (Ancient Greek: Ἀληκτώ, romanizedAlēktṓ, lit.'the implacable or unceasing anger') is one of the Erinyes (Furies) in Greek mythology.

Family and description[edit]

According to Hesiod, Alecto was the daughter of Gaea fertilized by the blood spilled from Uranus when Cronus castrated him. She is the sister of Tisiphone and Megaera. These three Furies had snakes for hair and blood dripped from their eyes, while their wings were those of bats.[1] Alecto's job as a Fury is castigating the moral crimes (such as anger) of humans, especially if they are against others.

Alecto's function is similar to Nemesis, with the difference that Nemesis's function is to castigate crimes against the gods, not mortals. Her punishment for mortals was Madness.

In mythology[edit]

In Virgil's Aeneid (Book VII), Juno commanded the Fury Allecto (spelled with two l's) to prevent the Trojans from having their way with King Latinus by marriage or besiege Italian borders. Alecto's mission is to wreak havoc on the Trojans and cause their downfall through war. To do this, Allecto takes over the body of Queen Amata, who clamors for all of the Latin mothers to riot against the Trojans. She disguises herself as Juno's priestess Calybe and appears to Turnus in a dream persuading him to begin the war against the Trojans. Met with a mocking response from Turnus, Alecto abandons persuasion and attacks Turnus with a torch, causing his blood to "boil with the passion for war". Unsatisfied with her work in igniting the war, Allecto asks Juno if she can provoke more strife by drawing in bordering towns. Juno replies that she will manage the rest of the war herself: "You're roving far too freely, high on the heavens' winds, and the Father, king of steep Olympus, won't allow it. You must give way. Whatever struggle is still to come, I'll manage it myself."[2]

In culture[edit]



  • The musical piece "Music for a While" by Purcell is based on the aforementioned passage from Dryden's Oedipus.
  • She is mentioned in Handel's Rinaldo HWV 7 in the Aria "Sibillar gli angui d'Aletto" ("The hissing of Alecto's serpents").[7]


Video games[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Furies in Greek Mythology". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ Virgil. Aeneid. Translated by Fagles, Robert. II.646-649.
  3. ^ O'Rahilly, Cecile (ed.) (1976) Táin Bó Cúailnge. Recension I, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, p. 30
  4. ^ Aligheri, Dante (1888). Cary, Henry Francis (ed.). Inferno. United Kingdom: William Clowes and Sons, Ltd. p. 44.
  5. ^ Dryden, John; Lee, Nathaniel (1724). Oedipus, A Tragedy. London. p. 38.
  6. ^ Zrínyi, Miklós, gróf (2011). The Siege of Sziget. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press. pp. xviii, 11–14. ISBN 9780813218618.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Handel, Georg Frideric (1711). Rinaldo.
  8. ^ "(465) Alekto". (465) Alekto In: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Springer. 2003. p. 52. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_466. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7.
  9. ^ "God of War: Ascension Walkthrough Part 30 - Alecto's Chamber". IGN.
  10. ^ Castello, Jay (16 March 2019). "Hades' updates reflect the shifting nature of mythology". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 12 May 2022.