Kw-logo-smaller

Greek Mythology

What is a Harpy?

In Greek mythology, Harpies are winged monsters with the face of an ugly old woman and crooked, sharp claws. However, earlier versions of Greek stories described Harpies as beautiful winged maidens. The name Harpy comes from the Greek word "snatcher." They were hungry, filthy creatures who snatched food, objects and even people. Yikes!

What Does a Harpy Look Like?

Usually winged female monsters are associated with Sirens. Most pictures of Harpies are of women with wings but Harpies actually had both the wings and the body of a bird. There are three Harpies whose names come up a lot in stories. They are the daughters of Electra - Aello, Celaeno and Ocypete, although they are known by other names as well. Harpies would snatch people, then torment and punish them. These people were never seen again.

What Did Harpies Do?

The three Harpies are best known for tormenting King Phineus who was rescued by the Argonauts. They stole from the king (mostly food) but were driven away and lived on Stophades Island. Aello, Ocypete and Celaeno were also the mothers to Achilles' talking horses. Besides tormenting innocent people, Harpies were probably the cause of wind storms. Aello means storm, Ocypete means swift-flier and Celaeno means black cloud. Legends blame them for rough seas and the bad weather that comes with it.

Related Stories:
55 Comments

latest videos

F1021420932343

Which Monster is the Scariest? Vote!

  • Harpies sound VERY scary.
  • The Boogie Man.
  • Cookie Monster.
  • Vampires!

related stories

Did you know the Olympics were originally part of a religious festival honoring Zeus? Get the 411...
The story of Troy is more than a Brad Pitt movie; it's a Greek myth that dates back hundreds of y...
In Greek mythology there's a beautiful winged horse that ran free and wild. When tamed, he helped...
A griffin is a creature with the head and wings of an eagle and a body like a lion. They are said...

Random in the forums

-Karpov-
-Karpov- posted in Debating:
Agreed
reply about 5 hours
unet101
unet101 posted in Say Anything:
15 :D
reply about 7 hours
shae508
shae508 posted in Debating:
Blue and black
reply about 8 hours
shae508
They stared a the grave in horror, Miss winters crying and screaming at the doctor. The grave digger was pale and shook his head. "No, no." And the doctor had his head in his hands, his body shaking like a leaf. The poor things eyes were wide open in terror, it's little fingers bloody from scratching at the wood, tears still wet on her face. She was buried alive...poor thing. 
reply about 8 hours
shae508
I love the clothes mommy makes for me. They're so soft and warm. They have funny little patches all over them. And They always smell clean, kinda like when mommy wipes the floor in her 'creating room' I'm not allowed to go in there. Anyway~ Mommy loves me alot, she let's me play outside, gives me hugs And LOTS of new clothing. I wish it came in different colors though. It's always pale, maybe a tan, like wood. Sometimes really dark, like chocolate. Once I got a shirt that looked like cream! I asked mommy if I could have a pink shirt. But she said no. Cause her fabric can't be dyed. I understand that. And still love my mommy very much. The only thing that bothers me is the screaming I hear when she makes them. 
reply about 8 hours

play online games