Furies (Eumenides or Diree)

Furies (Eumenides or Diree)

mythical personages, either daughters of Nox and Acheron, of Terra and the blood of Saturn, of the Earth and Darkness, of Eris, that is, Contention, or of Jupiter. Their names were Alecto, Meegaera, and Tisiphone. Some add a fourth, called Lyssa; though others recognise but one Fury, called Adrastia, daughter of Jupiter and Necessity, and the avenger of all vice. Their office was to force persons guilty of crimes committed in secret to confess their guilt. They punished their incorrigible subjects with insanity. They were represented as of vast size, old, squalid, and terrible to behold. They wore a dark robe with a serpent as a girdle. The uncultured age took pains to connect everything horrible with these frightful forms: eyes emitting flame, snake-hairs, clawhands, with viper scourges. Their dwelling-place is an iron palace in the infernal region, where they torture those who arrive in Tartarus without being reconciled to the gods. With the progress of civilization the myths of these deities had many changes; the bloody pictures disappeared, and in their place were substituted the Eumenides (q.v.)

 
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