Scylla, in Greek mythology, was the daughter of Typhon and Echidna, or of Neptune and the nymph Cratais. The descriptions of this marine monster are sufficiently striking, though they were never followed in the formative arts. Homer makes her to dwell by a rock which reached to the skies, and whose brow was constantly crowned with clouds. The mountain could not be scaled because of its smooth surfaces, and the monster was accordingly able to dwell undisturbed in the cavern which the waves had washed at its foot, and thence to inflict destruction on all who might approach. The giantess had twelve feet, which, however, were less dangerous than might be supposed, because they were all fastened to the rock; but the horrible body had six long necks, surmounted by six terrible heads, which roared unceasingly under the impulse of hunger and ferocity. The mouth was armed with a triple row of teeth, and every form of creature afforded them a welcome prey. In the absence of other food, they seized on dolphins and seals, but if a ship drew near, it was obliged to sacrifice a portion of its crew. Ulysses came prepared for a conflict, and sought in every way to drive off the monster with spear-thrusts and poles, but was at length obliged to pay for the temerity which led him to navigate the Sicilian straits with the loss of six of his most faithful companions. These waters (between Italy and Sicily) were at that time regarded as impassable because of Scylla and Charybdis (incidit in Scyllain cupiens vitare Charybdin), one of which was certain to destroy the navigator. Their terrors are now altogether dissipated, and no fishing-boat dreads these monsters. Scylla is usually represented as a gigantic female figure with an oar raised as if to strike, the body ending in two dolphin tails.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.