A to Z Challenge — A is for Alecto

One of my grandchildren is named Furie. I was told that her name was based upon Furies of Greek Mythology. That was my inspiration of this blog.

While there were three Furies, I am focusing on one: Alecto (unceasing in anger), mostly because it fits the challenge.

The three furies

In Greek mythology the Furies, were female deities sometimes referred to as “infernal goddesses.” In Roman mythology, they are the Dirae. One Roman writer said they’re called Eumenides in hell, Furiae on earth, and Dirae in heaven. Indeed, these goddesses have significance in the underworld.

In addition to Alecto, her sisters are Tisiphone (avenger of murder), and Megaera (the Jealous one). Each had a role in dealing with the dark side of human nature and behavior.

 

I am not messing with her.

Alecto dealt with people who had problems with others (anger). She was like the goddess, Nemesis, who enacted retribution against those who succumb to arrogance before the gods. However, Alecto was concerned with human to human interpersonal issues, rather than human to god.

The Furies came into being when Cronus, technically their brother and leader of the first generation of Titans, castrated his (and their) father, Uranus. Uranus’ testicles were to be cast into the sea, but blood from them was spilled on Gaia (the Earth) and produced the Gigantes, Meliae, and Erinyes. The Erinyes, or Furies, pursue heinous criminals, punishing them according to their crimes. The imagination of ancient people must have phenomenal regarding their myths.

Furies revenged homicide, unfilial conduct, offenses against the gods, and perjury. A victim seeking justice could call on them for criminal retribution. The most powerful of the curses was of the parent upon the child – for the Furies were born of just such a crime, when the blood of Uranus (or the sky) impregnated Gaia, following Cronos chopping off dad’s nuts, thus Alecto’s unceasing anger.

Their wrath manifested itself in several ways. The most severe was the tormenting madness inflicted upon a patricide or matricide. Murderers might suffer illness or disease; and a nation harboring such a criminal, could suffer dearth, hunger, and disease.

Alecto and Tisiphone

The wrath of the Furies could be placated with purification and some assigned task for atonement. However, Alecto had no sympathy for the wicked.

The goddesses were also servants of Haidas and Persephone in the underworld where they oversaw the torture of criminals consigned to the Dungeons of the Damned. A goddess from Hell who is always angry with everyone and everything should make us behave. As with all such things regarding ancient mythology, the dealings were direct and fierce.

Look both ways for Alecto.
Mind yourself, the gaps go clear to Hell.

Link to A to Z blog Challenge

20 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge — A is for Alecto

Comments are closed.