E is for Erinyes.

Erinyes torture a criminal
Erinyes torture a criminal

The Erinyes, or Furiae, are the avengers of the Underworld.

The are particularly concerned with crimes against the parents, as in matricide or patricide, probably because they were born from such a crime.

The usual number of  them is given as three, with the names Alecto, Tisiphone, and Magaera.

They are commonly depicted as winged, ugly hags, their limbs wound with poisonous serpents and savage-looking whips held in their hands.

Not a trio you would want to piss off.


The Erinyes are the daughters of Titans, Gaia and Ouranos, or Uranus.

After Ouranos had relegated his three eldest offspring to Tartarus, Gaia and their son Cronus, God of Time, conspired to castrate the unwitting God.

In this, they succeeded and from the blood of the reduced God, sprang the Erinyes.


As well as crimes against the parents, the Erinyes would rain down revenge against those that have committed murder, perjury, or crimes against the Gods.

The most severe of the Erinyes’ punishments was to drive one to madness.


The Erinyes reside in Erebos, the ‘entryway’ to the Underworld.

Here, they await the call that an evil soul has entered their domain, and they head for the dungeons, their implements of torture at the ready.

They Erinyes serve as jailers in the dungeons, the deepest bowels of Tartarus.


If the Erinyes judged a soul to be good, they could purify the soul of it’s sins and let it pass through.

But if you were judged to be wicked, it was the dungeon of the damned for you, the territory of the vengeful Erinyes.

Here, they would torture and torment the evil soul for eternity.

The Erinyes are a fearful complement, if you have led a life of evil.

The wrath of the Erinyes can only be halted through ritual purification and the completion of a set task of atonement.

Torture and Torment of the Erinyes
Torture and Torment of the Erinyes

The Erinyes are connected to Hades and Persephone, King and Queen of The Underworld, who they serve, in dealing with the souls of the damned.

They also have a connection to Hekate, she who is there as a witness to crimes of murder, and is also a guide through the Underworld.


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