Tisiphone the Greek Goddess

The Fury Tisiphone at the Palace of Athamas

  Antonio Tempesta/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Tisiphone is one of the Furies or Erinyes in Greek mythology. Tisiphone is the avenger of murder. Her name means 'voice of revenge.' The Erinyes were formed when the blood of Uranus fell on Gaia when the son of Uranus, Cronus, killed him. The Furies pursued particularly heinous criminals and drove them mad. Their most famous victim was Orestes, whose crime was matricide. The names of the other Erinyes were Alecto and Megaera.


In the Eumenides, the tragedy by Aeschylus about the Erinyes and Orestes, the Erinyes are described as dark, not quite women, not quite Gorgons (Medusas), featherless, with rheumy eyes and partial to blood. ("The Appearance of Aeschylus' Erinyes," by P. G. Maxwell-Stuart. Greece & Rome, Vol. 20, No. 1, pp. 81-84)

Jane E. Harrison (September 9, 1850 - April 5, 1928) says the Erinyes at Delphi and elsewhere were ancestral ghosts, who later became "detached ministers of divine vengeance". The Erinyes are the dark aspect of the benevolent Eumenides -- the angry ghosts. (Delphika.-(A) The Erinyes. (B) The Omphalos, by Jane E. Harrison. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 19, pp. 205-251) It is also claimed that Eumenides is a euphemism for the Erinyes.

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Gill, N.S. "Tisiphone the Greek Goddess." ThoughtCo, Aug. 28, 2020, thoughtco.com/tisiphone-greek-goddess-121229. Gill, N.S. (2020, August 28). Tisiphone the Greek Goddess. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tisiphone-greek-goddess-121229 Gill, N.S. "Tisiphone the Greek Goddess." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tisiphone-greek-goddess-121229 (accessed March 20, 2023).