return to Home Page
or move on to Goddess Horai, next chronologically,
or use Her Cyclopedia Index

Harpyiai, Swift-robbers.

Alternate meanings: Snatchers.
[to Whom the eighth day of May, day 128, is dedicated]

Geography/Culture: Cretan. Greek: esp Strophades islands.
Linguistic Note: Originally 'alpha-rho-epsilon-pi-upsilon-iota-alpha-iota (harepüiai). Later 'alpha-rho-pi-upsilon-iota-alpha-iota, (harpyia). Perhaps from: 'alpha-rho-pi-alpha-gamma-eta, (harpare), "seizure, rapine, robbery, rape". Related English word: perhaps harp, in the sense that the strings are plucked.
Description: Early: Beautiful-haired, swift (swifter than birds or winds) winged Goddesses of the sweeping storm winds, whirlwinds, hurricanes, sudden destruction and death; Those Whose domain is the air; Those Who carry off to the other world mortals whose sudden disappearance is desired by divinities.
To Whom Sacred: kites or sea-eagles (for whom Thracians set out food); vultures (with whom they are associated in their loathsome form); horse; cave (Crete, Dicte); the Peloponnesian River Tigris (called Harpys after Aëllopus Who is said to have drowned in it). The first to be named was: Podarge, Swiftfooted. Then two more: Aëllopus, and: Ocypete, Swift-one.
Later: they were conceived of as loathsome winged, Female creatures Who snatch up criminals for punishment by the Erinnyes (see link below). They became hateful and repulsive bird-bodied creatures, with the faces of old women, the ears of bears, crooked talons and hanging breasts; perhaps the hostile Spirits of the scorching south wind, or Spirits of the storm Who at the bidding of divinities, carry off human souls to the under-world).
Then their leader was named: Celaino, [Dark-clouds]. Source: Graves GMv1 128-9, 271; GMv2/230, 232, 273, index; EBv13/14d; IGEL/14, 119, 370, 426, 651; WWGRM/9, 55, 111.
Aëllopus, Storm-foot.
Geography/Culture: Greek. Linguistic Note: {something missing here}-epsilon-lambda-lambda-omega, "storm".
Description: One person of the Triple Goddess Harpyiai. Source: IGEL/15.
Celaino, {Dark-Clouds}.

Alternate meanings: Screamer.
Geography/Culture: Greek.
Linguistic Note: perhaps from kappa-epsilon-lambda-alpha-iota-nu-omikron-sigma, "black (as of blood), swart, dark, murky". {Note: Her name was pronounced C]LANO in the Saying of Her Names - check if possible - because Ruby refused to pronounce it any other way!}.
Description: Leader of the Harpyiai. Source: WWGRM/55.
worked on: August 6, 1991; May 1995
Return to top of this document.