World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Lyssa

Article Id: WHEBN0007329318
Reproduction Date:

Title: Lyssa  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Greek mythology, Maniae (mythology), Lyssavirus, Actaeon, Iris (mythology)
Collection: Greek Goddesses, Greek Mythology
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Lyssa

In Greek mythology, Lyssa (Greek: Λύσσα; called Lytta (Λύττα) by the Athenians) was the spirit of mad rage, frenzy, and rabies in animals. She was closely related to the Maniae, the spirits of madness and insanity. Her Roman equivalent was variously named Ira, Furor, or Rabies. Sometimes she was multiplied into a host of Irae and Furores.

Description

In Euripides' Herakles, Lyssa is identified as "the daughter of Nyx, sprung from the blood of Ouranos"—that is, the blood from Ouranos' wound following his castration by Cronus.[1] The 1st-century Latin writer Hyginus describes her as a child of Gaia and Aether.[2]

She personifies mad rage and frenzy, as well as rabies in animals. In Herakles she is called upon by Hera to inflict the hero Heracles with insanity. In this scenario she is shown to take a temperate, measured approach to her role, professing "not to use [her powers] in anger against friends, nor [to] have any joy in visiting the homes of men." She counsels Iris, who wishes to carry out Hera's command, against targeting Heracles but, after failing to persuade, bows to the orders of the superior goddess and sends him into a mad rage that causes him to murder his wife and children.[1]

Greek vase-paintings of the period indicate her involvement in the myth of Aktaion, the hunter torn apart by his own, maddened dogs as a punishment for looking on the naked form of the goddess Artemis. Aeschylus identifies her as being the agent sent by Dionysus to madden the impious daughters of Minyas, who in turn dismember Pentheus.

References

  1. ^ a b Vellacott, Phillip (trans.) (1963).  
  2. ^ Grant, Mary (trans.) (1960). The Myths of Hyginus. p. 815. 

External links

  • Theoi Project: Lyssa, Greek goddess of raging fury and madness
  • Greek Mythology Link: Madness
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.