Greek creatures alleged half human and half animal
The Harpies were mythical monsters in Greek mythology, having the form of a bird and a human face. They carried evildoers to be punished by the Erinyes.
Zeus had given the gift of prophecy to King Phineus of Thrace, who used it to uncover the secret plan of the god. Angry, Zeus blinded him and put him on an island, where there was a lot of food; however, Phineus could not eat anything, because the Harpies would steal his food before he could eat it. Years later, Jason and the Argonauts arrived at the island, managing to drive the Harpies away. The Harpies escaped to their cave in Crete, while Phineus helped the Argonauts by telling them how to pass the Symplegades rocks.
The Harpies were also seen as the personifications of the destructive winds. Initially, two harpies were mentioned; Aello (storm swift), and Ocypete (swift wing). Later, a third was added, named Celaeno (dark).
The Minotaur was a monster in Greek mythology, half-bull and half-human. He lived in the Labyrinth, which expanded underneath the court of King Minos in Crete, and he was born from the union of Minos’ wife Pasiphae with the Cretan Bull. This bull was sent as a gift from Poseidon to Minos, in order to support him in his struggle to become the ruler of Crete. However, Minos did not sacrifice the bull as he was meant to, but kept it. Poseidon was enraged and made Pasiphae fall in love with the bull. When the Minotaur was born, he would only eat humans as he was an unnatural creature. Minos asked for advice from the oracle of Delphi, and was told to create a labyrinth underneath his palace and put the Minotaur there. So, Minos asked his architect, the famous Daedalus, to construct this maze.
One day, the son of Minos, Androgeus, decided to participate in some games that were organised in Athens. In these games, he was killed by mistake. Minos, infuriated, attacked Athens and then demanded that fourteen young people from the city be sent annually to Crete as a sacrifice to the Minotaur. In a following year, Theseus, son of the king of Athens Aegeus, volunteered to go and kill the monster. When he arrived in Crete, Ariadne, daughter of Minos, fell in love with him, and offered him a sword, as well as a ball of thread. She told him to tie the thread near the entrance of the labyrinth and unroll it as he goes deeper, so that he could find the way out later. Theseus went in the labyrinth, managed to kill the Minotaur, and then found the way out.
A sphinx was a mythical monster, which had the head of a human and the body of a lion. Sphinxes also appeared in Egyptian mythology; the two cultures had tight links and had considerably influenced each other.
In Greek mythology, the sphinx was considered to be a woman. One sphinx was only considered to exist in Greek mythology; she was the daughter of Orthus, and either Echidna or Chimera. Apart from the human head and the body of the lion, she also had the wings of an eagle and the tail of a serpent. According to the myth, she dwelt outside the city of Thebes, and asked a riddle to all travellers, in order to let them pass. The riddle she asked is a famous one; which is the creature that has one voice, but has four feet in the morning, two feet in the afternoon, and three feet at night? Anyone who struggled to answer was eaten by the monster. However, Oedipus managed to answer correctly; he replied “the man”, who crawls on all fours as a baby, walks on two as an adult, and needs a walking cane when old.
It seems that there was a second riddle following the first; “there are two sisters; one gives birth the the other, who in turn gives birth to the first. Who are they?” The correct answer is “day and night”, two words that are both feminine in the Greek language. After Oedipus correctly answered both questions, the Sphinx killed herself, either by throwing herself off the rock on which she rested, or by devouring herself. This seems to be the literary way in which the ancient Greeks transitioned from the old religious practices, represented by the Sphinx, to the new ones and the establishment of the Olympian deities, represented by Oedipus.
Centaurs are half-human, half-horse creatures in Greek mythology. They have the body of a horse and the torso, head and arms of a man. They were considered to be the children of Ixion, king of the Lapiths, and Nephele, a cloud made in the image of Hera. According to a different myth, however, they were all born from the union of a single Centaurus with the Magnesian mares.
One of the best known centaurs is Chiron or Cheiron, a wise centaur. Although most centaurs were depicted as lustful and wild, Chiron was a notable exception; modest and civilised, he was known for his medicinal skills and teaching abilities. He lived on Mount Pelion in Thessaly and was the tutor of a number of Greek mythical characters such as Achilles and Aesculapius. He was immortal; however, he was accidentally wounded by Heracles with an arrow treated with the blood of the monster Hydra, causing him insufferable pains. So, when Heracles asked his father to free Prometheus and Zeus demanded that someone must be sacrificed, Chiron volunteered and died, both to free Prometheus and himself from the pain.
Centaur Is also called Centaurus, Centaurs.
Chiron was the most important Centaur in Greek mythology, famous for his teaching ability. He was the son of the Titan god Cronus and the nymph Philyra. Although centaurs had the upper body of a man and the lower body of a horse, Chiron’s front legs were also human, showing that he was different and higher in class than the rest. Other differences between Chiron and his brethren were that he was far more civilised in nature, not indulging in drinking and being overcome with lust. He had superior knowledge, and he had a different lineage to the other centaurs, who were created by the union of Ixion and Nephele.
He lived on Mount Pelion with his consort, the nymph Chariclo, with whom he had three daughters, Hippe, Endeis, and Ocyrhoe; as well as a son, Carystus. His students included famous heroes and gods of the Greek myths, such as Asclepius, Ajax, Achilles, Theseus, Jason, Peleus, Perseus, and even Heracles and Phoenix.
His death was the result of events that started when Heracles visited the centaur Pholus in his cave, while trying to complete the fourth task described in the Labours of Heracles. The two individuals had supper and Heracles asked for wine. Pholus opened a bottle of sacred wine given to him by Dionysus, but the smell attracted the other centaurs from the nearby area. The centaurs attacked in an effort to take the wine, but Heracles killed many of them using poisoned arrows. One of those arrows hit Chiron by mistake. Chiron was immortal and could not die, but the poison caused unbearable pain to him. So, he happily gave up his immortality in exchange for Prometheus’ freedom, when he was asked to do so by Heracles. Chiron then took a space on Mount Olympus along with the gods.
Chiron Is also called Cheiron, Kheiron.
Delphyne is a female dragon in Greek mythology. Her mother was Gaea who gave her the task of guarding the oracle of Delphi. She was often accompanied by a male dragon, either Python or Typhon. Due to the different accounts and sources, she was sometimes mixed with Echidna, the mother of all monsters, who was half woman and half snake. In another source, Delphyne was appointed with guarding the sinews of Zeus, who were stolen by Typhon, and she was eventually slain by Apollo.
Echidna was a half-woman, half-snake creature in Greek mythology, also known as the “mother of all monsters”, as she gave birth to most of the Greek mythical creatures. She was the wife of Typhon, who was the “father of all monsters” and the most fearsome and dangerous monster in said mythology. Both she and her husband were the children of Gaia and Tartarus. The couple attacked the Olympians, but Zeus managed to repel them, burying Typhon under Mount Etna; Echidna and her children were spared to continue challenging future heroes. Echidna was killed by Argus Panoptes while sleeping.
Some of the most famous children of Echidna and Typhon were Cerberus, the three-headed hound who guarded the gates of the Underworld; the Lernaean Hydra, the multi-headed serpent that grew two heads if one was cut off; the Gorgon sisters, the best known being Medusa; and the Chimera, a creature that had the heads of a lion, a goat and snake.
The Gorgons were three monsters in Greek mythology, daughters of Echidna and Typhon, the mother and father of all monsters respectively. Their names were Stheno, Euryale, and the most famous of them, Medusa. Although the first two were immortal, Medusa was not. Weirdly, Medusa was also not considered the child of Echidna and Typhon, but of Phorkys and Keto. Their faces were ugly and their hair was replaced by snakes; anyone who would gaze into their eyes would be turned to stone instantly.
Gorgons Is also called Gorgon.