Chimera: Hybrid Appearance in Greek Mythology


     Chimera was an popular figure in Greek Mythology and is a huge monster with a hybrid appearance of two or more animals! Not to mention the fact that she can spit both acid and fire

Chimera in Greek Mythology:

     Chimera is a mystical figure characterized by a hybrid appearance of two or more animals and the ability to launch fire through the nostrils, being, therefore, a mythological beast or beast.

     Originally from Anatolia and whose type emerged in Greece during the 7th century BC, it has always attracted popular imagination. According to the most widespread version of the legend, the chimera was a monstrous product of the union between Echidna - half woman, half snake - and the giant Typhon.

But Who is Typhon?

     Typhon is a mythological giant to whom the Greeks imputed the fatherhood of fierce and violent winds. He is the son of Gaia and Tartarus. Hesiod describes it this way:

The giant's vigorous hands worked tirelessly, and his feet were indefatigable; on their shoulders, the hundred heads of a hideous dragon were raised, and a black tongue protruded from each; a brilliant flame was pouring out of the eyes of the monstrous heads; astonishing to see, they uttered a thousand inexplicable sounds and, at times, so high that the gods themselves could not hear them; now the mighty roar of a wild bull, now the roar of a fierce lion; many times - O prodigy! - the barking of a dog, or the piercing cries from which the high mountains resounded. Typhon is a horrifying beast born to end Zeus and Olympus. Son of the vengeful Gaia and the sinister Tartarus, a primordial god who lives cloistered in the depths. It was responsible for the mass flight of the Olympian gods, because it is capable of instilling great dread. He won the first fight against Zeus, but was defeated in the second.

A Little more about Chimera:

     Other legends make her the daughter of the Lerna hydra and the lion of Nemea, who were killed by Hercules. Raised by the king of Caria, it would later plague this kingdom and Lycia's by constantly burning fire, until the hero Bellerophon, mounted on the winged horse Pegasus, managed to kill her.

     Over time, every fantastic monster used in architectural decoration was called chimera.

     In Alchemy, it is an artificial being (just like the homunculus), created from the fusion of a human and animal.

     Figuratively or in broader popular language, the term chimera alludes to any fantastic, absurd or monstrous composition, consisting of disparate or incongruous elements, also meaning utopia. The word chimera, by derivation of meaning, also means the product of the imagination, a dream or fantasy.


     Their appearance is described differently in the various mythological narratives or in the fine arts. For example:

  • Head and body of a lion, with two attached heads, one of a goat and the other of a dragon, or just a head of a goat.
  • It throws fire through its nostrils and has a snake tail and a lion tail.
  • It would have two wings, similar to those of a dragon, attached to its lion's body. Although apparently not flying, some legends or mythologies mention the fact that it can fly.


     After the Middle Ages, with the expansion of the dragon idea, the chimera lost space. Visibly clear in Catholic churches today, with St. George killing a Dragon replacing Bellerophon and the chimera.

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