Typhon and Echidna: Parents of the Monsters of Greek Mythology

09/01/2021

     Typhon and Echidna are Monsters within Greek Mythology, but in addition, they are the parents of monstrous and wicked creatures within this mythology, check out.

Typhon in Greek Mythology:

     Typhon, Typhoon, Typhon or Typhus, is a giant of mythology to whom the Greeks attributed the paternity of fierce and violent winds. He is the son of Gaia and Tartarus.

     In syncretism with the Egyptian myth of Osiris, Typhon was identified with the giant Set, responsible for the drought of the Nile, who, because of his envy, will kill him. Set will be avenged later by his son Horus.

     Along with his wife Echidna, Typhon was the father of several of the monsters that populate the adventures of heroes and gods, such as: the Lion of Nemea, fought by Hercules; the Lerna Hydra or the Sphinx, in fusion with nilotic myths; of the dogs Ortros and Cerberus.

     Gaia the Earth, to avenge the defeat of her children in Titanomachy, joined Tartarus, generating Typhon, identified as the personification of the earthquake and strong winds. He lived in a cave, the atmosphere of which poisoned with toxic fumes.

     It was so big that its head touched the celestial stars and its hands went from East to West. Its open wings could cover the Sun, Dragons came out of its shoulders, 50 from each shoulder. He was so horrendous that everyone rejected him, even his brothers, the Titans. From his mouth he spit fire in chains, and cast incandescent rocks into the sky.

Echidna in Greek Mythology:

     Echidna (viper), in Greek Mythology, was a creature with the trunk of a beautiful woman (or nymph) and a snake's tail instead of the limbs. She was giant, like a titan. For this reason, she was the only one able to unite with the horrendous Typhon. She lived in a cave in the Peloponnese or in Syria.

     Traditions differ widely in origin. According to Hesiod she was daughter of Fórcis and Ceto, and therefore granddaughter of Ponto and Gaia. In other versions she would be a descendant of Tartarus and Gaya.


The Fight Against Olympus:

     In order to put an end to maternal vengeance, Typhon began to climb Mount Olympus causing all its residents to flee; the gods metamorphosed into animals and fled to Egypt (which is why, according to the Greeks, these people gave their gods zoomorphic configurations). Apollo became a falcon (Horus), Hermes an ibis (Tote), Ares a lion (Onúris), Artemis a cat (Bastet), Dionysus a goat (Osiris or Arsafes), Heracles a deer, Hephaestus an ox (Ptah) and Leto a shrew (Uto). Only Athena had the courage to remain in human form.

     From Egypt, Zeus took refuge on Mount Cassio, in Syria, where he faced the gigantic enemy. From there he hit Typhon with his rays, but he managed to knock him down and, with a harp, cut the muscles of his limbs and made a package that he kept in a bear's skin. The spokes and amputated limbs were entrusted to Delfim, a dragon, in the córciro den, in Cilicia.

     In the attack, Typhon had summoned all the dragons that, so many were, darkened the day. Having lost his rays, Zeus had proposed to Cadmo that, disguising himself as a shepherd, make a hut and, with the sound of his flute, attract the monster. Nonos thus records the episode:

"Sing, he said to him, Cadmo; you will give the skies the original serenity again. Typhon snatched my lightning; I only have the aegis; but what good can I do against the powerful flames of lightning? day and serve your flute to return the empire to the eternal shepherd of the world. Your services will not be without a prize; you will be the repairer of the harmony of the universe and the beautiful Harmonia, daughter of Mars and Venus, will be your wife."

     Attracted by the music, Typhon approaches; Cadmo (or Hermes) pretends to be frightened by the lightning and the monster, to calm him, leaves the lightning in a cave where Zeus, lowering a cloud so as not to be noticed, recovers his weapons and muscles.

     Once again in possession of his powers, Zeus forces Typhon to flee to Mount Nisa where the Parcas feed him, as he was hungry, fruits that diminish his strength. Still on the run, he arrives in Thrace where, by the amount of spilled blood, he named Mount Hemos.

     Still in pursuit, Typhon goes to Sicily and then Italy where Zeus, concentrating all his forces, strikes all the heads of the monster that falls on the earth with a crash, dead.


Children of Typhon with Echidna:

  • Lada, killed by Hercules.
  • Colchid's Dragon, slain by Jason and the Argonauts;
  • Chimera, killed by Bellerophon.
  • Cerberus, guardian of the entrance to Hades.
  • Scylla - Monster of the legend of Ulysses or Odysseus, is considered daughter of Typhon and Echidna in some old versions of the legends.
  • Hydra de Lerna, in whose blood Hercules soaked his arrows so that his wounds were incurable, after defeating it with the help of Iolau.
  • Leo of Nemea, also killed by Hercules, was transformed into a constellation.
  • Ortros, watchdog of Gerião's flock, killed by Hercules.
  • Sphinx, monster that had brought terror to Thebes and defeated by Oedipus.

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