Typhon

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Typhon (ancient Greek: Τυφῶν, Tuphōn), also Typhoeus (Τυφωεύς, Tuphōeus), Typhaon (Τυφάων, Tuphaōn) or Typhos (Τυφώς, Tuphōs) is the final son of Gaia, fathered by Tartarus, and is the most deadly monster of Greek mythology. Typhon attempts to destroy Zeus at the will of Gaia, because Zeus had imprisoned the Titans.

Typhon was known as the father of the Nemean lion, Cerberus, and the Gorgons; his wife Echidna was likewise the mother of most of these.

Typhon was described in pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke, as one of the largest and most fearsome of all creatures. His human upper half reached as high as the stars. His hands reached east and west and had a hundred dragon heads on each. He was feared even by the mighty gods. His bottom half was gigantic viper coils that could reach the top of his head when stretched out and made a hissing noise. His whole body was covered in wings, and fire flashed from his eyes.

Typhon was defeated by Zeus, who trapped him underneath Mount Etna.

Contents

Accounts

Hesiod narrates Typhon's birth in this poem:

In the alternative account of the origin of Typhon (Typhoeus), the Homeric Hymn to Apollo makes the monster Typhaon at Delphi a son of archaic Hera in her Minoan form, produced out of herself, like a monstrous version of Hephaestus or Ares, and whelped in a cave in Cilicia and confined there in the enigmatic Arima, or land of the Arimoi, en Arimois (Iliad, ii. 781-783). It was in Cilicia that Zeus battled with the ancient monster and overcame him, in a more complicated story: It was not an easy battle, and Typhon temporarily overcame Zeus, cut the "sinews" from him and left him in the "leather sack", the korukos that is the etymological origin of the korukion andron, the Korykian or Corycian Cave in which Zeus suffers temporary eclipse as if in the Land of the Dead. The region of Cilicia in southeastern Anatolia had many opportunities for coastal Hellenes' connection with the Hittites to the north. From its first reappearance, the Hittite myth of Illuyankas has been seen as a prototype of the battle of Zeus and Typhon.[1] Walter Burkert and Calvert Watkins each note the close agreements. Watkins' How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics (Oxford University Press) 1995, reconstructs in disciplined detail the flexible Indo-European poetic formula that underlies myth, epic and magical charm texts of the lashing and binding of Typhon.

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