Web Theoi
ALGEA
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Name Translation
Αλγος
Αλγεα
Algos
Algea
Dolor
Dolores
Pain (mind or body),
Grief, Distress

THE ALGEA were the spirits (daimones) of pain and suffering (of both body and mind), grief, sorrow and distress. They were the bringers of weeping and tears. The Algea were related to Oizys, the milder spirit of misery and sadness, and Penthos the god of mourning and lamentation. Their opposite number wereHedone (Pleasure) and the Kharites (Joys).

PARENTS

[1] ERIS (no father) (Hesiod Theogony 226)
[2] AITHER & GAIA (Hyginus Preface)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

ALGOS (Algos), is used by Hesiod (Theog. 227) in the plural, as the personification of sorrows and griefs, which are there represented as the daughters of Eris.

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


ALGOS, AKHOS & LUPA, SPIRITS OF PAIN & ANGUISH

Hesiod, Theogony 226 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"But abhorred Eris (Strife) bare painful Ponos (Toil), and Lethe (Forgetfulness), and Limos (Starvation), and the Algea (Pains), full of weeping, the Hysminai (Fightings) and the Makhai (Battles), the Phonoi (Murders) and the Androktasiai (Man-slaughters), the Neikea (Quarrels), the Pseudo-Logoi (Lies), the Amphillogiai (Disputes), and Dysnomia (Lawlessness) and Ate (Ruin), who share one another's natures, and Horkos (Oath)."

Alcman, Fragment 116 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (Greek lyric C7th B.C.) :
"Akhos (Distress) grips me, you destructive daimon."

The Anacreontea , Fragment 38 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (Greek lyric C5 to C4th B.C.) :
"Thanks to him [Dionysos] Methe (Drunkenness) was brought forth, the Kharis (Grace) was born, Lupa (Pain) takes rest and Ania (Grief) goes to sleep."

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Λυπη Lupê Lupa Pain (body or mind),
Grief, Distress (lupê)
Ανια Ania Ania Grief, Sorrow,
Distress, Trouble
Αχος Akhos Achus Pain (body or mind),
Grief, Distress

DOLOR, SPIRIT OF PAIN & ANGUISH (LATIN)

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Aether (Air) and Terra [Gaia, earth) [were born]: Dolor [Algos, Pain], Dolus (Deceit), Ira (Wrath), Luctus (Lamentation), Mendacium (Lies), Jusjurandum (Oath), Ultio (Vengeance), Intemperantia (Intemperance), Altercatio (Altercation), Oblivio (Forgetfulness), Socordia (Sloth), Timor (Fear), Superbia (Pride), Incestum (Incest), Pugna (Combat)."

Seneca, Hercules Furens 686 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"[A description of the Underworld:] The foul pool of Cocytus' sluggish stream lies here; here the vulture, there the dole-bringing owl utters its cry, and the sad omen of the gruesome screech-owl sounds. The leaves shudder, black with gloomy foliage where sluggish Sopor [Hypnos, Sleep] clings to the overhanging yew, where sad Fames [Limos, Hunger] lies with wasted jaws, and Pudor [Aidos, Shame], too late, hides her guilt-burdened face. Metus [Deimos, Dread] stalks there, gloomy Pavor [Phobos, Fear] and gnashing Dolor [Algos, pain], sable Luctus [Penthos, Grief], tottering Morbus [Nosos, Disease] and iron-girt Bella [Enyo, War]; and last of all slow Senectus [Geras, Old Age] supports his steps upon a staff."

Seneca, Oedipus 647 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
[The ghost of Laios (Laius) demands Oidipous (Oedipus) be expelled from Thebes before he will recall the pestilence daimones ravaging the land back to Haides:]
"[Laios:] ‘Wherefore speedily expel ye the king from out your borders, in exile drive him to any place so-ever with his baleful step. Let him leave the land; then, blooming with flowers of spring, shall it renew its verdure, the life-giving air shall give pure breath again, and their beauty shall come back to the woods; Letum [Ker, Ruin] and Lues [Nosos, Pestilence], Mors [Thanatos, Death], Labor [Ponos, Hardship], Tabes [Phthisis, Corruption] and Dolor [Algos, Distress], fit company for him, shall all depart together. And he himself with hastening steps shall long to flee our kingdom, but I will set wearisome delays before his feet and hold him back. He shall creep, uncertain of his way, with the staff of age groping out his gloomy way. Rob ye him of the earth; his father will take from him the sky.’"

Seneca, Oedipus 1052 ff :
"[After blinding himself and heading into exile, Oidipous calls upon the pestilence daimones to depart Thebes:] ‘All ye who are weary in body and burdened with disease, whose hearts are faint within you, see, I fly, I leave you; lift your heads. Milder skies come when I am gone. He who, though near to death, still keeps some feeble life, may freely now draw deep, life-giving draughts of air. Go, bear ye aid to those given up to death; all pestilential humours of the land I take with me. Ye blasting Fatae [Keres, Fates], thou quaking terror of Morbus [Nosos, Disease], Macies [Ischnasia, Wasting], and black Pestis [Nosos, Pestilence], and mad Dolor [Algos, Despair], come ye with me, with me. 'Tis sweet to have such guides.’"

Statius, Thebaid 2. 286 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"[The cursed necklace of Harmonia:] None did mould it, but Luctus [Penthos, Grief], and all the Irae [Lyssai, Madnesses], and Dolor [Algos, Anguish] and Discordia [Eris, Discord], with all the craft of her right hand [assisted Hephaistos in its making]."


Sources:

  • Hesiod, Theogony - Greek Epic C8th-7th B.C.
  • Greek Lyric II Alcman, Fragments - Greek Lyric C7th B.C.
  • Greek Lyric II Anacreontea, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th-4th B.C.
  • Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Seneca, Hercules Furens - Latin Tragedy C1st A.D.
  • Seneca, Oedipus - Latin Tragedy C1st A.D.
  • Statius, Thebaid - Latin Epic C1st A.D.