Web Theoi
HYSMINAI
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Name Translation
Ὑσμινη
Ὑσμιναι
Hysminê
Hysminai
Pugna
Pugnae
Fight, Fist-Fight,
Combat (hysminê)

THE HYSMINAI (or Hysminae) were the female spirits (daimones) of fighting and combat. Because their sisters, the Makhai, represented battlefield combat, the Hysminai were probably associated with non-martial fighting, such as fist-fights, punch-ups and armed street fights. Quintus Smyrnaeus, however, does not draw any distinction between the two when he describes the Hysminiai attendant on the battlefield.

PARENTS

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


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 (Manslaughters), the Neikea (Quarrels), the Pseudo-Logoi (Lies), the Amphilogiai (Disputes), and Dysnomia (Lawlessness) and Ate (Ruin), who share one another's natures, and Horkos (Oath)."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 5. 25 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) :
"And there [depicted on the shield of Akhilleus] were man-devouring wars, and all horrors of fight . . . Phobos (Panic) was there, and Deimos (Dread), and ghastly Enyo with limbs all gore-bespattered hideously, and deadly Eris (Strife) . . . around them hovered the relentless Keres (Fates); beside them Hysminai (Fights) incarnate onward pressed yelling, and from their limbs streamed blood and sweat."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Aether (Air) and Terra (Earth) [were born] : Dolor (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 [Hysmine, Combat]."
[N.B. The personification is Pugna in Latin, Hysmine in Greek, Combat in English.]


Sources:

  • Hesiod, Theogony - Greek Epic C8th-7th B.C.
  • Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy - Greek Epic C4th A.D.
  • Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.