Web Theoi
PSEUDOLOGOI
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Name Translation
Ψευδολογος
Ψευδολογοι
Pseudologos
Pseudologoi
Mendacium Lie, Falsehood
(pseudologos)

THE PSEUDOLOGOI were male spirits (daimones) of lies and falsehoods. They appear in the list of the malevolent spirits born to Eris (Lady Strife). Their opposite number was Alatheia the spirit of truth.

PARENTS

[1] ERIS (no father) (Hesiod Theogony 226)
[2] Crafted by DOLOS (Aesop Fables 530)
[3] 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 (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)"

Aesop, Fables 530 (from Phaedrus Appendix 5) (trans. Gibbs) (Greek fable C6th B.C.) :
"Prometheus, that potter who gave shape to our new generation, decided one day to sculpt the form of Veritas [Aletheia, Truth], using all his skill so that she would be able to regulate people's behaviour. As he was working, an unexpected summons from mighty Jupiter [Zeus] called him away. Prometheus left cunning Dolus (Trickery) in charge of his workshop, Dolus had recently become one of the god's apprentices. Fired by ambition, Dolus (Trickery) used the time at his disposal to fashion with his sly fingers a figure of the same size and appearance as Veritas [Aletheia, Truth] with identical features. When he had almost completed the piece, which was truly remarkable, he ran out of clay to use for her feet. The master returned, so Dolus (Trickery) quickly sat down in his seat, quaking with fear. Prometheus was amazed at the similarity of the two statues and wanted it to seem as if all the credit were due to his own skill. Therefore, he put both statues in the kiln and when they had been thoroughly baked, he infused them both with life: sacred Veritas (Truth) walked with measured steps, while her unfinished twin stood stuck in her tracks. That forgery, that product of subterfuge, thus acquired the name of Mendacium [Pseudologos, Falsehood], and I readily agree with people who say that she has no feet: every once in a while something that is false can start off successfully, but with time Veritas (Truth) is sure to prevail."
[N.B. This fable is preserved in a Roman collection so the personifications have Latin rather than Greek names.]

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) [i.e. Pseudologos], Jusjurandum (Oath), Ultio (Vengeance), Intemperantia (Intemperance), Altercatio (Altercation), Oblivio (Forgetfulness), Socordia (Sloth), Timor (Fear), Superbia (Pride), Incestum (Incest), Pugna (Combat)."


Sources:

  • Hesiod, Theogony - Greek Epic C8th-7th B.C.
  • Aesop, Fables - Greek Fables C6th B.C.
  • Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.