The Bestiary of Ancient Greek Mythology & Legend
Area : Greek Mythology : Bestiary

The myths and legends of the Greeks were filled with a wide array of fabulous creatures, monsters, fantastic tribes and demons.

A Complete Bestiary of Greek Mythology
A COMPLETE
BESTIARY
Dragons of Greek Mythology
DRAGONS
Giants of Greek Mythology
GIANTS
 
Fantastic Creatures of Greek Legend
LEGENDARY
CREATURES
Fabulous Tribes of Greek Legend
LEGENDARY
TRIBES
 
 

AN OVERVIEW OF THE BESTIARY OF GREEK MYTH & LEGEND

The fantastic creatures of Greek mythology and legend can be divided into eight broad categories :

1. MYTHICAL MONSTERS

Awful humanoid creatures. These included monsters such as the Gorgons and Echidna.

2. MYTHICAL HYBRICS

Creatures which combine human and animal forms or various animals. These include creatures such as the Centaur (Horse-Man), Sphinx (Lion-Woman), Hippocamp (Fish-Horse), and Chimaera (Lion-Goat-Snake).

3. MYTHICAL ANIMALS

Normal animals with some fantastic attribute. Examples include the winged horse Pegasus, the giant Erymanthian Boar, the fire-breathing Bulls of Colchis, and the inescapable hunting-dog Laelaps.

4. DRAGONS

A breed of serpentine monsters, usually equipped with some magical power. They include creatures such as the Hydra, the Dragon of the Golden Fleece, Python, the Ethiopian Sea-Monster and the she-dragon Echidna.

5. GIANTS

Gigantic men, often with fantastic features or abilities. A few examples are the hundred-handed Hecatoncheires, the one-eyed Cyclopes, the water-walking hunter Orion, the wrestler Antaeus, and the monstrous Typhon.

6. GHOSTS & DEMONS

Creatures from the underworld which haunted the earth. They included the Empusae, Erinyes, Vampires and haunting ghosts of the dead.

7. LEGENDARY CREATURES

Fantastic animals which were believed to inhabit the remote corners of the earth. They included the Manticore, Unicorn (Greek Monoceratus), Catoblepas, and Griffin.

8. LEGENDARY TRIBES

Fabulous tribes of men which were believed to inhabit the lands of Terra Incognita, the "Unknown Earth." Examples of these are the Pygmies, the one-legged Sciapods, dog-headed Cynocephali, headless Blemmyae, and one-eyed Arimaspians.


MYTHOLOGY IN POST-CLASSICAL ART

Oedipus and the Sphinx by the French painter Gustave Moreau (1826-1898).

Oedipus & the Sphinx by Gustave Moreau

CREATURES & HEROES

CREATURE HERO
Calydonian
Boar
Meleager
Caucasian
Eagle
Heracles
Centaurs
Arcadian
Heracles
Centaurs
Thessalian
Pirithous
Theseus
Cerberus Heracles
Cerynitian
Deer
Heracles
Chimaera Bellerophon
Colchian
Dragon
Jason
Cretan Bull Heracles
Crommyon
Sow
Theseus
Cyclopes Odysseus
Ethiopian
Sea Monster
Perseus
Gegenees Argonauts
Harpies Boreades
Hesperian
Dragon
Heracles
Hydra Heracles
Ismenian
Dragon
Cadmus
Laelaps Cephalus
Marathonian
Bull
Theseus
Medusa Perseus
Minotaur Theseus
Nemean
Lion
Heracles
Orthrus Heracles
Pegasus Bellerophon
Pygmies Heracles
Python Apollo
Scylla Odysseus
Sirens Argonauts
Odysseus
Sphinx Oedipus
Stymaph-
alian Birds
Heracles
Talus Argonauts
Teumessian
Fox
Amphitryon
Trojan
Sea Monster
Heracles
Typhoeus Zeus