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.
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.
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).