Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Daemones (Spirits) >> Amechania (Amekhania)


Greek Name

Αμηχανια Αμαχανια


Amêkhania, Amakhania

Latin Spelling



Helplessness, Want

AMEKHANIA (Amechania) was the personified spirit (daimona) of helplessness and want. She was a close companion of Penia (Poverty) and Ptokheia (Beggary). Amekhania was virtually identical to Aporia (Powerlessness).


Nowhere stated (she was the sister of Penia)


Alcaeus, Fragment 364 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric I) (Greek lyric C6th B.C.) :
"Penia (Poverty) is a grievous thing, an ungovernable evil, who with her sister Amakhania (Helplessness) lays low a great people."

Herodotus, Histories 8. 111. 1 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"Themistokles (Themistocles) [historical general who led the Greek defense against the Persians] gave them [the people of the small island of Andros] to understand that the Athenians had come with two great gods to aid them, Peitho (Persuasion) and Ananke (Necessity), and that the Andrians must therefore certainly give money, they said in response, 'It is then but reasonable that Athens is great and prosperous, being blessed with serviceable gods. As for us Andrians, we are but blessed with a plentiful lack of land, and we have two unserviceable gods who never quit our island but want to dwell there forever, namely Penia (Poverty) and Amekhania (Helplessness). Since we are in the hands of these gods, we will give no money; the power of Athens can never be stronger than our inability."




A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.