Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Daemones (Spirits) >> Cydoemus (Kydoimos)


Greek Name




Latin Spelling



Uproar, Confusion

KYDOIMOS (Cydoemus) was the personified spirit (daimon) of battlefield confusion, din and uproar. He was probably numbered amongst the Makhai (Machae), daimones of the battlefield. Kydoimos was similar to Homados (Battle-Noise).


Perhaps a son of ERIS, though nowhere stated


Homer, Iliad 18. 535 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"[Depicted on the shield of Akhilleus (Achilles) :] The other army, as soon as they heard the uproar arising . . . suddenly mounted behind their light-foot horses, and went after, and soon overtook them. These stood their ground and fought a battle by the banks of the river, and they were making casts at each other with their spears bronze-headed; and Eris (Hate) was there with Kydoimos (Cydoemus, Confusion) among them, and Ker (Death) the destructive; she was holding a live man with a new wound, and another one unhurt, and dragged a dead man by the feet through the carnage."

Hesiod, Shield of Heracles 139 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"[Depicted on the shield of Herakles (Heracles) :] In his hands he [Herakles] took his shield, all glittering: no one ever broke it with a blow or crushed it. And a wonder it was to see . . . In the centre was Phobos (Fear) worked in adamant, unspeakable, staring backwards with eyes that glowed with fire. His mouth was full of teeth in a white row, fearful and daunting, and upon his grim brow hovered frightful Eris (Battle-Strife) who arrays the throng of men: pitiless she, for she took away the mind and senses of poor wretches who made war against the son of Zeus . . . Upon the shield Proioxis (Pursuit) and Palioxis (Flight) were wrought, and Homados (Tumult), and Phobos (Panic), and Androktasia (Slaughter). Eris (Battle-Strife) also, and Kydoimos (Cydoemus, Confusion) were hurrying about, and deadly Ker (Fate) was there holding one man newly wounded."

Aristophanes, Peace 255 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
"[Comedy-play in which Polemos, the daimon of war, buries Eirene (Peace) in a pit.]
Polemos (War) (enters, carrying a huge mortar) : Oh! mortals, mortals, wretched mortals, how your jaws will snap! . . .
Polemos : Hi! Kydoimos (Daimon of Tumult), you slave there!
Kydoimos (Cydoemus) : What do you want?
Polemos : Out upon you! Standing there with folded arms! Take this cuff on the head for your pains.
Kydoimos : Oh! how it stings! Master, have you got garlic in your fist, I wonder?
Polemos : Run and fetch me a pestle.
Kydoimos : But we haven't got one; it was only yesterday we moved.
Polemos : Go and fetch me one from Athens, and hurry, hurry!
Kydoimos : I'll hurry; if I return without one, I shall have no cause for laughing. (He runs off.)
Trygaios (Trygaeus) (to the audience) : Ah! what is to become of us, wretched mortals that we are? See the danger that threatens if he returns with the pestle, for Polemos (War) will quietly amuse himself with pounding all the towns of Hellas to pieces. Ah! Bakkhos (Bacchus)! cause this Herald of evil [Kydoimos] to perish on his road!
Polemos (to the returning Kydoimos) : Well?
Kydoimos : Well, what?
Polemos : You have brought back nothing?
Kydoimos : Alas! the Athenians have lost their pestle-the tanner, who ground Greece to powder.
Trygaios : Oh! Athene, venerable mistress! it is well for our city he is dead, and before he could serve us with this hash.
Polemos : Then go and seek one at Sparta and have done with it!
Kydoimos : Aye, aye, master! (He runs off.)
Polemos (shouting after him) : Be back as quick as ever you can."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 1. 306 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) :
"All through the tangle of that desperate fray stalked slaughter and doom. The incarnate Kydoimos (Cydoemus, Onset-Shout) raved through the rolling battle; at her side paced Thanatos (Death) the ruthless, and the Fearful Keres (Fates), beside them strode."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 6. 348 ff :
"Then met the fronts of battle : dread it rang on either hand. Hard-strained was then the fight: incarnate Kydoimos (Cydoemus, Strife) stalked through the midst, with Phonos (Slaughter) ghastly-faced . . . Through the air upshrieked an awful indistinguishable roar; for on both hosts fell iron-hearted Eris (Strife)."

Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 10 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
"[Description of a painting depicting the shield of Akhilleus (Achilles) as described in the Iliad :] What shall we say of those beings who pass to and fro among the combatants and of that daimon (spirit) whose person and clothing are reddened with gore? These are Eris (Strife) and Kydoimos (Cydoemus, Tumult), and the third is Kêr (Doom), to whom are subject all matters of war. For you see, surely, that she follows no one course, but thrusts one man, still unwounded, into the midst of hostile swords, a second is being dragged away a corpse beneath her, while a third she urges onward wounded though he is. As for the soldiers, they are so terrifying in their onrush and their fierce gaze that they seem to me to differ not at all from living men in the charge of battle."

Suidas s.v. Deimos (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Deimos (Fear) and Phobos (Fright) and Kydoimos (Cydoemus, Din of War), attendants of Ares, the sons of war; they too experienced what Ares did, after Hephaistos (Hephaestus) had not been frightened by them [i.e. when Ares tried to fetch Hephaistos back to Olympos to release Hera from the golden throne]."





Other references not currently quoted here: Empedocles 128.1.


A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.