Greek Mythology >> Encyclopedia H-K : Greek Gods, Spirits & Monsters


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HADES 1 (Haides) The king of the underworld and lord of the dead. He was one of the three great sons of Cronus who, with his brothers Zeus and Poseidon, drew lots for the division of the cosmos after the defeat of the Titans. Illustrated

HADES 2 (Haides) The land of the dead, the gloomy realm of the god of the same name.

HAGNO An Oceanid-nymph who, with her sisters Theiosa and Neda, nursed the infant Zeus in the land of Arcadia.

HALIA A sea-nymph of the island of Rhodes who bore Poseidon six sons. When the sons refused Aphrodite landing on the island, the goddess made them go mad and violate their own mother. Poseidon then banished them to caverns beneath the island while Halia "the brine" leapt into the sea and was dissolved.

HALIAE (Haliai) Nymphs of the sea, daughters of the marine gods. Their number included the fifty Nereides.

HALIMEDES A one-eyed, metal-working Cyclops-giant.

HAMADRYADES (Hamadryades) Tree nymphs whose lives were each bound to a tree.

HAMADRYAS The first oak-tree nymph who was the mother of Hamadryads of lesser trees such as the cherry, ash, elm and cornel.

HARMONIA (1) The goddess of harmony who wed King Cadmus of Thebes in a ceremony attended by all the gods. The pair were later transferred to Elysium to live a life of eternal bliss. Illustrated

HARMONIA (2) A nymph of the Acmonian wood who was the mother of the first of the Amazons by the god Ares.

HARPIES (Harpyiai) A pair of ravenous bird-women, known as the "hounds of Zeus," which carried off people with their whirlwinds. Zeus once set them to torment the impious king Phineus, snatching away and befouling his food, until they were driven off by the Boreads. Illustrated

HARPINA A Naiad-nymph daughter of the river Asopus who was abducted to Elis by the god Ares.

HARPOCRATES (Harpokrates) The young boy-god of silence who was seen holding a finger to his lips insistent for quiet.

HEBE The goddess of youth who wed Heracles upon his ascension to Olympus. Illustrated

HEBRUS (Hebros) A river of Thrace, north of Greece, and its god.

HECAERGE (Hekaerge) An Hyperborean nymph hunting companion of the goddess Artemis.

HECATE (Hekate) The goddess of witchcraft, ghosts and necromancy. She assisted Demeter in her search for Persephone and afterwards became a minister of the young goddess in the underworld. Illustrated

HECATERIDES (Hekaterides) Five rustic nymphs who were the mothers of the wild mountain spirits--the Satyrs, Oreads and Curetes.


HECATERUS (Hekateros) A god of the rustic country dance.

HECATONCHEIRES (Hekatonkheires) Three fifty-headed, hundred-handed giants of the storm clouds who were imprisoned beneath the earth first by their father Uranus and later by their brother Cronus. Zeus freed them from their prison to help drive the Titan-gods from heaven.

HEDONE The spirit-personification of pleasure, a daughter of Eros (Love) and Psyche (the Soul).

HEDYLOGUS (Hedylogos) The god of sweet-talk, one of the winged Erotes (Love-Spirits). Illustrated

HEGETORIA The nymph wife of King Ochimus of the Greek island of Rhodes.

HELEIONOMAE (Heleionomai) Naiad-nymphs of marshes and wetlands.

HELIADES Nymph daughters of the sun-god Helius. They were transformed into amber-weeping poplar-trees as they mourned the death of their brother Phaethon who had been cast from the chariot of the sun.

HELICON (Helikon) The craggy, old god of the mountain of the Muses in central Greece.

HELIUS (Helios) The god of the sun who drove a chariot of winged horses across the sky wearing the shining aureole of the sun upon his head. Illustrated

HELLE The goddess of the Hellespont Sea dividing Europe and Asia. She was once a mortal girl who fled her homeland in Greece on the back of a golden-fleeced ram, but losing her grip slipped into the sea where she was transformed into a goddess by Poseidon. Illustrated

HEMERA (Hemere) The primordial goddess of the day, a daughter of Night and Darkness and sister of Light. Illustrated

HEMITHEA A goddess of the Carian Chersonese. Once a mortal princess of the Greek island of Delos, she leapt into the sea to escape the wrath of her father and was transformed into a deity by Apollo.

HEPHAESTUS (Hephaistos) The crippled god of fire, smiths and craftsmen, and one of the twelve great Olympian gods. Illustrated

HERA The queen of the gods and goddess of heaven, women and marriage. She was one of the the twelve supreme Olympians who ruled the cosmos. Illustrated

HERACLES (Herakles) The greatest of the Greek heroes who was famed the Twelve Labours imposed upon him by King Eurystheus. Upon his death he ascended to join the ranks of the gods on Olympus becoming a divine-protector of mankind. Illustrated


HERCYNA (Herkyna) A Boeotian nymph companion of the goddess Persephone.

HERMAPHRODITUS (Hermaphroditos) A handsome son of Hermes and Aphrodite loved by the nymph Salmacis. When she prayed that they might be together forever some deity answered her prayer by merging their forms creating an hermaphrodite. As a minor deity he-she was counted amongst the Erotes (Love-Gods). Illustrated

HERMES The great Olympian god of animal husbandry, trade, messengers, travel, merchants and athletes. He was also the personal herald of Zeus king of the gods. Illustrated

HERMUS (Hermos) A river of Lydia and its god.

HEROPHILE A prophetic daughter of Poseidon and Aphrodite.

HESIONE The Oceanid-nymph wife of the Titan Prometheus.

HESPERIA A Naiad-nymph daughter of the Trojan river Cebren.

HESPERIDES Three goddess-nymphs of the evening and sunsets who tended the golden-apple tree of the gods in a mythical far western realm beside the path of the setting sun. Illustrated

HESPERIS The tenth of the twelve Horae, goddesses of the hours, who presided over the hour of dusk.

HESPERUS (Hesperos) The god of the evening star (the planetVenus) and herald of night. Illustrated

HESTIA The virgin goddess of hearth and home. She was one of the twelve great Olympian gods. Illustrated

HESYCHIA (Hesykhia) The female personification of quiet and tranquility.

HIEROMNEME A Naiad-nymph daughter of the Trojan river Simoeis who wed the Dardanian prince Assaracus.

HILAEIRA One of the Leucippides, two Messenian princesses who became the goddess-wives of the Dioscuri. Illustrated

HIMALIA A nymph of Rhodes who was seduced by the god Zeus when he was battling the evil of the Telchines of the isle.

HIMEROS The god of sexual desire who was numbered amongst the winged Erotes (Love-Spirits). He was present at birth of Aphrodite and remained her constant companion. Illustrated


HIPPALECTRYON (Hippalektryon) A strange flying beast with the foreparts of a horse and the wings and rearquarters of a rooster. Illustrated

HIPPOCAMPS (Hippokampoi) A fabulous marine creature with the foreparts of a horse and the tail of a serpentine-fish. A pair of hippocamps drew the chariot of Poseidon and others were the mounts of the minor sea-gods and nymphs. Illustrated

HIPPOI ATHANATOI Immortal horses, children of the wind-gods, which drew the chariots of the gods. A few fortunate heroes such as Heracles and Peleus also received them as gifts.

HIPPOLYTUS (Hippolytos) A Gigante slain by Hermes with a golden-sword in the War of the Giants.

HOMADUS (Homados) The male personification of battlenoise.

HOMONOIA The female personification of concord and unity.

HOPLODAMUS (Hoplodamos) The leader of the Curetes or Gigantes who protected Rhea from the wrath of Cronus after she spirited away and hid their son Zeus.

HORAE (1) (Horai) Goddesses of the seasons and the heavenly measures. They also presided over facets of civic order--peace, justice and good governance. Illustrated

HORAE (2) (Horai) Goddesses of the twelve hours of day.

HORCUS (Horkos) The male personification of the oath who punished the oath-breaker.

HORMES The male personfication of effort.

HYADES Five nymph daughters of the Titan Atlas who nursed the infant god Dionysus. They were set amongst the stars as the constellation Hyades whose rising marked the onset of spring rains.

HYALE One of the nymph attendants of the goddess Artemis.

HYAS A son of the Titan Atlas who was killed by a lion while fetching water and placed amongst the stars as the constellation Aquarius.

HYBRIS The female personification of insolence and excessive pride.

HYDASPES An Indian river-god defeated in battle by Dionysus during the Indian War.

HYDRA A nine-headed serpent which sprouted two heads for each that was lopped off. Heracles defeated the beast by cauterising the neck-stumps with a burning brand. Illustrated

HYDROS The progotenos (primordial deity) of fresh water.

HYGEIA The goddess of good health, a daughter of the physician-god Asclepius. Illustrated

HYLLUS (Hyllos) A Lydian giant.

HYLONOME A female centaur who killed herself upon a spear when her husband Cyllarus was slain in the fight with the Lapiths.

HYMENAEUS (Hymenaios) The god of the wedding ceremony and bridal hymn. He was numbered amongst the winged Erotes (Love-Gods). Illustrated


HYPERBOREA A blessed realm of eternal spring which lay beyond the mountainous home of the North-Wind. Its people were the favourites of the god Apollo and they honoured him with constant hymns.

HYPERBOREAN GIANTS (Gigantes Hyperboreioi) Three giant sons of the North-Wind who were the priests of the blessed Hyperboreans of the far north.

HYPERIA (Hypereia) A Naiad-nymph daughter of the river Inachus.

HYPERION The Titan-god of the light of heaven and the cosmic ordering of days and months.

HYPNUS (Hypnos) The winged god of sleep, twin-brother of Death. Illustrated

HYSMINAE (Hysminai) The female personifications of fighting.

IACCHUS (Iakkhos) The torch-bearing god of the procession of initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries. He personified the ritual cry "iakkhe" of the celebrants. Illustrated

IAPETUS (Iapetos) The elder Titan-god of mortality and ancestor, through his sons Prometheus and Epimetheus, of mankind.

IASION A springtime consort of the goddess Demeter and a patron-deity of the Samothracian Mysteries.

IASO The goddess of recovery, one of the daughters of the physician-god Asclepius. Illustrated

ICELUS (Ikelos) A prophetic dream-spirit who manifested in the dreams of kings as an animal-shaped phantasm. His brothers, Morpheus and Phantasus, assumed the forms of men and inanimate objects respectively.

ICHTHYES (Ikhthyes) Two large fish which rescued the goddess Aphrodite and her son Eros when they were fleeing the raging monster Typhoeus.

ICHTHYOCENTAURS (Ikhthyokentauroi) Two fish-tailed, marine centaurs named Aphros and Bythos who carried the foam-born goddess Aphrodite ashore in a cockle-shell. They had the upper-bodies of men and the lower parts of fish-tailed horses. Illustrated

IDA A nymph of Mount Ida in Crete who nursed the infant god Zeus on the milk of the goat Amaltheia.

IDAIA A nymph of Mount Ida near Troy who was the wife of the river-god Scamander.

IDYIA (Eidyia) The youngest of the Oceanids. She married to King Aeetes of Colchis.


ILISSUS (Ilissos) A river of Athens and its watery god.

IMBRASUS (Imbrasos) A river of the Greek island of Samos and its god.

INACHUS (Inakhos) The god of a river in Argos and an early king of the region. When Poseidon and Hera contested the region, he ruled in favour of Hera and Poseidon angrily dried up his stream.

INO A nurse of the god Dionysus who was transformed into a sea-goddess after she leapt from a cliff to escape her crazed husband. Renamed Leucothea she became a protectress of sailors. Illustrated

IO A Naiad-nymph daughter of the river Inachus loved by Zeus. When Hera interrupted their tryst the god transformed her into a cow, but the goddess was not fooled and demanded her as a gift. Io's guardian was later slain and so Hera sent a gadfly to torment her, driving the heifer-maiden to wander all the way to Egypt where she gave birth to Epaphos, ancestor of the pharaohs. Illustrated

IOKE The female personification of onslaught and pursuit in battle.

IONIDES Four Naiad-nymph daughters of the river Cytherus in southern Greece whose springs were reputed to possess healing properties.

IRENE (Eirene) The goddess of peace and the season of spring. She was one of the three Horae (Seasons). Illustrated

IRIS The golden-winged goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. Illustrated

ISMENE A Naiad-nymph daughter of the river Asopus who was the wife of the eponymous Argive king Argus.

ISMENIS A Naiad-nymph daughter of the river Ismenos inBoeotia loved by the god Faunus.

ISMENUS (Ismenos) A river of Boeotia and its liquid god.

ISTER (Istros) The god of the Scythian river Ister (now the Danube).

ITHAX Messenger of the Titan-gods.

IYNX The goddess-nymph of the magical love-charm known as the iynx--a spinning wheel to which a wryneck bird was attached.

JACCHUS (Iakkhos) The torch-bearing god of the procession of initiates of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

JAPETUS (Iapetos) One of the six-Titan brothers imprisoned by Zeus in the pit of Tartarus.

JASION (Iasion) A springtime consort of the goddess Demeter.

JASON (Iason) The celebrated leader of the Argonauts in their quest for the fabled Golden Fleece.

JINX (Iynx) The nymph of the magical love-charm known as the iynx.

KERES Monstrous female spirits of violent death which haunted the battlefield ripping souls free from the bodies of the dying. Illustrated

For other Greek names beginning with K see C. For example Circe for Kirke, Cronus for Kronos, etc.