Monday, April 29, 2013
For some further reading:
In Greek mythology, a harpy (Greek: ἅρπυια, harpyia, pronounced [hárpuja]; Latin: harpeia) was one of the winged spirits best known for constantly stealing all food fromPhineus. The literal meaning of the word seems to be "that which snatches" as it comes from the Greek word harpazein (ἁρπάζειν), which means "to snatch".
Hesiod calls them two "lovely-haired" creatures, and pottery art depicting the harpies featured beautiful women with wings. Harpies as ugly winged bird-women, e.g. inAeschylus' The Eumenides (line 50) are a late development, due to a confusion with the Sirens. Roman and Byzantine writers detailed their ugliness.