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The Harpies were bird-like creatures known as the Hounds of Zeus, and they would regularly carry out his bidding by punishing the guilty and snatching people and things from earth, usually to bring them to the Underworld for judgment.

The harpies were known as the Hounds of Zeus, and they would take things from the earth, including food and people. They were particularly ravenous creatures, and they would steal food from people regularly. They ushered evil people to Erinnyes to be judged in the Underworld, clawing and torturing them along the way.

They appear in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts searching for the Golden Fleece. King Phineas of Thrace was given the gift of seeing the future, and he accidentally said too much. As punishment, Zeus blinded him and sent him to an island where every time he picked up a piece of food, it was stolen out of his hands by a harpy. Not only was the food stolen, but the harpies would spread dirt and muck over the rest of the food so that it was inedible. The Boreads, the sons of the North Wind, set a trap for the harpies. As soon as they swooped out of the sky to steal food from King Phineas, the Boreads took off after them, leading Hermes to intervene and promise that the Harpies would not torment the old man any longer.

Harpies Quick Reference


Thaumas and Electra

Notable Myths

Attributes and Symbols

Hideous bird-like creatures

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