Furies or Erinyes, in Greek and Roman religion and mythology, three daughters of Mother Earth, conceived from the blood of Uranus, when Kronos castrated him. They were powerful divinities that personified conscience and punished crimes against kindred blood, especially matricide. They were usually represented as winged women with serpent hair. Their names were Megaera [jealous], Tisiphone [blood avenger], and Alecto [unceasing in pursuit]. When called upon to act, they hounded their victims until they died in a "furor" of madness or torment. In the myth of Orestes they appear as Clytemnestra's agents of revenge. After Athena absolved Orestes of guilt in the murder of his mother, she gave the Furies a grotto at Athens where they received sacrifices and libations, and became euphemistically known as the Eumenides [kindly ones].

See Aeschylus' play, The Eumenides.

Group of Greco-Roman goddesses of vengeance. The Furies lived in the underworld and ascended to earth to pursue the wicked. They were known to the Greeks as the Erinyes, but those who feared to speak their name often called them by euphemisms such as Eumenides (“Kind Ones”). According to Hesiod, they were daughters of Gaea, the earth goddess. Aeschylus made them the terrifying chorus of his tragedy Eumenides, and Euripides was the first to speak of them as three in number.

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