Lamia concept Picture

LAMIA was a child-devouring Daimon. She was a daughter of the god Poseidon, and the mother of the sea-monsters Skylla and Akheilos. Her name and family suggest she was originally imagined as a large, aggressive shark.

In one story, Lamia was a Libyan queen loved by the god Zeus. When his jealous wife Hera learned of their affair she stole away her children. Lamia went mad with grief, and tore out her own eyes. Zeus then transformed her into a monster allowing her to exact her revenge by hunting and devouring the children of others.

Lamia often appears as a bogey-monster, a night-haunting demon which preyed on children. She was sometimes pluralised into ghostly, man-devouring demon Lamiai.

The Greek word lamia means dangerous lone-shark. Such sharks were also referred to as ketea (sea-monsters). As such it is likely that she was identified with the monstrous sea-goddess Keto. Both Lamia (Lone-Shark) and Keto (Sea-Monster) were said to have spawned the monster Skylla (the Rending One). Another child of Lamia was the boy Akheilos (the Lipless One) who was transformed into a shark by the goddess Aphrodite.
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