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Last Update: 04 Apr 2021


Lamia

Lamia, the cannibalistic serpent



In Greek mythology, Lamia was a queen of Libya who became a frustrated cannibalistic demon.



Lamia, the beautiful queen of Libya

In Greek mythology, Lamia was a queen of Libya who became a frustrated cannibalistic demon. Taking the form of a serpent-like monster, Lamia used to grab and devour children.

Lamia was a descendant Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas. Famous for her beauty, Lamia was admired by Zeus, the king of the gods and from their union many children were born.




The curse of Hera

When Hera, the wife of Zeus, heard of this, she became indignant and, full of envy, killed all the children.

the monster lamia by Edward Topsell(1607)Heartbroken, Lamia turned into a monster with a serpent's body below the waist that hunted children and sucked their blood.

Filled with rage, the vengeful Hera cursed Lamia never to sleep again. But Zeus, taking pity on Lamia, decided to put her out of her misery. So he gave her the ability to take off her eyes and put them back in whenever she wanted so she could rest.



Meaning of Lamia's name

According to Aristophanes (Ancient Greece's "Father of Comedy"), the name Lamia derives from the Greek word "laimos" ("throat") and refers to the way she kills her victims.



Lamia in modern Greek tradition

Lamia has survived in modern, Greek tradition through various proverbs.

"Watch out or Lamia will eat you!"
Many parents use the story of Lamia to this day to threaten their children and encourage good behavior

"She eats like a Lamia"
An expression used to describe voracious women






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