The Story Of Echidna. Fast Facts
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The Story of Echidna

Fast Facts

Origin: Greek
Home: Phrygia, Tartarus
Role: Guardian of Earth’s Treasures, Mother of All Monsters
Parents: Gaia and Tartarus, or Keto and Phorkys
Spouse: Typhon
Children: Cerberus, Chimera, Colchian Dragon, Gorgon, Hydra, Ladon, Nemean Lion, Orthrus, Sphinx (Possibly also: Caucasian Eagle, Phaea, Scylla)

Who is Echidna?

Echidna is a guardian, goddess, monster, or mother of the sprits that are the alternative to the Olympians, dependent on the source. Regardless of how one views her, as the mother of many of the creatures that Heracles was tasked with killing, her importance to the Greeks is without question.


Echidna was the daughter of either Gaia and Tartarus, or Keto and
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Most of them were overcome or killed by them. Bellerophon killed Chimera, the three-headed monster that appears to be made of leftover bits from a dragon, a goat, and a lion. Echidna’s child the Colchian Dragon was shown more mercy, and merely lulled to slumber in Jason’s effort to retrieve the Golden Fleece that it guarded. Her half-human, half-lion daughter the Sphinx killed herself, either by throwing herself from a cliff or devouring her own body, when Oedipus was able to answer her riddles. There is very little information on her daughter Gorgon, other than as some point she became three daughters and not one. Regardless, Euryale, Medusa, and Stheno all shared hideous faces and hair consisting of writhing, angry, serpents. Of the three, only Medusa was mortal, which is probably the origin of why her being a child of Echidna is sometimes questioned. It is probably also why only her death is noted, at the hands of Perseus.

One Hero, Many Deaths

Surely the most hated hero by Echidna would be Heracles, though. In his twelve labors he bested or killed six of her children. The victim in his first labor was the Nemean Lion, who would become the constellation Leo. His second labor brought him face to face with the Lernaean Hydra, and again, another child of Echidna was slain. In his fourth labor, on a side portion of his quest, Hercules killed the Caucasian Eagle, who may or may not
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