Hecate, Athenian red-figure bell krater C5th B.C., urban Museum that Art

HEKATE (Hecate) to be the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and also necromancy. She to be the just child the the Titanes Perses and Asteria from whom she received her strength over heaven, earth, and also sea.

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Hekate helped Demeter in her search for Persephone, guiding her through the night through flaming torches. After the mother-daughter reunion ended up being she Persephone"s minister and companion in Haides.

3 metamorphosis myths define the origins of her pet familiars: the black color she-dog and the polecat (a mustelid residence pet preserved by the ancients to hunt vermin). The dog was the Trojan Queen Hekabe (Hecuba) who leapt right into the sea after the autumn of Troy and also was revolutionized by the goddess. The polecat was either the witch Gale, turned together punishment for her incontinence, or Galinthias, midwife the Alkmene (Alcmena), that was transformed by the tease goddess Eileithyia but adopted by the forgiveness Hekate.

Hekate was usually shown in Greek vase paint as a woman holding twin torches. Occasionally she was dressed in a knee-length maiden"s skirt and also hunting boots, lot like Artemis. In statuary Hekate was often portrayed in triple type as a goddess of crossroads.

Her name means "worker from afar" native the Greek word hekatos. The masculine form of the name, Hekatos, to be a typical epithet the the god Apollon.

Hekate was established with a variety of other goddesses including Artemis, Selene (the Moon), Despoine, the sea-goddess Krataeis (Crataeis), the goddess of the Taurian Khersonese in Skythia, the Kolkhian (Colchian) nymph Perseis, the heroine Iphigeneia, the Thracian goddesses Bendis and Kotys (Cotys), the Euboian nymph Maira (the Dog-Star), the Eleusinian nymph Daeira and also the Boiotian nymph Herkyna (Hercyna).



<1.1> PERSES & ASTERIA (Hesiod Theogony 404, Apollodorus 1.8)<1.2> PERSES (Homeric hymn 2 to Demeter 24, Orphic singing 1, Lycophron 1174, Apollonius Rhodius 3.1036, Diodorus Siculus 4.45.1, Ovid Metamorphoses 7.74, Seneca Medea 812)<2.1> ZEUS & ASTERIA (Schol. Top top Apoll. Rhod. 3.467 ap Musaeus)<3.1> NYX (Bacchylides Frag 1B, Scholiast on Apoll. Rhod. 3.467)<4.1> ARISTAIOS (Schol. ~ above Apoll. Rhod. 3.467 ap Pherecydes)<5.1> DEMETER (Orphic Frag, Scholiast top top Apoll. Rhod. 3.467)


<1.1> no one (she was a virgin goddess) (Apollonius Rhodius 3.840, Lycophron 1174)<2.1> SKYLLA (by Phorkys) (Apollonius Rhodius 4.827)<3.1> KIRKE, MEDEA, AIGIALEUS (by Aeetes) (Diodorus Siculus 4.45.1)


HE′CATE (Hekatê), a mysterious divinity, who, follow to the most typical tradition, was a daughter the Persaeus or Perses and Asteria, whence she is dubbed Perseis. (Apollod. I. 2. § 4; Apollon. Rhod. Iii. 478.) Others define her together a daughter the Zeus and also Demeter, and also state the she was sent out by she father trying to find Persephone (Schol. ad Tleocrit. ii. 12); rather again do her a daughter the Zeus one of two people by Pheraea or by Hera (Tzetz. ad Lyc. 1175; Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 36) ; and others, lastly, say that she was a daughter that Leto or Tartarus. (Procl. in Plat. Cratyl. p. 112 ; Orph. Argon. 975.) Homer does not cite her. Follow to the many genuine traditions, she shows up to have been an old Thracian divinity, and also a Titan, who, from the moment of the Titans, rule in heaven, on the earth, and in the sea, who bestowed ~ above mortals wealth, victory, wisdom, good luck to sailors and also hunters, and also prosperity come youth and to the apricot of cattle; but all this blessings might at the same time be withheld by her, if mortals did not deserve them. She was the only one amongst the Titans who retained this strength under the dominion of Zeus, and she to be honoured by every the immortal gods.

She likewise assisted the gods in their war with the Gigantes, and also slew Clytius. (Hes. Theog. 411-452; Apollod. I. 6. § 2.) This extensive power own by Hecate was probably the reason that consequently she was confounded and also identified v several other divinities, and also at length ended up being a mystic goddess, to who mysteries were commemorated in Samothrace (Lycoph. 77; Schol. ad Aristoph. Pac. 277) and in Aegina. (Paus. Ii. 30. § 2; comp. Plut. de Flum. 5.) for being as it were the queen of every nature, we uncover her identitied v Demeter, Rhea (Cybele or Brimo); gift a huntress and also the protector of youth, she is the very same as Artemis (Curotrophos); and as a goddess of the moon, she is regarded as the mystic Persephone. (Hom. Hymn. In Cer. 25, with the commentat.; Paus. I. 43, § 1.) She was further associated with the worship of other mystic divinities, such as the Cabeiri and also Curetes (Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 12; Strab. X. P. 472), and likewise with Apollo and also the Muses. (Athen. Xiv. P. 645; Strab. X. P. 468.) The ground-work the the above-mentioned confusions and also identifications, especially with Demeter and also Persephone, is consisted of in the Homeric hymn to Demeter; for, follow to this hymn, she was, as well as Helios, the only divinity who, from she cave, observed the kidnapping of Persephone. With a torch in her hand, she attach Demeter in the search after Persephone; and also when the latter was found, Hecate stayed with her together her attendant and also companion. She therefore becomes a divine being of the reduced world; however this id does not occur till the moment of the Greek tragedians, despite it is normally current among the later writers. She is defined in this volume as a mighty and also formidable divinity, judgment over the souls that the departed ; she is the goddess of purifications and expiations, and also is add by Stygian dogs. (Orph. Lith. 48; Schol. ad Theocr l. C. ; Apollon. Rhod. Iii. 1211; Lycoph. 1175; Horat. Sat. i. 8. 35; Virg. Aen. vi. 257.) by Phorcos she came to be the mommy of Scylla. (Apollon. Rhod. Iv. 829 ; comp. Hom. Od. xii. 124.) over there is another very important function which occurred out that the notion of she being one infernal divinity, namely, she was pertained to as a spectral being, that at night sent out from the lower human being all kinds of demons and terrible phantoms, who taught sorcery and witchcraft, who dwelt at areas where two roads crossed each other, ~ above tombs, and near the blood that murdered persons. She herself too wanders around with the souls the the dead, and also her strategy is announced through the whining and also howling that dogs. (Apollon. Rhod. Iii. 529, 861, iv. 829; Theocrit. l. C. ; Ov. Heroid. xii. 168, Met. xiv. 405; Stat. Theb. iv. 428 ; Virg. Aen. iv. 609; Orph. Lith. 45, 47; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1197, 1887; Diod. Iv. 45.) A number of epithets provided her by the poets save on computer allusions come these functions of the renowned belief, or to her form. She is defined as of disastrous appearance, one of two people with 3 bodies or 3 heads, the one of a horse, the 2nd of a dog, and the third of a lion. (Orph. Argon. 975, &c.; Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 1467, 1714.) In functions of art she to be some-times represented as a solitary being, yet sometimes likewise as a three-headed monster. (Paus. Ii. 28. § 8. 30. § 2.) as well as Samothrace and Aegina, we discover express mention of her prayer at Argos (Paus. Ii. 30. § 2.) and at Athens, wherein she had actually a sanctuary as Epipurgidia, ~ above the acropolis, not far from the holy place of Nice. (Paus. Ii. 30. § 2.) tiny statues or symbolical representations of Hecate (hekataia) were really numerous, particularly at Athens, where they stood before or in houses, and on spots whereby two roadways crossed each other; and it would certainly seem that civilization consulted such Hecataea as oracles. (Aristoph. Vesp. 816, Lysistr. 64; Eurip. Med. 396; Porphyr. de Abstin. ii. 16; Hesych. s. V. Hekataia). At the near of every month dishes through food were collection out for her and also other averters of angry at the points whereby two roadways crossed every other; and this food to be consumed by poor people. (Aristoph. Plot. 596 ; Plut. Synmpos. vii. 6.) The sacrifices readily available to her consisted of dogs, honey, and black woman lambs. (Plut Quaest. Rom. 49; Schol. ad Theocrit. ii. 12 ; Apollon. Rhod. Iii. 1032.)

Source: thesaurus of Greek and Roman Biography and also Mythology.



Heracles, Cerberus and Hecate, Apulian red-figure volute krater C4th B.C., Staatliche AntikensammlungenI) PERSES & ASTERIA

Hesiod, Theogony 404 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :" Asteria (Starry One) that happy name, whom Perses (Destroyer) once resulted in his great house come be referred to as his to ~ wife. And also she conceived and bare Hekate (Hecate)."

Homeric singing 2 come Demeter 19 (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epos C7th - fourth B.C.) :"Tender-hearted Hekate (Hecate), bright-coiffed, the daughter the Persaios (Persaeus)."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 - 9 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :"The Titanes had children . . . Perses and also Asteria the Hekate."

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 1035 (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :"Hekate, Perses" just daughter (mounogenes)."

Lycophron, Alexandra 1174 (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :"The maiden daughter the Perseus, Brimo Trimorphos (the three-formed)."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of history 4. 45. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek chronicler C1st B.C.) :"We space told the Helios (the Sun) had two sons, Aeetes and Perses, Aeetes being the king that Kolkhis (Colchis) and also the other king the the Tauric Chersonese, and also that both that them to be exceedingly cruel. And also Perses had actually a daughter Hekate (Hecate), who gone beyond her father in boldness and lawlessness."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7. 74 (trans. Melville) (Roman epos C1st B.C. To C1st A.D.) :"Now come the ancient shrine the Perseis she made her way."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 18 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :"If girlfriend think Latona a goddess, how have the right to you not think the Hecate is one, who is the daughter that Latona"s sisters Asteria?"

Seneca, Medea 812 (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :"I see Trivia"s swift gliding vehicle . . . O Perseis ."


Nyx (Night) together the mommy of Hekate was probably established with Asteria ("the Starry One").

Bacchylides, Fragment 1B (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) : "Torch-bearing Hekate holy daughter of great-bosomed Nyx (Night)."


The Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 467 says that according to the Orphic Hymns, Hekate to be a daughter that Deo ; the according come Bacchylides, a daughter the Nyx (Night); according to Musaeus, a daughter that Zeus and Asteria; and also that follow to Pherecydes, she was a daughter of Aristaios (Aristaeus).

N.B. Pherecydes clearly identified Aristaios v the Titan Astraios (the Starry One). Most poets make Hekate a daughter the night in some form, be that Asteria (Starry), Astraios (Starry) or Nyx (Night).


Hecate and also the gigantic Clytius, Athenian red-figure kylix C5th B.C., Antikensammlung BerlinI) VIRGIN GODDESS.

Hekate was explained as a virgin goddess, similar to Artemis. In art, she was often shown wearing a maiden"s knee-length dress.

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 840 (trans. Rieu) (Greek epos C3rd B.C.) :"The only-begotten Maiden (Koure mounogenes) ."

Lycophron, Alexandra 1174 (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :"The maiden daughter the Perseus, Brimo Trimorphos."


Hekate was sometimes figured out with Krataeis (Crataeis), the mother of the sea-monster Skylla (Scylla). She was also titled Skylakagetis (Leader that the Dogs), connecting her with the name of the monster.

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 827 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :" `Nor let them go too near the hateful den the Ausonian Skylla (Scylla), the wicked monster borne to Phorkys (Phorcys) by night-wandering Hekate, whom men contact Kratais (Cratais).""


Diodorus Siculus determined Hekate with the Kolkhian (Colchian) nymphs Perseis and also Eidyia (the mother and also wife that King Aeetes), and also with the goddess that the adjoining Tauric Khersonese (Chersonese).

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Diodorus Siculus, Library of background 4. 45. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek chronicler C1st B.C.) :"We are told the Helios (the Sun) had actually two sons, Aeetes and Perses, Aeetes being the king of Kolkhis (Colchis) and the other king that the Tauric Khersonese (Chersonese), . . . Perses had a daughter Hekate . . . She married Aeetes and also bore 2 daughters, Kirke (Circe) and Medea, and a kid Aigialeus."


Hekate was one of the Titan-gods who allied themselves v Zeus.

Hesiod, Theogony 404 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :"Hekate whom Zeus the child of Kronos (Cronus) honoured above all. He provided her splendid gifts, to have actually a share of the earth and the unfruitful sea. She got honour additionally in starry heaven, and also is honoured exceedingly by the deathless god . . . Because that as countless as to be born that Gaia (Gaea, Earth) and Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven) among all these she has actually her early portion. The son of Kronos did her no wrong nor took anything away of all the was her portion among the former Titan gods: yet she holds, together the department was at the an initial from the beginning, privilege both in earth, and also in heaven, and also in sea. Also, because she is an only child, the goddess receives not much less honour, yet much much more still, because that Zeus honours her."

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Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 34 - 38 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :" In the course of the fight . . . Hekate acquired Klytios (Clytius) v fire-brands."

Hekate appears in a variety of ancient vase paintings battling a giant with her twin torches.

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Persephone, Hermes, Hecate and also Demeter, Athenian red-figure bell krater C5th B.C., metropolitan Museum that Art

Homeric hymn 2 to Demeter 19 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epos C7th - 4th B.C.) :"Then she cried out shrilly v her voice, phone call upon her father, the boy of Kronos (Cronus) , that is most high and also excellent. Yet no one, either of the deathless god or mortal men, heard she voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tender-hearted Hekate (Hecate), bright-coiffed, the daughter that Persaios (Persaeus), heard the girl from she cave, and also the lord Helios (the Sun) . . . Then for nine days queenly Deo wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, therefore grieved the she never tasted ambrosia and the sweet draught of nectar (nektaros), nor sprinkled she body with water. However when the tenth enlightening dawn had come, Hekate, v a torch in she hands, met her, and spoke to her and told her news:‘Queenly Demeter, bringer of seasons and giver of great gifts, what god of heaven or what mortal man has rapt far Persephone and also pierced v sorrow her dear heart? For i heard her voice, yet experienced not with my eyes who it was. However I tell friend truly and also shortly all ns know.’So, then, said Hekate. And the daughter the rich-haired Rheia answered she not, yet sped swiftly with her, holding flaming torches in she hands. Therefore they concerned Helios (the Sun), that is watchman that both gods and men, and also stood in former of his horses: and also the glowing goddess enquired of him."

Homeric singing 2 to Demeter 436 ff : " climate bright-coiffed Hekate came near to them, and often go she take on the daughter of divine Demeter: and from that time the lady Hekate was minister and also companion come Persephone."

Pausanias, summary of greece 9. 39. 2 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :eruô, kunos), might be Hekate:>" is separated from the grove of Trophonios by the flow Herkyna (Hercyna). They say that here Herkyna, when playing through Kore (Core) , the daughter that Demeter, held a goose (khên) which versus her will certainly she allow loose. The bird flew into a hole cave and hid under a stone; Kore entered and also took the bird as it put under the stone. The water flowed, lock say, native the ar where Kore take it up the stone, and also hence the river received the surname Herkyna. Top top the bank of the river there is a holy place of Herkyna, in i beg your pardon is a maiden hold a goose in her arms. In the cavern are the resources of the river and also images standing, and serpents room coiled about their sceptres. One could conjecture the images be of Asklepios (Asclepius) and also Hygeia, yet they might be Trophonios and Herkyna, since they think that serpents are simply as much sacred to Trophonios as Asklepios."

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Hekate to be probably defined as the consort of Khthonian (Underworld) Hermes in the cults the Thessalian Pherai (Pherae) and Eleusis. Both gods to be leaders that the ghosts the the dead, and were associated with the spring-time return of Persephone.

Pausanias, description of greek 1. 38. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :"The hero Eleusis, after who the city is named, some assert to be a child of Hermes and also of Daeira , daughter that Okeanos (Oceanus)."

Propertius, Elegies 2. 29c (trans. Goold) (Roman elegy C1st B.C.) :"Brimo , who as legend tells, by the waters of Boebeis laid she virgin human body at Mercurius" side."


Hecate and the huge Clytius, Athenian red-figure amphora C4th B.C., Musée du Louvre

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 29 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :"At Thebes Proitos (Proetus) had a daughter Galinthias. This maiden was playmate and companion that Alkmene (Alcmena), daughter the Elektryon (Electryon). As the birth throes because that Herakles were pressing on Alkmene, the Moirai (Fates) and also Eileithyia (Birth-Goddess), together a favour come Hera, preserved Alkmene in constant birth pangs.They remained seated, each maintaining their eight crossed. Galinthias, fearing the the ache of her labour would drive Alkmene mad, ran to the Moirai and Eleithyia and also announced that by desire the Zeus a boy had been born come Alkmene and also that your prerogatives had been abolished.At all this, consternation of food overcame the Moirai and they immediately let go your arms. Alkmene"s pangs ceased at once and Herakles (Heracles) was born. The Moirai to be aggrieved at this and took away the womanly components of Galinthias since, being however a mortal, she had deceived the gods. Lock turned her into a cheat weasel (or polecat), making she live in crannies and also gave her a grotesque way of mating. She is placed through the ears and also gives bear by bringing forth her young through the throat.Hekate feel sorry for this revolution of she appearance and appointed her a sacred servant the herself."

Aelian, On animals 12. 5 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural background C2nd A.D.) :"The residents of Thebes, return Greeks, prayer a marten , so i hear, and allege the it to be the nurse the Herakles, or if that was not the nurse, yet as soon as Alkmene (Alcmena) was in labour and unable to carry her boy to birth, the marten ran by her and also loosed the bond of she womb, so that Herakles to be delivered and at once started to crawl."


Aelian, On pets 15. 11 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural background C2nd A.D.) :"I have heard that the land-marten (or polecat) was as soon as a human being. It has likewise reached my hearing that Gale was her name then; the she was a dealer in spells and also a sorceress (pharmakis); the she was incredibly incontinent, and also that she was afflicted v abnormal sexual desires. Nor has it escaped my notice that the fury of the goddess Hekate revolutionized it right into this evil creature. May the goddess be gracious come me : fables and their informing I leaving to others."


Odysseus received Queen Hekabe (Hecuba) together his captive following the loss of Troy. Throughout the voyage back to greek she murdered a Thracian king and was stoned by the locals. The gods then changed her into a black color dog, and she became the animal familiar the the goddess Hekate.In this myth the queen was clearly identified through Bendis, the Thrakian Hekate, that was readily available dogs in sacrifice.

Lycophron, Alexandra 1174 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :"The maiden daughter that Perseus, Brimo Trimorphos (Three-formed), shall make thee she attendant , terrifying through thy baying in the night all mortals that worship not through torches the pictures of Zerynthia queen of Strymon , appeasing the goddess the Pherai with sacrifice. And the island spur the Pakhynos (Pachynus) shall hold thine awful cenotaph, piled by the hands of thy grasp , motivated by desires when you hast gained the rites of fatality in former of the streams the Heloros. The shall to water on the shore offerings for thee, dissatisfied one, fearing the anger of the three-necked goddess , for that he chandelier hurl the first stone at thy stoning and begin the dark sacrifice to Haides."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 111 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :"When Ulysses was taking right into servitude Hecuba, Priam"s mam . . . She threw herself into the Hellespont, and also is said to have actually been changed into a dog. The ar is referred to as Cyneus (of the Dog) from this."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 14. 430 & 561 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epos C1st B.C. Come C1st A.D.) :"Troy fell and also Priam too. His ill-starred wife lost, after all as well as her person shape; she weird new barking terrified the breeze on foreign shores where the long Hellespont contract in narrows . . . Over there lie throughout the strait from Phrygia, whereby Ilium was, the districts of Thrace, wherein Polymestor had actually his rich palace. To him in secret Praim gave in fee his young boy Polydorus to be reared . . . Once Troy;s fair fortune fell, the wicked king take it his sharp sword and slit his charge"s throat . . .Upon the beach actors up she witnessed her Polydorus" corpse and the large wounds the Thracian knives had actually made . . . Hecuba, rage linked with grief, oblviious of her years . . . Made her method to Polymestor, author of that foul murder, and also sought an audience . . .She attacked the king and also dug her fingers in his eyes, his treacherous eyes, and also gouged his eyeballs the end . . . Incensed to check out their king"s calamity, the Thracians started to strike the queen through sticks and stones, yet she snaped in ~ the stones, snarling, and also when she lips were set to grame words and also she tried come speak, she barked. The ar remains today, called from what occurred there . Then still mental her ancient ills, she howled in sorrow v the land of Thrace. That fate of hair stirred pity in the hearts of friend and foe, Trojans and Greeks alike, and also all the gods as well--all: Juno too, Jove"s wife and also sister, go herself declare the tragic finish of Hecuba unfair."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 7.362 ff : "Past the dig of Paris hidden in the shallow sand; the meadowlands that Maera terrified through monstrous barks ."