Saturday, 3 February 2007

Mythology of Typhon and Echidna

Typhon, son of Gaia and Tartarus, is the most deadly monster of Greek mythology. Typhon attempts to destroy Zeus at the will of Gaia, because Zeus had imprisoned the Titans.

When Echidna and her mate attacked the Olympians, Zeus beat them back and punished Typhon by sealing him under Mount Etna. However, Zeus allowed Echidna and her children to live as a challenge to future heroes.

Typhon was known as the Father of all monsters; his wife Echidna was likewise the Mother of all monsters. Echidna was a drakaina, with the face and torso of a beautiful woman and the body of a serpent, sometimes having two serpent's tails. Typhon had an human superior part, but was described as a vast grisly monster with a hundred serpent heads "with dark flickering tongues" flashing fire from their eyes and a din of voices and a hundred serpents legs.

Typhon started destroying cities and hurling mountains in a fit of rage. All of the gods of Olympus fled to their home. Only Zeus stood firm, and the battle raged, ending when Zeus threw Mount Etna on top of Typhon, trapping him.  The titanic struggle created earthquakes and tsunamis.

Once conquered by Zeus' thunderbolts, Typhon was cast into Tartarus or in other volcanic regions, where he is the cause of eruptions. Typhon is thus the chthonic figuration of volcanic forces. Typhon is also the father of hot dangerous storm winds which issue forth from the stormy pit of Tartarus, where he was cast into.

Typhon has identified with Set in Egyptian mythology, god of hot sand storms.