Echidna was described by Hesiod as a female monster spawned in a cave, who mothered with her mate Typhon almost every major horrible monster in the Greek myths,
"the goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth. And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth, grim Echidna, a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days"
Echidna was usually considered an offspring of Tartarus and Gais, or of Ceto and Phorcys (according to Hesiod) or of Chrysaor and the naiad Callirhoe, or Peiras and Styx (according to Pausanias, who did not know who Peiras was aside from her father). Echidna was a Scythian Dracaenae, with the face and torso of a beautiful woman (depicted as winged in archaic vase-paintings) and the body of a serpent, sometimes having two serpent's tails. She is also sometimes described as Karl Kerenyi noted an archaic vase-painting with a pair of echidnas performing sacred rites in a vineyard, while on the opposite side of the vessel, goats were attacking the vines: thus chthonic Echidnae are presented as protectors of the vineyard.
The site of her cave Homer calls "Arima, couch of Typhon". When she and her mate attacked the Olympians, 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. She was an immortal and ageless nymph to Hesiod (Theogony above), but was killed where she slept by Argus, Panoptes, the hundred-eyed giant.
List of ChildrenEdit
- Nemean Lion
- Teumessian fox
- Clazmonian Sow
- Colchian dragon
In the book Echidna is described through the Mist as an extremely fat woman with a chihuahua. The only clues that she was a monster were her reptillian tongue, the fact that she called her dog "Sonny" and the fact that she has slit eyes like a snake. She apparently wears a lot of denim clothing to cover up her scaly hide.