Charybdis

Ruler of the tides

Before Charybdis

Charybdis was once a beautiful goddess or naiad. Naiads are water nymphs who lived in bodies of water. It was believed all throughout Greece that mortals could gain inspiration by visiting a spring watched over by a nymph. She is the daughter of Poseidon, the god of water or the sea, and Gaia, who personified the earth.

Her Punishment

When she stole cattle from Hermes, Zeus struck her with a lightning bolt, throwing her into the sea. She lives on a rock with only a fig tree and three times a day, sucks in water to make gigantic whirlpools.
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Relationship to the Oddyssey

"Then we entered the Straits in great fear of mind, for on the one hand was Scylla, and on the other dread Charybdis kept sucking up the salt water. As she vomited it up, it was like the water in a cauldron when it is boiling over upon a great fire, and the spray reached the top of the rocks on either side. When she began to suck again, we could see the water all inside whirling round and round, and it made a deafening sound as it broke against the rocks. We could see the bottom of the whirlpool all black with sand and mud, and the men were at their wit's ends for fear. While we were taken up with this, and were expecting each moment to be our last, Scylla pounced down suddenly upon us and snatched up my six best men. I was looking at once after both ship and men, and in a moment I saw their hands and feet ever so high above me, struggling in the air as Scylla was carrying them off, and I heard them call out my name in one last despairing cry. As a fisherman, seated, spear in hand, upon some jutting rock thro
ws bait into the water to deceive the poor little fishes, and spears them with the ox's horn with which his spear is shod, throwing them gasping on to the land as he catches them one by one- even so did Scylla land these panting creatures on her rock and munch them up at the mouth of her den, while they screamed and stretched out their hands to me in their mortal agony. This was the most sickening sight that I saw throughout all my voyages.

Citations

Charybdis. 2014. Wikipedia. N.p.


"Charybdis." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.


Dixon-Kennedy, Mike. "Naiads." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.


"Gaia." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.


Hansen, William. "Poseidon." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 13 Nov. 2014.


Homer, and S. O. Andrew. Homer's Oddyssey. London: Dent, 1948. Print


Waterhouse, John William. Undine. 1872. N.p