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Γραῖαι Graiai

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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The Γραῖαι Graiai, Greek for old (grey) women (sisters), were of the monstrous Phorkydes siblings, children of Φόρκυς Phorkys (of Gaia and Pontus) and Keto (his sister). There were three Graiai: Enyo, Pemphredo and Deino, though Hesiod only mentions the first two.

[Hesiod] calls them 'fair of cheek', which suggests that they were young and lovely, and says that they were called Graiai, 'Old Women', simply because they were white-haired from birth. In later legend, however, they live up to their name rather better, for here they are blind and toothless, apart from a single eye and a single tooth which they share among themselves, passing them around as necessary. March 2008, p 38