greekmythology

Who was Achlys in Greek Mythology

achlysAchlys was the first being ever, even before Chaos. She is the ancient Greek goddess who represents the mist of death and everlasting night.

According to the ancient Greek poet, Hesiod, Achlys was the personification of misery and sadness and she was represented in this way on the shield of Hercules as a pale woman with bloody cheeks, shoulders covered in dust, with long fingernails, swollen knees and forever crying.

Another ancient Greek poet, Nonnus, suggests she was the goddess of deadly poisons. In his epic tale, Dionysiaca, which describes the life of the god, Dionysus, Hera received from Achlys poisonous flowers which  when planted in a field, gave off a spell which sent the sons of the nurses of Dionysus (Nymphs Lamusides) to sleep.

Achlys then covered their hair and faces with magical potions which caused them to change into the shape of the horned centaurs with long ears, long teeth, a mane which covered their necks and ran down from the loins to their feet, and finally a horse’s tail sticking straight out from their loins.