The Phoenixian Book of Creatures

Harpy Harpy

A harpy is a vulture with the head and sometimes breasts of a woman. They were originally represented as beautiful winged maidens, then later as fierce creatures who lived in filth and contaminated everything they encountered.

They are also depicted as pale hungry bird-creatures with the claws of lions.

Names of harpies in mythology include Ocyp'eta (rapid), Cele'no (blackness), and Aell'o (storm).

Harpies are associated with whirlwinds and storms.

See Also: Creatures by Type » Birds, Hybrids


Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Philadelphia: Henry Altemus Company, 1898.

Turner, Patricia, & Coulter, Charles Russell. Dictionary of Ancient Deities. Oxford University Press US, 2001.

Image: Harpyca, 1650. Book illustration from Historiae Naturalis De Avibus Libri VI. by Joannes Jonstonus.


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