The Furies (mythology)

The Three Furies by Doré
   Furies, called also the Erinyes and the Eumenides. In Greek mythology, the three goddesses who punished crimes, especially secret crimes which have escaped public justice. Their names were Alecto, the unresting; Megaera, the jealous; and Tisiphone, the avenger. Their work on earth was to tor­ment the guilty with mental sufferings. In the lower world they punished sinful souls. The name Erinyes, which is their most an­cient appellation, signifies the hunters of criminals. The later name, Eumenides, means the soothed goddesses, given as was another name meaning the venerable god­desses, for euphemistic reasons, the Atheni­ans having such a horror of the Furies that they feared almost to mention them. In Aeschylus' drama, The Eumenides, fifty Furies were introduced, accompanied by Horror, Paleness, Terror, Rage, and Death.