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In "Greek mythology, Lyssa["pronunciation?] ("Greek: Λύσσα; called Lytta (Λύττα) by the Athenians) was the spirit of mad rage, frenzy, and "rabies in animals. She was closely related to the "Maniae, the spirits of madness and insanity. Her Roman equivalent was variously named Ira, Furor, or Rabies. Sometimes she was multiplied into a host of Irae and Furores.


In "Euripides' "Herakles, Lyssa is identified as "the daughter of "Nyx, sprung from the blood of "Ouranos"—that is, the blood from "Uranus' wound following his castration by "Cronus.[1] The 1st-century Latin writer "Hyginus describes her as a child of "Gaia and "Aether.[2]

She personifies mad rage and frenzy, as well as rabies in animals. In Herakles she is called upon by "Hera to inflict the hero "Heracles with insanity. In this scenario she is shown to take a temperate, measured approach to her role, professing "not to use [her powers] in anger against friends, nor [to] have any joy in visiting the homes of men." She counsels Iris, who wishes to carry out Hera's command, against targeting Heracles but, after failing to persuade, bows to the orders of the superior goddess and sends him into a mad rage that causes him to murder his wife and children.[1]

Greek vase-paintings of the period indicate her involvement in the myth of "Aktaion, the hunter torn apart by his own, maddened dogs as a punishment for looking on the naked form of the goddess "Artemis. "Aeschylus identifies her as being the agent sent by "Dionysus to madden the impious daughters of "Minyas, who in turn dismember "Pentheus.


  1. ^ a b Vellacott, Phillip (trans.) (1963). "Herakles by "Euripides. p. 815. 
  2. ^ Grant, Mary (trans.) (1960). The Myths of Hyginus. p. 815. 

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