Definitions for lamia
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word lamia
(folklore) a corpse that rises at night to drink the blood of the living
A city in Greece.
A monster with the head and breasts of a woman and the lower half of a serpent, which ate children and sucked the blood from men.
a monster capable of assuming a woman's form, who was said to devour human beings or suck their blood; a vampire; a sorceress; a witch
Origin: [L., fr. Gr. .]
In ancient Greek mythology, Lamia was a beautiful queen of Libya who became a child-eating daemon. Aristophanes claimed her name derived from the Greek word for gullet, referring to her habit of devouring children. In the myth, Lamia is a mistress of the god Zeus, causing Zeus' jealous wife, Hera, to kill all of Lamia's children and transform her into a monster that hunts and devours the children of others. Another version has Hera merely stealing away all of Lamia's children and it being Lamia herself, losing her mind from grief and despair, who starts stealing and devouring others' children out of jealousy, the repeated monstrosity of which transforms her into a monster on its own. Some accounts say she has a serpent's tail below the waist. This popular description of her is largely due to Lamia, a poem by John Keats published in 1819. Antoninus Liberalis uses Lamia as an alternate name for the serpentine drakaina Sybaris; however, Diodorus Siculus describes her as having nothing more than a distorted face. Later traditions referred to many lamiae; these were folkloric monsters similar to vampires and succubi that seduced young men and then fed on their blood.
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