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Empusa
(260 words)

[German version]

(Ἔμπουσα; Émpousa, etymology unclear [1]). Ghostly female figure (phásma) who was remarkable for her ability to transform her appearance (polýmorphos) and belonged to the group of spectral  Demons in Greek popular belief [2; 3] ( Lamia). She adopted various forms and in Aristoph. Ran. 285-295 appeared to Dionysus and his slave Xanthias, on their journey through the underworld [4], as a cow, a mule, a pretty woman and finally as a dog [5]. Her face was lit by fire, one leg was made of ore, the other of cow-dung (cf…

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Bloch, René (Berne), “Empusa”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 14 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e330200>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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