Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

Gello
(160 words)

[German version]

(Γελλώ; Gellṓ) designates the spirit of a girl who died single, which kills unmarried or pregnant women and small children; it is first mentioned in Sappho (fr. 178 L.P. = 168 V.) [1]; G. is also the name of a mythological creature with these characteristics (Suda s.v.). It was still feared in the Byzantine period (Johannes Damascenus Perì Stryngôn, PG 94, 1904 C; Psellos Dihḗgesis perì Gellṓs [2]), something that has survived to the present day in rural Greece [3]. G. has often been associated with  Lamia and  Mormo, two similar spirits, and the strix. Rites to fend off G…

Cite this page
Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton), “Gello”, 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 19 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e421040>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



▲   Back to top   ▲