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Ker
(370 words)

[German version]

(Greek ἡ Κήρ; hē Kḗr). From Homer, two meanings are attested for the name K.: 1. as ‘pest’, ‘malignant spirit’, ‘ruin’ and ‘death’ (Hom. Il. 2,302; 12,326-327; Od. 22,66). 2. as ‘an individual's fate’.

The first kind of Ker, which appears alone, but mostly in large numbers (Kêres), are female malignant spirits that act in various ways. Whilst Homer describes them as, amongst other things, ‘black’ (Hom. Il. 3,454) and ‘bringing disaster’ (ibid. 13,665), Hesiod offers a description of the outward appearance and the genealogy of a Ker (Hes. Theog. 211-217): the daughter of N…

Cite this page
Walde, Christine (Basle), “Ker”, 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 22 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e612760>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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