Brill’s New Pauly

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(160 words)

[German version]

(Μορμώ/Mormṓ). A female spirit, principally used to frighten children (Theocr. 15,40 with schol.; Plat. Phd. 77e; Str. 1,2,8; schol. Aristides p. 41 Dindorf = 1,5), in this role often interchangeable with Gello, Lamia [1] and strix (a nocturnal bird which sucked the blood out of children). Her other name, Mormolýkē or Mormolykía, suggests she was imagined as a wolf, though Theocr. 15,40 (with schol. ad loco) associates her with a horse and Erinna 26f. implies she could change shape.

According to myth M. was a woman from Corinth who devoured at first her own…

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Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton), “Mormo”, 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 26 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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