Greek Mythology Scylla

In Greek mythology Scylla was a beautiful sea nymph who became a sea monster because of her lover Glaucus. This is one of the classic Greek love myths.

The story starts with Glaucus who was a fisherman. One day while he was drying his nets he placed the fish he had caught on some unusual grass. No birds or bees or other animals would go near it. The fish, when they touched it, came to life and flopped about until they fell back into the sea. Glaucus felt that the grass had some special power and tasted it. Immediately, he had a mad desire to jump into the water. He could not stop himself, and had in fact no wish to. Once in the sea the sea gods welcomed him and made him an immortal like themselves. He turned blue, with long, green hair and a long, green beard. He had become a merman with a scaly tail. There after, he would swim about the Aegean Sea, visiting the various islands and making prophecies.

One day Scylla was walking on the beach. According to Greek mythology Scylla was a beautiful sea nymph who never seemed to have time for men. She had been playing with the other nymphs but when they had left for deeper water she decided to remain at the shore. She looked very pretty strolling on the beach with just her feet in the water. When Glaucus saw her he instantly lost his heart. He tried to talk to her but she was frightened by the strange green man. He said the foolish things that lovers always say, he said whatever he could think of to make her stay, but she ran away.

Sad, but not despairing, Glaucus swam to the island of sorceress Circe. There he begged Circe to use her magic to make Scylla love him. Unfortunately, Circe had instantly fallen in love with Glaucus. According to Greek mythology, Circe had offended the goddess Venus, who took revenge by giving her usually strong sexual desires. She asked him to remain with her, forget about Scylla, and be her lover. Glaucus did not listen to her words. He told her that he could only love Scylla. When Circe realized how love-struck he was she grew extremely angry. Her first thought was to hurt Glaucus, but being in love with him she decided to go after Scylla instead. Circe made a special brew of magical herbs and flew with it to Scylla's island. There she put them into a pool where Scylla liked to bathe and said many incantations over them. When Scylla entered the water she became a horrible monster with six heads and twelve feet. Glaucus, when he saw this, wept and swam away from Circe forever. Scylla came to live in a cave over a strait across from another monster called Charybdis. When ships tried to avoid Charybdis, Scylla used her long necks to take the sailors from the deck, six at a time, and eat them. According to Greek mythology Scylla later attacked the ship of Odysseus even though Circe had warned him about her. In all of Greek mythology Scylla has one of the saddest stories. After all of this, she was turned to stone.

Click here to compare Greek mythology Scylla to the Viking Goddess Ran.

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