Maniae

Summary

The Maniae /ˈmni./ (singular: Mania Μανία /ˈmniə/), in ancient Greek religion, are a spirit or group of spirits personifying insanity, madness, and crazed frenzy. They operate closely with Lyssa, the spirit of mad rage, frenzy, and rabies; and, like Lyssa, are presumed to be daughters of Nyx. They are also associated with the Erinyes, the three fearsome goddesses of vengeance.

They are also sometimes said (though, perhaps in jest, or as a metaphor for love's sometimes cruel nature) to have been nurses of the god Eros.

Mythology

Pausanias writes that on the road from Megalopolis to Messene there was a sanctuary, which, according to local citizens, was devoted to goddesses called Maniae, and that its surrounding district was also called Maniae (Μανίας). His local sources told him that it was there that madness overtook Orestes, hence Pausanias's view that these Maniae were the vengeful Furies or Erinyes or Eumenides (Graceful Ones).[1]

Note

  1. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 8.34.1

References

  • Pausanias, Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918. ISBN 0-674-99328-4. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
  • Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio. 3 vols. Leipzig, Teubner. 1903. Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library.