Alecto (Ancient Greek: Ἀληκτώ English translation: "the implacable or unceasing anger") is one of the Erinyes, in Greek mythology.


Family and descriptionEdit

According to Hesiod, Alecto was the daughter of Gaea fertilized by the blood spilled from Uranus when Cronus castrated him. She is the sister of Tisiphone and Megaera. These three Furies had snakes for hair and blood dripped from their eyes, while their wings were those of bats.[1] Alecto's job as a Fury is castigating the moral crimes (such as anger) of humans, especially if they are against others.

Alecto's function is similar to Nemesis, with the difference that Nemesis's function is to castigate crimes against the gods, not mortals. Her punishment for mortals was Madness.

In mythologyEdit

In the Aeneid (Book 7), Juno commanded Alecto to prevent the Trojans from having their way with King Latinus by marriage or besiege Italian borders. Alecto's mission is to wreak havoc on the Trojans and cause their downfall through war. To do this, Alecto takes over the body of Queen Amata, who clamors for all of the Latin mothers to riot against the Trojans. She disguises herself as Juno's priestess Calybe and appears to Turnus in a dream persuading him to begin the war against the Trojans. Met with a mocking response from Turnus, Alecto abandons persuasion and attacks Turnus with a torch, causing his blood to "boil with the passion for war". Unsatisfied with her work in igniting the war, Alecto asks Juno if she can provoke more strife by drawing in bordering towns. Juno replies that she will manage the rest of the war herself: You're roving far too freely, high on the heavens' winds, and the Father, king of steep Olympus, won't allow it. You must give way. Whatever struggle is still to come, I'll manage it myself. [2]

In cultureEdit

Alecto appears in Virgil's Aeneid, Dante's Inferno, and the musical piece Music for a While by Purcell. She is also in Miklós Zrínyi's Siege of Sziget, in various works of Dostoyevsky, and in Handel's Rinaldo HWV 7 in the Aria "Sibillar gli angui d'Aletto". Minor planet 465 Alekto is named in her honor.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Furies in Greek Mythology". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  2. ^ Virgil. Aeneid. Translated by Fagles, Robert. II.646-649.
  3. ^ "(465) Alekto". (465) Alekto In: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Springer. 2003. p. 52. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_466. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7.}}