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There were 3 furies/erinyes. They were to ensure punishment in Hades.

Did each of them serve a different purpose? Or did they do the same thing?

For example- 1 fury would punish a person for eating too much ice cream, another too many cookies, and another too many jelly beans. Or was it all 3 furies to punish one person for eating too much dessert?

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It depends on the source. In the Oresteia, where their role is central, they are represented as having a single purpose, that of hounding Orestes for the blood sin of killing his mother. However, in the Aeneid Book VII, Juno sends Alecto on a solo mission.

The names of these three Furies are variously translated (Wikipedia is not definitive in this regard) and their individual names seem to indicate that each specializes in punishing a different type of crime.

In many mythologies, particularly Classical Mythology, there is the idea of the tripartite goddess (think "mother", "maiden", "crone") who often represent three aspects of a single entity or idea.

Thus, although the Furies may be thought to possess distinct attributes, they are all aspects of the single idea of vengeance, i.e. righteous "fury".

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This question is really hard to answer...

Most of the sources indicate that Erinyes are the representation of a lunar deity called Erinys, so a single goddess, which means one meaning.

The number 3 in the greek civilisation is really symbolic, and in every religion in fact, it's linked to the "entirety".

Anyway, I don't think (and I didn't find anywhere the contrary) that they had each of them, a different roles.

  • could you be thinking of the three fates? One to spin the cord, one to measure it one to cut it. – Fey Ray Jun 16 '16 at 20:56
  • @FeyRay yep, right. for example. But It is not the Erinyes ;) They are the Moires (Moirai ?), and, like the Erinyes, they are 1 and 3 at the same time ^^ – Gautier C Jun 16 '16 at 20:58

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