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?

2 Answers 2


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".


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
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 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
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 20:58

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