In ancient times, the Greek people believed their mythical world was real. Greek storytellers would travel from village to village, telling tales of gods and goddesses. Sometimes, they told tales of monsters. The children listening to these stories would shiver and ooh, but they weren't really scared. Everybody knew that brave Greek heroes had killed the monsters, at least most of them, using courage, intelligence, and strength. If there were any monsters still hanging about, trying to hurt good people, brave Greek heroes would kill them, too!
The Hydra was a terrible, mean, rotten swamp monsters with nine heads. There was nothing nice about the Hydra. Hercules fought this monster and finally won, but he had a tough time. Each time Hercules cut off one of the Hydra's head, two heads grew back in its place! The myth of the brave Greek hero Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra
Medusa was once a beautiful human woman, but she angered the goddess Athena. Athena punished her by turning Medusa's long gorgeous hair into squirming and wiggling poisonous snakes. The snakes did not bite Medusa, but they bit and killed anyone else who got too close. Plus, if you even looked at Medusa you would be turned to stone. It was never wise to anger the Greek gods, but this was an especially terrible punishment. It did not take long before Medusa turned into a terrible person, which is understandable, but still, she could not be allowed to hurt good people. The myth of the brave Greek hero Perseus and the evil monster Medusa.
The Harpies: Part human female and part bird, the three Harpies were winged monsters who snatched up evil doers in their sharp claws, and tortured them all the way to the Underworld, where they dropped them off from great heights. (If the evil doers were not dead already, the fall would certainly kill them.)
Typhon was an especially scary monster. He had one hundred snake heads. The Typhon scared everybody, gods and mortals. Zeus finally killed this horrible monster using his lightening bolts. Thank goodness for Zeus!
Here are some ancient Greek monster myths retold for kids by Lin Donn. Keep in mind, these are just stories. Don't let these creepy monsters scare you one bit.
Created by others:
A list of some of the ancient Greek monsters of myth (from Wikipedia) We included this list so you could see how many monsters there were in the ancient Greek mythical world. Keep in mind, the ancient Greek storytellers had to keep their stories fresh and interesting, while being true to the major characteristics of the gods and goddesses and the monsters already created. They were paid with food, clothing, goods, and a place to sleep for the night. The best of the storytellers were very comfortable in ancient times. They had a route they took. Other storytellers, who appeared in a village on another day or week, would hear about the myths told by other storytellers. They added to the stories, or created a new story with the same monster or mythical being. All of these stories were told orally. They were not written down. So the stories that survived the test of time were the best stories. Artists and authors today still create stories and art featuring the monsters and other mythical beings of the ancient Greeks, each in their way while staying true to the main characteristics of each. For example, the Cyclops always has one eye and Cerberus is always a three-headed dog.