An oread, who when Zeus was playing with the nymphs, used to keep Hera at a distance by incessantly talking to her. In this manner Hera was not able to detect her faithless husband, and the nymphs had time to escape. Hera, however, found out the deception, and she punished Echo by changing her into an echo, that is, a being with no control over its tongue, which is neither able to speak before anybody else has spoken, nor to be silent when somebody else has spoken.
Echo in this state fell desperately in love with Narcissus, but as her love was not returned, she pined away in grief, so that in the end there remained of her nothing but her voice.
There were in Greece certain porticoes, called the Porticoes of Echo, on account of the echo which was heard there; thus, there was one stoa at Hermione with a threefold, and one at Olympia with a sevenfold echo.1
Sound personified as a mountain nymph, from ekhe, "sound."
- Ovid. Metamorphoses iii, 365-401. Wiesler. (1844). Die Nymphe Echo: eine kunstmythologische Abhandlung. Göttingen.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.