"The well-meaning." Another name for the Erinyes. The name Eumenides, which signifies "the well-meaning," or "soothed goddesses," is a mere euphemism, because people dreaded to call these fearful goddesses by their real name, and it was said to have been first given them after the acquittal of Orestes by the court of the Areopagus, when the anger of the Erinyes had become soothed.1 It was by a similar euphemism that at Athens the Erinnyes were called σεμναἲ Δεαὶ, or the venerable goddesses.2

Other names include Semnai Theai ("Venerable Goddesses"), Praxidicae ("Exacters-of-Justice"), and Maniae ("Madnesses").



  1. Sophocles. Oedipus at Colonus, 128; Scholiast on Oedipus at Colonus, 42; Suidas, s.v. Εὐμενιδες.
  2. Pausanias. Description of Greece i, 28.6.


  • 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.