(Latin form: Typhoeus)

In Greek mythology, Typhoios was a monster, a hundred-headed dragon, the child of Gaia and Tartaros. He was defeated by Zeus and subsequently thrown into Tartaros (the underworld)*. This event marked the establishment of Zeus' supremacy among the gods.

This is the version of events given by Hesiod in his Theogony. Apollodoros, in his Bibliotheca, names Typhoios "Typhon" and describes him as originating in the wrath of Gaia over the defeat of the Titans. Capturing Zeus, Typhon lames him by removing his tendons and holds him prisoner in a cave. In the violence of his escape, Zeus is said to have kindled the volcanic fires of Mount Aetna.

Yet another version of the myth, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, names Zeus the victor over "Typhaon", supposedly the creation of Hera's anger over the birth of Pallas Athena.

Typhoios was also the father of a host of monsters: Echidna (though she is sometimes cited as his mate, not his daughter), Cerberus, the Hydra, the Sphinx and the Chimera.

Typhoios is not frequently depicted in art, but one notable example is a work by Gustav Klimt, which portrays "Typhoeus" as evil incarnate.


* Or buried alive beneath Mount Aetna, if one follows Apollodoros.

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