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Typhon (Typhaon, Typhoeus, Typhus), in Greek mythology, was the youngest son of Gaia and Tartarus. Other accounts make the monster a son of archaic Hera in her Minoan form, produced out of herself, like a monstrous version of Hephaestus. He is described as a vast grisly monster with a hundred serpents issuing from his thighs, who was conquered and cast into Tartarus by Zeus. In other accounts, he is confined in the land of the Arimi in Cilicia (Iliad, ii. 783) or under Etna (Aeschylus, P. V. 370) or in other volcanic regions, where he is the cause of eruptions. Typhon is thus the chthonic figuration of volcanic forces, as Hephaestus (Roman Vulcan) is the Olympian manifestation. Amongst his children by Echidna are Cerberus, the serpent-like Lernaean hydra, and the Chimaera.

Typhon is also the father of hot dangerous winds (Greek "typhein" to smoke), which were extended by the Arabs to include the cyclonic storms of the Indian Ocean, hence English typhoon. Later Hellenistic writers identified Typhon with the Egyptian Set.

partly edited and wikified from an encyclopedia of 1911


Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, I, 36.1-3.