Greek Mythology Wiki

Polyphonte is most known as the mother of Agrios and Oreios, twin bear-human monsters.

She was the daughter of Hipponous and Thrassa. Her grandparents on her mother's side were Ares, the Olympian god of war and Tereine, a daughter of the river god Strymon.


Hipponous and Thrassa

Spouse & Lovers

A Bear


Agrios and Oreios


Polyphonte travelled into the mountains and became a follower of the goddess of the wild, Artemis, and ignored all things that Aphrodite ruled over like love and relationships. This angered the Love Goddess so she made her fall in love with a bear and had her mate with it, making Artemis hate Polyphonte. Artemis, as the goddess of animals as well, made all the animals also hate Polyphonte so she had to run back to her father where she gave birth to Agrius and Oreius, her monstrous twin children.

These children were cannibalistic and they were very disrespectful to humans and gods alike. Hermes, the messenger god, was ordered by Zeus, the King of Olympus, to punish the two monsters any way that Hermes wanted to. Hermes decided to dismember them, but Ares disagreed and didn't want his great-grandsons to loose their limbs. Instead, the gods turned the monsters in carnivorous birds. Oreius was turned into an eagle owl and Agrius a vulture.

Polyphonte was turned into a small owl that never ate or drank and spent its life in an upside down position to announce upcoming strife. The servant who begged the gods not to change her into a malicious being because she was only obeying her masters' orders, was turned into a green woodpecker that is thought to be a good omen to hunters and people going to feasts.