Alastor (Ἀλάστωρ, gen.: Ἀλάστορος; English translation: "avenger") can refer to a number of people and concepts related to Greek mythology:[1]

  • Alastor was an epithet of the Greek god Zeus, according to Hesychius of Alexandria and the Etymologicum Magnum, which described him as the avenger of evil deeds, specifically, familial bloodshed. As the personification of a curse, it was also an epithet of the Erinyes.[2] The name is also used, especially by the tragic writers, to designate any deity or demon who avenges wrongs committed by men.[3][4][5][6][7] In Euripides' play Electra, Orestes questions an oracle who calls upon him to kill his mother, and wonders if the oracle was not from Apollo, but some malicious alastor.[8] There was an altar to Zeus Alastor just outside the city walls of Thasos.[9]
    • By the time of the 4th century BCE, alastor in Greek had degraded to a generic type of insult, with the approximate meaning of "scoundrel".[2]
  • Alastor, a son of Neleus and Chloris. When Heracles took Pylos, Alastor and his brothers, except Nestor, were killed by him.[10][11] According to Parthenius of Nicaea, he was to be married to Harpalyce, who, however, was taken from him by her father Clymenus.[12]
  • Alastor, a Lycian, who was a companion of Sarpedon, and was slain by Odysseus.[13][14]
    • Alastorides is a patronymic form given by Homer to Tros, who was probably a son of the Lycian Alastor mentioned above.[15]
  • Another, unrelated Alastor is mentioned in the Iliad of Homer.[16]
  • Alastor, in Christian demonology, came to be considered a kind of possessing entity.[17] He was likened to Nemesis. The name Alastor was also used as a generic term for a class of evil spirits. Edward Alexander Crowley, 20th century ceremonial magician, changed his first name to Aleister.


  1. Schmitz, Leonhard (1867), "Alastor", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, pp. 89, 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rose, Herbert Jennings (1996), "Alastor", in Hornblower, Simon, Oxford Classical Dictionary, Oxford: Oxford University Press 
  3. Pausanias, Description of Greece viii. 24. § 4
  4. Plutarch, De Defectu Oraculorum 13, &c.
  5. Aeschylus, Agamemnon 1479, 1508, The Persians 343
  6. Sophocles, The Trachiniae 1092
  7. Euripides, Phoenician Women 1550, &c.
  8. Euripides, Electra 979
  9. Cole, Susan Guettel (1994), "Civic Cult and Civic Identity", in Herman Hansen, Mogens, Sources for the Ancient Greek City-State: Symposium August, 24-27 1994, Copenhagen: Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, pp. 310, ISBN 9788773042670, 
  10. Apollodorus, i. 9. § 9
  11. Scholiast on Apollonius of Rhodes, i. 156
  12. Parthenius of Nicaea, c. 13
  13. Homer, Iliad v. 677
  14. Ovid, Metamorphoses xiii. 257
  15. Homer, Iliad xx. 463
  16. Homer, Iliad viii. 333, xiii. 422
  17. Sorenson, Eric (2002), Possession and Exorcism in the New Testament and Early Christianity, Mohr Siebeck, pp. 78, ISBN 3-16-147851-7, 
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Alastor. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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