There are different accounts of their ancestry. Accordingly, she was the daughter of Phorkys , an old man of the sea, and Keto , a sea monster , or of Kallirrhoë and Chrysaor , who had sprung from the body of his mother Medusa when Perseus beheaded her, or of Gaia and Uranus .
As “an unspeakable monster, half beautiful-eyed girl, half gruesome snake, huge, speckled and voracious” ( Hesiod , Theogony 295-332), she was apparently not only a terrible but also a fertile monster. Typhon - whom Gaia had received from Tartarus to take revenge on Zeus, so that here, if it is the same monster, a sibling might possibly be concluded - with her fathered the two-headed Orthos , the three-headed hellhound Kerberos and the hydra , the also known as the "Lernaean Snake".
In English echidna named after Echidna.
- Michael Grant and John Hazel, Lexicon of Ancient Myths and Figures , Munich (dtv) 1980 ( ISBN 3-423-32508-9 )
- Robert von Ranke-Graves , Greek Mythology , Reinbek near Hamburg (Rowohlt) 2003 ( ISBN 3-499-55404-6 )
- Karl Kerényi , The Mythology of the Greeks - The Heroes Tales ; Munich (dtv) 1992 ( ISBN 3-423-30031-0 )
- Histories 4, 8-10