- s. xx–xxi
This contribution concerns gruesome tales of cruelty and the intersection of fact and fiction. The case study is the image of some dangerous mythological women: Lilith, Lamia, Alecto, and the Morrígain. Late-antique and early-medieval authors have clustered (some of) them by identifying them with each other. This contribution tries to explain the etymological association of Furies in general or Alecto in particular as being ‘unstoppable/incessant’ within a narrative context. While the characteristic of ‘unstoppable’ appeared to make sense for Lilith/Lamia/Alecto, the Morrígain suddenly seemed to fall outside the equation. She is not a strangler of babies and we have no textual witnesses of her lacerating a male partner after sex. In order to understand Eriugena’s equation of the Morrígain with Lilith/Lamia, we need to read the whole chapter of the Book of Isaiah to which he added his glosses. This contribution ends with the intersection of human and superhuman when discussing the fifth/sixth-century rule to exclude from the Christian community those who accused their fellow human beings of being such a destructive supernatural female.
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