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Scylla, before (with Glaucus) - Scylla, after
was a beautiful water-nymph, but she scorned Glaucus (Neptune's son) and
angered Circe (an enchantress.) Circe made a mixture of poisonous plants
and poured them in the water where Scylla bathed (on the coast of Sicily.)
When Scylla went in the water up to her waist, she found herself
surrounded by a brood of serpents and barking monsters. She tried to
run away, but the serpents and monsters were a part of her. This
gave her a terrible temper, and she would thereafter devour hapless
sailors that came within her grasp.
Another version of the story has her as having 6 heads
on long necks,
with 3 rows of teeth and her lower half is made up of barking dogs.
lives in a cave opposite of Charybdis (which is a strong whirlpool.) This
is believed to symbolize the currents and dangers of the Strait of Messina
in the Mediterranean. (See
Medieval writer Lawrens Andrewe (complied by Frederick
J. Furnivall) - "Scilla is a monster in the see betwene Italye
& Sicill. It is great ennemye vnto man. It is faced & handed lyke
a gentylwoman, but it hath a wyde mouthe & ferfull tethe & it is
belied like a beste, & tayled lyke a dolphin. It hereth gladly
singinge. It is in the water so stronge that it can nat be ouercome but on
the lond it is but weke."