|Perseus & Graea, Athenian red-figure krater|
C5th B.C., Archaeological Museum of Delos
The graeae guarded the passage that led to where their sisters were. When Perseus was searching for Medusa, he stole their one eye and one tooth which they shared, forcing them to help him find and kill Medusa.
Their names suggest rather dire monsters--Deino "the terrible." Enyo "the warlike" and Persis "the destoyer."
The Graiai were usually depicted as old crones. However according to Aeschylus they were Seiren-shaped monsters with the head and arms of old women and the bodies of swans.
|Perseus Returning the Eye of the Graiai, Henry Fuseli.|