70. Εὐμενίδων, θυμίαμα ἀρώματα.
To the Eumenides, Goddesses of Guilty Torment
Divine media: aromatics
Κλῦτέ μου, Εὐμενίδες μεγαλώνυμοι, εὔφρονι βουλῆι,
I call the Eumenides, mighty-named, wise counselors,
ἁγναὶ θυγατέρες μεγάλοιο Διὸς χθονίοιο
Pure majestic daughters of terrestrial Dios and
Φερσεφόνης τ’, ἐρατῆς κούρης καλλιπλοκάμοιο,
Phersephone, lovely, youthful, beautifully-tressed,
αἳ πάντων καθορᾶτε βίον θνητῶν ἀσεβούντων,
Ever and always clearly observing the lives of irreverent mortals,
τῶν ἀδίκων τιμωροί, ἐφεστηκυῖαι ἀνάγκηι,
Then, injustice’s avengers, upon Hestia’s hearth by Necessity,
κυανόχρωτοι ἄνασσαι, ἀπαστράπτουσαι ἀπ’ ὄσσων
The cyan-tinted Queens flash forth, springing before the mind’s eye an
δεινὴν ἀνταυγῆ φάεος σαρκοφθόρον αἴγλην·
Extraordinarily powerful antagonizing light, flesh-destroying, radiant.
ἀίδιοι, φοβερῶπες, ἀπόστροφοι, αὐτοκράτειραι,
Eternally terrifying to behold, averted, absolute rulers,
λυσιμελεῖς οἴστρωι, βλοσυραί, νύχιαι, πολύποτμοι,
Sweetly loosen the maddening hair-raising torments of Night’s many Destinies,
νυκτέριαι κοῦραι, ὀφιοπλόκαμοι, φοβερῶπες·
Night’s daughters, serpent-haired, terrifying to behold,
ὑμᾶς κικλήσκω γνώμαις ὁσίαισι πελάζειν.
Invoked with knowledge of divine law, draw near.
The Eumenides are the immortal Goddesses of the Good (Εὐ) + Powers (μενίδες). Eumeneia (εὐμένεια) means goodwill, favor. The Eumenides incessantly torment wrongdoers as punishment, including obsessive guilt and internal anguish. The Eumenides can only be pacified by completing tasks of purification and atonement. They are offered water, milk, and honey. They have the power to fulfill prayers.
The Esychides (Ἡσῠχίδες) are priestesses of the Eumenides. Their name means silence, stillness, quiet, peace.
“EUME′NIDES (Εὐμενίδες), also called Erinnyes…were originally…a personification of curses pronounced upon a guilty criminal. The name Erinnys, which is the more ancient one, was derived by the Greeks from the verb ἐρίνω or ἐρευνάω, I hunt up or persecute, or from the Arcadian word ἐρινύω, I am angry; so that the Erinnyes were either the angry goddesses, or the goddesses who hunt up or search after the criminal. (Aeschyl. Eum. 499; Pind. Ol. ii. 45; Cic. de Nat. Deor. iii. 18.) The name Eumenides, which signifies “the well-meaning,” or “soothed [G]oddesses,” is a….euphemism, because people dreaded to call these fearful [G]oddesses by their real name, and it was said to have been first given them after the acquittal of Orestes by the court of the Areiopagus, when the anger of the Erinnyes had become soothed. (Soph. Oed. Col. 128; Schol. ad Oed. Col. 42; Suid. s. v. Εὐμενίδες.)…
“According to the Homeric notion, the Erinnyes…inhabit Erebos [the dark and gloomy space under the earth], where they rest until some curse pronounced upon a criminal calls them to life and activity. (Il. ix. 571, Od. xv. 234.) The crimes which they punish are disobedience towards parents, violation of the respect due to old age, perjury, murder, violation of the law of hospitality, and improper conduct towards suppliants. (Hom. Il. ix. 454, xv. 204, xix. 259, Od. ii. 136, xvii. 475.)…As the Eumenides not only punished crimes after death, but during life on earth, they were conceived also as [G]oddesses of fate …
“…when they fear lest the criminal should escape them, they call in the assistance of Dicé [Dike, Goddess of justice], with whom they are closely connected, the maintenance of strict justice being their only object. (Aesch. Eum. 511, 786; Orph. Argon. 350; Plut. de Exil. 11.)…
The Eumenides are the daughters of Terrestrial Dios, that is, Pluto, the immortal God of the afterlife, and Phersephone (Persephone), the immortal Goddess of the afterlife and Spring renewal. They are described as terrifying, with fiery eyes and snake-entwined hair.
Hestia is the immortal Goddess of the hearth and altar fire.
Ananke is the immortal Goddess of necessity, of what is required.
Anassa means Queen, Lady.
Night is the immortal Goddess of night and in some traditions the mother of the Eumenides.
 Schmitz, L. (1870). EUME′NIDES (Εὐμενίδες). In W. Smith (Ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (Vol. 2, p. 92). Boston: Little, Brown, and Company.