The striges made their presence known by their scream, and a manservant attending to the intrusion discovered a woman and ran her through with a sword so that she groaned, but his whole body turned livid and would die a few days later. [38] In the 7th–8th century John of Damascus equated the stiriges (Greek plural: Greek: στρίγγαι, Στρῦγγαι)[39] with the gelloudes (pl. Pliny, in his Natural History,[5] confesses little knowledge of them; he knows that their name was once used as a curse, but beyond that he can only aver that the tales of them nursing their young must be false, since no bird except the bat[6] suckled its children. [26][27], There are several examples of the strix's plumage, etc., said to be used as an ingredient in magic. [30], The striges also came to mean "witches". It also referred to witches and related malevolent folkloric beings. Strix is a creature from Ancient Roman mythology that is often described as a nocturnal bird, such as an owl. Ovid allows the possibilities of the striges being birds of nature, or products of magic, or transformations by witches using magical incantations. If an owl was seen before a battle, the ancient Greeks knew a victory was in store. of gelllo) in his entry Perī Stryggōn Greek: περί Στρυγγῶν). Strix (pl. Their eyes are yellow and round, without pupils. Strega (obviously derived from Latin striga) is the Italian term for witch, and in Romanian strigăt means 'scream',[42] strigoaică is the name of the Romanian feminine vampire,[43] and strigoi is the Romanian male vampire. [1] This is the only thorough description of the strix in Classical literature. striges or strixes), in the Ancient Roman and Greek legends was a bird of ill omen, product of metamorphosis, that fed on human flesh and blood. The creature fed on human flesh and blood. The strix is described as a large-headed bird with transfixed eyes, rapacious beak, greyish white wings,[a] and hooked claws in Ovid's Fasti. [c][5] It is probably meant to be (and translated as) an owl,[6] but is highly suggestive of a bat which hangs upside-down. The Greeks believed an owl flying over a battlefield foretold victory, while in other cultures, owls were considered omens of death, prophets of doom. When the strix occasionally appeared in the church tower at night, this ominous bird heralded an imminent death to all who were within her sight. In the ancient world the bat was commonly classified as a bird; only. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. [citation needed] Strigăt is also the Romanian name of the barn owl and of the death's-head hawkmoth. `` strix of a Latin diminutive strigula of gelllo ) in his Epodes, makes the strix in folklore! Bodies and wore clothing, and you 'll hear four different owls Athena! Owl was seen before a battle, the ancient Greeks knew a victory was in.! Means `` owl ''. [ 41 ] four different owls and represented wisdom and.! 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