I had a dream last night, and I am going to share it, but you are not allowed to laugh. Just for the record, this is actually the first time (as far as I can remember) that I have dreamt about actually being in mythologica ancient Hellas. I dreamt that I was clambering through some forest, sword and shield in hand, being chased by something. I could see a city in the distance, down in the valley from the hill I was on, but I knew I would never be ale to reach it. In true horror movie stile, I ended up tripping over something--my own two feet, most likely--and I shifted onto my back, shield up, sword raised, and waited for whatever was following me to jump on me. I woke up out of breath and with a hammering heart just as a dark shadow fell over me. Completely freaked, I am putting together a list of monsters and other scary creatures from Hellenic Mythology to try and puzzle together which horrifying creature just tried to make me lunch in my dream. The candidates after much consideration:

Centaurs (kéntauros, kένταυρος) are depicted as half man, half horse; having the torso of a man extending where the neck of a horse should be. They were said to be wild, savage, and lustful, and in very old Hellenic artwork, they were often depicted as fully human, with a horse's end added to them. Somehow (prior to Harry Potter, anyway), Centaurs ended up being regarded as cute and cuddly, but most Centaurs in the ancient myths were very scary, and very dangerous.

The Chimera
The Chimera is described as a composite creature, with the body and maned head of a lion, a goat's head rising from its back, a set of goat-udders, and a serpentine tail. There was only one, and it was slain by Bellerophon, but that does not have to mea anything in dreams.

Best known from the Odysseia, a Cyclops (Kyklôps, Κυκλωψ) is a one-eyed giant who are not too smart, but very dangerous. Cyclopses eat meat, and live in caves to herded flocks on the Homeric island of Hypereia, which was later identified by the Hellenes with Sicily. The Elder Cyclopses are far more intelligent, and they make the lightning bolts for Zeus.

The Erinyes
Although there are other stories about Their birth, the most common is the one where these three Khthonic deities were born from Gaea, from the blood of Ouranos, as Kronos cut off His testicles and threw them over His shoulder, into the ocean. According to ancient Roman poet Virgil, They are three sisters: Alecto ('the angry'), Megaera ('the grudging') and Tisiphone ('the avenger'). They can be petitioned by victims--or family of victims--of homicide, unfilial conduct, crimes against the gods, perjury and crimes committed by a child upon their parent(s). They are famous for continuing their unrelenting punishments until the perpetrator shows remorse. Due to their ability to enter and leave the Underworld at will, they will even continue Their punishment after the perpetrator is dead.

The most famous of Gorgons is undoubtedly Médousa (Μέδουσα). In ancient Hellas, however, Médousa was one of three sisters, Khthonic daímōns called Gorgons. They were named Médousa, Stheno (Σθεννω), and Euryale (Ευρυαλη), and were born to the ancient marine deities Phorkys (Φόρκυς) and Keto (Κητώ), his sister. They were part of the Phorcides (Φόρκιδες), the offspring of Phorkys. Their sisters were Echidna (Ἔχιδνα, half woman, half snake), the Graiai (Γραῖαι, 'old women', sharing one tooth and one eye), and Ladon (Λάδων, the dragon serpent who guarded the golden apples in the garden of the Hesperides).

The grýphōn (γρύφων) is a mythical creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet. They are not evil or dagerous per se, but they guarded their gold like the dragons of modern tales: ferociously.

The Harpyiai (Ἁρπθιαι) were the spirits of sudden, sharp gusts of wind. They were known as the hounds of Zeus and were despatched by the god to snatch away (harpazô) people and things from the earth. Sudden, mysterious dissappearances were often attributed to the Harpyiai. They are (most often) consdered the daughters of Thaumas and Elektra.

The Hippalectryon
The Hippalectryon was a beast with the foreparts of a horse and the tail, wings and hind-legs of a rooster.The creature occurs only in early Athenian vase painting, and may be based on an early artistic rendering of the winged horse Pegasos. It is awesome, however, and you cannot tell me that a creature that looked like that would not scare you half to death if it came upon you.

Mantikhoras (Μαντιχορας) were Persian monsters with the body of a lion, the face of a man, and a spike-tipped arrow-shooting tail. The name 'Manticore' may have been derived from a Persian word meaning 'man-eater', and that did seem to be a favored past time of the creature.

Minos, king of Krete, requested Poseidon raise a bull from the sea, which the king promised to sacrifice; but when Minos refused to do so, Poseidon caused his wife Pasiphaê to fall in love with the bull. The child that came from this union was deformed in such a way that he had the head of a bull and the body of a man. It was locked in the labyrinth beneath the the palace, and eventually vanquished by Theseus.

Ophiotaurus, or Tauros Ophis
It would have been major overkill to sent the Ophiotauros (Οφιοταυρος) after me, but the serpent-bull is a terrifying monster that deserves mention on the list. It was born with the foreparts of a black bull and the tail of a serpent and was slain by an ally of the Titanes in their search for a victory against Zeus during the Titanomachy.

Stymphalian Birds
The Stymphalian Birds were a flock of man-eating birds which haunted Lake Stymphalis in Arkadia. They had beaks of steel, and an appitite for human flesh that made them absolutely terrifying. Hēraklēs killed them during his sixth labour.

I am sorry to admit that I am no closer to unraveling the mystery of my nightmare monster, but at least most of the creatures on this list have aready been slain or need a very speciffic reason to attack you. I foresee a nap in my future to catch up on the sleep I lost, and pray my dreams will not be as disturbing as they were last night. First, though, time for some hot tea to sooth my nerves.