In “Hesiod’s Cosmos” Jenny Strauss Clay present the Monsters as an alternative to the Heroes. “Chrysaor mighty and armed like the Giants, and who also unites with a nymph, the Oceanid Kallirhoe, represents and alternative progenitor to the alternative race of mortals.” They were the parents of three-bodied Geryon. I thought Clay’s mention of the Giants interesting. Most conversation in classical circles about “monsters” center on size and asymetricity. In the wars of succession, Cronus and Zeus allied with the monstersous Hectaonchires and Cyclopes. But in the Gigantomachy the Olymians chose to ally with the demi-gods rather than the other hybrid race descended from the gods; the monsters.
Still the gods (and men) had their uses for monsters. Three-headed Cerberus was the guard dog of Lord Hades (Hesiod, Theogony 310), two-headed Orthos, who was Geryones' herding dog (Hesiod, Theogony 309) Sphinx was a scourge that held Thebes in suppression, that Hera sent upon them (Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 52 – 55) "The Nemeian Lion the goddess Hera, the queenly wife of Zeus, trained up and settled among the hills of Nemeia (Hesiod, Theogony 327) The Lydian King Amisodaros nourished the furious Chimera to be an evil to his enemies.( Homer, Iliad 16. 328)
I mention all the above because we are currently reading ancient Irish epic tale “Táin Bó Cúalnge” The main character is Cuchulain son of Sualtaim; Sualtaim Sidech (of the Fairy Mound.) I assume that this means Cuchulain's father is of the fay. Cuchulain is called "This young, beardless elf-man". I assume the phrase elf-man is in reference to Cuchulain being a “halfling”; half mortal, half fairy. Such men are consider very powerful in fairy lore (King Arthurs’ father was a, er, let’s say “daemon” .) In Greek mythology the demi-gods were considered very powerful, for example Heracles and Achilles.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Cu Chulain; the Hound of Chulain is a monster. I finally realized this in reading the description of the Brown Bull of Cualnge. Both show the same disregard for their youth playmates. The phrase; “he threw off the thrice fifty boys who were wont to play on his back and he destroyed two-thirds of the boys.” Could easily apply to their. The seem to have no sense of strategy, their acts of violence are random; their appetites enormous, their strength in human. The “Hound” has seven digits on each appendage.
I’m not half way through maybe the hound will redeem himself.