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chimera

chimera In classical myth, the Chimera is one of many creatures combining the identities of human and beast, or merging features of more than one animal. In classical thought, these hybrids are sometimes divine: the god Pan, for example, is represented as part goat. Human– animal hybrids deriving from the Near East or from ancient Greece and with a lasting impact on the Western imagination include the centaur. This was a horse–man combination unable to hold its drink — as witness the centaurs' attempts to rape the wedding guests when they attended the Lapith wedding in northern Greece, depicted on the methopes of the Parthenon. Centaurs represented the violence and sexuality of the world of the beasts and it is significant that some artistic representations show them with two sets of genitalia: a human set at the front and a horse set at the back. Then there were satyrs and silens, goat-men with exaggerated sexuality; sirens and harpies, both bird-women, the sirens being associated with perfume, seductive song, and attractive temptation, the harpies with a foul smell, violent noise, and repulsion; also one-off monsters such as the manticore, a lion–scorpion combination with a human head, the bull-man Minotaur, and the riddling lion-woman Sphinx. Beasts such as these, as well as the mermaids, are encountered by heroes and explorers at the limits of the known world, or in the wild zones between inhabited areas. Frequently associated with boundaries between the forbidden and the permitted, the known and the unknown, or the living and the dead, they are often given the function of guarding a palace or its treasure. But they also provide something for heroes to kill in order to prove their heroism, and they allow myth to explore the boundaries of human identity by asking what counts as civilized behaviour. In medieval art, particularly in illustrated bestiaries, the possible combinations of animals multiplied, as composite beings came to be seen as part of creation, providing evidence of the limitless power of God.

The Chimera herself is the supreme hybrid. She has the head of a lion, the mid-section of a goat and the hindquarters of a dragon. Most versions of her myth say that she is one of many monstrous beings deriving ultimately from the union of (Earth) and Pontos (Sea): from the union of Earth and Heaven the Titans were born. Among her kin are the harpies, the Sphinx, the snake-haired Gorgons (of whom Medusa is the best known), and the Nemean lion that featured in the labours of Hercules. The members of this bizarre family tree tend towards the repetition of body parts — for example, the many heads of the dog of the underworld, Cerberus. The Chimera has the heads of all three of her component animals, and breathes fire through her goat head. However, Homer refers to her as having been ‘kept’ by king Amisodarus, which could suggest an alternative tradition in which she was deliberately created as a boundary-guardian or weapon.

Her father was Typhon, half man and half serpent, whose rapid movement makes him the origin of hurricanes and typhoons; he has a hundred hissing snake heads coming from his loins. Her mother, Echidna, also combined human and serpent but, in contrast to her fast-moving, fire-belching husband, she stayed in a cave beneath the earth, only coming out rarely to eat young men. The Chimera was eventually killed by the hero Bellerophon, aided by another hybrid descended from Earth and Sea — the winged horse, Pegasus. Only by rising into the air above the Chimera was it possible to evade destruction by her fire-breathing head.

Because of her triple bodily nature and, in particular, the presence of three different heads, the Chimera is difficult to represent; in art, the lion part often dominates. It has been argued that, because of the uncertainty of her form, the Chimera has become a creature of language, representing the power of the imagination, fantasy, and illusion. It is these associations which lie behind the choice of title for the post-war Florentine literary magazine, La Chimera.

Helen King

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"chimera." The Oxford Companion to the Body. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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chimera

chi·me·ra / kīˈmirə; kə-/ (also chimaera) • n. 1. (Chimera) (in Greek mythology) a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail. ∎  any mythical animal with parts taken from various animals. 2. a thing that is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve. 3. Biol. an organism containing genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of early embryos, grafting, or mutation. ∎  a DNA molecule with sequences derived from two or more different organisms, formed by laboratory manipulation. 4. (usu. chimaera) a cartilaginous marine fish (Chimaeridae and other families) with a long tail, an erect spine before the first dorsal fin, and typically a forward projection from the snout. DERIVATIVES: chi·mer·ic / kīˈmirik; kə-; -ˈmerik/ adj. chi·mer·i·cal / kīˈmerikəl; kə-; -ˈmir-/ adj. chi·mer·i·cal·ly / kīˈmerik(ə)lē; kə-; -ˈmir-/ adv.

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"chimera." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"chimera." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chimera-1

"chimera." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chimera-1

chimera

chimera in Greek mythology, a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tale; any mythical animal with parts taken from various animals. In extended usage, the term may be used for a thing which is hoped or wished for but in fact is illusory or impossible to achieve.

Chimera is also now used in biology for an organism containing a mixture of genetically different tissues, formed by processes such as fusion of early embryos, grafting, or mutation.

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"chimera." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"chimera." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chimera

chimera

chimera (chimaera) A tissue containing two or more genetically distinct cell types, or an individual composed of such tissues. It arises as a result either of:(a) mutation or abnormal distribution of chromosomes, affecting a particular cell during development and hence all its descendants; or(b) in the case of plants, by the artificial grafting together of two individuals with different genotypes, to produce a mixing of characters. It is also referred to as a mosaic.

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"chimera." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"chimera." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chimera

"chimera." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chimera

chimera

chimera (chimaera) Tissue containing two or more genetically distinct cell types, or an individual composed of such tissues. It arises in animals as a result of mutation or abnormal distribution of chromosomes, affecting a particular cell during development and hence all its descendants.

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"chimera." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"chimera." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chimera-0

Chimera

Chimera In Greek mythology, a monster with a lion's head, goat's body, and dragon's tail. She was the sister of Cerberus, Hydra, and the sphinx, and was slain by Bellerophon.

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"Chimera." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chimera." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chimera

"Chimera." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chimera

Chimera

Chimera: see Bellerophon and Typhon.

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"Chimera." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Chimera." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chimera

chimera

chimeraAltamira, chimera, clearer, Elvira, era, hearer, Hera, hetaera, interferer, lempira, lira, lire, Madeira, Megaera, monstera, rangatira, rearer, scorzonera, sera, shearer, smearer, sneerer, steerer, Thera, Utsire, Vera •acquirer, admirer, enquirer, firer, hirer, inquirer, requirer, wirer •devourer, flowerer, scourer •Angostura, Bonaventura, bravura, Bujumbura, caesura, camera obscura, coloratura, curer, Dürer, durra, Estremadura, figura, fioritura, Führer, insurer, Jura, juror, Madura, nomenklatura, procurer, sura, surah, tamboura, tempura, tourer •labourer (US laborer) • Canberra •Attenborough •Barbara, Scarborough •Marlborough • Farnborough •Deborah • rememberer •Gainsborough • Edinburgh •Aldeburgh • blubberer •Loughborough •lumberer, slumberer •Peterborough •Berbera, gerbera •manufacturer • capturer • lecturer •posturer • torturer • nurturer •philanderer • gerrymanderer •slanderer •renderer, tenderer •dodderer •squanderer, wanderer •borderer • launderer • flounderer •embroiderer • Kundera •blunderer, plunderer, thunderer, wonderer •murderer • amphora • pilferer •offerer • sufferer •staggerer, swaggerer •sniggerer •lingerer, malingerer •treasurer • usurer • injurer • conjuror •perjurer • lacquerer •Ankara, hankerer •bickerer, dickerer •tinkerer • conqueror • heuchera •cellarer • cholera •camera, stammerer •armourer (US armorer) •ephemera, remora •kumara • woomera • murmurer •Tanagra • genera • gunnera •Tampere, tamperer •Diaspora •emperor, Klemperer, tempera, temperer •caperer, paperer •whimperer • whisperer • opera •corpora • tessera • viscera • sorcerer •adventurer, venturer •batterer, chatterer, flatterer, natterer, scatterer, shatterer •banterer •barterer, charterer •plasterer • shelterer • pesterer •et cetera • caterer •titterer, twitterer •potterer, totterer •fosterer •slaughterer, waterer •falterer, palterer •saunterer • poulterer •bolsterer, upholsterer •loiterer • roisterer • fruiterer •flutterer, mutterer, splutterer, stutterer, utterer •adulterer • musterer • plethora •gatherer • ditherer • furtherer •favourer (US favorer), waverer •deliverer, shiverer •hoverer •manoeuvrer (US maneuverer) •discoverer, recoverer

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