In Greek mythology, Lamia was a Queen of Libya who became a child-murdering monster feared for her malevolence. According the Greek legends, the goddess Hera slayed all of Lamia’s children (except Scylla) in anger due to the fact that Lamia slept with her husband, Zeus. Lamia’s subsequent grief at the death of her children caused her to turn into a monster who took revenge on all mothers by stealing their children and devouring them. In this manner, she is similar to the near-Eastern demon Lilith.
Lamia was the daughter of Poseidon and Lybie, a personification of the country of Libya. Lamia was a queen of Libya herself, whom Zeus loved. Hera discovered the affair and stole away Lamia’s children, where upon Lamia in her grief became a monster and took to murdering children herself. Zeus granted her the power of prophecy as an attempt at appeasement, as well as the related ability to temporarily remove her eyes. Her metamorphasis into a monster is less clear: Either Hera turned her into a monster; the grief from Hera killing all her children, save Scylla, made her monstrous; or she was already one of Hecate’s brood.
Lamia had a vicious sexual appetite that matched her cannibalistic appetite for children. She was notorious for being a vampiric spirit and loved sucking men’s blood. Her gift was the “mark of a Sibyl,” a gift of second sight. Zeus was said to have given her the gift of sight. However, she was “cursed” to never be able to shut her eyes so that she would forever obsess over her dead children. Taking pity on Lamia, Zeus, give her the ability to take her eyes out and in from her eye sockets.
The Empusae were a class supernatural demons that Lamia was said to have birthed. Hecate would often send them against travelers. They consumed or scared to death any of the people where they inhabited. They bare many similarities to lilim.