The Greek goddess of rumors and gossip was Pheme. She also went by the name of Fama in Roman mythology. Pheme was known for being a great communicator and was able to peer into the lives of other gods and mortals then tell others what she had learned. Through her gossiping and rumors, Pheme could increase the stature of the gods and mortals she liked and destroy the lives of gods and mortals she didn’t like. Her rumors would start off as a quiet whisper, and as she would continue to repeat the rumors, the rumors would increasingly get louder until everybody could hear what was happening.
Pheme was the daughter of Elpis, who was described as a spirit and personification of hope. Pheme is also considered the daughter of Gaia, who was known as Mother Earth. Images of Pheme show her having wings and holding a trumpet in one hand and a wreath in another hand. She is also known for living in a house with 1000 windows, so she could see and hear everything that was going on in the world.
Authors have referenced Pheme in numerous ancient texts. The author Virgil described her as being able to make the small feel great and the great feel even greater. Hesiod in “Works and Days” describes Pheme as an evil thing that people should stay away from because once people have talked to her, she never disappears. Bacchylides describes Pheme in “Fragment 2” and “Fragment 10” as one who visits mortals gives majesty.
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