Erysichthon syndrome

Erysichthon syndrome2016-12-03T16:00:18+00:00

Erysichthon syndrome

Erysichthon syndrome image from New Medical Terms



Definition A poetic term for any condition characterised by insatiable hunger, indiscriminate dietary indulgences, and overeating, despite warnings by health care providers; gluttony

Comment Per Bullfinch… King Erysichthon of Greek mythology despised the Gods and one day cut down a grove of trees sacred to the Earth Goddess Demeter (Ceres), including a towering, venerable oak, which shuddered and groaned as he chopped it down. The oak spoke, “I who dwell in this tree am a nymph beloved of Demeter, and dying by your hands forewarn you that punishment awaits you.” Demeter enlisted the help of Famine, who sped to Erysichthon’s bedchamber, enfolded him with her wings and breathed her poison into his veins. When he awoke, his hunger raged; the more he ate, the hungrier he got. His wealth rapidly diminished under his unceasing demands for food. Finally, he devoured his own limbs. Only death relieved him from Demeter’s vengeance. 

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