In Greek mythology and Roman mythology, a harpy (plural harpies, Greek: ἅρπυια, harpyia, pronounced [hárpuja]; Latin: harpeia) was a female monster in the form of a bird with a human face. They steal food from their victims while they are eating and carry evildoers (especially those who have killed their family) to the Erinyes. They seem originally to have been wind spirits. Their name means "snatchers".
Homer wrote that a harpy was the mother of the two horses of Achilles sired by the West Wind Zephyros.
Hesiod calls them two "lovely-haired" creatures, the daughters of Thaumas and Electra, who were sisters of the Iris. Pottery art depicting the harpies featured beautiful women with wings. Harpies as ugly winged bird-women, e.g. in Aeschylus' The Eumenides (line 50) are a late development. Roman and Byzantine writers detailed their ugliness.