In Greek mythology the Graeae (; English translation: "old women", "grey ones", or "grey witches"; alternatively spelled Graiai () and Graiae), also called the Grey Sisters, and the Phorcides ("daughters of Phorcys"), were three sisters who shared one eye and one tooth among them. Their names were Deino (or Dino), Enyo, and Pemphredo (or Pephredo).
The word Graeae is probably derived from the adjective graia "old woman", derived from the PIE root *?erh2-/*?reh2-, "to grow old" via Proto-Greek*gera-/grau-iu.
The Graeae were daughters of the sea-deities Phorcys and Ceto (from which their name the Phorcydes derived), and sisters to the Gorgons. The Graeae took the form of old, grey-haired women. Their age was so great that a human childhood for them was hardly conceivable. In Theogony, however, Hesiod describes the Graeae as being "fair-cheeked". In Prometheus Bound, the Graeae are described as being half-swan.
Hesiod names only two Graeae, the "well-clad" Pemphredo ( "alarm") and the "saffron-robed" Enyo (? "horror" the "waster of cities" who also had an identity separate from this sisterhood).Pseudo-Apollodorus lists Deino ( "dread", the dreadful anticipation of horror) as a third. Calling them "Phorcides", Hyginus, in addition to Pemphredo and Enyo, adds Persis noting that "for this last others say Dino".
They shared one eye and one tooth, which they took turns using. By stealing their eye while they were passing it among themselves, the hero Perseus forced them to tell the whereabouts of the three objects needed to kill Medusa (in other versions the whereabouts of Medusa) by ransoming their shared eye for the information.
^ abHarris, Stephen L., and Gloria Platzner. Classical Mythology: Images and Insights (Third Edition). California State University, Sacramento. Mayfield Publishing Company. 2000, 1998, 1995, pp. 273-274, 1039.