The Origin of the Evil Eye: Legends and Myths

The Origin of the Evil Eye: Legends and Myths

Since the dawn of civilization, the idea of supernatural powers has captivated the human imagination. One such concept is the Evil Eye, which has been an enigma that has puzzled scholars and laymen alike for centuries. The Evil Eye is a belief that certain people possess the power to cause harm through a malevolent gaze. It is a notion that has been prevalent in many cultures throughout history, including Turkish, Greek, and Middle Eastern. This article aims to explore the origin and evolution of the Evil Eye, unravel the myths and legends associated with it, and examine its contemporary significance.

Have you ever heard someone say, "I just gave them the Evil Eye"? Or have you ever felt like someone was looking at you with envy or jealousy, causing you to feel uncomfortable or uneasy? These are examples of the belief in the "Evil Eye," a superstition that dates back thousands of years and can be found in various cultures around the world.

The Ancient Roots of the Evil Eye

The Ancient Roots of the Evil Eye

Belief in the Evil Eye dates back to at least Ancient Ugarit, as evidenced by texts found in the ruins of this city in modern-day Syria. The city was destroyed around 1180 BC during the late Bronze Age collapse and was never rebuilt, indicating that the belief in the Evil Eye predates this event. The concept of the Evil Eye also appears in ancient Greek and Roman literature, as well as in Jewish, Islamic, and Christian cultures.

The Legend of the "Eye of Medusa"

Greek mythology provides another origin story for the Evil Eye. According to the legend, there was a witch named Medusa who had eyes that could turn anyone who looked at them into stone. People eventually defeated Medusa by pressing her under a pillar, digging out her eyes, and turning them into objects of various sizes to protect themselves from the Evil Eye. This legend is the source of the "blue eye" Amulets, which are still prevalent in Turkey and Greece.

The Evil Eye of Medusa

The Turkish Legend of the Miraculous Stone

The Stone Legend of Evil Eye

Turkish folklore tells the story of a massive rock that stood by the sea in a small village for many years. The rock was so large that it could not be moved or broken by the strength of a hundred men. One day, a man believed to be carrying evil spirits passed by the village and saw the stone. He was amazed and exclaimed, "Oh my God, such a big stone!" Immediately after he spoke, there was a loud boom, and the miraculous stone cracked and split in half. The villagers believed that the power of the Evil spirits and the boulder counteracted each other, and that the stone's function was fulfilled. This legend is believed by some to be the origin of the Evil Eye.

The Story of Rich Man's Jealous Eyes

The Story of Rich Man's Jealous Eyes

Another legend from Turkish folklore tells the story of a rich man who set his eyes on a fat cow that passed by his door. He said to his wife, "Today, I have not seen anything more wonderful than this fat cow." The cow that was stared at by the rich man fell to the ground and died. People called the rich man's eyes "jealous eyes" and believed that they had a huge "terrible power" that killed the cow. This legend reinforces the belief that the Evil Eye is a result of jealousy and envy.


The origins of the Evil Eye are rooted in ancient beliefs and legends from various cultures. From the Greek legend of Medusa to the Turkish legend of the miraculous stone, there are many different stories that attempt to explain the existence of the Evil Eye. Despite the differences in these stories, they all share the common theme that the Evil Eye is a result of envy, jealousy, and negative thoughts. Today, the belief in the Evil Eye still persists in many cultures and is often accompanied by protective Amulets.

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