The nymphs (Νύμφαι) were minor female deities or spirits, who inhabited the mountains, woods, waters and seas. Like the gods, some were literally forces of nature. They were indistinguishable from the element of nature.

There were quite few different types of nymphs. The oreads lived in the mountains, while the naïads (Ναϊάδες) were nymphs of the water, such as the spring and lake. The nymphs of the trees were called dryads (Δρυάδες), hamadryads (Ἁμαδρυάδες), alseids and meliae (Μελίαδες). The Nereïds (Νηρεΐδες) were sea-nymphs. The Oceanids don't have specific attributes.

Some nymphs were named after region or island, like Europa and Asia (Oceanids). There was an island was named after Aegina.

Sometimes the division between nymphs and goddesses blurred, such as the cases of the sea goddesses, like Oceanid Doris, or the Nereids Amphitrite and Thetis. These three were goddesses of the sea. Whereas the Oceanid Metis, goddess of wisdom, had nothing to do with the sea.

It should be noted that there are some difficulties in identifying some nymphs, whether they are Oceanids or Nereids. This really depended on the sources that you may read. Such as Amphitrite, who had being identified as Nereid in Hesiod's Theogony; whereas Apollodorus says that she was Oceanid in one passage, but in the other she was a Nereid. And there is the obscure goddess Dione, who appeared as Oceanid in Theogony, as a Titaness in Apollodorus' Library; she could even be a Nereid.

Nymphs were sometimes worshipped alongside with the gods or heroes in their temples or sanctuaries, though these cults of the nymphs were usually found in caves.

Nymphs were often attendants to goddesses, like Artemis, or to other nymphs, like Calypso who has attendants on her island. Artemis was often seen as the mistress or goddess of the nymphs, since many of them were hunting companions of the goddess. Some nymphs attended Apollo or Hermes looking after flocks of sheep, as shepherdesses.

The poets and writers often described the nymphs of great beauty. Because of their beauty, they often received unwanted attentions from gods and mortals. They often tried to preserve their virginity, like the goddess they followed, but often they are powerless to resist mighty gods, like Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo or Hermes. Some were willing, but in many cases, they were raped.

Often to escape from the unwanted advances, even from the powerful gods, they were transformed into springs, trees, or flowers.

Most nymphs have at least one divine parent, while only a few nymphs have mortal father and mother. Even more important is that many of the nymphs have become mothers of heroes and gods.

The term "nymph" had later meant young beautiful woman, or seductress. Even worse was the term "nymphomania", which was used to describe uncontrollable or excessive sexual desire in women; a woman who was insatiable.

 
Nereïds
Oceanids
Pleiades
Companions of the Goddess
Other Nymphs





The Nereïds (Nereids), or Νηρεΐδες, were sea nymphs, and were named after their father, Nereus. Their mother was the sea goddess Doris, who was an Oceanid. Below, is the list of Nereids found in Hesiod's Theogony:

  Ploto, Eucrante, Sao, Amphitrite, Eudora, Thetis, Galene, Glauce, Cymothoë, Speo, Thoë, Halie, Pasithea, Erato, Eunice, Melite, Eulimene, Agaue, Doto, Proto, Pherusa, Dynamene, Nisaea, Actaea, Protomedes, Doris (not to be confused with her mother), Panopea, Galatea, Hippothoë, Hipponoë, Cymodoce, Cymatolege, Cymo, Eïone Alimede, Glauconome, Pontoporea, Leagore, Euagore, Laomedea, Polynoë, Autonoë, Lysianassa, Euarne, Psamathe, Menippe, Neso, Eupompe, Themisto, Pronoë, Nemertes. (Hmmm... There are fifty-one names here!)


The Roman mythographer, Hyginus gives us some different names.

Only three of the Nereïds became goddesses of the sea: Thetis, Psamathe and Galatea. Some says that Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon, may have been a Nereïd, instead of an Oceanid.

The Nereids were not necessary peaceful and passive beings. Like the Olympian goddesses, they can be vengeful when angered. As it can be seen, when Cassiopeia had boasted that the beauty of her daughter Andromeda surpassed the Nereids. The Nereids demanded retribution, such as the sacrifice of her daughter Andromeda to the sea monster.

Thetis herself, had shown what her support and action can do, to determine the victory and defeat of the gods.

 
Thetis, see Minor Greek Deities, Thetis
Psamathe
Galatea
Dione, see Titans, Dione



Ψαμάθη
Psamathe
 

Sea goddess. Psamathe was the daughter of Nereus and Doris. She was the sister of the other Nereïds.

Psamathe was usually seen around her sister Thetis, because they were both linked to Aeacus and his son Peleus. Aeacus was her lover, and she became the mother of a son, named Phocus. Aeacus ruled on the island of Aegina.

Aeacus' other sons, Peleus and Telamon, were jealous of their half-brother's prowess in athletic contests, so they murdered her son Phocus. Though, Aeacus banished both of his sons for murder, Psamathe's enmity towards Peleus lasted for years.

Her persecution to Peleus instead of both Peleus and Telamon, suggested that Peleus was the real murderer of Phocus. Despite Telamon's claim to be innocent, Aeacus refused to listen to Telamon's plea, so Telamon stayed on a nearby island, Salamis.

While Peleus was living in Phthia, Psamathe would send wolves to ravage and kill Peleus' flocks of sheep. Eventually, Psamathe was reconciled with Peleus, because he would later marry Thetis. Psamathe turned the wolves to stone.

 
Related Information
Name
Psamathe, Psamatheïs, Ψαμάθη.

Related Articles
Nereus, Doris, Thetis, Aeacus, Peleus, Telamon.


A Nereid
Sculpture from Acrotera
Archaeological National Museum, Athens



Γαλάτεια
Galatea
 

A minor sea goddess. Galatea was the daughter of Nereus and Doris. She resided somewhere around Sicily.

Though, she has a loved named Acis, the Cyclops Polyphemus had constantly wooed her. Acis was the son of Faunus and the nymph Symaethis, while Polyphemus was the son of Poseidon. Acis was handsome, but the Cyclops was a hideous giant. So Galatea scornfully rejected the Cyclops' overtures.

One day, Polyphemus had found Galatea sleeping with in her lover's arms. In a jealous rage, Polyphemus tore off a large piece of rock from Mount Aetna and hurled at the pair. Galatea escaped, but Acis was crushed to death. Galatea mourned for her lover, transformed Acis into a river god. As to Polyphemus, Galatea's pity turned to hatred for the Cyclops.

As to Polyphemus, he would one day meet an Ithacan hero, Odysseus, who would take away his sight. See the Odyssey.

Galatea sometimes appeared in art as a shepherdess, instead of the goddess of the sea.

 
Related Information
Name
Galatea, Galathea, Γαλάτεια.

Sources
Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Related Articles
Nereus, Doris, Polyphemus, Odysseus.






The Oceanids were daughters of Oceanus and Tethys. There were three thousand daughters of the Titans. Oceanus also has equal number of sons, who were all river gods.

Though being an Oceanid, doesn't necessary mean that she was water deity. The Oceanids, unlike the Nereïds, had no special functions or roles. Some are both nymph and goddess. Only some of Oceanus' daughters have attributes of the water goddess, such as the sea or river.

The eldest daughter being Styx, and she was the only female river deity, in a world full of river gods. Others such as Doris and Amphitrite were clearly represented as goddesses of the sea. But figures, such as Metis, who was the goddess of wisdom, seemed to have no connection with water.

In the Theogony, Hesiod described them as the holy company, who with their brothers (river-gods) and Apollo, kept watch over the youths. Since there were 3000 daughters of Oceanus, they were dispersed far and wide, living in all part of the world; in the sea or on land.

Only a few other well-known Oceanids were goddesses in their own right. There was the Oceanids Doris and Amphitrite (possibly a Nereid), both being goddesses of the sea; and Metis was the goddess of intelligence and cunning.

The rest were more like nymphs than actual goddesses, such as Pleïone, mother of the Pleiades; and Clymene or Asia, mother of Prometheus.

Some of the Oceanids were seduced by the gods or married to mortals, bearing sons who were heroes or princes.

Here, are the list of names found in Hesiod' Theogony:

  Peitho, Admete, Ianthe, Electra, Doris, Prymno, Urania, Hippo, Clymene, Rhodea, Callirrhoë, Zeuxo, Clytie, Idyia, Pasothoë, Plexaura, Galaxaura, Dione, Melobosis, Thoë, Polydora, Cerceïs, Pluto, Perseïs, Ianeira, Acaste, Xanthe, Petraea, Menestho, Europa, Metis, Eurynome, Telesto, Chryseis, Asia, Calypso, Eudora, Tyche, Amphirho, Ocyrrhoë, Styx.

There are only 41 names listed here, and Hesiod say there are more. I wouldn't think of trying to name 3000 Oceanids. I would also include Pleïone and Cyllene to this list, as well as Philyra, mother of the Centaur Cheiron. The Roman mythographer, Hyginus gives us some different names.

Please noted that some of the more important Oceanids have already listed elsewhere.


 
Styx, see House of Hades, Styx
Doris, see Minor Greek Deities, Doris
Metis, see Minor Greek Deities, Metis
Dione, see Titans, Dione
Pleïone
Perse (Perseis)
Eurynome
Other Oceanids



Πληιόνη
Pleïone
 

Pleïone (Πληιόνη) was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. She was married to Atlas, and became the mother of seven daughters, who were known as the Pleiades. Apart from being the mother to the Pleiades, not much is known about Pleiades.

Her daughters were named Electra, Taÿgete (Taygete), Maia, Celaeno, Alcyone, Asterope (Sterope) and Merope.

Some says that Pleïone was also the mother of a son named Hyas, and another group of five daughters known as the Hyades. Though, others say their mother was Aethra, who was Pleïone's sister.

 
Related Information
Related Articles
Oceanus, Tethys, Atlas, Electra, Taÿgete, Maia, Merope.



Πέρση (Περσηίς)
Perse (Perseis)
 

Perse or Perseis was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. Perse was married to the sun god Helius or Helios (Sol), where she several children – Aeetes, Perses, Circe, Pasiphae.

Perse was the goddess of magic and witchcraft, and her children were all gifted in sorcery, including her granddaughter, Medea.

 
Related Information
Name
Perse, Perseis, Πέρση, Περσηίς.

Sources
The Odyssey was written by Homer.

Theogony was written by Hesiod.

Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Oceanus, Tethys, Helios, Aeetes, Circe, Pasiphae, Medea.



Εὐρυνόμη
Eurynome
 

Eurynome (Εὐρυνόμη) was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys; she was one of the 3000 Oceanids.

By Zeus, Eurynome was the mother of the Graces, and possibly of Asopus, the river god in Sicyon. Though, Asopus was usually referred to as her brother, therefore he was a son of Oceanus and Tethys.

According to Apollonius of Rhodes, he wrote in the Argonautica that Eurynome was the first being to come out of existence from either Chaos or Ocean (Oceanus), perhaps created herself. Apollonius' Eurynome may not be the same as the nymph Eurynome, though Apollonius does say that she was the daughter of Ocean (Oceanus), but this Oceanus was primeval water, not a Titan or a god. Apollonius' Oceanus was more like Hesiod's Chaos.

She was the Creator Goddess of the universe, and the first to rule Olympus with Ophion, before the Titans, Cronus and Rhea, deposed them.

See Eurynome in Ancient Deities page and Eurynome and Ophion in the Creation page.

 
Related Information
Name
Eurynome, Εὐρυνόμη – "Wide-Wandering".

Sources
Theogony was written by Hesiod.

Library was written by Apollodorus.

Description of Greece was written by Pausanias.

Argonautica was written by Apollonius of Rhodes.

Related Articles
See also Ancient Deities, Eurynome.

Oceanus, Tethys, Ophion, Cronus, Rhea, Zeus, Graces.

Creation, Eurynome and Ophion.



Other Oceanids
 

There are other Oceanids, other than the ones I have already listed above.

Below is the list of some other Oceanids, who have no myth of their own, except them being linked to their husbands and children.


Oceanid Husband or Lover Children
Electra Thaumas (Titan) Iris and the Harpies.
Clymene (or Asia) Iapetus (Titan)
Helios
Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus, Menoetius.
Merops, Phaethon, the Heliades.
Aethra Atlas (Titan) Hyas, and the Hyades (5 daughters), possibly the Pleiades.
Callirhoe Chrysaor Geryon.
   






The Pleiades (Πλειάδες) were the seven daughters of Atlas and the Oceanid Pleïone (Pleione). Though, Hyginus says in the Fabulae that Atlas and Pleïone originally had twelve daughters and a son named Hyas, and five of their daughters had died grieving for their brother, killed by either a lion or wild boar (see Hyades).

They don't seem to have any special roles as nymphs, except who they mated with and who their children were. Each one of the Pleiades was wooed by god, giant or mortal. The giant hunter, Orion tried to capture and ravish them all. See Orion and the Pleiades, and Orion in Mythical Creatures, about their connection with the hunter.

 
Electra
Maia
Taygete
Merope
Alcyone, Celaeno and Asterope



Orion and the Pleiades
 

The most famous story about the Pleiades was when Orion, the giant hunter pursued them.

Hyginus say that the Pleiades were travelling with their mother, Pleïone, through Boeotia, when they encountered Orion. Lusting after the seven sisters, Orion tried to capture and ravish them. They fled from Orion, running and hiding for seven years.

They were almost captured, when the gods taking pity on them, Zeus transported them to the sky as the stars – the Pleiades. However, they did not escape from pursuit for long. Orion was also immortalised and placed up in the sky as a constellation when he died. The constellation Orion can be seen still chasing the Pleiades across the night sky.

The Pleiades is actually an open cluster of stars in the region of the constellation of Taurus. It was said that only six of the seven stars could be seen with the naked eye, unless you are very sharp-sighted. They say that the star that is invisible is Merope, because she was the only one to have a mortal as her lover. Her husband was Sisyphus, the king of Corinth, the shrewdest and most cunning mortal. The faintness of the star Merope is because she was embarrassed by her marriage to a mortal. Though, Hyginus also suggested that this star was possibly Electra, who mourned when her son Dardanus died, hiding her face.

See Facts and Figures on Astronomy for more detail about the star cluster.

Below, are articles on individual Pleiads.

 
Related Information
Name
Pleiades, Πλειάδες – "Daughters of Pleïone".

Sources
Astronomy was possibly written by Hesiod.

The Iliad and the Odyssey were written by Homer.

Fabulae and the Poetica Astronomica were written by Hyginus.

Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Atlas, Pleïone, Orion, Sisyphus.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellation of the Taurus.

Genealogy: The Pleiades.



Ἠλέκτρη
Electra
 

One of the Pleiades; a daughter of Atlas and Pleïone.

Zeus lusted after Electra and spirited her to Olympus. Electra had tried to prevent Zeus from raping her, by running away and hiding behind the Palladium, a wooden image of Pallas, Athena's childhood friend. Zeus, in anger, flung the Palladium from heaven, and then he raped Electra on the island of Samothrace.

Electra became the mother of Dardanus, founder of the Trojan dynasty, and Iasion. According to most writers, Iasion was the lover of the goddess Demeter, who taught him farming and agriculture, and they had a son named Plutus. Apollodorus, on the other hand, say that Iasion tried to rape Demeter, so he was struck down by the thunderbolt. Grieving for his brother Dardanus left Samothrace and migrated to the east, before settling around Mount Ida.

Either her son Dardanus or Ilus (her great, great grandson) would later find the Palladium. The Palladium was an object that protected Troy from being capture. Troy's fall was imminent in the Trojan War, when Odysseus and Diomedes stole the Palladium. (Though, Heracles had captured Troy a generation earlier, without the need to steal the Palladium.)

It was said that when the Pleiades were placed among the stars, her star was the dimmest because she hid her face, mourning for her son Dardanus, when he died.

 
Related Information
Name
Electra, Elektra, Ἠλέκτρη.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Poetica Astronomica was written by Hyginus.

Related Articles
Atlas, Pleïone, Dardanus, Ilus.

House of Troy.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellation of the Pleiades.

Genealogy: House of Troy.



Τηυγέτη
Taÿgete
 

One of the Pleiades; a daughter of Atlas and Pleïone.

Taÿgete sought the protection from the goddess Artemis. Artemis tried to hide Taÿgete by turning her into a doe with golden horns, but Zeus wasn't fooled by the disguise. Zeus ravished her while he was in the form of stag.

Taÿgete was the mother of Lacedaemon, the founder and king of Sparta. In honour of his mother, Lacedaemon named the mountain near Sparta as Mount Taÿgetus. She also had a daughter named Eurydice, who had married Acrisius, king of Argos. Eurydice was the mother of Danaë and grandmother of the hero Perseus.

It was said that Taÿgete in appreciation for Artemis' help, offered the hind to the goddess. This hind was the Cerynitian Hind, which Heracles hunted in his third labour.

According to the Olympian Ode III, Pindar say that the doe with the golden horn was actually the Cerynitian Hind. Heracles had followed the track of the doe all the way to the north in the land of the Hyperboreans, where he found a grove of olive trees. Heracles like the trees so much that he brought the trees back to Greece and planted it around the race track at Olympia.

 
Related Information
Name
Taÿgete, Taygete, Taygeta, Τηυγέτη.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Olympian Odes III was written by Pindar.

Related Articles
Atlas, Pleïone, Zeus, Lacedaemon, Sparta, Acrisius, Artemis.

House of Sparta.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellation of the Pleiades.

Genealogy: House of Sparta.



Μαἳα
Maia
 

One of the Pleiades; a daughter of Atlas and Pleïone.

Of the seven sisters, the most famous was Maia, because she was the mother of the god Hermes (Mercury). Maia seemed to be the only lover of Zeus who was never persecuted by Zeus' jealous wife, Hera.

Most of the myth about Maia is found in the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, which detailed about the birth of Hermes, and her son's adventure of the first two days of life as a baby. These adventures included the invention of the lyre, using a tortoise's shell and guts as strings, the cunning theft of Apollo's cattle, gaining several gifts from Apollo in exchange for the lyre.

When Apollo discovered Hermes had robbed him of some cattle, Maia did not believe her own son's innocence, any more than Apollo or his father Zeus.

Maia was widely honoured in Greece and Rome as a goddess, where the Romans had dedicated month of May to her. Maia was frequently worshipped together with her son Mercury (Hermes), and her festival was together with him on May 15.

 
Related Information
Name
Maia, Μαἳα.

Sources
Homeric Hymns to Hermes.

Theogony was written by Hesiod.

Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Atlas, Pleïone, Zeus, Hermes, Apollo.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellation of the Pleiades.


Maia
Musée du Château d'Annecy, France



Μερόπη
Merope
 

One of the Pleiades; a daughter of Atlas and Pleïone.

Of all the Pleiades, only Merope had a mortal husband or lover, Sisyphus, king of Corinth. Merope was the mother of Glaucus, Ornytion, Thersander and Almus.

On her husband's instruction, Merope did not perform the proper funeral rites for him at his death. Hades had no choice but to send to the surface of the livings, on the condition that he returned after making proper arrangement of the customary rites. Of course, Sisyphus did no such things. Sisyphus did not return to the Underworld, until he died of old age.

When the Pleiades were in the night sky as stars, Merope was the faintest star, Hyginus saying that she blushed, because she had married a mortal. Each of her other sisters had an affair with the gods.

 
Related Information
Name
Merope, Μερόπη.

Related Articles
Atlas, Pleïone, Zeus, Sisyphus, Glaucus, Orion.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellation of the Pleiades.

Genealogy: The Aeolids.



Alcyone, Celaeno and Asterope
 

The other Pleiades seduction by Poseidon and Ares was less interesting.




Poseidon had seduced Alcyone (Ἀλκυόνη) became the mother of Hyreis, Hyperenor and Aethusa.




Celaeno (Κελαινώ) had Poseidon as her lover as well, and became the mother of Nycteus and Lycus. They became regents and rulers of Thebes.




Ares had seduced Asterope or Sterope (Στερόπη), where she became the mother of Oenomaüs, who became king of Pisa and father of Hippodameia. Oenomaüs died in the chariot race against one of his daughter's suitor, Pelops.

 
Related Information
Name
Alcyone, Ἀλκυόνη.

Celaeno, Κελαινώ.

Asterope, Sterope, Στερόπη.

Sources
Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Atlas, Pleïone, Poseidon, Ares, Nycteus, Lycus, Pelops.

Facts and Figures: Astronomy, see the constellation of the Pleiades.






One of the favourite pastimes of many nymphs was hunting. These nymphs often became hunting companions of the goddess Artemis.

Artemis was the goddess of hunting and the chase. She was a powerful goddess of the forest and Lady of Wild Beasts. Because the number of nymphs who followed Artemis, she was sometimes referred to as the goddess of the nymphs, since she was their leader in the hunt.

Many nymphs tried to emulate their goddess, not only through hunting, but they tried to remain as virgins. This was frequently not possible, because powerful gods (eg. Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, etc) and mortal men (eg. Minos) often tried to seduce or ravish them. They were sought after, because of their beauties. However, few do manage to escape from amorous gods or heroes, thereby preserving their chastity.

 
Callisto, see Wrath of Heaven
Britomartis (Dictynna), see Mother Goddesses, Britomartis
Daphne
Syrinx

Dianna and the Nymphs
Giambattista Pittoni
Oil on canvas, 1725
Museo Civico - Pinacoteca di Palazzo Chiericati




Δάφνη
Daphne
 

Daphne was nymph and follower of the huntress-goddess Artemis (Diana). Depending on the two versions of myth, Daphne was either the daughter of the river-god in Thessaly, Peneius or Peneus, or she was daughter of the river-god in Elis, named Ladon. She was loved by the god Apollo.

There are two versions to the myth of Daphne. One version told by Pausanias was different than the one told by Roman authors, Ovid and Hyginus.


According to Pausanias, Leucippus was the son of King Oenomaus of Elis, where the young prince fell in love with the huntress, who often hunt with her companions on the Ladon River. But Daphne was not interested in any men. So Leucippus resorted to trickery to be close to Daphne. Since Leucippus had long hair, he disguised himself as another young huntress, by wearing a girl dress, and called himself as Oeno. Oeno was actually the name of his sister.

Oeno (Leucippus) and Daphne became great friends and companions in the frequent hunts. Leucippus-Oeno was an excellent hunter.

But one day, Daphne and all her companions decided to take a bath. It was said that Apollo was also in love with Daphne, so the jealous god had caused Daphne and her other companions to have a strong desire to bathe in the river.

Leucippus was reluctant to strip in front of them, which would expose his disguise, so Daphne and her companions playfully stripped him of his clothes. Upon their discovery that Leucippus was impersonating a girl, they angrily seized their spears and killed Leucippus.


The second version is best told by the Roman poet, Ovid, in his Metamorphoses. Hyginus' Fabulae lacked detail and it is rather short. Ovid's version is the best-remembered myth.

Here, the myth is set in Thessaly. Apollo ridicule Cupid (Eros) that archery should be best left to him. Indignant at Apollo's words, Cupid used one of his arrows on the sun-god, and made Apollo to fall in love with Artemis' hunting companion, Daphne.

Daphne was known throughout Thessaly for her beauty, but she had already turned away many suitors. Her father Peneius had reluctantly given her his boon that she doesn't have to marry anyone. Daphne had either wanted to remain a virgin, because she was a follower of Artemis, or Cupid used his lead-tipped arrow, to make reject any men's proposals.

Either way, Apollo pursued Daphne, who tried to flee from him. Ovid says that Daphne was the first maiden that Apollo had fallen in love with. His sweet words and pleads were ignored. She knew that if Apollo couldn't win her hand in marriage, the god would then take it by force.

As swift a runner Daphne was, she realised that she could not hope to avoid capture, because Apollo no mortal was swifter than him and she knew that she would be tired soon. So Daphne prayed to her father, imploring to save her modesty from her pursuer.

Peneius heard her cry for help, transformed his daughter into a laurel or bay tree. Apollo arrived too late, and was sorrowful that she could not be his bride. Apollo however decided that the laurel trees would be sacred to him. The wreath of laurel leaves would be worn on the head as a crown to the victors of Pythian Games and the crown of the Roman emperors.

 
Related Information
Name
Daphne, Δάφνη – "Laurel" or "sweet-bay tree".

Sources
Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Fabulae was written by Hyginus.

Description of Greece was written by Pausanias.

Love Stories (or Erotica Pathemata) was written by Parthenius.

Related Articles
Apollo, Artemis (Diana), Cupid (Eros).



Σύριγξ
Syrinx
 

Syrinx was the nymph and huntress from Arcadia. Like other nymphs who enjoyed hunting, Syrinx was a companion of Diana (Artemis); and like her goddess, she wished to remain a virgin.

Her wish could not be kept, especially when the shepherd-god Pan lusted after her. Syrinx fled from Pan, hoping to escape. When she reached the Ladon River that flow through Arcadia, she couldn't cross and was trapped. Syrinx prayed to the river-god to save her from Pan.

Ladon answered her prayer, by transforming her into marsh reeds. Pan arrived only to find that Syrinx had escaped. Pan created a wind-instrument - reed-pipes, called syrinx, by breaking half-dozen reeds in various lengths and bounded the reeds together, by using wax.

Pan had used this syrinx to challenge Apollo in a music contest. Two judges awarded Apollo, except Midas, who thought Pan's instrument sounded better. Apollo punished Midas, but I guess you should read about to Midas in order to find out about his punishment in Wrath of Heaven.

 
Related Information
Name
Syrinx, Σύριγξ.

Sources
Metamorphoses was written by Ovid.

Related Articles
Pan, Apollo, Diana (Artemis), Midas.






There are some nymphs that don't fall in all of the above categories or groups, so I have some articles here.

 
Hesperides
Hyades
Calypso
Echo, see Narcissus and Echo
Salmacis, see Hermaphroditus



Ἑσπερίδες
Hesperides
 

The Hesperides were nymphs who cared for and guarded the grove of trees that grow golden apples in the garden of Hesperides. The name means "Daughter of the Evening Star".

There is some confusion over the numbers of nymphs. Some say there were three or four, but most say there were seven. Their names were given as - Aegle (Aigle), Arethusa (Arethousa), Erytheia, Hespere (Hespera), Hespereia, Hesperusa and Hestia. In the Library, Apollodorus had named only four nymphs – Aigle, Erytheia, Hesperia and Arethusa.

There was also some confusion over their parentage. Their parents were said to be of Erebus and Nyx, or of Phorcys and Ceto, or of Zeus and Themis. The most likely and popular version, says that Atlas and Hesperis were their parents.

The grove was located near Mount Atlas or at Lake Tritonis. Nearby the garden, is said to the place where Atlas was said to hold the weight of heaven on his shoulder. The grove was the wedding present of Gaea to her granddaughter Hera. So the grove was sacred to Hera. A dragon, called Ladon protected the grove.


It was said that the hero Perseus went through the garden of Hesperides, possibly meeting Atlas. Taking pity on the Titan, Perseus turned Atlas into stone, using Medusa's head. Atlas became great mountain range in modern day Morocco.

However, Heracles, who was a descendent of Perseus, also came to the garden to fetch some of the golden apples, as part of the labour he needed to perform for Eurystheus. According to this version, Heracles duped Atlas into fetching the apples for him. Before he left he kicked a nearby rock which caused spring water to gush from the dry ground. The Hesperides described Heracles as an ill-tempered brute.

This was a fortunate event, because the Argonauts arrived a few days later. They were stranded in the desert with their beached ship. The Argonauts would have died from lack of water. Taking pity on Argonauts, the Hesperides led them to the new spring that Heracles had created through his bad temper and mighty kick.

 
Related Information
Name
Hesperides, Ἑσπερίδες – "Daughters of the Evening Star".

Related Articles
Atlas, Gaea, Hera, Zeus, Perseus, Heracles.

Argonauts. Ladon.


Garden of Hesperides
Sir Edward Burne-Jones Oil on canvas, 1870-3
Private collection



Ὑάδες
Hyades
 

The Hyades were sisters of Hyas and to the Pleiades. According to Hyginus in his work Fabulae, Atlas and Pleïone originally had 12 daughters and a son named Hyas (though, in Poetica Astronomica, Hyginus contradict himself, saying that there were 15 daughters). Seven daughters became the Pleiades, but five of them were known as the Hyades. Or else they were daughters of Atlas and the Oceanid Aethra, which make them half-sisters of the Pleiades. While still other says that the Hyades were daughters of Oceanus and Tethys.

Hyginus had named the Hyas' sisters as – Phaesyla, Ambrosia, Coronis, Eudora and Polyxo. In Poetica Astronomica, a poem attributed to Hesiod, their names were Phaesyle, Coronis, Cleeia, Phaeo and Eudora.

Hyginus say that when their brother Hyas was gorged to death, by wild boar or killed by a lion (in the Poetica Astronomica, Hyginus says that Hyas was killed in lion hunt), five of his sisters died grieving for him. It was said that their weeping brought rain from the sky.

The gods taking pity on them immortalised them, placing them in the night sky, as cluster of stars, called Hyades. The Hyades were not far from the star cluster Pleiades, both located within Taurus constellation.

 
Related Information
Name
Hyades, Ὑάδες ("Rainers") – sisters of Hyas.
Suculae (Roman).

Sources
Fabulae and Poetica Astronomica were written by Hyginus.

Poetica Astronomica was a poem attributed to Hesiod.

The Iliad was written by Homer.

Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Atlas, Pleïone, the Pleiades.



Καλυψώ
Calypso
 

A nymph or a minor goddess. Calypso was the daughter of Atlas. She lived on an island called, Ogygia. Her only companions and attendants were nymphs.

In the Odyssey, the hero Odysseus found himself shipwrecked at the narrow strait between the monster Scylla and the whirlpool. Odysseus managed to swim safely to the island of Ogygia. Calypso fell in love with Odysseus. Though, he stayed on the island for seven years and he was her lover, he rejected her offer to accept immortality and lived with her as her husband.

When Hermes arrived and told her she must aid Odysseus to return home, she was reluctant, but bowed down to Zeus' will, when she was threatened. Calypso couldn't persuade Odysseus to stay with her. Calypso gave her lover, the tools he needed to build a raft. She gave him plenty of supply, when he left. But Poseidon would destroy his raft later, before he managed to swim to the island of the Phaeacians.

By Odysseus, Calypso became the mother of two sons, Nausithoüs and Nausinoüs. According to Telegony, Calypso was also the mother of Telegonus or Teledamus, but Circe is usually to be Telegonus' mother.

According to Theogony, Hesiod had listed Calypso as an Oceanid, unless this nymph was another person. Other than the name, there is no connection between Hesiod's Oceanid and Homer's Calypso.

 
Related Information
Name
Calypso, Καλυψώ.

Sources
Odyssey was written by Homer.

Theogony was written by Hesiod.

Library was written by Apollodorus.

Related Articles
Atlas, Odysseus, Hermes, Zeus.

Odyssey.









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