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NYMPHS 100.00%
Inferior divinities of Nature who dwell in groves, forests and caves, beside springs, streams and rivers; in some cases too on lonely islands, like Calypso and Circe. The nymphs of the hills, the forests, the meadows and the springs (called in Homer daughters of Zeus, while Hesiod makes the nymphs of the hills and the forests together with the hills and the forests children of earth) appear as the benevolent spirits of these spots, and lead a life of liberty, sometimes weaving in grottoes, sometimes dancing and singing, sometimes hunting with Artemis or revelling with Dionysus. Besides these divinities it is especially Apollo, Hermes and Pan who are devoted to them and seek after their love; while the wanton satyrs are also continually lying in wait for them. They are well disposed towards mortals and ready to help them: they even wed with them. According to the various provinces of nature were distinguished various kinds of nymphs: nymphs of rivers and springs, the Naiads, to whom the Oceanids and Nereids are closely related; nymphs of the hills, Oreads; nymphs of the forests and trees, Dryads or Hamadryads; besides this they often received special names after certain places, hills, springs and grottoes. The Naiads, as the goddesses of the nourishing and fructifying water, were especially rich in favours, giving increase and fruitfulness to plants, herds and mortals. Hence they were also considered as the guardian goddesses of marriage, and the besprinkling of the bride with spring-water was one of the indispensable rites of the marriage ceremony. On the same principle, legendary lore represents them as nursing and bringing up the children of the gods, as for instance Zeus and Dionysus. Further, owing to the healing and inspiring power of many springs, they belong to the divinities of healing and prophesying, and can even drive men into a transport of prophetic and poetic inspiration. The Muses themselves are in their origin fountain-nymphs. Popular belief assigned to the nymphs in general an exceedingly long life, without actual immortality. The existence of Dryads, it was supposed, was closely bound up with the origin and decay of the tree in which they dwelt. They enjoyed divine honours from the earliest times, originally in the spots where they had power, at fountains, and in groves and grottoes. In later times shrines of their own, hence called Nymphoea, were built to them, even in cities. These eventually became very magnificent buildings, in which it was customary to celebrate marriages. Goats, lambs, milk, and oil were offered to them. Works of art represented them in the form of charming maidens, lightly clothed or naked, with flowers and garlands; the Naiads drawing water or carrying it in an urn.
NAIADS 100.00%
The Nymphs of rivers and springs. (See NYMPHS.)
NEREIDS 44.02%
The Nymphs of the sea, daughters of Nereus (q.v.) and Doris.
Son of Parthenopaeus and the Nymph Clymene, one of the Epigoni ( q.v.).
Son of Poseidon and the Nymph Thoosa; the one-eyed Cyclops, who held Odysseus prisoner in his cave and ate several of the companions, until the hero made him drunk and blinded him. Later legends made him the lover of the beautiful Nymph Galatea.
AEETES 37.49%
Son of Helios and the Ocean nymph Perseis, brother of Circe and Pasiphae, king of Aea, father of Medea and Absyrtus by the ocean nymph Idyia. (See ARGONAUTS and MEDEA.)
AEGINA 36.45%
a nymph, daughter of the rivergod Asopus, and, by Zeus, mother of Aeacus (q.v.).
Daughter of Icarius and the Nymph Periboea, the faithful wife of Odysseus (q.v.) and mother of Telemachus.
ECHO 32.05%
A Nymph, who by her chattering prevented Hera, from surprising her husband Zeus in the company of the Nymphs. Hera punished her by making it impossible for her either to speak first, or to be silent when any one else was speaking. She loved the beautiful Narcissus, but in vain, and pined away in grief till nothing remained of her but her voice.
DAPHNIS 31.71%
A hero of the Sicilian shepherds, son of Hermes and of a nymph. A beautiful child, he was exposed by his mother in a grove of bay trees, brought up by nymphs and Pan, and taught by Pan to play the shepherd's flute. He had plighted his troth to a nymph, but breaking his word, he was punished by her with blindness, or (according to another story) turned into a stone. According to another fable, Aphrodite inflicted upon him a hopeless and fatal passion for a woman, because he had despised the love of a girl whom she had wished him to wed. Hermes took him up to heaven and created a fountain at the spot where he was taken. At this fountain the Sicilians offered yearly sacrifices. Daphnis was regarded as the inventor of bucolic poetry, and his fate was a favourite subjecit with bucolic poets. [See Theocritus, Idyll i.]
DAPHNE 31.28%
A nymph, daughter of the Thessalian river-god Peneius, or according to another story, the Arcadian Ladon, was beloved both by Apollo and by Leucippus, the son of OEnomaus. The latter followed her in a woman's dress, but was discovered and killed by the nymphs at the instance of his rival. Pursued again by Apollo, the chaste maiden was, at her own entreaty, changed into a bay tree, the tree consecrated to Apollo.
PAN 27.10%
[from the same root as the Lat. pastor and panis]. Originally an Arcadian god of hills and woods, the protecting deity of flocks, herdsmen, and hunters; the son either of Hermes and a daughter of Dryops, or of Zeus and the Arcadian Nymph Callisto. The ancients represented him with a puck-nose and bearded, with shaggy hair, two horns, and goat's feet. They imagined him as wandering by day through hill and dale with the Nymphs, guarding the flocks, especially the goats, and chasing wild animals [Homeric Hymn, xix]. In the heat of noonday he sleeps, and is then very sensitive to any disturbance; therefore at this time no shepherd blows his pipe [Theocr. i 16]. In the evening, sitting in front of his grotto,he plays on the syrinx, or Pan's pipe, which he himself invented. He is even said to have formed it from the reed into which a Nymph named Syrinx was changed while fleeing from his love [Ovid,Met. i 705]. There are many other tales of his love adventures with the Nymphs. As he excites the sudden ("panic") terror which attacks the wanderer in forest solitudes, so he was also said to have caused the panic which put to flight the Persians at Marathon; and on this account a grotto in the Acropolis of Athens was dedicated to him, and he was honoured with an annual sacrifice and torch procession [Herod., vi 105]. As a spirit of the woodland, he is also a god of prophecy, and hence there were oracles of Pan Like the similar figures of Silenus and the Satyrs, he was brought into connexion with Dionysus, in whose train he proved himself useful on his Indian expedition by means of the terror he inspired. As one of the gods of nature, he was one of the companions of Cybele; and by reason of his amorousness, he is associated with Aphrodite. In later times, owing to a misinterpretation of his name (as though it stood for pan, "the universe"), he was made a symbol of the universe. His cult was chiefly confined to the country. He was either worshipped with the Nymphs in grottoes, or his image was set up under the trees, where his worshippers brought it simple offerings such as milk, honey, must, rams, or lambs. Mountains, caves, old oaks, and pine trees, and the tortoise, were sacred to him; his attributes are the syrinx, a shepherd's crook, a garland of pine leaves or a twig of the pine tree. The fancy of later times invented as his companions young Pans, or Panisci, a species of imps of the forest, who were fabled to torment mankind by all sorts of apparitions, nightmares, and evil dreams. The Romans identified Pan with the Italian Faunus (q.v.).
CALYPSO 26.63%
A nymph, the daughter of Atlas, who dwelt on the island of Ogygia, where she gave a friendly welcome to Odysseus, whom she kept with her for seven years. (See ODYSSEUS.)
PHOCUS 25.19%
Son of Aeacus and the Nymph Psamathe; slain by his half-brothers Telamon and Peleus, who were therefore sent into banishment by Aeacus.
LATINUS 24.79%
Son of Faunus and of the Nymph Marica (according to another story, of Hercules and Fauna, or of Odysseus and Circe). He was king of Latium, and father of Lavinia, the wife of Aeneas (q.v.).
CLYTIA 24.64%
In Greek mythology an ocean nymph, beloved by the Sun-god, who deserted her. She was changed into the heliotrope, a flower which is supposed always to turn its head in the direction of the sun's movement.
Son of Pelops and the Nymph Axioche, murdered by his step-brothers Atreus and Thyestes, who were consequently banished by Pelops.
a spring sacred to the Muses on Mount Helicon, near Thespiae in Bceotia, whose water imparted poetic inspiration. Also the nymph of the same, daughter of the river-god Permessus.
ARCAS 22.36%
Son of Zeus by the nymph Callisto, and ancestor of the Arcadians, who was translated to the sky by Zeus as Arcturus - Watcher of the Bear. (See CALLISTO.)
HYLAS 20.76%
Son of Theiodamas, king of the Dryopes, and of the Nymph Menodice. He was a favourite of Heracles, whom he accompanied on the Argonautic expedition. When Heracles disembarked upon the coast of Mysia to cut himself a fresh oar, Hylas followed him to draw water from a fountain, the Nymphs of which drew the beautiful youth down into the water. The Argonauts having gone on their way, Heracles, with his sister's son Polyphemus, remained behind to search for him. On failing to find him, he did not leave until he had taken hostages from the Mysians, and made them that they would produce the boy either dead or alive. After that the inhabitants of Cios (founded by Polyphemus and afterwards called Prusias) continually sought for Hylas, and sacrificed to him every year at the fountain, and thrice called him by name.
Type: Standard
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