Nymphs

Nymphs

In Greek mythology, nymphs are minor female nature deities; different from goddesses, they are usually considered to be personifications of nature. They are usually depicted as beautiful maidens who lived much longer than humans; they were typically tied to a specific natural entity.

The statue of a sleeping nymph in a grotto at Stourhead gardens, England. (source : Wikipedia).

Alseids

Alseids were the nymphs of glens and groves.

Auloniads

Auloniads were the nymphs of mountain pastures and vales; they were often found in the company of the god Pan.

Anthousai

The Anthousai were the nymphs of flowers; they had hair that supposedly resembled hyacinth flowers.

Anigrides

The Anigrides were the nymphs of the river Anigrus; the river is now part of thermal springs in the Greek spa of Kaiafas.

Crinaeae

The Crinaeae were a type of water nymph (Naiad) associated with fountains or wells.

Dryads

Dryads were tree nymphs; although the term is now used for tree nymphs in general, dryads were specifically the nymphs of oak trees.

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Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan. (source : Wikipedia).

Daphnaie

Daphnaie were the nymphs of laurel trees; like other tree nymphs, they spend most of their time sleeping, only coming out to dance when the coast is clear.

Epimeliads

The Epimeliads are the nymphs of apple trees; the ancient Greek word for “apple” is also the word for “sheep”, so they are also the protectors of sheep and goats. Their hair is white, like undyed wool or apple blossoms.

Eleionomae

These were the nymphs of freshwater marshes and wetlands.

Hyades

Hyades were nymphs that brought rain; they are sisters to the Pleiades and the Hesperides.

Hesperides

The Hesperides were the nymphs of the golden light of sunsets and the evening. They were also called atlantides, since they were reputedly the daughters of the Titan Atlas.

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Garden of Hesperides by Edward Burne Jones, 1869-73. (source : Wikimedia commons).

Hamadryads

The Hamadryads were tree-dwelling nymphs; some sources say that a hamadryad means the tree itself, and a dryad is simply the spirit that dwells in that tree.

Pan and a hamadryad, mosaic found in Pompeii. (source : Wikimedia commons).

Heliades

The Heliades were the daughters of the sun-god Helios and the Oceanid nymph Clymene.

Ionides

The Ionides were a sisterhood of water nymphs; they lived in a sanctuary near a spring that flowed into the river Cytherus.

Limnades

The Limnads were a type of water nymph (Naiad) who lived in freshwater lakes.

Leimakids

Also known as Leimoniads, these were the nymphs of meadows.

Lampads

The Lampads were the nymphs of the Underworld; they were also companions of Hecate, the goddess of witchcraft and crossroads.

Maenads

The Maenads were the female followers of the god Dionysus.

Medea and other plays: Medea/ Hecabe/ Electra/ Heracles by Euripides/ Phillip Velacott (translator). 2004. © Penguin Publishing.

Meliae

Also known as Meliads, the Meliae were the nymphs of the ash tree.

Nysiads

Also known as Nysiades, these were Oceanid nymphs who dwelt at the mythical Mount Nysa; they were entrusted by Zeus with the care of the infant god Dionysus.

Naiads

The Naiads are freshwater nymphs; distinct from river gods, they presided over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks, and other freshwater bodies.

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Naiad by John William Waterhouse. (source : Wikimedia Commons).

Nereids

The Nereids are the nymphs of the sea; they are the daughters of the old sea god Nereus and the Oceanid Doris.

Nereide a cavallo, Termopolio Regio V - Foto Luigi Spina
Mural at Thermopolium in Regio V, Pompeii. (source : pompeionline.net).

Napaeae

The Napaeae were nymphs that inhabited wooded valleys, glens, and grottoes.

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Napaea Goddesses and Nymphs. (source : Wikimedia commons).

Oreads

The Oreads were mountain nymphs; their groups were named according to which mountains they inhabited.

Oread by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. (source : Wikimedia commons).

Oceanids

Different from other nymphs in that they are not specifically categorized, the Oceanids were daughters of the Titan Oceanus and the sea goddess Tethys.

Oceanids by Gustave Doré, 1869. (source : Pinterest).

Pleiades

The Pleiades were nymphs associated with rain. The daughters of the Titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione, and the sisters of the Hyades and the Hesperides.

The Pleiades by Eligu Vedder. (source : Wikimedia Commons).

Pegaeae

The Pegaeae were a type of Naiad that lived in springs; they were often considered great aunts of the river gods.

Potamides

The Potamides were a class of water nymphs (Naiads), and were part of a group that presided over rivers and streams.

Potamides by Henrietta Rae, 1909. (source : Pinterest).

Thriae

These were a trio of water nymphs (Naiads) of the sacred springs of the Corycian Cave of Mount Parnassus; they were also the patrons of bees.

Βee goddesses, perhaps one of the Thriae, found at Camiros, Rhodes, dated to 7th century BCE (British Museum). (source : Wikimedia commons).

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