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In "Greek mythology, the Hyades ("/ˈh.ədz/; "Ancient Greek: Ὑάδες, popularly "the rainy ones" from ὕω hyo "I fall as rain", but probably from ὗς hys "swine"[1]) are a sisterhood of "nymphs that bring rain.[2]



The Hyades were daughters of "Atlas (by either "Pleione or "Aethra, one of the "Oceanides) and sisters of "Hyas in most tellings, although one version gives their parents as Hyas and "Boeotia.[3][4][5] The Hyades are sisters to the "Pleiades and the "Hesperides.

The main myth concerning them is envisioned to account for their collective name and to provide an "etiology for their weepy raininess: Hyas was killed in a hunting accident and the Hyades wept from their grief.[3][6] They were changed into a "cluster of stars, the Hyades, set in the head of "Taurus.[7]

Their number varies from three in the earliest sources to fifteen in the late ones. The names are also variable, according to the mythographer, and include:[3][5][8][9]

"Servius[10] gives a set of five names that doesn't match any other known list: Pytho, Synecho, Baccho, Cardie, Niseis.

Additionally, "Thyone and Prodice were supposed to be daughters of Hyas by "Aethra, and have been added to the group of stars.

The Greeks believed that the "heliacal rising and setting of the Hyades star cluster were always attended with rain, hence the association of the Hyades (sisters of Hyas) and the Hyades (daughters of ocean) with the constellation of the Hyades (rainy ones).[5][11][12]

The Hyades are also thought to have been the tutors of "Dionysus, in some tellings of the latter's infancy,[3] and as such are equated with the "Nysiads, the nymphs who are also believed to have cared for Dionysus,[13] as well as with other reputed nurses of the god — the Lamides,[14] the Dodonides[5] and the nymphs of "Naxos.[15] Some sources relate that they were subject to aging, but Dionysus, to express his gratitude for having raised him, asked "Medea to restore their youth.[16][17][18]

In Tennyson's poem, Ulysses recalls his travels of old:

"I cannot rest from travel: I will drink - Life to the lees: All times I have enjoy'd - Greatly, have suffer'd greatly, both with those - That loved me, and alone, on shore, and when - Thro' scudding drifts the rainy Hyades - Vext the dim sea ..."


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary, s.v. "Hyades". Accessed 11 July 2013.
  2. ^ "HYADES - Star Nymphs of Greek Mythology". www.theoi.com. Retrieved 2017-02-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Hyginus, Fabulae, 192
  4. ^ "Ovid, "Fasti, 5. 169 ff
  5. ^ a b c d "Hyginus, Poetical Astronomy 2. 21
  6. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 248
  7. ^ "Taurus' face gleams with seven rays of fire, which Greek sailors call Hyades from their rain-word." ("Ovid, "Fasti, 5. 164). In Ancient Greek, "to rain" is hyein.
  8. ^ "Hesiod, Astronomy Fragment 2 (in Theon on "Aratus, Phaenomena, 254)
  9. ^ "Eustathius on "Homer's "Iliad 1156
  10. ^ "Servius on "Virgil's "Georgics, 1. 138
  11. ^ "Hesiod, Works and Days 609 ff
  12. ^ "Cicero, "De Natura Deorum 2. 43. 111; he also points out that the Romans wrongly refer to the Hyades as Suculae (Piglets), as though the name Hyades was derived from hys "sow", while it actually derives from hyein "to rain"
  13. ^ Pseudo-"Apollodorus, "Bibliotheca 3. 4. 3
  14. ^ "Nonnus, "Dionysiaca, 9. 28 ff; in 14. 143, the identification is explicit
  15. ^ "Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5.52.1; the Naxian nymphs were named Philia, Coronis and Cleide
  16. ^ "Ovid, "Metamorphoses 7. 294
  17. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 182
  18. ^ "Suidas s. v. απεψησάμην


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