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The "Nereid Monument. From "Xanthos (Lycia), modern-day "Antalya Province, Turkey. 390–380 BCE. Room 17, the "British Museum, London

In "Greek mythology, the Nereids ("/ˈnɪəriɪdz/ "NEER-ee-idz; "Greek: Νηρηΐδες Nereides, sg. Νηρηΐς Nereis) are sea "nymphs (female spirits of sea waters), the 50 daughters of "Nereus and "Doris, sisters to "Nerites.[1] They often accompany "Poseidon, the god of the sea, and can be friendly and helpful to sailors, like the "Argonauts in their search for the "Golden Fleece.[2]



Nereid riding a sea-bull (latter 2nd century BC)

Nereids are particularly associated with the "Aegean Sea, where they dwelt with their father Nereus in the depths within a golden palace.[1] The most notable of them are "Thetis, wife of "Peleus and mother of "Achilles; "Amphitrite, wife of "Poseidon; and "Galatea, the vain love interest of the "Cyclops "Polyphemus.

They symbolized everything that is beautiful and kind about the sea. Their melodious voices sang as they danced around their father. They are represented as very beautiful girls, crowned with branches of red coral and dressed in white silk robes trimmed with gold, but who went barefoot. They were part of Poseidon's entourage and carried his trident.

In Homer's "Iliad XVIII, when Thetis cries out in sympathy for the grief of "Achilles for the slain "Patroclus, her sisters appear. The Nereid Opis is mentioned in "Virgil's "Aeneid. She is called by the goddess "Diana to avenge the death of the "Amazon-like female warrior "Camilla. Diana gives Opis magical weapons for revenge on Camilla's killer, the Etruscan Arruns. Opis sees and laments Camilla's death and shoots Arruns in revenge as directed by Diana.[3]

Modern use[edit]

In modern Greek "folklore, the term "nereid" (νεράιδα, neráida) has come to be used for all "nymphs, "fairies, or mermaids, not merely nymphs of the sea.

"Nereid, a moon of the planet "Neptune, is named after the Nereids.


"French Empire mantel clock (1822) depicting the nereid Galatea "velificans

This list is correlated from four sources: "Homer's "Iliad,[4] "Hesiod's "Theogony,[5] the "Bibliotheca, and "Hyginus. Because of this, the total number of names goes beyond fifty.[2]


  1. ^ a b Atsma, Aaron J. "Nereides". Theoi Project Greek Mythology. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Virgil: His life and times by Peter Levi, Duckworth, 1998
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Homer, Iliad XVIII 39-51
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba Hesiod, Theogony 240-262
  5. ^ Apollodorus. Library, 1.2.7.

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