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Nereus in a frieze of the "Pergamon Altar (Berlin).

In "Greek mythology, Nereus ("/ˈnɪəriəs, ˈnɪərjuːs/; "Greek: Νηρεύς) was the eldest son of "Pontus (the "Sea) and "Gaia ("the Earth), who with "Doris fathered the "Nereids and "Nerites, with whom Nereus lived in the "Aegean Sea.[1]

Contents

Etymology[edit]

"R. S. P. Beekes suggests a "Pre-Greek origin.[2]

Mythology[edit]

In the "Iliad[3] the "Old Man of the Sea is the father of Nereids, though Nereus is not directly named. He was never more manifestly the Old Man of the Sea than when he was described, like "Proteus, as a "shapeshifter with the power of prophecy, who would aid heroes such as "Heracles[4] who managed to catch him even as he changed shapes. Nereus and "Proteus (the "first") seem to be two manifestations of the god of the sea who was supplanted by "Poseidon when "Zeus overthrew "Cronus.

The earliest poet to link Nereus with the "labours of Heracles was "Pherekydes, according to a "scholion on "Apollonius of Rhodes.[5]

During the course of the 5th century BC, Nereus was gradually replaced by "Triton, who does not appear in Homer, in the imagery of the struggle between Heracles and the sea-god who had to be restrained in order to deliver his information that was employed by the vase-painters, independent of any literary testimony.[6]

In a late appearance, according to a fragmentary "papyrus, "Alexander the Great paused at the Syrian seashore before the climacteric "battle of Issus (333 BC), and resorted to prayers, "calling on "Thetis, Nereus and the Nereids, nymphs of the sea, and invoking "Poseidon the sea-god, for whom he ordered a "four-horse chariot to be cast into the waves."[7]

Nereus was known for his truthfulness and virtue:

But Pontos, the great sea, was father of truthful Nereus who tells no lies, eldest of his sons. They call him the Old Gentleman because he is trustworthy, and gentle, and never forgetful of what is right, but the thoughts of his mind are mild and righteous.[8]

The Attic vase-painters showed the draped torso of Nereus issuing from a long coiling scaly fishlike tail.[9] Bearded Nereus generally wields a staff of authority. He was also shown in scenes depicting the flight of the Nereides as Peleus wrestled their sister Thetis.

In "Aelian's natural history, written in the early third century CE,[10] Nereus was also the father of a watery consort of "Aphrodite named "Nerites who was transformed into "a shellfish with a spiral shell, small in size but of surpassing beauty."

Nereus was father to "Thetis, one of the Nereids, who in turn was mother to the great Greek hero "Achilles, and "Amphitrite, who married "Poseidon.

In popular culture[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony 233-36, is unequivocal that Nereus is the "Old Man of the Sea (ἅλιος γέρων), whereas the "Odyssey refers the sobriquet to Nereus (xxiv.58) to "Proteus (iv.365, 387), and to "Phorkys (xiii.96, 345).
  2. ^ "R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, p. 1017.
  3. ^ Iliad i.358, 538, 556; xviii.141; xx.107; xxiv.562.
  4. ^ Or, as "Proteus, "Menelaus.
  5. ^ On Argonautica iv.1396f, noted by Ruth Glynn, "Herakles, Nereus and Triton: A Study of Iconography in Sixth Century Athens" American Journal of Archaeology 85.2 (April 1981, pp. 121–132) p 121f.
  6. ^ Glynn 1981:121–132.
  7. ^ Papyrus Oxyrrhincus "FGH 148, 44, col. 2; quoted by Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great (1973) 1986:168 and note. Thetis was the mother of Alexander's hero "Achilles.
  8. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 233
  9. ^ Theoi.com; Glynn 1981.
  10. ^ Aelian, On Animals 14.28
  11. ^ "The Abyss: Deepest Part of the Oceans No Longer Hidden"
  12. ^ "Remote-Controlled Research Sub Lost in Pacific"
  13. ^ Favre, Liliana (2003). El Lenguaje NEREUS. Reporte interno. Grupo de Tecnologías de Software, INTIA. UNCPBA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  14. ^ Nereus - EVElopedia

References[edit]

External links[edit]

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