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

In Greek mythology, the Nereids (play /ˈnɪəriɪdz/ neer-ee-idz; Ancient Greek: Νηρηΐδες) are sea nymphs, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris, sisters to Nerites. They often accompany Poseidon and can be friendly and helpful to sailors fighting perilous storms. They are particularly associated with the Aegean Sea, where they dwelt with their father in the depths within a silvery cave. The most notable of them are Thetis, wife of Peleus and mother of Achilles; Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon; and Galatea, love of the Cyclops Polyphemus.

In Iliad XVIII, when Thetis cries out in sympathy for the grief of Achilles for the slain Patroclus,

There gathered round her every goddess, every Nereid that was in the deep salt sea. Glauce was there and Thaleia and Cymodoce; Nesaea, Speio, Thoe and ox-eyed Halie; Cymothoe, Actaee and Limnoreia; Melite, Iaera, Amphithoe and Agaue; Doto, Proto, Pherusa and Dynamene; Dexamene, Amphinome and Callianeira; Doris, Panope and far-sung Galatea; Nemertes, Apseudes and Callianassa. Clymene came too, with Ianeira, Ianassa, Maera, Oreithuia, Amatheia of the lovely locks, and other Nereids of the salt sea depths. The silvery cave was full of nymphs.
(E.V. Rieu, translator)

The Nereids are the namesake of one of the moons of the planet Neptune.

The nymph Opis is mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid. She is called on by the goddess Diana to avenge the death of the Amazon-like female warrior Camilla. Diana gives Opis magical weapons with which to take revenge on Camilla's killer, the Etruscan Arruns. Opis sees and laments Camilla's death and shoots Arruns in revenge as directed by Diana. This information is from 'Virgil, his life and times' by Peter Levi, Duckworth, 1998.

Names of the Nereids

Greek deities
Primordial deities
Titans and Olympians
Chthonic deities
Personified concepts
Other deities
Aquatic deities

This list is correlated from four sources: Apollodorus, Hesiod, Homer, and Hyginus. Because of this the total number of names goes beyond fifty.[1]

  1. Actaea
  2. Agave
  3. Amathia
  4. Amphinome
  5. Amphithoe
  6. Amphitrite
  7. Apseudes
  8. Arethusa
  9. Asia
  10. Autonoe
  11. Beroe
  12. Callianassa
  13. Callianira
  14. Calypso
  15. Ceto
  16. Clio
  17. Clymene
  18. Cranto
  19. Creneis
  20. Cydippe
  21. Cymo
  22. Cymatolege
  23. Cymodoce
  24. Cymothoe
  25. Deiopea
  26. Dero
  27. Dexamene
  28. Dione
  29. Doris
  30. Doto
  31. Drymo
  32. Dynamene
  33. Eione
  34. Ephyra
  35. Erato
  36. Eucrante
  37. Eudore
  38. Eulimene
  39. Eumolpe
  40. Eunice
  41. Eupompe
  42. Eurydice
  43. Evagore
  44. Evarne
  45. Galene
  46. Galatea
  47. Glauce
  48. Glauconome
  49. Halie
  50. Halimede
  51. Hipponoe
  52. Hippothoe
  53. Iaera
  54. Ianassa
  55. Ianeira
  56. Ione
  57. Iphianassa
  58. Laomedeia
  59. Leiagore
  60. Leucothoe
  61. Ligea
  62. Limnoria
  63. Lycorias
  64. Lysianassa
  65. Maera
  66. Melite
  67. Menippe
  68. Nausithoe
  69. Neaera
  70. Nemertes
  71. Neomeris
  72. Nesaea
  73. Neso
  74. Opis
  75. Orithyia
  76. Panopea (Panope)
  77. Pasithea
  78. Pherusa
  79. Phyllodoce
  80. Plexaure
  81. Ploto
  82. Polynome
  83. Pontomedusa
  84. Pontoporeia
  85. Poulunoe
  86. Pronoe
  87. Proto
  88. Protomedeia
  89. Psamathe
  90. Sao
  91. Speio
  92. Thaleia
  93. Themisto
  94. Thetis
  95. Thoe
  96. Xantho
French Empire mantel clock (1822) depicting the nereid Galatea velificans

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


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nereid — Ne re*id, n.; pl. E. {Nereids}, L. {Nereides}. [L. Nereis, idis, Gr. Nhrei: s Nhrhi: s, Nhrhi: dos, a daughter of Nereus, a nymph of the sea, fr. Nhrey s Nereus, an ancient sea god; akin to nhro s wet, Skr. n[=a]ra water, cf. Gr. na ein to flow.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nereid — sea nymph, 1510s, from Gk. Nereis (gen. Nereidos), daughter of the ancient sea god Nereus, whose name is related to naros flowing, liquid, I flow (see NAIAD (Cf. naiad)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Nereid — ► NOUN Greek Mythology ▪ any of the sea nymphs, daughters of the old sea god Nereus …   English terms dictionary

  • Nereid — [nir′ē id] n. [L Nereis (gen. Nereidis) < Gr Nērēis (gen. Nērēidos) < Nēreus] Gr. Myth. any of the sea nymphs, the fifty daughters of Nereus …   English World dictionary

  • Nereid — Neptun II (Nereid) Nereid auf einer Aufnahme der Raumsonde Voyager 2 Zentralkörper Neptun Eigenschaften des …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • nereid — /near ee id/, n. 1. any elongate cylindrical worm of the polychaete family Nereididae, including clamworms. adj. 2. of or pertaining to the family Nereididae. [1830 40; < NL Nereididae family name; see NEREID, IDAE] * * * In Greek mythology, any… …   Universalium

  • Nereid — /near ee id/, n. 1. (sometimes l.c.) Class. Myth. any of the 50 daughters of Nereus; a sea nymph. 2. Astron. a moon of the planet Neptune. [ < L Nereid (s. of Nereis) < Gk, s. of Nereís. See NEREUS, ID1] * * * In Greek mythology, any of the… …   Universalium

  • nereid — noun Etymology: New Latin Nereidae, from Nereis, a genus, from Latin, Nereid Date: 1840 any of a family (Nereidae) of chiefly marine polychaete worms; especially any of a genus (Nereis) of usually large often greenish worms • nereid adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nereid — noun Etymology: Latin Nereid , Nereis, from Greek Nēreid , Nēreis, from Nēreus Nereus Date: 1606 any of the sea nymphs fathered by Nereus …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nereid — noun a) One of 50 sea nymphs who were attendants upon Poseidon (Neptune), and were represented as riding on sea horses, sometimes in human form and sometimes with the tail of a fish. b) A worm of the genus Nereid, having sharp retractable jaws… …   Wiktionary

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