Nereids Sea Nymphs

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Ancient Greek Goddesses for Kids - The Nereids Sea Nymphs
Ancient Greek Goddesses and Nymphs - The Nereids Sea Nymphs

Discover fascinating information about the beautiful, supernatural sea nymphs referred to as Nereids who were believed by the ancient Greeks to inhabit the oceans and featured in the legends and mythology of Ancient Greece. Nereids were minor goddesses of nature, specifically the sea and oceans. The Nereids were seen as helpful sea nymphs who would help mariners who needed their help and were attendants and members of the retinue of Poseidon. This article provides facts, pictures and information about the benign Nereids sea nymphs. Additional interesting facts and information about the mythology of individual Greek goddesses and nymphs can be accessed via the following links:

Gods and Deities


Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses



Definition of the Nereids Sea Nymphs
Who were the Nereids of Ancient Greek mythology? The meaning and definition of Nereids are as follows: Definition of Nereids: The Nereids were 50 minor goddesses and sea nymphs, the daughters of the sea god Nereus and of Doris, the daughter of Oceanus. The Nereids were attendants of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. They were often represented in art as riding on riding on the back of dolphins or the Hippocamps (the horses of the sea), sometimes in a human form and occasionally depicted with the tail of a fish. These mythical aquatic sisters were the patrons of sailors and fishermen, who came to the aid of men in distress. Like all nymphs the Nereids sea nymphs had the gift of prophecy and divination.

Painting of Nereides by Gaston Bussieres

Painting of Nereids Sea Nymphs by Gaston Bussieres

The Family of the Nereids Sea Nymphs
The Nereids were the nymphs of the sea who had in their care the rich bounty of the sea. The Nereids were the daughters of Nereus, the god of the Mediterranean Sea aka 'the old man of the sea' and his wife Doris. Doris was an Oceanide, a sea nymph and the daughter of the Titan gods Oceanus and Tethys. A sea nymph called Thetis was the unofficial leader of the Nereids and the mother of Achilles, a hero of the Trojan War. Another Nereid called Amphitrite became the the wife of Poseidon.

Water NymphsOld Man of the Sea

Picture of Nereids

Picture of Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea

The Story of Andromeda and the Nereids
The Nereids were reputed to be the most beautiful and beguiling of the sea nymphs. However they were vain and could be highly dangerous when annoyed. According to ancient Greek mythology Queen Cassiopeia, proud of her beauty, dared to compare herself to the Nereids which roused their indignation to such a degree that they sent a terrible sea-monster to ravage the coast. To appease the deities, King Cepheus was ordered to chain his daughter to a rock and expose his daughter Andromeda to be devoured by the monster in compensatory sacrifice. Refer to the Legend of Perseus & Medusa

Andromeda chained to the rock by the Nereids

Andromeda chained to the rock by the Nereids

Nereids Family Tree and Genealogy in Greek Mythology
The following Sea Gods family tree illustrates the genealogy of the Nereids as detailed in ancient Greek Mythology and legends. The Nereids were the daughters of Nerius and Doris.

Sea Gods Family Tree and Genealogy

Names of Famous Nereids in Greek Mythology
The names of the most famous Nereids mentioned in Greek Mythology are detailed in the following chart:

Names of Nereids in Greek Mythology

Names of Nereids Nereids in Greek Mythology and Legends
ActaeaThe myth of Actaea: She was the Nereid of the sea shore
AmathiaThe myth of the Nereid Amathia: She was renown for being helpful towards sailors fighting perilous storms
AmphitriteThe myth of the Nereid Amphitrite: She was the wife of Poseidon god of the sea.
AmphithoeThe myth of the Nereid Amphithoe: She was the nymph who was addressed as “she who moves swiftly around”
CydippeThe myth of the Nereid Cydippe: She had a failed love affair with Aristaeus.
CreneisThe myth of the Nereid Creneis: She was a beautiful nymph who played with dolphins
CymoThe myth of the Nereid Cymo: She was associated with the crabs of the sea
DorisThe myth of the Nereid Doris – a nymph and wife of the sea god Nereus and the mother of the Nereides
DotoThe myth of the Nereid Doto: She was associated with granting safe voyage or generous catch.
DynameneThe myth of the Nereid Dynamene: With her sister Pherusa, she controlled the great ocean swells
EioneThe myth of the Nereids Eione: She was a nymph of the beach and said to have helped castaways
EucranteThe myth of the Nereids Eucrante: She was responsible for successful voyages or fishing
EumolpeThe myth of the Nereids Eumolpe: She was a fine singer and a chief attendant of Neptune
EvagoreThe myth of the Nereids Evagore: She was assigned with the duty of assembling other sea nymphs
GalateaThe myth of the Nereids Galatea: She was constantly wooed by the Cyclops Polyphemus but loved Acis - refer to the Myth of Acis and Galatea
GaleneThe myth of the Nereids Galene: She was the personification of the calm sea
GlauceThe myth of the Nereids Glauce: She was the sea nymph of the ‘blue-grey’ waters who nursed the infant Zeus
IanassaThe myth of the Nereids Ianassa: She was a powerful protector of sailors
IphianassaThe myth of the Nereids Iphianassa: She gave birth to a son Aetolus, who slew Apis
LaomedeiaThe myth of the Nereid Laomedeia: She was the sea nymph after whom one of the moons of Jupiter was named
LeiagoreThe myth of the Nereid Leiagore: She was famous as the nymph who spoke to mortals
MaeraThe myth of the Nereids Maera: She was associated with the dog-star Seirios to bring midsummer heat
NausithoeThe myth of the Nereids Nesaea: She caused ships to sail swiftly
PanopaeaThe myth of the Nereid Panopaea: She was the nymph of the sea’s broad panorama, linked to the sighting of land
PanopaeaThe myth of the Nereid Panopaea: She was the nymph of the sea’s broad panorama, linked to the sighting of land
PasitheaThe myth of the Nereid Pasithea: She was the nymph of good cheer
PontomedusaThe myth of the Nereid Pontomedusa: She was also known as the sea queen
PsamatheThe myth of the Nereid Psamathe: She was a nymph and goddess of sand beaches and the wife of Proteus
SaoThe myth of the Nereid Sao: She was the sea nymph of safe passage of sailors
ThaleiaThe myth of the Nereid Thaleia: She was a sand nymph who gave birth to the twin gods of Sicilian geysers
ThemistoThe myth of the Nereid Themisto: She died when she killed her twin sons by accident
ThetisThe myth of the Nereid Thetis: She was given in marriage to a mortal called Peleus. Eris, the goddess of Discord attended the wedding and sparked the Myth of the Apple of Discord
ThoosaThe myth of the Nereid Thoosa: She was the lover of Poseidon and became mother of the Cyclops Polyphemus
Names of NereidsNereids in Greek Mythology and Legends

Names of Nereids in Greek Mythology

Merman and a Nereid

Merman and a Nereid

Sea Nymphs

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  • Facts and information about the ancient Greek Nereids for schools and kids

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