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Gustave Doré - The Naiads of the Sea (around 1870)
Arnold Böcklin - The Game of the Naiads (1886)
John William Waterhouse - Naiad and Hylas (1893)
Anton Schmidgruber - Naiad from the Triton and Naiad Fountain, Vienna (around 1890)

The naiads ( ancient Greek Ναϊάδες , plural for Ναϊάς Naïás ; from νάειν "flow") are nymphs in Greek mythology who watch over springs, streams, rivers, swamps, ponds and lakes.


The naiads were either daughters of Zeus or Oceanus . If the waters of a naiad dried up, they died.

The naiads were often objects of local cults that they worshiped as fertility goddesses . Their waters were sometimes said to have magical healing properties or prophetic powers.

The naiads were also known for their extreme jealousy . According to a story by Theocritus , the shepherd Daphnis was the lover of the naiad Nomia . Since Daphnis was unfaithful to her several times, she punished him with blindness in revenge .

Types of naiads

Individually named naiads

  • Aba , mother of Ergiscus
  • Abarbaree , mother of the Kallirrhoë
  • Abarbaree , mother of Aisepos and Pedasus
  • Aganippe , daughter of Termessus
  • Aigina , daughter of the river god Asopos and his wife Metope
  • Aigle , the mother of the Charites with the sun god Helios
  • Akraia , daughter of the river god Asterion and nurse of the goddess Hera
  • Arethusa , daughter of Hesperus and Nyx
  • Asterodeia , wife of Aietes, mother of Absyrtus
  • Bateia , wife of King Oibalus, mother of Hippocoon, Tyndareus and Ikarios
  • Camena , a Roman spring deity
  • Chariklo , wife of the centaur Cheiron , mother of Karystos and Okyroe
  • Creusa
  • Daphne , pursued by Apollon and afflicted with love
  • Daulis , daughter of the Boiotic river god Kephissus
  • Egeria , mistress of the legendary second king of Rome
  • Euboia , daughter of Asopus , namesake of Euboea
  • Euboea , daughter of Asterion, nurse of the goddess Hera
  • Glauke , Arcadian nymph in the city of Tegea
  • Gorgyra , lover of the river god Acheron, mother of the underworld demon Askalaphos
  • Idaia , lover of the river god Skamandros, mother of Teukros
  • Ismene , daughter of the river god Asopos, wife of the Argive king Argos
  • Iuturna (see also Juturna spring ), Latin spring nymph and Roman goddess
  • Kallirrhoë , daughter of Acheloos , wife of Alkmaion
  • Kallirrhoë , daughter of Scamander , wife of Tros
  • Kassotis , spring nymph on Mount Parnassus
  • Kastalia , daughter of Acheloos and wife of Delphos
  • Klaia , with a sanctuary on Mount Kalathion
  • Krëusa , daughter of Gaia and Oceanus
  • Kyane , associated with the river god Anapos, playmate of Persephone
  • Cyrene , daughter of King Hypseus of Lapiths
  • Lara (underworld deity Tacita)
  • Leiriope , lover of the river god Kephisus, mother of Narcissus
  • Lilaia , daughter of the river god Kephissus
  • Lympha
  • Melite
  • Metope , daughter of the river god Ladon, wife of Asopus
  • Minthe , daughter of Cocytus, transformed by Persephone
  • Moria , nymph of the Hermos river
  • Mycenae , namesake of the city of Mycenae
  • Nana , daughter of the river god Sangarios, mother of Attis
  • Nomia
  • Oinone , married the shepherd Paris, the Trojan prince
  • Orseis , daughter of Oceanus or Peneius
  • Peirene , mother of Leches and Kenchrias
  • Periboia , wife of Icarius
  • Pitane , daughter of the river god Eurotas
  • Praxithea , wife of the Attic king Erechtheus
  • Salamis , daughter of the river god Asopos, wife of Panopeos
  • Salmakis , combined with Hermaphroditos into a single being
  • Sinope , daughter of Asopus and Metope
  • Stilbe , daughter of the Thessalian river god Peneios and the naiad Creusa
  • Symaithis , daughter of the river god Symaithos, mother of Acis
  • Syrinx , daughter of the river god Ladon
  • Tereine , daughter of Strymon, mother of Thrassa
  • Thelpusa , Arcadian naiad, daughter of the river god Ladon
  • Thyia , naiad of a spring on Mount Parnassus
  • Tiasa , daughter of the river god Eurotas
  • Zeuxippe , wife of Pandion

Descriptions of the naiads can be found u. a. in Apollodorus , Hesiod and Homer (in the Iliad and the Odyssey ).

Naiads in art and culture


  • L. Bloch: Nymphs, Section 4: The Naiads . In: Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (Hrsg.): Detailed lexicon of Greek and Roman mythology . Volume 3.1, Leipzig 1902, Col. 507-515 ( digitized version ).
  • Hellmut Schnitter: The Naiads of Switzerland. Sauerländer & Company, Aarau 1922.
  • Hans model: The naiads of the Main area. In: 19. Report of the Natural Research Society Augsburg. Natural Research Society, 1966 ( PDF ).

Web links

Wiktionary: Naiade  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Naiads  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Naiads in the Theoi Project (English)

Individual evidence

  1. Johann Nepomuk von Waibel: The Naiads - An opera in 4 acts