Female spirits of the natural world, minor goddesses of the forests, rivers, springs, meadows, mountains and seas. They are responsible for the crafting of nature’s wild beauty, from the arrangement and growth of the plants, flowers and trees, to the nurture of wild birds and animals, and the formation of rocky caverns, springs, wetlands and brooks.
Nymphs are also companions of the gods. Dionysos has his wild-eyed Mainades and Bakkhai, Artemis is accompanied by a band of huntress nymphs, Hekate by the dark Lampades nymphs of the underworld. Poseidon’s court is attended by Nereides and sea nymphs, and the Olympian court by nymph handmaidens.
All nymphs, whose number is almost infinite, may be divided into two great classes.
The first class embraces those who must be regarded as a kind of inferior (minor earth dwelling) divinities, recognised in the worship of nature. The early Greeks saw in all the phenomena…
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