Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


In European mythology, the Melusine is represented as a mermaid with two tails. Unlike the marine mermaid, the melusine is a spirit of fresh waters, in sacred springs and rivers. She figures as a heraldic charge, above all in German and Scandinavian coats-of-arms, where she supports one scaly tail in each arm. She may appear crowned.

The melusine is one of the pre-Christian water-faeries who were sometimes responsible for changelings. The 'Lady of the Lake,' who spirited away the infant Lancelot and raised the child, was such a water nymph.

For other European water sprites dangerous to humans, especially men, see Lorelei, Nixie,

External link


Donald Maddox and Sara Sturm-Maddox, Melusine of Lusignan: foundling fiction in late medieval France, A volume of essays that examine the monumental French prose narrative, the Roman de Melusine (1393), which was written by Jean d'Arras for Jean, Duc de Berry, the great patron of the 'Tres Riches Heures'. The Roman traces the powerful medieval dynasty of Lusignan from its founding in the city by the legendary Melusine, an enigmatic shape-shifting faery figure, through its glorious rise in Europe and in the Crusader kingdoms of the Eastern Mediterranean (see
Guy of Lusignan, King of Cyprus), weaving together history and fiction, with elements of myth, folklore, and popular traditions fused with epic, Crusader narrative, knightly romance, and Christian doctrine, all to glorify and uphold the proprietary claims to Lusignan of the work's illustrious patron.