Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


In Greek mythology, the Naiads (from the Greek νάειν, "to flow," and νἃμα, "running water") were a type of nymph who presided over fountains, wells, marshes, springs, rivers, streams, brooks, ponds and lakes. They were associated with fresh water more than the Oceanids, though there was some overlap. The Nereids, on the other hand, specifically represented the Mediterranean Sea.

Types of Naiads

  1. Crinaeae (fountains)
  2. Limnades or Limnatides (lakes)
  3. Pegaeae (springs)
  4. Potameides (rivers)
  5. Eleionomae (marshes)

If a Naiad's body of water dried, she died.

They were often the object of local cults, worshipped as fertility goddesses. Their waters were sometimes thought to have magical medical or prophetic powers.

The Naiads were also known to exhibit extreme jealous tendences. One story of Naiad jealousy was that of a shepherd named Daphnis who was the lover of Nomia, Daphnis had on several occasions been unfaithful to Nomia and as revenge she permanently blinded him.

The Naiads were either daughters of Zeus or various Oceanids.

List of naiads

  1. Aegle
  2. Castalia
  3. Creusa
  4. Lilaea
  5. Melite
  6. Nomia
  7. Periboea

Apollodorus. Library 2.95, 2.11, 2.21, 2.23, 1.61, 1.81, 1.7.6; Homer. Odyssey 13.355, 17.240, Iliad 14.440, 20.380; Ovid. Metamorphoses; Hesiod. Theogony