They were the fifty sea-nymph daughters of Nereus, the old man of the sea.

Residence: Aegean Sea
Symbols: Dolphin
Parents: Nereus and Doris

Nereid riding a taurocampus, 2nd c. BC.

They were goddesses of the sea’s rich bounty and protectors of sailors and fishermen, coming to the aid of those in distress. Individually they represented various facets of the sea from the salty brine, to the sea foam, sand, rocks, waves and currents, as well as the various skills possessed by seamen.

The Nereids dwelt with their elderly father in a silvery grotto at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. The Nereid, Thetis, was their leader and Amphitrite was Poseidon‘s wife.

Apulian red-figure plate, 4th c. BC, depicting a Nereid riding a dolphin. Hermitage Museum. (c)
Roman mosaic of a Nereid riding a hippocamp, 3rd c. AD, from Carthage. Bardo Museum. (c)
Apulian red-figure pelike, c. 425-401 BC, depicting Thetis riding a hippocamp. Getty Museum. (c)
Attic black figure kylix depicting Heracles wrestling Nereus surrounded by the Nereids. (c)

Back to Nymphs or Back to Sea Gods