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Greek Gods of The Waters

Updated on September 27, 2010


To the ancients the ocean was a huge river surrounding the earth, the son of Uranus and Terra, is the chief god of all waters, Being as old as the world Oceanus was represented as an aged man sitting on the sea and pouring out water.


Daughter of Uranus and Terra, married her brother Oceanus, and gave birth to three thousand nymphs, the Oceanides, Tethys is generally seen driving a seashell. her chariot, followed by a train of dolphins, tritons and Oceanides.


Nereus, son of Oceanus ad Terra, had fifty daughters, the Nereids. He is represented as a gentle and peaceful old man, full of justice and kindness; and the Nereids as beautiful girls riding dolphins, their hair adorned with pearl. The Nereids were the nymphs of the Mediterranean, as the Naiads were the nymphs of the fresh water, and the Oceanids, of the ocean.

Neptune (Poseidon)

A son of Saturn and Rhea, was a brother of Jupiter and Pluto. When the three brothers divided the wealth of Saturn, Jupiter took the earth, Pluto took the lower regions and Neptune was given the sea. Neptune rode over the sea in his chariot drawn by horses. Statue generally represented the god of waters with a long beard, holding a trident. Oceanus was the older god of waters. Neptune belonged to the younger family. He and his brothers, Jupiter and Pluto, conquered the older gods.


Wife of Neptune, mother of Triton, is pictured driving a shell on the sea with the Nereids as her attendants.


Son of Neptune and Amphirite, was a demigod-half man, half fish. He played the part of the herald of Neptune.


A sea god, was the shepherd of Neptune, whose flocks embraced seals, sea lions and all sorts of big fishes. As a reward for his services Proteus had received from Neptune the gift of prophecy. The famous shepherd could assume different shapes and disappear at will. The name Proteus is often used to describe somebody quick at moving from one place to another, or quick at changing faces. The adjective "protean" comes from his name.


A sea god, gifted with a special power of prophecy, was Neptune's soothsayer, or fore teller of events. His status resemble Triton's, except that his beard is white and dripping his arms are fins, and his chest is covered with seaweed.

The Harpies

Were monsters with the faces of old woman and the bodies of vultures. They caused famine, wherever they passed, and emitted a fearful odor. Drive them away as you could, they would always come back. Jupiter and Juno used them against those they wished to punish.


A daughter of Neptune, having stolen a part of the flock of Hercules, was sticken down by Jupiter and changed into dangerous whirlpool in the Stait of Slicity.


A beautiful nymph, had been changed into monster by jealous Circe. Terrified by her ugliness, she threw herself into the sea and became a rough rock which has since been called after her, between Italy and Sicily. Scylla and Charybdis were both deemed by the ancients as most dangerous to navigators, We say of man coming upon two dangers together and knowing which to flee from, that he is "between Scylla and Charybdis"

The Sirens

The three sea nymphs to whom the oracles had predicted life as long as they could detain navigators on their way. This they did by singing so sweetly that sailor in passing ships were drawn, spellbound and wrecked upon the isle. Ulysses stopped the ears of his crew with wax and had the men tie him to the mast. As the ship approached the place Ulysses was enthralled by the lovely music. But he was tied fast, and his men heard nothing, so they rowed safely by. Some artiest pictures the Sirens as fish- tailed maidens; others show them as half woman, half bird.

The Gorgons

Three famous sisters called Stheno, Euryale and Medusa, lived a long way over the ocean, at the end of the earth. Medusa, their queen, who offended Athene, had her hair changed into snakes, and her eyes were given the fatal powers of turning into stone every human they looked upon. The Gorgons are represented with enormous heads interwoven with snakes. In art. the best head of Medussa in masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci in one of the galleries of Florence.

The Cyclops

Three monstrous giants, sons of Neptune were so ugly with their single eye that Jupiter cast them down into lower regions. Vulcan adopted them as the chief workers of his forge. The most famous Cyclops was Polyphemus.

The Rivers

Were personified as sacred children of Oceanus and Tethys; they numbered three thousand, and the ancients would never cross a stream without having uttered a prayer.

The Naiads

Presided over rivers and fountains. Pictures show them as young nymphs with naked legs and arms crowned with aquatic plants.


Was a woodland nymph who loved the chase. One day while she was bathing in a stream, Alpheus, god of the stream, fell in love with her. Arethusa implored Diana to help her escape and the goddess changed the nymph into fountain. Poets have loved this myth.


Was a Greek river famous for the encounter on its banks of Syrinx and Pan. The nymph, fearing the love of Pan, was changed into reeds, which have continued to grow along the rivers eversince. From these reeds Pan made his flute with seven pipes.

The Fountains

Were the daughters of Oceanus and Tethys, for whom great rituals were held in Greece. Inspirers of Muses, the best-known of the Muses, the best known fountains were: Aganippe, Hippocrene, Castalia and Pyrene.


Was a daughter of the Sun. She was supposed to be clever enough to make the stars come down from heaven. Sea travelers could hardly escape from her charms. With her magic she changed men into lions, tigers and other beasts. She turned the crew of Ulysses into swine; but with the aid of Mercury he succeeded in forcing Circe to change them back to men.


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      uiyuo956tr 5 years ago


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      Thanks 6 years ago

      thanks this really helped me on my homework

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      Cybermonk 7 years ago


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      kazemaru2 7 years ago from usa

      Interesting hub I am always fascinated by mythology and your prose opened my mind to the thought of circe and scylla as gods.