Dryad

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Dryad11.jpg
The Dryad by Evelyn De Morgan
Greek deities
series
Primordial deities
Titans and Olympians
Aquatic deities
Chthonic deities
Personified concepts
Other deities
Nymphs

Dryads are tree spirits in Greek mythology. Technically speaking, dryads are the nymphs of oak trees, but the term has come to be used for all tree nymphs in general. Drys in Greek signifies 'oak,' from an Indo-European root *derew(o)- 'tree' or 'wood.'

The nymphs of ash trees were called the Meliai. The ash-tree sisters tended the infant Zeus in Rhea's Cretan cave. Rhea gave birth to the Meliai after being made fertile by the cast-away genitals of Ouranos.

Dryads, like all nymphs, were supernaturally long-lived and tied to their homes, but some were a step beyond most nymphs. These were the hamadryads who were said to form an integral part of their trees, such that if the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For these reasons, dryads and the Greek gods punished any mortals who harmed trees without first propitiating the tree-nymphs.

See also the myth of Daphne, who was pursued by Apollo and became a dryad associated with the laurel.

External links

de:Dryade es:Drade fr:Dryades nl:Dryaden ja:ドライアド sv:Dryader

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