THE LAMPADES were the torch-bearing nymphs of the underworld who accompanied the goddess Hekate in her night-time revels and hauntings. They were the divine counterparts of the Eleusinian celebrants who carried torches in the nocturnal procession of the Mysteries of Demeter.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Alcman, Fragment 63 (from Scholiast on Iliad) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (Greek lyric C7th B.C.) :
"Some say there are many kinds of Nymphai (Nymphs), e.g. Alkman (Alcman) : Naides (Naiads) and Lampades and Thyiades . . . Lampades those who carry torches and lights with Hekate (Hecate)."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 539 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Orphne . . . not the least famous of the Nymphae Avernales (Underworld Nymphs), bore once [a son] to Acheron in her dusky bower."
Statius, Silvae 2. 4. 100 (trans. Mozley) (Roman poetry C1st A.D.) :
"Haply by the pleasant silences of [the river] Lethe Nymphae Avernales (Underworld Nymphs) mingle and sport around him [a handsome boy who died young], and Proserpine [Persephone] notes him with sidelong glance."
- Greek Lyric I Alcman, Fragments - Greek Lyric C7th B.C.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Statius, Silvae - Latin Poetry C1st A.D.