Greek Name Transliteration Latin Name Translation
Nymphae Avernales Torch Bearers

THE LAMPADES were the torch-bearing Khthonian Nymphs of the underworld, companions of the goddess Hekate in her night-time revels and hauntings.

They were associated with the Eleusinian celebrants who carried torches during the nocturnal Mystery rites of Demeter.

Nowhere stated

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, eg Alkman: Naides and Lampades and Thyiades . . . Lampades those who carry torches and lights with Hekate."

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." - Ovid, Metamorphoses 5.539

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 II Alcman, Fragments - Greek Lyric C7th B.C.
  • Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Statius, Silvae - Latin Epic C1st A.D.