|Nymphs of the
THE ANIGRIDES were the Naiad Nymphs of the springs of the River Anigros in Elis (southern Greece). Their waters were believed to cure skin diseases.
They are similar to another set of healing Elean Nymphs the Ionides.
ANI′GRIDES (Anigrides), the nymphs of the river Anigrus in Elis. On the coast of Elis, not far from the mouth of the river, there was a grotto sacred to them, which was visited by persons afflicted with cutaneous diseases. They were cured here by prayers and sacrifices to the nymphs, and by bathing in the river. (Paus. v. 5. § 6; Strab. viii. p. 346; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 880.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Strabo, Geography 8. 3. 19 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"At the base of these mountains [in the vicinity of Lepreon in Elis], on the seaboard, are two caves. One is the cave of the Nymphai called Anigriades . . . For near the cave of the Nymphai called Anigriades is a spring which makes the region that lies below it swampy and marshy. The greater part of the water is received by the Anigros, a river so deep and so sluggish that it forms a marsh; and since the region is muddy, it emits an offensive odor for a distance of twenty stadia, and makes the fish unfit to eat. In the mythical accounts, however, this is attributed by some writers to the fact that certain of the Kentauroi (Centaurs) here washed off the poison they got from the Hydra, and by others to the fact that Melampos used these cleansing waters for the purification of the Proitides. The bathing-water from here cures leprosy, elephantiasis, and scabies. It is said, also, that the Alpheios was so named from its being a cure for leprosy."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 5. 11 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"There is in Samikon a cave not far from this river [Anigros, Elis], and called the Cave of the Nymphai Anigrides. Whoever enters it suffering from alphos or leuke [skin diseases] first has to pray to the Nymphai and to promise some sacrifice or other, after which he wipes the unhealthy parts of his body. Then, swimming through the river, he leaves his old uncleanness in its water, coming up sound and of one colour."
- Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st BC - C1st AD
- Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd AD
Other references not currently quoted here: Eustathius on Homer's Iliad 880