THE NYMPHAI KEIAI were the Naiad Nymphs of the springs and wells of the Aegean Island of Keos (Ceos).
|Perhaps daughters of a mainland RIVER-GOD
Callimachus, Aitia Fragment 3.1 (from Oxyrhynchus Papyri 7) (trans. Trypanis) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"This we heard from old Xenomedes, who once enshrined all the island [the island of Keos (Ceos)] in a mythological history: beginning with the tale of how it was inhabited by the Nymphai Korykiai (Corycian Nymphs) whom a great lion drave from Parnassos: wherefore also they called it Hydrussa."
Ovid, Metamorphoses 10. 106 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Once, sacred to the Nymphae [and presumably Artemis] who dwell among Carthaea’s fields [on the island of Ceos], there was a giant stag, whose spreading antlers shed a screen of shade upon his head. Those antlers gleamed with gold and from his silky neck a collar hung over his shoulders, set with precious stones. Upon his brow, secured by slender strings, a silver medal swayed, given at his birth, and round his hollow temples, gleaming bright, from either ear a pearly pendant hung. Quite fearless, all his natural shyness lost, he often visited the homes of men, and he'd let even strangers stroke his neck. But of them all he was the favourite of Cyparissus [a boy loved by Apollon], Cea’s fairest lad. And he it was who used to lead the stag to pasture and the waters of the spring. Flowers of many colours he would weave around his horns or, mounted on his back, a happy cavalier, ride up and down, guiding his tender mouth with crimson reins."
- Callimachus, Fragments - Greek Poetry C3rd BC
- Ovid, Metamorphoses - Latin Epic C1st BC - C1st AD