|Nymphs of the
THE LAMIDES were Naiad Nymphs of the River Lamos in Kilikia (Cilicia) (region of Anatolia) or Boiotia (central Greece). They were nurses of the god Dionysos.
Although Nonnus identifies their stream as the Kilikian river of the same name, it is likely that they were originally located on the Lamos stream which flows south from Mount Helikon towards Mount Kithairon, the traditional home of the god.
They were probably identical to the Nysiades, and were also closely identified with the Hyades, Dodonides, and Nymphai Naxiai, other nurses of the god Dionysos.
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 9. 28 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Hermes] gave him [the new born babe Dionysos just delivered from Zeus' thigh] to the [Lamides] daughters of Lamos, river Nymphai--the son of Zeus, the vineplanter. They received Bakkhos into their arms; and each of them dropt the milky juice of her breast without pressing into his mouth. And the boy lay on his back unsleeping, and fixt his eye on the heaven above, or kicked at the air with his two feet one after the other in delight, and laughed in wonder to see his father's vault of stars.
The consort of Zeus beheld the babe, and suffered torments. Through the wrath of resentful Hera, the daughters of Lamos were maddened by the lash of that divine mischiefmaker. In the house they attacked the servants, in threeways they carved up the wayfaring man with alienslaying knife; they howled horrible, with violent convulsions they rolled the eyes in their disfigured faces; they scampered about this way and that way at the mercy of their wandering wits, running and skipping with restless feet, and the mad breezes made their wandering locks dance wildly into the air; the yellow shift round the bosom of each was whitened with drops of foam from the lips of the girls. Indeed they would have chopt up little Bakkhos [Dionysos] a baby still piecemeal in the distracted flood of their vagabond madness, had not Hermes come on wing and stolen Bakkhos again with a robber’s untracked footsteps."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 143 ff :
"Another kind of the twiform Kentauroi (Centaurs) [different from the famous Kentauroi of Thessalia] also appeared [when Rheia summoned divinities to join Dionysos in his war against the Indians], the shaggy tribe of the horned Pheres, to whom Hera had given a different sort of human shape with horns. These were the sons of [the Lamides] the water Neiades in mortal body, whom men call Hyades, offspring of the river Lamos. They [the sons] had played the nurses for the babe that Zeus had so happily brought forth, Bakkhos [Dionysos], while he still had a breath of the sewn-up birth-pocket."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 25. 451 ff :
"Maionia he [Hephaistos] also portrayed [on the shield of Dionysos], for she was the nurse of Bakkhos."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 47. 678 ff :
"I [Hermes] saved you [Dionysos] from heaven, and entrusted you to those Nymphai, the daughters of river Lamos, when still a child."
- Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th AD
Other references not currently quoted here: Nonnos Dionysiaca (references to the nurses of Dionysos in the Indian Wars - these may or may not be the Lamides, sometimes they are grouped together with, or classed as, Bakkhantes.)