Nymphs of Lamus
Naiads of Lamus
THE LAMIDES were Naiad-nymphs of the river Lamos in Kilikia (Cilicia) (southern Anatolia). They were nurses of the god Dionysos and their sons were his guardians. When the goddess Hera discovered the child she drove them mad and transformed the sons into bestial Kentauroi (Centaurs).
Although Nonnus identifies their stream as the Kilikian river of the same name, it is likely they were originally located on the Lamos stream in Boiotia which flows south from Mount Helikon towards Kithairon (Cithaeron)--the traditional home of the god.
LAMOS (Nonnus Dionysiaca 9.28 & 14.143)
THE PHERES LAMIOI (Nonnus Dionysiaca 14.143)
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
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 (NYmphs)--the son of Zeus, the vineplanter. They received Bakkhos (Bacchus) 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 [Hera] 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 :
"[Rheia summons rustic demigods to join the army of Dionysos for his campaign against the Indians :] Another kind of the twiform Kentauroi (Centaurs) also appeared, the shaggy tribe of the horned Pheres (Beasts), to whom Hera had given a different sort of human shape with horns. These were the sons of the water Neiades (Naiads) [i.e. the Lamides] 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 (Bacchus) [Dionysos], while he still had a breath of the sewn-up birth-pocket."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 25. 451 ff :
"Maionia (Maeonia) he [Hephaistos] also portrayed [on the shield of Dionysos], for she was the nurse of Bakkhos (Bacchus)."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 47. 678 ff :
"[The god Hermes addresses Dionysos :] ‘I saved you from heaven, and entrusted you to those Nymphai (Nymphs), the daughters of river Lamos, when still a child.’"
- Nonnus, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.
Other references not currently quoted here: Nonnos Dionysiaca (various references to the nurses of Dionysos in the Indian War--these may or may not be the Lamides.)