Web Theoi
ELEKTRA
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ηλεκτρη Êlektrê Electra Amber, Amber-Colour
(êlektron)
Οζομενη Ozomenê Ozomene Strong-Branches
(ozos, menos),
Branching (ozoomai)

ELEKTRA (or Electra) was the Okeanid Nymph wife of the sea god Thaumas, and the mother of Iris the Rainbow and the storm-wind Harpyiai (Harpies).

She was perhaps the Nephele (Cloud-Nymphe) of the amber-trim, êlektron, of storm-clouds illuminated by the returning sun. Her other name Ozomene, suggests the cloudy source of the rainbow shooting down to the sea.

PARENTS
[1.1] OKEANOS & TETHYS (Hesiod Theogony 265, 349; Apollodorus 1.8)
[1.2] OKEANOS (Homeric Hymn 2.7, 2.416; Apollonius Rhodius 1.503; Pausanias 4.30.4)
OFFSPRING
[1.1] IRIS, THE HARPYIAI (by Thaumas) (Hesiod Theogony 265, Apollodorus 1.10)
[1.2] IRIS, HYDASPES (by Thaumas) (Nonnus Dionysiaca 26.350)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

ELECTRA (Êlektra), i. e. the bright or brilliant one. A daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and the wife of Thaumas, by whom she became the mother of Iris and the Harpies, Aëllo and Ocypete. (Hom. Hymn. in Cer. 419; Hes. Theog. 266; Apollod. i. 2. §§ 2, 6; Paus. iv. 33. § 6 ; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 212.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Hesiod, Theogony 346 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"Tethys bore to Okeanos the swirling Potamoi (Rivers) . . . She [Tethys] brought forth also a race apart of daughters, who with lord Apollon and the Rivers have the young in their keeping all over the earth, since this right from Zeus is given them. They are Peitho, Admete, Ianthe and Elektra, Doris and Prymno [amongst a list of Okeanides] . . .
Now these are the eldest of the daughters who were born to Tethys and Okeanos, but there are many others beside these, for there are three thousand light-stepping daughters of Okeanos scattered far and wide, bright children among the goddesses, and all alike look after the earth and the depths of the standing water."

Hesiod, Theogony 265 ff :
"Now [the sea-god] Thaumas married a daughter of deep-running Okeanos, Elektra (Electra), and she bore him swift-footed Iris, the rainbow, and the Harpyiai (Harpies) of the lovely hair."

Homeric Hymn 2 to Demeter 415 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :
"The deep-bosomed daughters of Okeanos . . . were playing in a lovely meadow [with the goddess Persephone], Leukippe and Phaino and Elektra and Ianthe [in a list of names] . . . with Pallas [Athena] who rouses battles and Artemis delighting in arrows: we were playing and gathering sweet flowers in our hands, soft crocuses mingled with irises and hyacinths, and rose-blooms and lilies, marvellous to see, and the narcissus which the wide earth caused to grow yellow as a crocus."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"The Titanes had children. Those of Okeanos and Tethys were called Okeanides: Asia, Styx, Elektra, Doris, Eurynome, Amphitrite, and Metis."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 10 :
"The children of Pontos (Sea) and Ge (Earth) were Phorkos, Thaumas, Nereus, Eurybia, and Keto. Thaumas and Elektra had Iris and the Harpyiai (Harpies) named Aello and Okypete."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 33. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"One the road from Andania towards Kyparissiai (Cyparissiae) is Polikhne [in Messenia], as it is called, and the streams of Elektra (Electra) and Koios (Coeus). The names perhaps are to be connected with Elektra the daughter of Atlas and Koios the father of Leto."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Thaumas and Electra [were born]: Iris, Harpyiae (Harpies) Celaeno, Ocypete, Podarce."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 14 :
"The three Harpyiae (Harpies), Aellopous, Celaeno, and Ocypete, daughters of Thaumas and Ozomene."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 26. 350 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"He [the River Hydaspes] had the genuine Titan blood; for from the bed of primeval Thaumas his rosyarm consort Elektra brought forth two children--from that bed came a River and a messenger of the heavenly ones, Iris (the Rainbow) quick as the wind and swiftly flowing Hydaspes, Iris travelling on foot and Hydaspes by water."


Sources:

  • Hesiod, Theogony - Greek Epic C8th-7th BC
  • The Homeric Hymns - Greek Epic C8th-4th BC
  • Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd BC
  • Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica - Greek Epic C3rd BC
  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd AD
  • Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd AD
  • Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th AD