Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Μελαινη Melainê Melaena Black, Dark (melaina)

MELAINE (or Melaena) was a Naiad Nymph of the springs of Delphoi in Phokis (central Greece), a daughter of the local river-god Kephisos (Cephisus). She was loved by the god of the shrine Apollon, bearing him the eponymous Delphos.

Melaina was probably one of the Naiades Korykiai, Nymphs of the sacred Korykian cave, her name "the black" suggesting that she presided over subterranean springs.

She appears to have been closely identified with several other Parnassian Nymphs such as Thyia, the mother of Delphos in another tradition, Kleodora, the mother of Parnassos, and Korykia, the mother of Lykoras.

KEPHISOS (Pausanias 10.6.4)

DELPHOS (by Apollon) (Pausanias 10.6.4)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 6. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"They hold that Delphos [after whom Delphoi (Delphi) in Phokis was named] was a son of Apollon and Thyia. Others say that his mother was Melaina (Melaena), daughter of Kephisos (Cephisus)."


  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd AD