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River Lamus

LAMOS (Lamus) was a river-god of Kilikia (Cilicia) in Anatolia (modern Turkey) or Boiotia in central Greece. His daughters, the Lamides, were nurses of the god Dionysos.

Dionysos was born from the thigh of Zeus on Mount Nysa beside the stream of the Lamos. Both the mountain and the river were variously identified. Nonnus, in his epic Dionysiaca, identifies the Lamos as the Kilikian river of the same name lying west of the river Kydnos (Cydnus). Another candidate was the Boiotian stream Lamos which Pausanias describes rising near the peaks of Mount Helikon and flowing south through the territory of the Thespians. The Lamian vale was hemmed in to the south by Mount Kithairon (Cithaeron)-- a centre of the Dionysian orgies. Kithairon was probably the Mount Nysa of the Dionysian myth.


OKEANOS & TETHYS (Nonnus Dionysiaca 24.43)


THE LAMIDES (Nonnus Dionysiaca 9.28 & 14.143)


Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 31. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"On the summit of [Mount] Helikon (Helicon) [in Boiotia] is a small river called the Lamos (Lamus). In the territory of the Thespians is . . . [Pausanias then describes the villages lying between Mounts Helikon and Kithairon (Cithaeron)]."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 9. 28 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[After Dionysos was born from the thigh of Zeus Hermes] gave him to the daughters of Lamos (Lamus), river Nymphai (Nymphs)."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 143 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"The water Neiades (Naiads) in mortal body, whom men call Hyades, offspring of the river Lamos (Lamus)."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 24. 43 ff :
"[The River Hydaspes cries out after being set on fire by the god Dionysos :] ‘Respect the water of your [river-god] Lamos (Lamus) who cherished your childhood; remember Maionia (Maeonia) your own country, for Hydaspes is brother of your charming [river] Paktolos (Pactolus). Grant now this one boon to all these Rivers, my brothers [i.e. they are the sons of Okeanos], and withdraw your flame.’"

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 47. 678 ff :
"[Hermes addresses Dionysos :] ‘I saved you from heaven, and entrusted you to those Nymphai (Nymphs), the daughters of river Lamos (Lamus), when still a child.’"




A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.