Nymphs of the Ionians
THE IONIDES were the Naiad-nymphs of the springs of the River Kytheros (Cytherus) in Elis (southern Greece). Their waters were believed to cure aches and pains.
The Ionides were similar to the Anigrides--another set of Elean healing nymphs.
KYTHEROS (Pausanias 6.22.7)
KALLIPHAEIA, SYNALLASIS, PEGAIA, IASIS (Pausanias 6.22.7)
IO′NIDES (Iônides or Iôniades), a name borne by four nymphs believed to possess healing powers. They had a temple on the river Cytherus in Elis, and derived their name from a mythical Ion, a son of Gargettus, who was believed to have led a colony from Athens to those districts. The story undoubtedly arose from the existence of a mineral spring on the spot where their sanctuary stood. (Paus. vi. 22. § 4; Strab. viii. p. 356.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Strabo, Geography 8. 3. 32 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Herakleia (Heraclea), which is also one of the eight cities [of the region of Triphylia in Elis]; it is about forty stadia distant from Olympia and is situated on the Kytheros (Cytherus) River, where is the temple of the Ioniades Nymphai (Ionides Nymphs), who have been believed to cure diseases with their waters."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 22. 7 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Distant from Olympia about fifty stades is Herakleia (Heraclea), a village of the Eleans, and beside it is a river Kytheros (Cytherus). A spring flows into the river, and there is a sanctuary of Nymphai (Nymphs) near the spring. Individually the names of the Nymphai are Kalliphaeia (Calliphaea), Synallasis, Pegaia (Pegaea) and Iasis, but their common surname is Ionides. Those who bathe in the spring are cured of all sorts of aches and pains. They say the Nymphai are named after Ion, the son of Gargettos, who migrated to this place from Athens."
NAMES OF THE IONIDES
Fair-Shining (kalli-, phaeinos)
Of the Spring (pêgê)
- Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.