Greek Mythology >> Nymphs >> Naiads >> Nymphs of Ceos (Nymphai Keiai)


Greek Name

Νυμφαι Κειαι


Nymphai Keiai

Latin Spelling

Nymphae Ceiae


Nymphs of Ceos

THE NYMPHAI KEIAI were the Naiad-nymphs of the springs and wells of the Aegean Island of Keos (Ceos). They emigrated to the island from the Korykian (Corycian) Cave of Delphoi in mainland Greece.


Perhaps daughters of a mainland RIVER-GOD


Callimachus, Aitia Fragment 3.1 (from Oxyrhynchus Papyri 7) (trans. Trypanis) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"This we heard from old Xenomedes, who once enshrined all the island [the island of Keos (Ceos)] in a mythological history : beginning with the tale of how it was inhabited by the Nymphai Korykiai (Corycian Nymphs) whom a great lion drave from Parnassos (Parnassus) : wherefore also they called it Hydrussa."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 10. 106 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Once, sacred to the Nymphae (Nymphs) who dwell among Carthaea's fields [on the island of Ceos], there was a giant stag, whose spreading antlers shed a screen of shade upon his head. Those antlers gleamed with gold and from his silky neck a collar hung over his shoulders, set with precious stones. Upon his brow, secured by slender strings, a silver medal swayed, given at his birth, and round his hollow temples, gleaming bright, from either ear a pearly pendant hung. Quite fearless, all his natural shyness lost, he often visited the homes of men, and he'd let even strangers stroke his neck. But of them all he was the favourite of Cyparissus [a boy loved by Apollon], Cea's fairest lad. And he it was who used to lead the stag to pasture and the waters of the spring. Flowers of many colours he would weave around his horns or, mounted on his back, a happy cavalier, ride up and down, guiding his tender mouth with crimson reins."

Ovid, Heroides 20. 221 ff (trans. Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"An isle once thronged by the Corycian Nymphae (Nymphs) is girdled by the Aegean sea; its name is Cea."





A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.