Greek Mythology >> Nymphs >> Naiads >> Lelegeides


Greek Name

Νυμφαι Λελεγειδες


Nymphai Lelegeides

Latin Spelling

Nymphae Lelegeides


Nymphs of the Leleges

THE LELEGEIDES were the Naiad-nymphs of the springs and fountains of the land of Lykia (Lycia) in south-west Anatolia. They transformed the dying Miletian princess Byblis into an ilex-tree and spring.


Perhaps daughters of the River INDOS


Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 30 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[Princess Byblis of Miletos] went to a nearby mountain and set about throwing herself off. But Nymphai (Nymphs), pitying her, held her back. Casting her into a deep sleep they changed her from a mortal to a deity, into a Nymphe called a Hamadryas named Byblis. They made her their companion and sharer of their way of life. The stream which flows from that rock is called to this day by local people the Tears of Byblis."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 9. 652 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Byblis [princess of Miletos] was beside herself with grief [when her brother rejected her advances] . . . Byblis ran howling through the countryside . . . on through Caria and Lycia she roamed, . . . The forest failed; on the hard ground she fell, exhausted by her quest, and lay face down, with tumbled hair, among the fallen leaves. Often the Nymphae Lelegeides (Nymphs of the Leleges) tried to cradle her in their soft arms and often sought to salve the fever of her love, and comforted with soothing words her heart that heard no more. She lay in silence, clutching the small sedge, and watering the greensward with her tears. And these, men say, the Naides made a rill, for ever flowing--what could they give more? At once, as resin drips from damaged bark, or asphalt oozes from the earth's dark womb, or, when the west wind breathes its balm, the sun unlocks the water that the frost has bound, so, wasting by her weeping all away, Byblis became a spring. Still in that dale it keeps its mistress' name, still mournfully trickles below the tall dark ilex tree."





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