Greek Mythology >> Nymphs >> Haliae >> Thoosa


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Swift (thoôsa, thoos)

THOOSA was the sea-nymph mother of the Kyklops (Cyclops) Polyphemos by the god Poseidon.

Her name was derived from the Greek word thoos "swift" and she may have been a minor goddess of dangerously swift currents.

Thoosa was probably envisaged as a mermaid-like woman with the tail of a serpentine-fish in place of legs. Two of her sisters possessed a similar form--the monstrous mermaid Skylla (Syclla) and the serpent-nymph Ekhidna (Echidna).


PHORKYS (Homer Odyssey 1.70)


POLYPHEMOS (by Poseidon) (Homer Odyssey 1.70, Apollodorus E7.4)


Homer, Odyssey 1. 68 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Polyphemos (Polyphemus), the Kyklops (Cyclops) whose power is greatest among the Kyklopes race and whose ancestry is more than human; his mother was the nymphe Thoosa, child of Phorkys (Phorcys) the lord of the barren sea, and she lay with Poseidon within her arching caverns."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E7. 4 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"A son of Poseidon and a nymphe named Thoose (Thoosa), an enormous man-eating wild man named Polyphemos, who had one eye in his forehead."

Theocritus, Idylls 11. 25 ff (trans. Rist) (Greek bucolic C3rd B.C.) :
"[The Kyklops Polyphemos woos the Nereid-nymph Galateia :] ‘I fell in love with you, maiden, the first time you came, with my mother [i.e. Thoosa], eager to cull the bluebells from our hillside : I was you guide.’"

Theocritus, Idylls 11. 62 ff :
"[Polyphemos laments :] ‘Only my mother [i.e. Thoosa] does me wrong, and it's her I blame. She's never said a single word on my behalf to you [the Nereid-nymph Galateia], for all she sees me growing thin, day after day. I shall tell her that my head and both my feet are throbbing: so I'll be even, making her suffer, even as she makes me.’"




A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.