In Greek mythology there were some lesser deities known as nymphs. These are female beings who are at an intermediate level between humans and gods.
Throughout the history of art they have always been represented as nude or semi-naked maidens associated with nature. They were worshiped in Greek shrines and received offerings and gifts from humans.
Allies of Gods and Protectors of Humans
According to mythological accounts, especially of Homer and Hesiod, they were daughters of Zeus and were integrated into the Olympus of the Gods. These deities are not immortal, yet they do not grow old or sick. When they unite with certain Gods, they give birth to immortal beings.
Nymphs look like fairies, as one of their functions is to watch over the fate of human beings. They are dedicated to weaving, caring for flowers and dancing around Artemis, the goddess of hunting and virginity . They also accompany other Gods, such as Apollo and Dionysus.
Usually these women are associated with a specific place , for example, a stream, a fountain, a cave or a mountain.
Nymphs are protectors of nature and transform some particular aspect of the natural world
In some cases, they are dedicated to protecting a specific locality or ethnic group. In this sense, some kings married one of them in order to give prestige to their reign and their generation.
Their lives were never pleasant, as they were pursued by satyrs, creatures (half man, half animal ) with ram’s paws and horns who wanted to have sex with them. Nymphs hated satyrs. When they approached they turned to water to escape. However, these female deities were attracted to humans and could fall in love. The nymph Calypso fell in love with Ulysses and the two lived together for seven years, as reported by Homer in the Odyssey.
The Nereids were nymphs that inhabited the Mediterranean Sea
These deities were daughters of the God Nereus and the Goddess Doris. They are very sexy girls and some of them have a fish-shaped lower body. Over time, the stories of the Nereids joined with the tales of the mermaids and, in this way, the mermaid character was formed, known to this day.
Although the Nereids inhabit the depths of the sea, on occasion they surface to help mariners in need. Among the best known are Galatea and Tethys.