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In Greek mythology, Thyia ( /ˈθə/ ; Ancient Greek : ΘυίαThuia derived from the verb θύω "to sacrifice") was a female figure associated with cults of several major gods.

Greek mythology body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks

Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the ancient Greeks. These stories concern the origin and the nature of the world, the lives and activities of deities, heroes, and mythological creatures, and the origins and significance of the ancient Greeks' own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars study the myths in an attempt to shed light on the religious and political institutions of ancient Greece and its civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.



In the Delphic tradition, Thyia was also the naiad of a spring on Mount Parnassos in Phocis (central Greece), daughter of the river god Cephissus. [1] Her shrine was the site for the gathering of the Thyiades (women who celebrated in the orgies of the god Dionysos). She was said to have been the first to sacrifice to Dionysus, and to celebrate orgies in his honour. Hence, the Attic women, who every year went to Mount Parnassus to celebrate the Dionysiac orgies with the Delphian Thyiades, received themselves the name of Thyades or Thyiades (synonymous with Maenads). [2]

Delphi archaeological site and town in Greece

Delphi, formerly also called Pytho (Πυθώ), is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Moreover, the Greeks considered Delphi the navel of the world, as represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi.

Naiad nymph presiding over fresh waters

In Greek mythology, the Naiads are a type of female spirit, or nymph, presiding over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of fresh water.

Phocis Regional unit in Central Greece, Greece

Phocis is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Central Greece. It stretches from the western mountainsides of Parnassus on the east to the mountain range of Vardousia on the west, upon the Gulf of Corinth. It is named after the ancient region of Phocis, but the modern regional unit also includes parts of ancient Locris and Doris.

She was said to have been loved by Apollo and bore him Delphos, the eponymous founder of town Delphi, beside the oracular shrine. She was also closely associated with the prophetic Castalian Spring, from which she was sometimes said to have been born (Pausanias follows a tradition that made her daughter of the autochthon Castalius). Thyia was also related to Castalia, the nymph of the spring; Melaena, an alternative mother for Delphos; and the Corycian nymphs, Naiades of the springs of the holy Corycian Cave. [2]

Apollo God in Greek mythology

Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music, truth and prophecy, healing, the sun and light, plague, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros, Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.

In Greek mythology, Delphus was the person from whom the town of Delphi was believed to have derived its name.

Castalian Spring

The Castalian Spring, in the ravine between the Phaedriades at Delphi, is where all visitors to Delphi — the contestants in the Pythian Games, and especially pilgrims who came to consult the Delphic Oracle — stopped to wash themselves and quench their thirst; it is also here that the Pythia and the priests cleansed themselves before the oracle-giving process. Finally Roman poets regarded it as a source of poetic inspiration. According to some mythological versions it was here that Apollo killed the monster, Python, who was guarding the spring, and that is why it was considered to be sacred.

Thyia was also reported to have had an affair with Poseidon, and to have been a close friend of Chloris. [3]

Poseidon Ancient Greek god of the seas, earthquakes and horses

Poseidon was one of the Twelve Olympians in ancient Greek religion and myth. He was god of the Sea and other waters; of earthquakes; and of horses. In pre-Olympian Bronze Age Greece, he was venerated as a chief deity at Pylos and Thebes. His Roman equivalent is Neptune.

In Greek mythology, the name Chloris appears in a variety of contexts. Some clearly refer to different characters; other stories may refer to the same Chloris, but disagree on details.

A sacred precinct of Thyia was reported to have been located in the city of the same name, with an altar to the Anemoi set up during the Greco-Persian Wars. [1]

Anemoi A group of Greek gods

In ancient Greek religion and myth, the Anemoi were wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which their respective winds came, and were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions.

Greco-Persian Wars series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and poleis of the Hellenic world in the fifth century BC

The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to rule the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike.

The name was applied to the white cedar and its genus, Thuja , by Linnaeus (1753).

<i>Thuja occidentalis</i> species of plant

Thuja occidentalis, also known as northern white-cedar or eastern arborvitae, is an evergreen coniferous tree, in the cypress family Cupressaceae, which is native to eastern Canada and much of the north, central and upper Northeastern United States, but widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. The species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, and the binomial name remains current.

Carl Linnaeus Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist

Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus.

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Nymph Greek and Roman mythological creature

A nymph in Greek mythology is a supernatural being associated with many other minor female deities that are often associated with the air, seas or water, or particular locations or landforms. Different from Greek goddesses, nymphs are more generally regarded as divine spirits who animate or maintain Nature for the environments where they live, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young graceful maidens. They are often divided into various broad subgroups, such as Aurai (winds), Hesperides, Nereides (seas), Naiades and Dryades

Muses goddesses of the inspiration of literature, science and the arts

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, the Muses are the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. They are considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, lyric songs, and myths that were related orally for centuries in these ancient cultures.

In Greek mythology, the Limnads or Limnatides or Leimenids were a type of Naiad.

In Greek mythology, the Crinaeae were a type of Naiad nymphs associated with fountains or wells.

In Greek mythology, Pirene or Peirene, a nymph, was either the daughter of the river god Asopus, Laconian king Oebalus, or the River god Achelous, depending on different sources. By Poseidon she became the mother of Lecheas and Cenchrias. When Cenchrias was unintentionally killed by Artemis, Pirene's grief was so profound that she became nothing but tears and turned into the fountain outside the gates of Corinth. The Corinthians had a small sanctuary dedicated to Pirene by the fountain where honey-cakes were offered to her to during the dry months of early summer.

The Thriae were nymphs, three virginal sisters, one of a number of such triads in Greek mythology. They were named Melaina, Kleodora, and Daphnis ("Laurel") or Corycia. They were the three Naiads (nymphs) of the sacred springs of the Corycian Cave of Mount Parnassus in Phocis.

In Greek mythology, Philammon was an excellent musician, a talent he received from his father Apollo.

Lelex King of Laconia

In Greek mythology, Lelex was one of the original inhabitants of Laconia which was called after him, its first king, Lelegia.

In Greek mythology, Nomia (Νομία) was a nymph of Arcadia, where the local people believed the Nomian Mountains to have been named after her. She was apparently a companion of Callisto, the daughter of Lycaon: Pausanias mentions a painting of the two, with Callisto sitting on a bearskin and her feet lying on Nomia's knees; there is also Pero portrayed next to them. Nomia is also a name for a type of water goddess, many believe that she started off as nothing but a nymph until one day Callisto, decided to trade her love for a god status.

In Greek mythology, Melaena or Melena or Melane was a Corycian nymph, or member of the prophetic Thriae, of the springs of Delphi in Phocis, who was loved by Apollo and bore him Delphos. Her father was one of the local river gods, either Kephisos or Pleistos of northern Boeotia. Melaina was also identified with Thyia who is named as the mother of Delphos in other traditions. In some legends, she is called the daughter of Persephone by Hades.

In Greek mythology, Corycia or Corycis (Kôrukis), was a naiad who lived on Mount Parnassus in Phocis. Her father was the local river-god Kephisos or Pleistos of northern Boeotia. With Apollo, she became the mother of Lycoreus (Lyrcorus) who gave his name to the city Lycoreia.

In Greek mythology, Harpina was a Naiad nymph and daughter of Phliasian Asopus and of Metope. Pausanias (5.22.6) and Diodorus Siculus (4.73.1) mention Harpina and state that, according to the tradition of the Eleans and Phliasians, Ares mated with her in the city of Pisa and she bore him Oenomaus, the king of Pisa. Oenomaus (6.21.8) founded and named after his mother the city of Harpina, not far from the river Harpinates, near Olympia. Pausanias (5.22.6) mentions Harpina in his description of a group sculpture, donated by the Phliasians, of the daughters of Asopus, which included Nemea, Zeus seizing Aegina, Harpina, Corcyra, Thebe and Asopus. The sculpture was located in the sanctuary of Hippodamia at Olympia.

In Greek mythology, Praxithea was a name attributed to five women.

Alcinoe is the name that is attributed to three women in Greek mythology:

Potamides water deity

Potamides were a type of water nymphs of Greco-Roman mythology. They were assigned as a class of nymphs of fresh water known as naiads, and as such belonged to a category that presided over rivers and streams.

Cephissus (mythology) river god of Attica

Cephissus is a river god of ancient Greece, associated with the river Cephissus in Attica and/or with the river Cephissus in Boeotia, both in Greece. He was a son of Pontus and Thalassa.

In Greek mythology, Tiasa was a Naiad nymph of a river near Amyclae, Sparta. She was a Laconian princess as the daughter of King Eurotas and thus, sister to Sparta. By the river Tiasa was situated a temple of Cleta and Phaenna, the two Charites recognized in Sparta, which was purported to have been founded by Lacedaemon.

Aganippe (naiad) Ancient Greek mythological figure

Aganippe was the name of both a spring and the Naiad associated with it. The spring is in Boeotia, near Thespiae, at the base of Mount Helicon, and was associated with the Muses who were sometimes called Aganippides. Drinking from it was considered to be a source of poetic inspiration. The nymph is called a daughter of the river-god Permessus. Ovid associates Aganippe with Hippocrene.


  1. 1 2 Herodotus, Histories 7. 178. 1
  2. 1 2 Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 6. 4
  3. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10. 25. 9


PD-icon.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Schmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Thyia". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology . 3. p. 1116.