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Les Oceanides Les Naiades de la mer. Gustave Doré, 1860s

In Greek mythology and, later, Roman mythology, the Oceanids or Oceanides (/ˈsənɪdz, ˈʃənɪdz/; Ancient Greek: Ὠκεανίδες, pl. of Ὠκεανίς) are water nymphs who were the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys.[1]

Sailors routinely honoured and entreated the Oceanids, dedicating prayers, libations and sacrifices to them. Appeals to them were made to protect seafarers from storms and other nautical hazards. Before they began their legendary voyage to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece, the Argonauts made an offering of flour, honey and sea to the ocean deities, sacrificed bulls to them and entreated their protection from the dangers of their journey.[2]

Oceanus and Tethys also had 3,000 sons, the river-gods Potamoi (Ποταμοί, "rivers").[3]

Notable Oceanids[edit]

Some notable Oceanids include:

Oceanids in the arts[edit]

Jean Sibelius wrote an orchestral tone poem called Aallottaret (The Oceanides) in 1914.

The Manchester-born painter Annie Swynnerton, the first woman to be admitted to the Royal Academy in 1922, painted a work called Oceanid some time before 1908. It shows a strong, unidealised female figure at one with nature, typical of Swynnerton's many depictions of 'real' women and her feminist politics.

Oceanid, by Annie Swynnerton

See also[edit]



  • Apollodorus, Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, Massachusetts., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
  • Kemp, Peter (1979). The Oxford Companion to Ships & the Sea. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-586-08308-6.
  • Smith, William; Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London (1873).