In Greek mythology and, later, Roman mythology, the Oceanids or Oceanides (/, /; Ancient Greek: Ὠκεανίδες, pl. of Ὠκεανίς) are sea nymphs who were the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Each was the patroness of a particular spring, river, sea, lake, pond, pasture, flower or cloud. Some of them, such as Clymene, Asia, and Electra, were closely associated with the Titan gods or personified abstract concepts (Tyche, Peitho).
Notable Oceanids include:
- Metis, Zeus' first wife, whom Zeus impregnated with Athena and then swallowed.
- Eurynome, Zeus' third wife, and mother of the Charites.
- Doris, the wife of Nereus and mother of the Nereids.
- Callirhoe, the wife of Chrysaor and mother of Geryon.
- Clymene, the wife of Iapetus, and mother of Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus.
- Electra, wife of Thaumas and mother of Iris and the Harpies
- Perseis, wife of Helios and mother of Circe, and Aeetes.
- Idyia, wife of Aeetes and mother of Medea.
- Styx, goddess of the river Styx, and the wife of Pallas and mother of Zelus, Nike, Kratos, and Bia.
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.
Oceanids in the arts
- Hesiod, Theogony, 346 ff
- Bibliotheca 1.8
- Hesiod Theogony 243; Bibliotheca 1.11
- Hesiod Theogony 337
- Hesiod, Theogony 886–900; Apollodorus, 1.3.6.
- Hesiod, Theogony 907–909; Apollodorus, 1.3.1. Other sources give the Charites other parents, see Smith, "Charis".
- Hesiod, Theogony 240–264; Apollodorus, 1.2.7.
- Hesiod, Theogony 286–288; Apollodorus, 2.5.10.
- Hesiod, Theogony 351, however according to Apollodorus, 1.2.3, another Oceanid, Asia was their mother by Iapetus.
- Hesiod Theogony 956–957; Apollodorus, 1.9.1.
- Hesiod, Theogony 958–962; Apollodorus, 1.9.23.
- Hesiod, Theogony 383–385; Apollodorus, 1.2.4.
- Kemp, Peter (1979). The Oxford Companion to Ships & the Sea. Oxford University Press. p. 611. ISBN 978-0-586-08308-6.