Greek mythology: Doris the Oceanid

According to wikipedia.org, Hesiod along with Homer was a Greek oral poet whose work has survived the centuries. His writings on farming, astronomy, time-keeping and mythology serve as a major source of information for scholars. One of his works, Theogony, explains the origins of the cosmos and the genealogy of the gods.

Doris - Public Domain

Doris – Public Domain

There is very little known about Doris and she is barely mentioned in any myths or legends. According to Hesiod, Doris was the daughter of the Titan, Oceanus and Tethys, the Titaness.

Doris was an Oceanid, or sea nymph, and was the sister of many other such nymphs such as Clymene, Calypso, Styx, Metis, and Tyche. The Oceanids were named from their father, Oceanus. Doris was also the aunt of Atlas whose task was to carry the world on his shoulder. Her sister Clymene was the mother of Atlas.

She is briefly mentioned in the myth of Phaethon for taking refuge in the darkest places of the earth with her husband to escape the excessive heat of Phaethon’s fiery ride in the chariot of Helios. A ride which nearly destroyed the world.

In Greek mythology she was the wife of the sea god Nereus and between them they were parents of the Nereids, These were fifty in number and were very beautiful and include Psamathe, Galatea, Amphitrite, and Thetis.

The most famous of these was Thetis, who was the mother of Achilles and Galatae who Polphemus the Cyclops fell in love with. Galatae rejected Polphemus and instead fell in love with a shepherd, Acis. Polphemus killed Acis with a boulder in revenge.

Arethusa, a nymph, was also a daughter of Doris changed by Artemis into a fountain so she could escape the pursuit of Alpheus.

The Nereids also played a part in the myth of Jason and the Argonauts by helping to guide the ship in the encounter with Charbdys and Scylla, and the Wandering Rocks.

Nereus was sea god of some significance, being the son of the god Pontus, who was considered the personification of the sea, by Hesiod. He considered to be an old man with the gift of prophecy. He was known for his wisdom and devotion to truth and justice. He was also called the Old Man of the Sea.

She was not a resident goddess on Mount Olympus and Doris does not play a significant part in Greek mythology other than as wife to Nereus and mother to the Nereids. Her name means bounty of the sea and was the god of rich fishing grounds at the mouths of rivers, where fresh water mingles with salt water.

Copyright July 30, 2009 zteve t evans

References and Attribitions

Copyright July 30, 2009 zteve t evans

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Greek mythology: Doris the Oceanid

  1. I didn’t realize that about Doris. Well, that’s good to know, as especially since one of my in-laws had that name. It’s an adventure puzzling out the Greek gods’ (Greco-Roman) family tree, isn’t it, Zteve? Homer says one thing, Hesiod says something totally different, Virgil says yet another, Plutarch disagrees, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s