Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

(482 words)

[German version]

(Νηρεύς; N ēreús), whose name may be related to the Lithuanian nérti (‘to dive’), has only a shadowy role in Greek mythology. He is a typical ‘Old Man of the Sea’. This category of deities is usually anonymous in Homer (Il. 1.358, 18.141 etc.), although the title also refers to other sea-deities like Proteus (Od. 4.365) and Phorcys (Od. 13.96). These, and comparable deities like Glaucus [1], Thetis and Triton, possess the gift of prophecy and the ability to change shapes. The background is a belief in a ‘Master of the Animals’, a protector of all a…

Cite this page
Bremmer, Jan N. (Groningen), “Nereus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 24 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲