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Nymphs
(305 words)

[German version]

(νύμφαι/nýmphai, lat. nymphae). Female nature daimones in human form. Νύμφη (nýmphē) means ‘young woman’ or ‘bride’ (cf. lat. nubere: ‘to marry’), hence a ‘young woman of marriageable age’. In Homer the term is frequently used for human women (Hom. Il. 3,130; 9,536; Hom. Od. 5 passim), but the concept of nymphs as nature deities already exists as well (Hom. Il. 6,420; 20,8; 24,616 etc.).

Nymphs are active wherever there is life in nature. Despite their divinity they are not immortal. They usually appear as groups, often a chain of dancers or t…

Cite this page
Käppel, Lutz (Kiel), “Nymphs”, 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 28 September 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e827190>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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