Amymone

There are two different versions of Amymone’s story, or possibly two different myths about someone named Amymone who may or may not be the same. In both cases she is credited with receiving the sacred springs of Lerna as a gift from Poseidon.

This Amymone may or may not be the same Amymone who was the only one of Danaus’ fifty daughters not to kill her husband and who also allegedly received the Lernaean Springs from Poseidon. Amymone, as well as some of the Danaids, were venerated in the region.

According to what may be a pre-Olympian myth, Poseidon once ruled the Argolis region of southern Greece together with Demeter and Persephone. When rulership was given to Hera, Poseidon stormed off in a huff, taking all the freshwater with him: all the local springs dried up. He lurked in the region, keeping his eye on things.

What eventually caught his eye was the beautiful Nymph Amymone. When a satyr attempted to assault her, Poseidon intervened and rescued her. Perhaps somewhat out of character, he did not continue the assault himself but instead wooed her with the promise of springs. She succumbed to his charms, and he revealed the hidden springs of Lerna in which she now resides. An entrance to Hades may be found at Lerna, once the site of Demeter’s Lernaean Mysteries.

ORIGIN:

Greece

CLASSIFICATION:

Naiad; Nymph

ICONOGRAPHY:

Romantic images of Poseidon and Amymone are a popular motif on ancient Greek vase paintings.

ATTRIBUTE:

A pitcher

SEE ALSO:

  • Amphitrite
  • Demeter
  • Hades
  • Hydra
  • Persephone
  • Poseidon

SOURCE:

Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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