November 28th, 2010 by sabrina

Amaltheia (pronounced a-mal-THEE-uh) is a Greek Nymph, who, according to some sources, fed the infant Zeus with the milk of a goat. Other sources say that she actually was the goat. As a nymph, she was the wife of King Melisseus of Crete, and mother of the nymphs Adrasteia and Ida, who helped her to nurse Zeus. Aside from feeding Zeus, Amaltheia also suspended him in a cradle from the branch of a tree, so that he could not be found in heaven, on earth, or in the sea. When her goat broke off one of its horns, she filled it with herbs and fruit and gave it to the baby—the first horn of plenty or cornucopia. Zeus later placed the goat and its horn among the stars, as the constellations Capra and Capricornus. Amaltheia’s name, which means either “tender goddess” or “she who nourishes,” is also seen as Amalthea or Amalthia.

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