The Heliades

September 12th, 2010 by sabrina

Ancient sources vary in the number¬†and names of the Heliades—I’ve gone with the list given by Hyginus in Fabulae.

The Heliades (pronounced hel-EE-a-deez) are Greek Nymphs, the seven daughters of Helios, God of the sun, and the Okeanid Klymene. Helios and Klymene also had a son, Phaethon, who begged his father to let him drive his sun chariot. When Helios reluctantly agreed, Phaethon lost control of the horses and drove too close to the earth, scorching it. Zeus struck him down with a thunderbolt to stop the destruction, and Phaethon fell to his death in the River Eridanos. His sisters, the Heliades, gathered there to mourn him, where Zeus turned them into poplar trees. The trees cry still, in golden drops of sap that turn to amber when they fall. The names of the seven Heliades are Aetherie (also seen as Aethria; means “clear sky”), Aigle (also seen as Aegle; means “radiant”), Dioxippe (means “horse-driving”), Helie (also seen as Helia; means “of the sun”), Lampetie (also seen as Lampetia; means “shining”), Merope (means “face-turned”), and Phoibe (also seen as Phoebe; means “bright”).

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