Nymphs in Greek Mythology: Background information when reading Circe

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Circe by Madeline Miller X
Circe by Madeline Miller
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2018, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 5, 2019, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Dean Muscat

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Nymphs in Greek Mythology

This article relates to Circe

Circe, the nymphThe nature of nymphs, the "least of the lesser goddesses," as they are referred to in Circe, is central to the novel. Circe, herself a sorceress or witch nymph, is most famous for turning Odysseus' crew into wild pigs and later becoming the hero's lover and adviser. In Greek mythology, nymphs are female spirits associated with the natural world. There are various kinds of nymphs presiding over all aspects of nature such as the Naiads and Oceanids of the waters and the Dryads of the forests. There are even breeze and star nymphs such as the Aurae and Asteriae.

The nymphs are rarely central protagonists of myths and are more generally seen to be companions to the Olympians. As an infant, Zeus himself was protected and nursed by the nymphs of Mount Ida, Adrasteia and Ida. The head Olympian later rewarded his childhood minders by turning them into the constellations Ursa Major and Minor. The goddess of hunting, Artemis, was accompanied by faithful huntress nymphs. Similarly, the ...

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