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Myths about the Roman God Nereus

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Myths about the Roman God Nereus
Nerius, a sea-deity, was son of Oceanus, by Tethys. Apollodorus gives him Terra for his mother. His education and authority were in the waters, and his residence, more particularly, the Aegean seas. He had the faculty of assuming what form he pleased. He was regarded as a prophet; and foretold to Paris the war which the rape of Helen would bring upon his country.

When Hercules was ordered to fetch the golden apples of the Hesperides, he went to the Nymphs inhabiting the grottoes of Eridanus, to know where he might find them; the Nymphs sent him to Nereus, who, to elude the inquiry, perpetually varied his form, till Hercules having seized him, resolved to hold him till he resumed his original shape, on which he yielded the desired information. Nereus had, by his sister Doris, fifty daughters called Nereids. Hesiod highly celebrates him as a mild and peaceful old man, a lover of justice and moderation. Nereus and Doris, with their descendants the Nereids, or Oceaniads, so called from Oceanus, are ranked in the third class of water deities.

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