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Hamadryad

Tile mosaic of Pan and a hamadryad, found in Pompeii

A hamadryad (/hæməˈdr.æd/; Greek: Ἁμαδρυάδες, Hamadryádes) is a Greek mythological being that lives in trees. They are a particular type of dryad, which are a particular type of nymph. Hamadryads are born bonded to a certain tree.[1] Some believe that hamadryads are the actual tree, while normal dryads are simply the entities, or spirits, of the trees. If the tree died, the hamadryad associated with it died as well. For that reason, dryads and the gods punished any mortals who harmed trees.

List of hamadryads

The Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus lists eight hamadryads, the daughters of Oxylus and Hamadryas:

Other hamadryads

Scientific names

The mother, Hamadryas, is immortalized in three scientific names, two of which are still valid: the generic name of the cracker butterfly, the specific name of the northernmost monkey in Asia Minor, the hamadryas baboon, and the original (but no longer valid) genus name of the king cobra (originally Hamadryas hannah, now Ophiophagus hannah). The cracker butterfly is more arboreal than most butterflies, as it commonly camouflages itself on trees. It feeds on sap, rotting fruit and dung. The hamadryas baboon is one of the least arboreal monkeys, but was the most common monkey in Hellenic lands. The king cobra is sometimes considered arboreal or semi-arboreal, and is also referred to by the common name "hamadryad", especially in older literature.

In popular culture

See also

References

  1. ^ John Bell (1790). Bell's New Pantheon; Or, Historical Dictionary of the Gods, Demi-gods, Heroes, and Fabulous Personages of Antiquity: Also, of the Images and Idols Adored in the Pagan World; Together with Their Temples, Priests, Altars, Oracles, Fasts, Festivals, Games ... J. Bell. pp. 366–7.

External links