Amphitrite: Greek Sea Goddess of Tranquility

Amphitrite was a Greek sea goddess. According to Hesiod’s Theogony she was one of the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. She supposedly calmed stormy seas, and travels in a boat made of mussels. Amphitrite was among those present at the birth of ApolloA.G.H.

 

Amphitrite Greek Goddess

Amphitrite is a notable figure in Greek mythology, known for her role as a sea goddess. She is often depicted as the personification of the sea’s calm and serene aspects.

 

Mythological Lineage

  • Daughter of Nereus and Doris: Amphitrite is one of the fifty Nereids, daughters of the sea god Nereus and the Oceanid Doris, according to Hesiod’s «Theogony».
  • Nereids: The Nereids were sea nymphs in Greek mythology, often depicted as beautiful maidens associated with the sea and its various aspects.

 

Role and Attributes

  • Sea Goddess: As a sea goddess, Amphitrite is associated with the calm and tranquil aspects of the sea.
  • Calmer of Storms: She was believed to have the power to calm stormy seas, a significant attribute for the ancient Greeks who relied heavily on sea travel.

 

Iconography

  • Depiction: Amphitrite is often portrayed in ancient art as a beautiful and majestic figure, befitting her status as a goddess of the sea.
  • Symbolism: She is sometimes depicted traveling in a boat made of mussels, symbolizing her connection with the sea and its creatures.

 

Marriage to Poseidon

  • Consort of Poseidon: Amphitrite is best known as the wife of Poseidon, the god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. Their union represents the harmonization of various aspects of the sea’s power.

 

Involvement in Mythological Events

  • Birth of Apollo: According to some sources, Amphitrite was present at the birth of Apollo, highlighting her importance among the deities of the Greek pantheon.

 

Cultural Significance

  • Representation in Art and Literature: Amphitrite’s image and story have been depicted in various works of art and literature, emphasizing her role in Greek mythology.
  • Symbol of the Sea’s Benevolence: In contrast to the often unpredictable and violent nature of the sea as represented by Poseidon, Amphitrite embodies the sea’s nurturing and life-giving qualities.

 

Modern Interpretations

  • Continued Interest: Modern interest in Greek mythology continues to explore and reinterpret the stories and symbolism of deities like Amphitrite.

 


 

Source:

Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, p. 15