In Greek mythology, Perse (also Persa or Perseis) was a daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, therefore one of the three-thousand Oceanids. According to varying versions, she married either Helios or Apollo and had several children: Aegea, Aeetes, Perses, Calypso, Circe and Pasiphae. Calypso is more usually described as a daughter of Atlas.

Due to unfortunate coincidence, "perse" is an obscene word in both Finnish and Estonian (meaning the backside of a human), which has given Finnish children studying Greek mythology many a guffaw.


Homer Odys. x. 139,

Hesiod Theog. 356, 956.

Apollod. i. 9

We sailed on from there with heavy hearts,
grieving for dear shipmates we had lost,
though glad we had avoided death ourselves,
until we reached the island of Aeaea,    
where fair-haired Circe lived, fearful goddess
with a human voice—sister by blood
to bloody minded Aeetes, both children
of sun god Helios, who gives men light.
Perse, child of Oceanus, was their mother. 

Homer Odys. x

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