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Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, Salmacis was a Phrygian nymph (a Limnades) who loved Hermaphroditus.

Hermaphroditus was raised by Phrygian nymphs. One of the local nymphs, Salmacis, who lived in a lake, fell in love with him; Hermaphroditus rejected her. He undressed himself by the lake, and jumped into the water to go swimming. Salmacis embraced him and he struggled while she prayed that they would never be separated. The gods granted her this and their bodies fused. Hermaphroditus begged that the lake would take the virility from anyone who bathed in it; this was also granted.

Greek Mythology

The Nymph Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, François-Joseph Navez

"There dwelt a Nymph, not up for hunting or archery:
unfit for footraces. She the only Naiad not in Diana’s band.
Often her sisters would say: “Pick up a javelin, or
bristling quiver, and interrupt you leisure for the chase!”
But she would not pick up a javelin or arrows,
nor trade leisure for the chase.
Instead she would bathe her beautiful limbs and tend to her hair, with her
waters as a mirror."

Ovid ’’Metamorphoses’’ IV. 306-312

Hermaphroditus And Salmacis Print by Louis Finson

Hermaphroditus and Salmacis, Louis Finson

Salmacis And Hermaphroditos Print by Bartholomeus Spranger

Salmacis and Hermaphroditos, Bartholomeus Spranger

Salmacis Embracing Hermaphroditus Print by Follower of Francesco Albani

Salmacis embracing Hermaphroditus, Follower of Francesco Albani

Arcadian Landscape With Salmacis And Hermaphroditus Print by Johannes Glauber

Arcadian Landscape with Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, Johannes Glauber

Greek Mythology

The Transformation of Hermaphroditus and Salmacis, Jan Gossaert

The Water Nymph Salmacis, Seated On A Stone Block Print by Philip Galle

The water nymph Salmacis, seated on a stone block, Philip Galle

Musical reference

"The Fountain of Salmacis" by Genesis, on the album Nursery Cryme (1971)

Greek Mythology

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