Clytie-The Water Nymph

Evelyn de Morgan, Clytie

Evelyn de Morgan, Clytie

Clytia  or Clytie  was a water nymph, daughter of Oceanus and Tethys in Greek mythology. She loved Helios.

Helios, having loved her, abandoned her for Leucothea and left her deserted. She was so angered by his treatment that she told Leucothea’s father, Orchamus, about the affair. Since Helios had defiled Leucothea, Orchamus had her put to death by burial alive in the sands. Clytie intended to win Helios back by taking away his new love, but her actions only hardened his heart against her. She stripped herself and sat naked, with neither food nor drink, for nine days on the rocks, staring at the sun, Helios, and mourning his departure. After nine days she was transformed into the turnsole (which is known for growing on sunny, rocky hillsides), which turns its head always to look longingly at Helios’ chariot of the sun. The episode is most fully told in OvidMetamorphoses iv. 204, 234-56.

Modern traditions substitute the turnsole with a sunflower, which is also known for turning in the direction of the sun.

Tournesol means sunflower in french.

Advertisements

About Mrs Poetry

Always in love with music, art and the beauty of this world..
This entry was posted in Mythology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s