Drayads in Greek mythology
Dryads, also called hamadryads, are legendary creatures from Greek mythology. They are said to be the spirits of oak trees and take the form of a beautiful young woman. Dryads were originally the spirits of oak trees, but the name was later applied to all tree nymphs.
The word “dryad” translates to simply woman or maiden in ancient Greek. There are three types of dryads: Oak, pine and olive.
History of dryads
Greek mythology came about many years ago, dating back to the period of 1700-1100 BC. There was a lot of myth that surrounded Gods and Goddesses. The Greek goddess of the oak tree was named Daphne. Daphne was a dryad who fell in love with Apollo, which caused her father, Peneus, to turn her into a pine tree where she could hide from Apollo. The dryads began to mimic Daphne’s love story, which resulted in the other Greek gods knowing about the oak tree spirits.
When Zeus, king of the gods, found out about the oak tree spirits and how they were taking on human form in order to fall in love with men, he became very angry. He ordered his son, Apollo, to kill all of the oak tree spirits so that they would never again seduce his subjects.
Types of dryads
- Oak dryad: The oak dryad was the first type of dryad that was known to the Greek gods. They were said to have beautiful voices and become very seductive in order to fall in love with men. The oaks were known as the sacred trees of the ancient Greeks. The oak tree used in their worship was called Dodona. This is where Zeus’s oracle lived. His oracle would give prophecies from Zeus through a cracked branch of an oak tree.
- Pine dryad: The pine dryad was known to give men lucky charms of pine cones, which were believed to be magical in ancient Greece. They were also called on by women who would get down on the ground and whisper for wishes. The pine tree was associated with Artemis, a Greek goddess. Artemis was said to hide from men in the trunk of a pine tree, which is how it became associated with her.
- Olive dryad: The olive dryad was the smallest of the tree nymphs and were known to be very helpful to people as they were very smart. They were also said to sing beautifully. The olive tree was associated with Athena, a Greek goddess. Athena was also said to hide in a trunk of an olive tree, where she had been born from Zeus’s head. This is why Greeks believed that the olive tree had divine powers that could protect people.
What powers do dryads have?
Dryads were very powerful creatures. They were able to make men fall in love with them without any effort. The oak dryads had magical pendant necklaces that they wore that would call out to men who would come and fall in love with them.
Dryads were very strong and were known to shoot darts at men who came near them. They would be shot on the ground or in trees where the dryads lived. The darts could kill a man instantly, but if they weren’t killed, they would fall in love with the nymph that shot them and their body would become rigid and unable to move without their consciousness.
The tree nymphs were also able to turn into trees so that they could hide from men who might find their hiding spot.
Are dryads evil?
No, they were not evil creatures by any means. In fact, they had very kind hearts and desired to make happy people. They could see a person’s past, present and future by looking into a lake that was connected to the Underworld. They used this ability to help people with guidance.
Appearance of dryads
- Oak dryad: The oak dryad looked like a beautiful young woman who was youthful and desirable. She would wear a chiton, which was a dress that was made out of silk and wool. It had short sleeves and could be worn while working or during celebrations. The chiton was paired with an eketras, which was a sleeveless tunic that flowed freely behind her. This allowed the nymph to run easily when she needed to do so.
- Pine dryad: The pine dryad looked like a beautiful young woman who had golden hair and brown eyes. They looked human and had no special traits that would make them stick out. Their hair was said to shine in the sunlight and they wore the same clothes as the oak dryads.
- Olive dryad: The olive dryad looked like a beautiful young woman who had dark eyes and long black hair. They also looked human, but their skin was darker than the others. They wore the same clothes as other dryads, but they did not wear a crown that showed their royalty status in ancient Greece.
Although the Dryads and Greek goddesses were known to be beautiful women, they were also strong and smart. They had an impact on society greatly and still have an impact on today’s society. They are all associated with magic and were considered to be very good luck as they had healing powers.
Story by Amelie Hyett