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Sphinx (Riddle of)
In Greek mythology there was a large fight amongst the many Greek Gods. Below the highest gods,(Zeus,Posiedin, Hades,etc) were a class of demigods unlike the gods the demigods were mortal, (can be killed or die of age). The dryads are mortal like all humans. The dryads are attractive wood nymphs and forest nymphs. These were beautiful and carefree maiden spirits who lived in the wooded areas and gamboled about while protecting the trees and creatures in their domain. Dryads are very peaceful and usually known to be very shy.
The dryads are very closely associated with trees and each dryad has a particular tree with which she herself is closely linked. The dryads live close to these trees always but they do not live in the tree. They can only move so far away from the tree.In some literature the dryads are known only as tree nymphs and most especially as oak tree nymphs however the more general description of woods nymph is more fitting. These beings were exceptionally long lived owing to their close connection to the immortal gods and they were extremely peaceful. It is interesting to note some of the stories of these shy and gentle creatures. Dryads are described as lovely and ethereal beings whose sole joy was frolicking about in nature and living peacefully with the forest and all of the inhabitants.
All of the animals and trees were friends of the dryads who were thought of as their protectors. Artemis was a particularly trusted friend to all of the dryads and was considered to be their ally. It was Artemis who would often be the first to seek revenge if one of the dryads should fall victim to the cruelty of men. The dryads themselves could also take first revenge on a man who sought to do harm to the trees although they were said not to like taking such actions.
Many of the ancient people revered the dryads and went to great lengths to keep or seek their favor. It was said that if it were absolutely necessary that a tree be cut down and used the only way to do this and not be punished was by making a deal with the hamadryad of the tree and getting her blessing. It was not uncommon for the people to present offerings at the base of the tree before any attempt would ever be made to strike the first blow. You will find references to the beautiful and happy dryads scattered throughout all mythology.
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