Nereid

In Greek mythology, the Nereids (neer’-ee-eds) are sea nymphs, the fifty daughters of Nereus and Doris. They often accompany Poseidon and are always friendly and helpful towards sailors fighting perilous storms. They are particularly associated with the Aegean Sea, where they dwelt with their father in the depths within a silvery cave. The most notable of them are Thetis, wife of Peleus and mother of Achilles; Amphitrite, wife of Poseidon; and Galatea, love of the Cyclops Polyphemus.

In Iliad XVIII, when Thetis cries out in sympathy for the grief of Achilles for the slain Patroclus,

There gathered round her every goddess, every Nereid that was in the deep salt sea. Glauce was there and Thaleia and Cymodoce; Nesaea, Speio, Thoe and ox-eyed Halie; Cymothoe, Actaee and Limnoreia; Melite, Iaera, Amphithoe and Agaue; Doto, Proto, Pherusa and Dynamene; Dexamene, Amphinome and Callianeira; Doris, Panope and far-sung Galatea; Nemertes, Apseudes and Callianassa. Clymene came too, with Ianeira, Ianassa, Maera, Oreithuia, Amatheia of the lovely locks, and other Nereids of the salt sea depths. The silvery cave was full of nymphs.
(E.V. Rieu, translator)

In classical art they are frequently depicted riding an assortment of sea creatures — dolphins, sea monsters, and hippocampi.

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