Galatea

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Galatea

Galatea, whose name means "milk white," was a sea nymph in Greek mythology. She was loved by the Cyclops* Polyphemus, an ugly giant with one eye in the middle of his forehead. But Galatea rejected him and instead fell in love with a youth named Acis. Polyphemus saw Acis with his beloved, chased the youth, and crushed him with an enormous stone. As Acis died, a stream of water burst forth from the stone and flowed down to the sea, where it mingled with the waves behind which Galatea had hidden herself. The story of Galatea pursued by Polyphemus appears in a Renaissance painting by Raphael.

In another legend, Galatea was a statue of a woman carved by the sculptor Pygmalion. After Pygmalion fell in love with his creation, the goddess Aphrodite* agreed to bring it to life.

See also Cyclopes; Nymphs; Pygmalion; Venus.

nymph minor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful

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Galatea in Greek mythology, the name both of a sea nymph courted by the Cyclops Polyphemus, who in jealousy killed his rival Acis, and that given to the statue fashioned by Pygmalion and brought to life.

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Galatea (gălətē´ə), in Greek mythology. 1 Sea nymph, daughter of Nereus and Doris. She was loved by the brutish Polyphemus, a Cyclops who wooed her with love songs; but Galatea loved Acis, the handsome son of a river nymph. When Polyphemus discovered them together, he crushed the youth under a huge boulder. In response to his pitiful cries, Galatea turned Acis into a river. 2 See Pygmalion1.

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Galatea (Neptune VI) A satellite of Neptune, with a diameter of 158 km; visual albedo 0.06.

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Galatea, in astronomy, one of the natural satellites, or moons, of Neptune.