Nereus was the eldest son of Pontus and the Mother Earth Gaea and the god of the sea before Poseidon.
Nereus was a gentle, good-natured old man who was just and would tell nothing but the truth.
According to legend, Nereus was able to foretell the future and predicted the fall of Troy as well as the glorious fate of Heracles.
Nereus possessed the ability to transform himself at will, often being depicted as a an old man of the sea covered with seaweed.
Nereus lived at the bottom of the Aegean, in a magnificent palace built in a cave. He married Doris, a fine-haired daughter of Oceanus, the Titan of the Seas. The couple was blessed with 50 beautiful mermaids, the Nereids, who protected the sailors with their sweet, enchanting sound. One of the Nereids was Amphitrite, the future wife of Poseidon and another one was Galatea, who was considered as the most beautiful Nereid.
Nereus had at first the tail of a fish and the upper body of a man, but gradually he became fully human. Nereus had a sweet countenance, was bearded, and had hair as white as the foam of the sea.
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