specifically, a dryad is a spirit associated with an oak tree, as “drys” means “oak” in Greek, but over time, these spirits have come to be associated with trees in general. According to legends, the dryads look after the forest and keep an eye on the health of the trees ... devout members of society would make offerings to appease or thank dryads when they needed to harvest trees or branches. A specific type of dryad known as a hamadryad actually lives inside the tree, according to legend, and if the tree dies, the hamadryad dies with it. For this reason, the Greeks believed that it was necessary to ask permission from the gods before felling a tree, to confirm that they would not be killing a hamadryad by mistake. The gods were also said to punish people severely for cutting down trees ...
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