Galatea was the daughter of Nereus and Doris, and as Handel's opera reminds us she was loved by Acis. Galatea lived in the sea off Sicily (where the Cyclops Polyphemus became infatuated by her), and doubtless a combination of this and the fact that she was beautiful is intimated in her name, which means 'milk white', from gala, galactos, 'milk'. (The Greek word gave the English 'galaxy', which in turn derived from the original Greek name for the Milky Way, Cyclos galacticos, literally 'milk circle'.)