Fandom

Mythology Wiki

Achelous

1,325pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Comments0 Share

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.

This article is about the Greek river god. For the shark-shaped daimon, see Acheilus.
Acheloos, detail of roman mosaic from Zeugma

Achelous

Achelous is a river god in Greek mythology. As the deity of the largest river in Greece, he was considered the chief of the Greek Potamoi and father of Sirens. He is the son of Oceanus and Tethys. His name, though of a pre-Greek origin, was later thought to mean "he who washes away care".

220px-Annibale Fontana - Plaque with Hercules and Achelous - Walters 4171

Achelous and Heracles fight

220px-Hall of the Augustals

Heracles, Deianeira and Achelous

In MythologyEdit

Achelous was a suitor of Deianeira, daughter of King Oeneus of Aetolia. Another suitor, Heracles fought him for her. Achelous turned himself into a serpent and later, a bull but Heracles defeated him and broke one of his horns, giving it to the nymphs. It later became the Cornucopia. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Achelous relates this tale to Theseus while hosting him in a cave.
330px-Metropolitan Rubens Achelous

Achelous, holding a feast in his cave

AnalysisEdit

700px-Thomas Hart Benton - Achelous and Hercules - Smithsonian

Achelous and Hercules; a mural by painting by Thomas Hart Benson

According to Strabo, the noise of the river's water resembled a bull's voice. It meandering nature gave rise to the serpent component of the myth. Heracles confined the raging river to a smaller embankment, thus "defeating" it and gaining large tracts of fertile land (hence the cornucopia).

The River TodayEdit

The river has its origin in the Pindus mountains. It is 220 km long. Its average annual discharge is 7,800,000,000 m3 of water.


Also on Fandom

Random Wiki