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Last Update: 02 May 2021


Achelous, the Father of the Sirens

Achelous was the most important river god

Achelous was the son of Titans Oceanus and Tethys, and was said to be the father of the Sirens.
Furthermore, Achelous was considered the most important river god- the Greek poet Homer actually considered only Zeus to be higher than Acheloos.

Acheloos was also associated with the Achelous River, one of the largest rivers in Greece.

According to Greek mythology, Acheloos was able to change his shape and had three forms- a bull, which represented his motive power, a snake, which symbolized the flow of its waters, and a man with a bull's head with plenty of water running from his beard.

Achelous and Dianeira

Once Achelous fell in love with Dianeira, the daughter of Oeneas, as she crossed his shores in her chariot, so he took the form of a bull to win her heart.

Heracles, the strongest hero of Ancient Greece, rushed to Dianeira's aid, and in the ensuing struggle broke Acheloos' horn. Acheloos, in order to get back the broken horn, gave Heracles the horn of the goat Amalthea, which was the symbol of abundance and fertility and could be filled with any good the owner desired.

According to historians, one possible interpretation of the myth is the construction of flood defenses in the area, which were able to tame the god-bull.

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