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ACHELOUS
The god of the river of that name between Aetolia and Acarnania; eldest of the 3000 sons of Oceanus and Tethys, and father of the Sirens by Sterope, the daughter of Porthaon. As a water-god he was capable of metamorphosis, appearing now as a bull, then as a snake, and again as a bull-faced man. In fighting with Heracles for the possession of Deianeira, he lost one horn, but got it back in exchange for the horn of Amaltheia (q.v.). As the oldest and most venerable of river-gods, he was worshipped all over Greece and her colonies, especially Rhodes, Italy, and Sicily. The oracle of Dodona, in every answer which it gave, added an injunction to sacrifice to Achelous; and in religious usage his name stood for any stream or running water.
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