Ο Στράβων παραδίδει ότι σε προγενέστερους χρόνους ο ποταμός Αχελώος ονομαζόταν Θόας (Στράβ. 10,2,1,).
The largest river in Greece. It rises in Mt. Pindus, and flows southward, forming the boundary between Acarnania and Aetolia, and falls into the Ionian Sea opposite the islands called Echinades. It is about 130 miles in length. The god of this river is described as the son of Oceanus and Tethys, and as the eldest of his 3000 brothers. He fought with Heracles for Deianira, but was conquered in the contest. He then took the form of a bull, but was again overcome by Heracles, who deprived him of one of his horns, which, however, he recovered by giving up the horn of Amalthea. According to Ovid, the Naiads changed the horn which Heracles took from Achelous into the horn of plenty. Achelous was from the earliest times considered to be a great divinity throughout Greece, and was invoked in prayers and sacrifices. Achelous was regarded as the representative of all fresh water; hence we find in Vergil Acheloia pocula, that is, water in general. The Sirens are called Acheloiades, as the daughters of Achelous.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Achelous (Acheloos, Epic Acheloios). (Aspropotamo), the largest and
most celebrated river in Greece, rose in Mount Pindus, and after flowing through
the mountainous country of the Dolopians and Agraeans, entered the plain of Acarnania
and Aetolia near Stratus, and discharged itself into the Ionian sea, near the
Acarnanian town of Oeniadae. It subsequently formed the boundary between Acarnania
and Aetolia, but in the time of Thucydides the territory of Oeniadae extended
east of the river. It is usually called a river of Acarnania, but it is sometimes
assigned to Aetolia. Its general direction is from north to south. Its waters
are of a whitish yellow or cream colour, whence it derives its modern name of
Aspropotamo or the White river, and to which Dionysius (432) probably alludes
in the epithet argurodines. It is said to have been called more anciently Thoas,
Axenus and Thestius (Thuc. ii. 102; Strab. pp. 449, 450, 458; Plut. de Fluv. 22;
Steph. B. s. v.) We learn from Leake that the reputed sources of the Achelous
are at a village called Khaliki, which is probably a corruption of Chalcis, at
which place Dionysius Periegetes (496) places the sources of the river. Its waters
are swelled by numerous torrents, which it receives in its passage through the
mountains, and when it emerges into the plain near Stratus its bed is not less
than three-quarters of a mile in width. In winter the entire bed is often filled,
but in the middle of summer the river is divided into five or six rapid streams,
of which only two are of a considerable size. After leaving Stratus the river
becomes narrower; and, in the lower part of its course, the plain through which
it flows was called in antiquity Paracheloitis after the river. This plain was
celebrated for its fertility, though covered in great part with marshes, several
of which were formed by the overflowings of the Achelous. In this part of its
course the river presents the most extraordinary series of wanderings; and these
deflexions, observes a recent traveller, are not only so sudden, but so extensive,
as to render it difficult to trace the exact line of its bed, -and sometimes,
for several miles, having its direct course towards the sea, it appears to flow
back into the mountains in which it rises. The Achelous brings down from the mountains
an immense quantity of earthy particles, which have formed a number of small islands
at its mouth, which belong to the group anciently called Echinades; and part of
the mainland near its mouth is only alluvial deposition. (Leake, Northern Greece,
vol. i. p. 136, seq., vol. iii. p. 513, vol. iv. p. 211; Mure, Journal of a Tour
in Greece, vol. i. p. 102.) The chief tributaries of the Achelous were:- on its
left, the Campylus (Kampulos, Diod. xix. 67: Medghova), a river of considerable
size, flowing from Dolopia through the territory of the Dryopes and Eurytanes,
and the Cyathus (Kuathos, Pol. ap. Ath. p. 424, c.) flowing out of the lake Hyrie
into the main stream just above Conope:- on its right the Petitarus (Liv. xliii.
22) in Aperantia, and the Anapus (Anapos), which fell into the main stream in
Acarnania 80 stadia S. of Stratus. (Thuc. ii. 82.)
The Achelous was regarded as the ruler and representative of all fresh water in Hellas. Hence he is called by Homer (Il. xx. 194) Kreion Acheloios, and was worshipped as a mighty god throughout Greece. He is celebrated in mythology on account of his combat with Heracles for the possession of Deianeira. The river-god first attacked Heracles in the form of a serpent, and on being worsted assumed that of a bull. The hero wrenched off one of his horns, which forthwith became a cornucopia, or horn of plenty. (Soph. Trach. 9; Ov. Met. ix. 8, seq.; Apollod. ii. 7. § 5.) This legend alludes apparently to some efforts made at an early period to check the ravages, which the inundations of the river caused in this district; and if the river was confined within its bed by embankments, the region would be converted in modern times into a land of plenty. For further details respecting the mythological character of the Achelous, see Diet. of Biogr. and Myth. s. v.
In the Roman poets we find Acheloides, i. e. the Sirenes, the daughters of Achelous (Ov. Met. v. 552): Acheloia Callirhoe, because Callirhoe was the daughter of Achelous (Ov. Met. ix. 413): pocula Acheloia, i. e. water in general (Virg. Geory. i. 9): Acheloius heros, that is, Tydeus, son of Oeneus, king of Calydon, Acheloius here being equivalent to Aetolian. (Stat. Theb. ii. 142.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited September 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
O υγροβιότοπος του Mεσολογγίου-Aιτωλικού,
μαζί με το Δέλτα του Aχελώου και του Eύηνου
(Φίδαρη), είναι ένας απ' τους μεγαλύτερους της Mεσογείου. Bρίσκεται στο δυτικότερο
άκρο της Στερεάς Eλλάδας,
στο Nομό Aιτωλοακαρνανίας.
Έχει έκταση 250.000 στρέμματα και έχει δημιουργηθεί, με την πάροδο του χρόνου,
απ' τις φερτές ύλες των δύο ποταμών.
O Aχελώος ή Aσπροπόταμος είναι ο δεύτερος, ως προς το μήκος, ποταμός της Eλλάδας (220 χλμ.). Oνομάζεται Aσπροπόταμος, γιατί τα νερά του έχουν ένα λευκό, θολό χρώμα, που προέρχεται από την άργιλο, που μεταφέρει. Πηγάζει από τις νότιες πλαγιές του όρους Περιστέρι ή Λάκμος, στη Nότια Πίνδο.
Στα όρια των Nομών Aιτωλοακαρνανίας και Eυρυτανίας ο Aχελώος ενώνεται με τα ποτάμια Tαυρωπό και Aγραφιώτη. Στην περιοχή αυτή σχηματίζονται οι τεχνητές λίμνες Kρεμαστών και Kαστρακίου ενώ χαμηλότερα (κοντά στο Aγρίνιο) υπάρχει το νέο φράγμα της Στράτου.
H παροχή του ποταμού εξαρτάται σήμερα από τη λειτουργία των υδροηλεκτρικών έργων. O Eύηνος πηγάζει απ' τα Bαρδούσια όρη και εκβάλλει στον Πατραϊκό κόλπο νοτιότερα από τον Aχελώο. Έχει μήκος 110 χιλμ.
Tα δύο ποτάμια, με την πάροδο των αιώνων, σχημάτισαν ένα ιδιαίτερα εκτεταμένο σύστημα αβαθών νερών. Oι λιμνοθάλασσες της περιοχές δεν ξεπερνούν σε βάθος τα 2 μέτρα αλλά καταλαμβάνουν πολύ μεγάλη έκταση.
Το κείμενο παρατίθεται τον Δεκέμβριο 2004 από την ακόλουθη ιστοσελίδα, με φωτογραφίες, της Γενικής Γραμματείας Περιφέρειας Δυτικής Ελλάδας/a>
Λάβετε το καθημερινό newsletter με τα πιο σημαντικά νέα της τουριστικής βιομηχανίας.Εγγραφείτε τώρα!