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To the east of Zacynthos and Cephallenia are situated the Echinades Islands, among which is Dulichium, now called Dolicha, and also what are called the Oxeiae, which the poet called Thoae.1 Dolicha lies opposite Oeneiadae and the outlet of the Acheloüs, at a distance of one hundred stadia from Araxus, the promontory of the Eleians; the rest of the Echinades (they are several in number, all poor soiled and rugged) lie off the outlet of the Acheloüs, the farthermost being fifteen stadia distant and the nearest five. In earlier times they lay out in the high sea, but the silt brought down by the Acheloüs has already joined some of them to the mainland and will do the same to others. It was this silt which in early times caused the country called Paracheloïtis,2 which the river overflows, to be a subject of dispute, since it was always confusing the designated boundaries between the Acarnanians and the Aetolians; for they would decide the dispute by arms, since they had no arbitrators, and the more powerful of the two would win the victory; and this is the cause of the fabrication of a certain myth, telling how Heracles defeated Acheloüs and, as the prize of his victory, won the hand of Deïaneira, the daughter of Oeneus, whom Sophocles represents as speaking as follows:“For my suitor was a river-god, I mean Acheloüs, who would demand me of my father in three shapes, coming now as a bull in bodily form, now as a gleaming serpent in coils, now with trunk of man and front of ox.
34 Some writers add to the myth, saying that this was the horn of Amaltheia,5 which Heracles broke off from Acheloüs and gave to Oeneus as a wedding gift. Others, conjecturing the truth from the myths, say that the Acheloüs, like the other rivers, was called "like a bull" from the roaring of its waters, and also from the the bendings of its streams, which were called Horns, and "like a serpent" because of its length and windings, and "with front of ox"6 for the same reason that he was called "bull-faced"; and that Heracles, who in general was inclined to deeds of kindness, but especially for Oeneus, since he was to ally himself with him by marriage, regulated the irregular flow of the river by means of embankments and channels, and thus rendered a considerable part of Paracheloïtis dry, all to please Oeneus; and that this was the horn of Amaltheia.7 Now, as for the Echinades, or the Oxeiae, Homer says that they were ruled over in the time of the Trojan War by Meges,“who was begotten by the knightly Phyleus, dear to Zeus, who once changed his abode to Dulichium because he was wroth with his father.
8His father was Augeas, the ruler of the Eleian country and the Epeians; and therefore the Epeians who set out for Dulichium with Phyleus held these islands.

1 In Greek "Oxeiai" and "Thoai," both words meaning "sharp" or "pointed" (see 8. 3. 26 and footnote, and Hom. Od. 15.299.

2 i.e., "Along the Acheloüs.

3 Soph. Trach. 7-11

4 One vase-painting shows Acheloüs fighting with Achilles as a serpent with the head and arms of a man, and with ox horns, and another as a human figure, except that he had the forehead, horns, and ears of an ox (Jebb, note ad loc.).

5 Cf. 3. 2. 14 and footnote.

6 Literally, "ox-prowed" (see Jebb, loc. cit.).

7 Cp. 3. 2. 14.

8 Hom. Il. 2.628

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