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AMENA´NUS

AMENA´NUS (Ἀμένανος, Strab.; Ἀμένανος, Steph. Byz. where the MSS. have Ἀμελιαν́ος: Αμένας, Pind.: Amenana flumina, Ovid. Fast. 4.467), a small river of Sicily which flows through the city of Catania, now called the Giudicello. It is noticed by Strabo (p. 240) as remarkable for the vicissitudes to which it was subject, its waters sometimes failing altogether for years, and then flowing again in abundance. The same peculiarity is remarked by Ovid (Ov. Met. 15.279), and is still observed with regard to the Giudicello. It is probably connected with internal changes of Etna, at the foot of which it rises. (Fazell. 3.1. p. 138; Cluver. Sicil. p. 120; D'Orville, Sicula, p. 218.) Pindar speaks of the newly founded city of Aetna (the name given by Hieron to Catana) as situated by the waters of the Amenas, but the correctness of the form Amenanos, preserved by Strabo, is attested by coins of Catana, which bear on the obverse the head of the river deity, under the usual form of a youthful male head with horns on the forehead, and the name at full length ΑΜΕΝΑΝΟΣ. (Castell. Sicil. Numism. pl. 20, fig. 8.)

[E.H.B]

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