), one of the most celebrated and considerable rivers of Sicily, which risesabout a mile from the modern town of Buscemi,
not far from the site of Acrae; and flows into the great harbour of Syracuse. About three quarters of a mile from its mouth, and just at the foot of the hill on which stood the Olympieium, it receives the waters of the Cyane. Its banks for a considerable distance from its mouth are bordered by marshes, which rendered them at all times unhealthy; and the fevers and pestilence thus generated were among the chief causes of disaster to the Athenians, and still more to the Carthaginians, during the several sieges of Syracuse.
But above these marshes the valley through which it flows is one of great beauty, and the waters of the Anapus itself are extremely limpid and clear, and of great depth. Like many rivers in a limestone country it rises all at once with a considerable volume of water, which is, however, nearly doubled by the accession of the Cyane.
The tutelary divinity of the stream was worshipped by the Syracusans under the form of a young man (Ael. VH 2.33
), who was regarded as the husband of the nymph Cyane. (Ovid. Met.
The river is now commonly known as the Alfeo,
evidently from a misconception of the story of Alpheus and Arethusa; but is also called and marked on all maps as the Anapo.
; Theocr. 1.68; Plut. Dion. 27, Timol.
21; Liv. 24.36
; Ovid. Ex Pont.
2.26; Vib. Seq. p. 4; Oberlin, ad loc.;
Fazell. 4.1, p. 196.)
It is probable that the PALUS LYSIMELEIA (ἡ λίμνη ἡ Λυσιμέλεια καλουμένη
) mentioned by Thucydides (7.53
), was a part of the marshes formed by the Anapus near its mouth.
A marshy or stagnant pool of some extent still exists between the site of the Neapolis of Syracuse and the mouth of the river, to which the name may with some probability be assigned.
A river falling into the Achelous, 80 stadia S. of Stratus. [ACHELOUS