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HYPSAS Ὕψας, is the name of two rivers in Sicily, both in the southern part of the island.


The larger of the two, which may be called the Selinuntine Hypsas, from its flowing through the territory of that city, is the river now known as the Belici, a large stream which enters the sea about 4 miles E. of the ruins of Selinus. (Cluver. Sicil. p. 230; D'Orville, Sicula, p. 78.) It rises near Corleone, and has a course of above 30 miles from thence to the sea. No mention occurs of the Hypsas in history, but its name is noticed by Silius Italicus, as well as by Ptolemy and Pliny. (Sil. Ital. 14.227; Plin. Nat. 3.8. s. 14; Ptol. 3.4.6; Vib. Sequest. p. 12..) The importance of this river to the Selinuntines is attested by the coins of Selinus, on some of which the river-god Hypsas (ΗΥΨΑΣ in Archaic characters) is represented as sacrificing at an altar; apparently referring to the river having been restrained from inundations which proved injurious to the salubrity of the city and its neighbourhood. (Eckhel, vol. i. p. 239; Mus. Hunt. pl. 48. fig. 25.)


A second river of the same name flowed beneath the walls of Agrigentum on their W. flank, and joined the Acragas just below the city. [AGRIGENTUM] It is now called the Drago, and is a small stream, though flowing through a deep valley, till immediately below the walls of Agrigentum. Considerable confusion exists among some modern writers with regard to the two rivers of Agrigentum: but the point is fully cleared up by Siefert (Akragas u. sein Gebiet. pp. 20--22). [AGRIGENTUM]. Polybius (9.27) is the only author who mentions the Agrigentine Hypsas by name, and he states distinctly that it was the river flowing at the foot of the hill of Agrigentum on the W .and SW. [E.H.B]

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Polybius, Histories, 9.27
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.8
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 3.4
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