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XXII. ACHELOUS.

ACHELOUS is a river of Aetolia, formerly called Thestius. This Thestius was the son of Mars and Pisidice, who upon some domestic discontent travelled as far as Sicyon, where [p. 505] after he had resided for some time, he returned to his native home. But finding there his son Calydon and his mother both upon the bed together, believing him to be an adulterer, he slew his own child by a mistake. But when he beheld the unfortunate and unexpected fact he had committed, he threw himself into the river Axenos, which from thence was afterwards called Thestius. And after that, it was called Achelous upon this occasion.

Achelous, the son of Oceanus and the Nymph Nais, having deflowered his daughter Cletoria by mistake, flung himself for grief into the river Thestius, which then by his own name was called Achelous.

In this river grows an herb, which they call zaclon, very much resembling wool; this if you bruise and cast into wine, it becomes water, and preserves the smell but not the virtues of the wine.

In the same river also is found a certain stone of a mixed black and lead color, called linurgus from the effect; for if you throw it upon a linen cloth, by a certain affectionate union it assumes the form of the linen, and turns white;—as Antisthenes relates in the Third Book of his Meleagris, though Diocles the Rhodian more accurately tells us the same thing in his Aetolics.

Near to this river lies the mountain Calydon, so called from Calydon, the son of Mars and Astynome; for that he, by an accident having seen Diana bathing herself, was transformed into a rock; and the mountain which before was named Gyrus was afterwards by the providence of the Gods called Calydon.

Upon this mountain grows an herb called myops. This if any one steep in water and wash his face with it, he shall lose his sight, but upon his atoning Diana, he shall recover it again;—as Dercyllus writes in his Third Book of Aetolics. [p. 506]

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