INACHUS is a river in the territories of Argos, formerly
called Carmanor. Afterwards Haliacmon, for this reason.
Haliacmon, a Tirynthian by birth, while he kept sheep
upon the mountain Coccygium, happened against his will
to see Jupiter and Rhea sporting together; for which
being struck mad, and hurried by the violence of the frenzy, he flung himself into the river Carmanor, which after
that was called Haliacmon. Afterwards it was called Inachus upon this occasion.
Inachus, the son of Oceanus, after that Jupiter had deflowered his daughter Io, pursued the Deity close at the
heels, abusing and cursing him all the way as he went.
Which so offended Jupiter, that he sent Tisiphone, one of
the Furies, who haunted and plagued him to that degree,
that he flung himself into the river Haliacmon, afterwards
called by his own name Inachus.
In this river grows an herb called cynura, not unlike
our common rue, which the women that desire to miscarry without any danger lay upon their navels, being first
steeped in wine.
There is also found in this river a certain stone, not
unlike a beryl, which in the hands of those who intend to
bear false witness will grow black. Of these stones there
are many laid up in the temple of Juno Prosymnaea;—as
Timotheus relates in his Argolica, and Agatho the Samian
in his Second Book of Rivers.
Agathocles the Milesian, in his History of Rivers, also
adds, that Inachus for his impiety was thunderstruck by
Jupiter, and so the river dried up.
Near to this river lie the mountains Mycenae, Apesantus, Coccygium, and Athenaeum; so called for these
reasons. Apesantus was first called Selenaeus. For Juno,
resolving to be revenged upon Hercules, called the moon
(Selene) to her assistance, who by the help of her magical
charms filled a large chest full of foam and froth, out of
which sprang an immense lion; which Iris binding with
her own girdle carried to the mountain Opheltium, where
the lion killed and tore in pieces Apesantus, one of the
shepherds belonging to that place. And from that accident, by the will of the Gods, the hill was called Apesantus;—as Demodocus writes in his First Book of the History of Hercules.
In this river grows an herb called selene, with the froth
of which, being gathered in the spring, the shepherds
anoint their feet, and keep them from being bit or stung
by any creeping vermin.
Mycenae was formerly called Argion, from the many-eyed
Argos; but afterwards the name was changed upon this
When Perseus had slain Medusa, Stheno and Euryale,
sisters to her that was killed, pursued him as a murderer.
But coming to this hill and despairing to overtake him, out
of that extreme love which they had for their sister they
made such a bellowing (μυκηθμός
), that the natives from
thence called the top of the mountain Mycenae;—as Ctesias
the Ephesian relates in his First Book of the Acts of Perseus. But Chrysermus the Corinthian relates the story
thus in the First Book of his Peloponnesiacs. For he says
that, when Perseus was carried aloft in the air and lit upon
this mountain, he lost the chape of his scabbard. At what
time this same Gorgophonos (or Gorgon-slayer), king of
the Epidaurians, being expelled his kingdom, received this
answer upon his consulting the oracle, that he should visit
all the cities of the Argolic territory, and that where he
found the chape of a scabbard (called in Greek μυκής
should build a city. Thereupon coming to the mountain
Argium, and finding there an ivory scabbard, he built a
city, and from the accident called it Mycenae.
In this mountain there is found a stone, which is called
corybas, of a crow-color, which he that finds and wears
about him shall never be afraid of any monstrous apparitions. As for the mountain Apesantus, this may be added,
that Apesantus, the son of Acrisius, as he was a hunting
in that place, chanced to tread upon a venomous serpent,
which occasioned his death. Whom when his father had
buried, in memory of his son he named the hill Apesantus,
which before was called Selinuntius.
The mountain Coccygium derived its name from this
accident. Jupiter falling desperately in love with his sister Juno, and having vanquished her by his importunity,
begat a male child. From whence the mountain, before
called Lyrceum, was named Coccygium;—as Agathonymus
relates in his Persis.
In this mountain grows a tree, which is called paliurus;
upon the boughs of which whatever fowl happens to perch,
it is presently entangled as it were with bird-lime, and cannot stir; only the cuckoo it lets go free, without any harm;
—as Ctesiphon testifies in his First Book of Trees.
As for the mountain Athenaeum, it derives its name
from Minerva. For after the destruction of Troy, Diomede returning to Argos, ascended the mountain Ceraunius,
and there erecting a temple to Minerva, called the mountain Athenaeum from her name Athena.
Upon the top of this mountain grows a root like to that
of rue, which if any woman unwarily taste of, she presently
runs mad. This root is called Adrastea;—as Plesimachus
writes in his Second Book of the Returns of the Heroes.