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Achaeus (1), eponym of the Achaeans; in mythology, son of *Poseidon (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 1. 17. 3), *Zeus (Serv. on Aen. 1. 242), *Xuthus (Apollod. 1. 50), or *Haemon (schol. Il. 2. 681).
Achaeus (2) of Eretria, Atheniantragic poet, to be distinguished from Achaeus of Syracuse, who may be the Achaeus who won a *Lenaean victory c.356. According to the *Suda the Eretrian was born in 484–480
Guy Thompson Griffith and Susan Mary Sherwin-White
Achaeus (3) (d. 213 BCE), viceroy for *Antiochus (3) III of Seleucid Asia Minor and his kinsman (maternal uncle), probably the grandson of the Seleucid official Achaeus the Elder. In 223/2 he recovered Seleucid possessions in Anatolia from *Pergamum; exploiting Antiochus' involvement in the east (Molon's revolt and war against *Ptolemy (1) IV), he proclaimed himself king (220). His soldiers refused to fight Antiochus, but he maintained power until the king was free to quell his rebellion. After a two-year siege in Sardis, he was captured and duly executed as a traitor.
Charles William John Eliot and Simon Hornblower
Acharnae, the largest Attic *deme. (The figure of 3,000 hoplites at Thuc. 2. 20. 4, cf. 21. 3, may be too high; 1,200 is likelier and a possible emendation; another is that πολῖται should be read for ὁπλῖται, ‘citizens’ not ‘hoplites’). It lay around Menidi in the NW corner of the Attic plain, near the pass from the Thriasian plain along which *Archidamus II and the Spartans marched in 431
Stephen J. Harrison
Achates, character in mythology, faithful lieutenant of *Aeneas in the Aeneid; a late source ascribes to him the killing of *Protesilaus (Eust. Il. 2. 701).
W. M. Murray
Acheloüs, the longest of all Greek rivers, rising in central *Epirus and debouching, after a course of 240 km. (150 mi.; mostly through mountainous gorges), into the NW corner of the Corinthian Gulf. Its lower reaches were affected by heavy alluviation (Hdt. 2. 10. 3; Thuc. 2. 102. 3) and constituted the frequently disputed frontier between *Acarnania and *Aetolia. Recent geological studies based on coring in the river's delta continue to refine our understanding of this process as it relates to historical periods. Acheloüs was personified early as a water- and *river-god (the son of *Oceanus and *Tethys), from whom all seas, rivers, and springs derived (Hom. Il. 21. 194–7; Hes. Theog. 337–40). For his mythology and widespread depiction in art, see H. P. Isler, LIMC 1/1 (1981) 12–36.
W. M. Murray
Acheron, a river of Thesprotia in southern *Epirus which breaks through an impenetrable gorge into the Acherusian plain where a lake (named Acherusia) lay in ancient times. The river empties into the Ionian Sea at the ancient Glycys Limen (or ‘sweet harbour’). Homer (Od. 10. 513) describes the Acheron as a river of *Hades into which the Cocytus and Pyriphlegethon streams flow, the place where Odysseus consulted the spirits of the Underworld (Od.11). Herodotus (5. 92. 7) mentions a death oracle (nekyomanteion) by the banks of the river where one called forth dead spirits for consultation. Remains of such an oracle have been excavated near Mesopotamo (see
Achilles (Ἀχιλλεύς), son of *Peleus and *Thetis; greatest of the Greek heroes in the Trojan War; central character of *Homer's Iliad.
His name may be of Mycenaean Greek origin, meaning ‘a grief to the army’. If so, the destructive Wrath of Achilles, which forms the subject of the Iliad, must have been central to his mythical existence from the first.
In Homer he is king of Phthia, or ‘Hellas and Phthia’, in southern Thessaly (see