Metamorphoses

Metamorphoses

by

Ovid

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Achelous Character Analysis

Achelous is a river god. He hosts Theseus in his house when Theseus is returning to Athens and entertains him with many stories, including the story of how he lost some of his power to Hercules. He and Hercules engaged in a wrestling match in competition for Deianira, and Hercules wrenched off one of Achelous’s horns.
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Achelous Character Timeline in Metamorphoses

The timeline below shows where the character Achelous appears in Metamorphoses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 8: Achelous, the Naiads and Perimele
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...Athens. On the way, he is stopped by a flood caused by the river god Achelous. Achelous invites Theseus into his house to wait out the dangerous flood. Theseus accepts the... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
While he dines, Theseus asks Achelous about the islands that he sees scattered throughout the water. Achelous explains that these islands... (full context)
Book 8: Philemon and Baucis
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
After Achelous finishes his story, one of Theseus’s companions scoffs, calling the story fiction and saying that... (full context)
Book 8: Erysichthon
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Humanity vs. Nature  Theme Icon
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
...finishes his story, Theseus asks for more stories of the gods’ wonders. The river god Achelous tells Theseus that the gods have the power to assume all kinds of shapes. Achelous... (full context)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
Achelous ends his story by wondering why he is telling of others who can change shape... (full context)
Book 9: Achelous and Hercules
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Theseus asks Achelous how he lost half of his power. Achelous is reluctant to tell a story of... (full context)
Metamorphosis Theme Icon
Angry at this accusation, Hercules says that Achelous can win with words, but he, Hercules, can win with physical strength. Hercules and Achelous... (full context)
Gods and Humans Theme Icon
As Achelous finishes the story of his defeat, a nymph comes in bearing Achelous’s broken horn filled... (full context)
Book 9: Hercules and Nessus
Love and Destruction Theme Icon
Unlike Achelous, Nessus the centaur is fatally wounded trying to compete with Hercules for Deianira. After defeating... (full context)