Acheron in Greek mythology, was

(1.) a son of the Sun and the Earth; he furnished water for the Titans when they fought against Jupiter, and was therefore converted into a river whose water was impure, and afterwards condemned to Hades. Others make him the son of Ceres, born in Crete; and that because he could not endure daylight, he entered Hades of his own accord. The souls of the dead were ferried across this river by Charon. Proverbially, dying is called crossing the Acheron, as the souls who cross this river have no hope of ever returning.

(2.) A river in Thesprotia, a country in Epirus, which flows through the Acherusia swamp, whose water is bitter, and from which arise poisonous odors.

(3.) A river in the country of the Bruttians in Lower Italy. Here Alexander, king of Epirus, became the victim of an oracle which he misunderstood. He was told to beware of this river, but thinking the oracle meant the river in Epirus, he went to Italy and was killed at the hands of a Lucanian on the banks of the Acheron.

(4.) A river near Elis, in Peloponnesia, which combines with the Alpheus.

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