So that here, in the real living experience of living men, the prodigies related in old times of the inland Strello mountain in Portugal (near whose top there was said to be a lake in which the wrecks of ships floated up to the surface); and that still more wonderful story of the Arethusa fountain near Syracuse (whose waters were believed to have come from the Holy Land by an underground passage); these fabulous narrations are almost fully equalled by the realities of the whalemen.
The subterranean passage of the Alpheus in the upper part of its course (confirmed by modern explorers), and the freshness of the water of Arethusa in spite of its proximity to the sea, led to the belief that it was the outlet of the river.
For Arethusa on Syracusan coins, see B.
His waters were said to pass beneath the sea and rise again in the fountain Arethusa at Syracuse; such is the earlier version from which later mythologists and poets evolved the familiar myth of the loves of Alpheus and Arethusa.
The probable origin of the story is the part traditionally taken in the foundation of Syracuse by the Iamidae of Olympia, who identified the spring Arethusa with their own river Alpheus, and the nymph with Artemis Alpheiaia, who was worshipped at Ortygia.
P. 270), during the sacrifice of oxen at Olympia the waters of Arethusa were disturbed, and a cup thrown into the Alpheus would reappear in Ortygia.
Some time in that year Tenedos, Chios, Chalcis in Euboea, and probably the Euboean cities Eretria, Carystus and Arethusa gave in their adherence, followed by Perinthus, Peparethus, Sciathus and other maritime cities.