A river god, a son of Oceanus and Tethys, and father of Zeuxippe.1 The name does not occur in Homer and the first writer who mentions it is Herodotus,2 who declares the name to be barbarous and the invention of some poet.3 Eridanus is called the king of rivers, and on its banks amber was found.4 Some of Herodotus' contemporaries identified it with the Po River since this river is situated near the end of the amber route. According to legend, the amber was created from the tears the Heliades shed over the death of Phaethon when he plummeted from the sky in the Eridanus.

The position which the ancient poets assign to the river Eridanus differed at different times.



  1. Hesiod. Theogony, 338; Hyginus. Fabulae, 14.
  2. iii, 115.
  3. Virgil. Georgics i, 482; Ovid. Metamorphoses ii, 324.
  4. Aeneid, vi, 659.


  • Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.