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R.I.V.E.R project etwinning project

• 5th Lyceum of Veria, Greece presents legends, traditions and references from ancient ages about the origin of Haliacmon river.


Ancient Greeks and the Rivers

Ancient Greeks considered Rivers as gods. They dedicated to them temples and altars in the lush forests that grew near the rivers abundantly, due to the fresh waters The ancient Greeks had the idea that, as rivers fertilize the land, people, partially, owed them the crops they got, by cultivating the land, because these kept them alive. People believed that rivers and streams were a source of life.

In ancient Greece, people believed that in River waters they could find a kind of katharsis. Hesiod said “ Never cross the eternal river before saying a prayer while staring at their sacred waters. Never cross the river before dipping your hands in their fresh and clear waters. The man who crosses a river without cleaning his hands from the evil that has contaminated them, that man makes gods burst in fury. Consequently, they bring upon them severe punishments.

HALIACMON in Greek Mythology

the first time we meet the word Haliacmon is in Hesiod writings.

«˙και η Τηθύς εγέννησε στον Ωκεανό τους Ποταμούς με τα νερά τα γοργοστρόβιλα… Είναι πολύ κοπιαστικό τα ονόματα όλων να αραδιάση ανθρώπου γνώση˙ ξέρουνε τον καθένα αυτοί που ολόγυρά τους κατοικούνε»[2] (this is an extract from Hesiod writings, in ancient Greek language)

Rivers Creation •


Oceanus, the oldest son of Uranus and Gaia, was an enormous river that flowed around the earth and extended his body from the North to the South and from the East to the West. Oceanus were a couple with Tethys, who was the youngest of Titanids. Tethys protected waters and was the fertile goddess of sea water. Oceanus and Tethys loved each other and gave birth to many children. It is referred by Hesiod that their sons were the rivers: Nile, Alfeios, Grakxos, Pineios, Saggarius, Evinos, Hridanos, Strimonas, Maiandros, Achelwos, Aliakmonas, Skamandros, Nestos, Granikos, Rodios, Ladonas and three thousand rivers more. Also, they gave birth to fifty thousand daughters , called Oceanid.

1st mythological legend about the origin of the Haliacmon’s name. • According to Greek mythology, Haliacmon was one of the river gods and was born by Oceanus and Tethys. • Oceanus was an enormous river that encircled the entire Globe. Tethys was one of the Titanids, daughter of Uranus and Gaia.

2η legend about the Haliacmon's creation. •

According to another legend, Haliacmon’s father was the king of Thrace, named Palaistinos, and his mother was Pierida, one of the nine earth-born daughters of Pieros, the king of Pieria. Palaistinos loved his son, Haliacmon, very much. When he heard that Haliacmon, his son, died in the battle, he drowned himself in the river Konizo. (this river is known as Strymonas, nowadays)

3rd mythological legend about the origin of the Haliakmon’s name. • According to another legend, river Haliacmon got his name because of this incident. Ploutarch, in his work ”about Rivers” refers that a spepherd from Tiryntha while pasturing his sheep on Kokkygio hill, by coincidence, he saw Zeus. He was overcome by fury and fell into the river Karmanor, which was, later, named Haliacmon.

Haliacmon’s name • The name of Haliacmon is a compound noun and comes from the nouns άλς (θάλασσα -sea) and ακμών (αμόνι-anvil). • The word ακμών (αμόνιanvil) derives from the ancient verb “ακμαίνω” (χτυπώ- beat) , in other words the one who beats the sea with his fierce waters.

An Ancient Tradition • There is an ancient tradition that says : the sheep that drank water from Haliacmon the colour of their fur turned into white. This tradition is confirmed in the writings of the Roman writer Plinius the elder (23-79 A.D.). Once translated it says: In Macedonia the shepherds who want to have white sheep lead them to Haliacmon to drink water , the ones who want their sheep black lead them to Axios to drink waters.

A Reference in Herodotus ΗΡΟΔΟΤΟΣ,Ζ 127 •

ὡς δὲ ἐς τὴν Θέρμην ἀπίκετο ὁ Ξέρξης, ἵδρυσε αὐτοῦ τὴν στρατιήν. ἐπέσχε δὲ ὁ στρατὸς αὐτοῦ στρατοπεδευόμενος τὴν παρὰ θάλασσαν χώρην τοσήνδε, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ Θέρμης πόλιος καὶ τῆς Μυγδονίης μέχρι Λυδίεώ τε ποταμοῦ καὶ Ἁλιάκμονος, οἳ οὐρίζουσι γῆν τὴν Βοττιαιίδα τε καὶ Μακεδονίδα, ἐς τὠυτὸ ῥέεθρον τὸ ὕδωρ συμμίσγοντες.

From Herodotus’s description, we guess that, in those ages, Haliacmon flowed to the north, met Loudias river and their waters fell into Thermaikos gulf.

The etwinning team Students • Elias, Elpida/Dikaia, Constantinos, Nikos, Grigoria, Amy, Giorgos, Magda

Teachers • Eleni Kostopoulou • Katerina Raftopoulou • Athina Giannopoulou


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