Painting by Arthur Bowen Davies

The Myth of Arethusa


A beautiful nymph, one of the Hesperides. She went to bathe in the river Alpheus, whereupon the river god fell in love with her. She fled from him and sought sanctuary from the goddess Artemis on the island of Ortygia. Artemis transformed her into a fountain and Alpheus, not to be denied his beautiful nymph, directed his course under the sea. In this way he was able to surface on Ortygia, his water joined to those of the fountain of Arethusa.


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