The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Eridanus

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ERIDANUS, the Greek name of a large northern river which Æschylus confounded with the Rhodanus (Rhône), but which later writers made identical with the Roman Padus, or modern Po, the chief river of North Italy. According to Hesiod and the tragic poets, Phaëthon, in a futile attempt to guide the chariot of his father Helios, was struck with a thunderbolt by Jupiter, and fell into this river. His sisters, the Heliadæ, were changed into poplar trees, and their tears into amber, for which this river was chiefly famous. The name was also given to a river of Attica, which flowed into the Ilissus near Athens.