Hydromythology and the Ancient Greek World is the first integration of hydrology and karstology with Greek and Latin mythographic narratives spanning the millennium from Homer to Pausanias. In this book, author and editor Cindy Clendenon demonstrates that karstic terrains commonly found in Greece were the backdrops for many ancient myths and travelogues. Among her conclusions:


•An earthquake-triggered karstic collapse swallowed Amphiaraus during the Seven Against Thebes battle;

•The natural dislodging of a sinkhole plug caused the sudden drainage of Lake Stymphalus and the associated drowning of a determined deer hunter who literally was sucked down the drain;

•The karstic landscapes of Arcadia and Argolis are figuratively represented in the interwoven myths of the Danaids, Poseidon, Amymone, and Hera;

•The myth of Alpheus and Arethusa articulates the physical possibility of long-distance freshwater travel through the seabed;

•The Archaic Greek concept of Hell was a wind-whipped, water-filled karstic pit that in later centuries was supplanted by the Romanized concept of a volcanic lake of fire; and


•The now-extinct Lake Tritonis once was a Cyrenaican lagoon–sabkha complex near today’s Sabkha Ghuzayyil and Marsa Brega, Libya.

Although written for the educated lay reader, Hydromythology and the Ancient Greek World contains enough specialized information to hold the interest of classicists, hydrologists, environmentalists, marine scientists, hydrogeologists, speleologists, and karstologists.