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One of the two sons of Alcmaeon, the son of the Theban soothsayer Amphiaraus by Callirhoe ('the lovely spring') who was a daughter of the river Achelous (Table 1). The name of the other son was Amophoterus. At some time during his adventures Alcmaeon had given offence to Phegeus, the king of Psophis in Arcadia, and he was eventually killed by Phegeus' children. When Callirhoe learnt of her husband's death he asked Zeus, who loved her, to cause her two small sons to grow miraculously so that they could avenge their father. Zeus agreed to this request, enabling Amphoterus and Acarnan to kill Pronus and Agenor, the sons of Phegeus, whom they met in the house of King Agapenor. They subsequently made their way to Psophis and killed Phegeus himself. The inhabitants of the town pursued them but they managed to escape and took refuge near Agapenor at Tegea in Arcadia. At the command of their grandfather Achelous, Amphoterus and Acarnan then went to Delphi to dedicate the necklace of Harmonia, which lay behind a long chain of murders and in particular had been the indirect cause of the deaths of their father Alcmaeon and their grandfather Amphiaraus (see Eryphile). After completing their mission they next made their way through Epirus where they enlisted some companions and founded the colony of Acarnania, whose inhabitants, formerly called the Curetes, took their new name from that of Acarnan.

According to one tradition, Acarnan was killed while trying to wed Hippodamia, the daughter of Oenomaus, who put her suitors to death.


Table of Sources:
- Apollod. Bibl. 3, 7, 5f
- Paus. 8, 24, 9
- Thuc. 2, 102, 9
- Ovid, Met. 9, 412
- schol. on Pind. Ol. 1, 127

From Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (London, 1880)

ACARNAN ('Akarnan), one of the Epigones, was a son of Alcmaeon and Calirrhoe, and brother of Amphoterus. Their father was murdered by Phegeus, when they were yet very young, and Calirrhoe prayed to Zeus to make her sons grow quickly, that they might be able to avenge the death of their father. The prayer was granted, and Acarnan with his brother slew Phegeus, his wife, and his two sons. The inhabitants of Psophis, where the sons had been slain, pursued the murderers as far as Tegea, where however they were received and rescued. At the request of Achelous they carried the necklace and peplus of Harmonia to Delphi, and from thence they went to Epirus, where Acarnan founded the state called after him Acarnania. (Apollod. iii. 7. § 5-7 ; Ov. Met. ix. 413, &c.; Thucyd. ii. 102; Strab. x. p. 462.)


An original e-text for everything2. I scanned, OCR'd, formatted, and linked this text - it is not available in any format on any other web site. All Greek words are transliterated into Latin characters.

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