The river gods were the sons of Oceanus and Tethys and the brothers of the Oceanids. They were also the fathers of the Naiads. The river gods were depicted in one of three forms: a man-headed bull, a bull-headed man with the body of a serpent-like fish from the waist down, or as an arm resting upon an amphora jug pouring water.
Notable river gods include:
- Achelous, the god of the Achelous River, the largest river in Greece, who gave his daughter in marriage to Alcmaeon, and was defeated by Heracles in a wrestling contest for the right to marry Deianira.
- Alpheus, who fell in love with the nymph Arethusa, pursuing her to Syracuse, where she was transformed into a spring by Artemis.
- Scamander, who fought on the side of the Trojans during the Trojan War, and, offended when Achilles polluted his waters with the a large number of Trojan corpses, overflowed his banks nearly drowning Achilles.
List of River-gods (Potamoi)
- Achelous or Akheloios
- Cladeus or Kladeos
- Clitumnus (Roman mythology)
- Istrus or Ister
- Lethe (exceptionally female)
- Phlegethon or Pyriphlegethon
- Tiberinus (Roman mythology)
- Apollodorus, Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Hesiod, Theogony, in The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Homer, The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, Ph.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.
- Hyginus, Gaius Julius, Astronomica, in The Myths of Hyginus, edited and translated by Mary A. Grant, Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1960.
- Smith, William; Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London (1873).