His waters were said to pass beneath the sea and rise again in the fountain Arethusa at Syracuse; such is the earlier version from which later mythologists and poets evolved the familiar myth of the loves of Alpheus and Arethusa.
This account of the hero's principal labours, exploits and crimes is derived from the mythologists Apollodorus and Diodorus, who probably followed the Heracleia by Peisander of Rhodes as to the twelve labours or that of Panyasis of Halicarnassus, but sundry variations of order and incident are found in classical literature.
Some mythologists have compared the hammer of Hephaestus with that of Thor, and have explained it as the emblem of a thunder-god; but it is Zeus, not Hephaestus, who causes the thunder, and the emblems of the latter god are merely the signs of his occupation as a smith.
By later mythologists she is called sometimes the sister, daughter or wife of Mars, sometimes his charioteer or nurse.
By the mythologists of Cicero's time the name was connected with the verb furere and the noun feria, which in the plural (not being used in the singular in this sense) was accepted as the equivalent of the Greek Erinyes.
The new theories of mythology are based on the belief that " it is man, it is human thought and human language combined, which naturally and necessarily produced the strange conglomerate of ancient fable."' But, while there is now universal agreement so far, modern mythologists differed essentially on one point.
So far Spencer seems at one with the philological school of mythologists, but he warns us that the misconstructions of language in his system are " different in kind, and the erroneous course of thought is opposite in direction."
It is usual with mythologists to say that Zeus is the " All-Father," and that his amours are only a poetic way of stating that he is the parent of men.
He is often regarded by modern mythologists as the sun.