Template:Infobox River Alfeiós (Greek: Αλφειός, also romanized as Alpheus, Alpheios, Alfiós) is a river in Peloponnese, Greece. Its source is near Megalopoli in the prefecture Arcadia. It flows along Olympia and empties into the Ionian Sea in the prefecture of Ilia, near Pyrgos. As the longest river in the Peloponnese, at 110 km, the river flows in the prefectures of Arcadia and Ilia. The river begins near Davia in central Arcadia, then it flows between Leontari and Megalopoli and the municipal boundary of Falaisia and Megalopoli in a wooded valley and south of Karytaina and flows north of Andritsina and for about 15 to 20 km with the prefectural boundary with Ilia and Arcadia. It later flows with the provincial boundary of Olympia and Ilia for the rest of the length and the municipal boundary of Olympia and Alifeira to the south. It later flows to the municipal boundary of Skillounta to the south and along the Pyrgos and Volaka boundary and for a final 2 km, into the wetlands with bushes.

The ancient highway linking Patras and Kalamata ran along this river for most of the length east of Olympia.

In Greek mythology, the Peneus and Alpheus were two rivers re-routed by Heracles in his fifth labour in order to clean the filth from the Augean Stables in a single day, a task which had been presumed to be impossible. A poem by Roger Caillois, called Le fleuve Alphée (the Alpheus River), is mainly about this river.

"Underground river" in Western esotericism

According to the 1982 controversial non-fiction book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, 15th century French king René of Anjou, who contributed to the formation of the Western esoteric tradition, used the theme of an "underground river" that was equated with the Alfeios River to represent a subculture of Arcadian esotericism, which was seen as an alternative to the mainstream spiritual and religious traditions of Christendom. The book claims that the myth of Arcadia and its underground river became a prominent cultural fashion and inspired various artistic works such as Jerusalem Delivered (1581) by Torquato Tasso, Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (1590) by Philip Sidney, Les Bergers d’Arcadie (1637 - 1638) by Nicolas Poussin and the Kubla Khan (1816) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The book speculates that the "underground stream" might also have connoted an unacknowledged and thus "subterranean" bloodline of Jesus.[1]


  1. Henry Lincoln, Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Corgi, 1982. ISBN 0-552-12138-X.

External links

lt:Alfijasnn:Alfióspt:Rio Alfeu ro:Alfeios sv:Alfeios

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