The Acheron is a river of Epirus region and crosses the prefectures of Ioannina, Thesprotia and Preveza.The sources of Acheron are many. The first springs from the snows of Mount Tomaros in Ioannina (maximum altitude of 1.986m), and other sources from the mountains and Souli Mountains Paramythia Thesprotia.
Significant resources are also those of Vouvopotamos village near Glyki. The Acheron flows into the Ionion Sea, the village of Ammoudia Preveza, where it forms a delta from which shaped the two main members of the region, the State of Splantzia and Valanidorrachis.
The Acheron because of tradition and environmental value attracts many visitors from the source up to its mouth. Its length amounts to 52 km while the water of irrigated 85,000 acres, of which 28,000 are in the Thesprotia and 57,000 in the prefecture of Preveza. Alternatively Acheron was known as Mafropotamos, Fanariote or Kamariotis river.
In ancient times believed that Acheron is the river that, the crossing of which is made according to ancient Greek mythology "psychopomp" Mercury delivering the souls of the dead to Charon to reach the kingdom of Hades.
Each soul passing through the ferry of Charon had to give from a donation for transportation, while noteworthy is the case of Menippos, whom Lucian mentions, as the only one that crossed the Acheron without pay. On his way to the river Acheron a junction with Pyriphlegethon and Kokytos, the modern village Mesopotamos, at the location of the ancient Oracle of Acheron. The competence of the Acheron Necromanteio was different from that of Delphi and Dodona.
His purpose was not to provide oracle but to facilitate the visitors to communicate with the souls of their deceased relatives. Acheron, Cocytus and Pyriphlegethon together formed the three rivers of Hades, all three with woefully names (Acheron = joyless, Pyriphlegethon = igneous, Cocytus = wailing) symbolizing grief and lamentations of death and giving the symbolism of fiery hell, as maintained and today the Christian religion.
According to tradition, the river water was bitter as a "ghost" (monster) who lived in the sources of poisoning the waters. St. Donatos (etymological origin from Aidonefs, Aidonatos, Agios Donatos), patron saint of the Metropolis of Paramythia Thesprotia, killed the ghost and Acheron waters were made sweet, so it was named the village Glyki.
An interesting feature of ancient Greek mythology which indicates the continuation of this in today's most popular tradition is this: In the titanic battle the Titans drank water from Acheron to quench event that caused the anger of Zeus who blackened and embittered the waters .
Homer in the "Odyssey" referring to the descent of Odysseus to Hades to know the seer Tiresias for his return to Ithaca detail describes the meeting point of Acheron with Pyriphlegethon and Kokytos:
… ἄραξ' ἐκεῖ τὸ πλοῖο σου στοῦ Ὠκεανοῦ τὴν ἄκρη,
καὶ στοῦ Ἅδη κίνησε νὰ πᾶς τ' ἀραχνιασμένο σπίτι,
Ἐκεῖ ὁ Πυριφλεγέθοντας στοῦ Ἀχέροντα τὸ ρέμα
κυλιέται μὲ τὸν Κωκυτὸ ποὺ πέφτει ἀπὸ τὴ Στύγα,
κι ὁ βράχος ποὺ βαρύβροντα τὰ δυὸ ποτάμια σμίγουν…
... Hang out 'there your ship on the oceans edge,
and Hades opened go t 'dust traps house,
There the Pyriflegethontas Acheron to the stream
rolled with Kokytos falling from the Styx,
and a rock which varyvronta two rivers mingle ...
But Sophocles in "Antigone" Acheron uses the name as a metonymy of Death when Julia goes to the punishment of moral debt:
…ἀλλά μ᾽ ὁ παγκοίτας Ἅιδας ζῶσαν ἄγει
πώ μέ τις ὕμνος ὕμνησεν,ἀλλ᾽ Ἀχέροντι νυμφεύσω…
πώ μέ τις ὕμνος ὕμνησεν,ἀλλ᾽ Ἀχέροντι νυμφεύσω…
... But with the pagkoitas Aidas zosan conduct
aktan, outhymenaion egkliron, outepinymfeios
I say with the hymn ymnisen but Acheron nymfefso ...
The Acherousia lake no longer exists. Drained in the 1960s by the British company Boots Ltd. The Acherousia is in mythology the "place of Hades" (the current valley of t. Fanari). Catches from Choika village to the sea and the Choika until Paramythia (the Elysian Fields - residues of daffodil). Crossed by the Acheron River and its tributaries and Pyriphlegethon Kokytos. Hades is the god and leader of the "underworld" that ruled the dead. Hades identified with Pluto and only once ascended to the upper world, to snatch Persephone.
Here in Acherousia lake, river Acheron thought that there is one of the entrances to Hades (Gates of Hades). Charon (son of Erebus and the Night) was the boatman who was carrying the souls of the dead to Hades and was taking the donations that they put on the lips of the dead relatives.
On the precipice of Styx stood the guardian Cerberus was headed dog with a lion's tail that ended in a serpent and his hair and his body was full of snakes (in the currencies of Elea Thesprotia see Cerberus performances). Souls were presented in the court Hades (Hades, Minos, Rhadamanthus and Aeacus) deemed acts of the dead to life. In Homer's Odyssey, describes the descent of Odysseus to the underworld. In mythology, the underworld and descended: Orpheus, King of Thrace to bring back his wife Eurydice, Hercules, Theseus, etc. Lucian, satirist, the "funerary dialogues" written, graphically describes the entry of the dead to Hades. Charon: "Eff oh triskatarate ferries' Dead: «Ουκ αν λάβεις παρά του μη έχοντος…» << You can't take something from someone who has nothing>>