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Asopus or Asôpos (Greek: Ἀσωπός) is the name of five different rivers in Greece and Turkey and also in Greek mythology the name of the gods of those rivers.


The rivers


As mythological figures the Boeotian river Asopus and the Phliasian river Asopus are much confounded. They are duplicated a second time as supposed mortal kings who gave their names to the corresponding rivers. Indeed, logically, since the children fathered by gods on various daughters of either Boeotian or Phliasian Asopus were mortal in these tales, then the daughters themselves must have been mortal, and therefore either the mother of these daughters (often given as Metope daughter of river Ladon) or their father Asopus must have been mortal, or both of them.

Apollodorus (3.12.6) informs that the river Asopus was a son of Oceanus and Tethys or according to Acusilaus of Poseidon by Pero (otherwise unknown to us) or according to yet others of Zeus by Eurynome, not making it clear whether he knows there is more than one river named Asopus.

Boeotian Asopus

Pausanias (9.1.1) cites Plataean tradition that Asopus was ancient king of that region in succession to King Cithaeron who gave his name to the mountain as King Asopus gave his name to the river and that the city of Plataea was named after Plataea daughter of the river Asopus. Pausanias then oddly comments that he thinks that this eponymous Plataea was daughter of King Asopus rather than the river Asopus.

Oroe, a tributary river of Boeotian Asopus is called by Herodotus (9.51.2) and Pausanias (9.4.4) daughter of Asopus. Pausanias says that the Boeotian city of Thespiae was either named from Thespia daughter of Asopus or from Thespius a descendant of Erechtheus who came there from Athens. This Thespius is otherwise unknown to us. Finally Antiope mother of Amphion and Zethus by Zeus is sometimes a daughter of Asopus.

Statius' Thebaid tells of the warrior Hypseus, mortal son of Asopus, who leads the men of Alalcomene, Itone, Midea, Arne, Aulida, Graea, Plataea, Pleteon, and Anthedon. This Hypseus is slain by Capaneus.

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