ORONTES was a River-God of Syria, in Western Asia.
The River Orontes flowed into the Meditteranean Sea near the city of Antiokhos (Antioch). The most important neighbouring rivers was the Kydnos of Kilikia to the north-west, and Euphrates in the east.
Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Oceanus and Tethys [were born] the Oceanides . . . Of the same descent Rivers: Strymon, Nile, Euphrates, Tanais, Indus, Cephisus, Ismenus, Axenus [Axios], Achelous, Simoeis, Inachus, Alpheus, Thermodon, Scamandrus, Tigris, Maeandrus, Orontes."
Oppian, Cynegetica 2. 115 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd A.D.) :
"Aforetime all the plain by the foot of Emblonos [in Syria] was flooded; since evermore in great volume rushed Orontes in his eagerness, forgetting the sea and burning with desire of the dark-eyed Nymphe, the daughter of Okeanos. He lingered amid the heights and he covered the fertile earth, unwilling to forgo his hopeless love of Meliboia. With mountains on either side was he encircled round, mountains that one either hand leaned their heads together. From East came the lofty form of Diokleion, and from the West the left horn of Emblonos, and in the midst himself raging in the plains, ever waxing and drawing night the walls, flooding with his waters that mainland at once and island [the Khersonese], mine own city. Therefore was the son of Zeus [Herakles] destined straightway with club and mighty hands to apportion their water unto each, and to give separate course from the plain for the waters of the fair-tressed lake and the fair-flowing river. And he wrought his mighty labour, when he cut the girdle of the encircling hills and undid their stony bonds, and sent the river belching to its mouth, surging incontinent and wildly murmuring, and guided it towards the shores. And loudly roared the deep sea, and the mighty body of the Syrian shore echoed to the din . . . So the mighty Orontes made a noise of dread bellowing about the shores; and mightily roared the headlands when they received within their bosom the swell of the new-come sea; and the black and fertile earth took heart again, arisen form the waves, a new plain of Herakles."
- Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
- Oppian, Cynegetica - Greek Poetry C3rd A.D.