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.
Some mythologists hold that there already existed in the Greek system an earlier goddess of love, of similar attributes, who was absorbed by the Asiatic importation; and one writer (A.