Triton was the only son of
Poseidon and Amphitrite, but he possessed little influence, being altogether a
minor divinity. He is usually represented as preceding his father and acting as
his trumpeter, using a conch-shell for this purpose. He lived with his parents
in their beautiful golden palace beneath the sea at AEgea, and his favourite
pastime was to ride over the billows on horses or sea-monsters. Triton is
always represented as half man, half fish, the body below the waist terminating
in the tail of a dolphin. We frequently find mention of Tritons who are either
the offspring or kindred of Triton.
Glaucus is said to have become
a sea-divinity in the following manner. While angling one day, he observed
that the fish he caught and threw on the bank, at once nibbled at the grass and
then leaped back into the water. His curiosity was naturally excited, and he
proceeded to gratify it by taking up a few blades and tasting them. No sooner
was this done than, obeying an irresistible impulse, he precipitated himself
into the deep, and became a sea-god.
Like most sea-divinities he was
gifted with prophetic power, and each year visited all the islands and coasts
with a train of marine monsters, foretelling all kinds of evil. Hence fishermen
dreaded his approach, and endeavoured, by prayer and fasting, to avert the
misfortunes which he prophesied. He is often represented floating on the
billows, his body covered with mussels, sea-weed, and shells, wearing a full
beard and long flowing hair, and bitterly bewailing his immortality.