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Simonides of Ceos, an ancient Greek lyrical poet, references Lethe in the sixty-seventh fragment of one of his poems.

Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid, in his description of the Underworld in his Metamorphoses, includes a description of Lethe as a stream that puts people to sleep.

In 138 BC, the Roman general Decimus Junius Brutus sought to dispose of the myth, as it impeded his military campaigns in the area.

When the Arabs conquered the region much later, their name for the river became Guadalete (River Lethe, in Arabic).) was one of the five rivers of the underworld of Hades.Also known as the Ameles potamos (river of unmindfulness), the Lethe flowed around the cave of Hypnos and through the Underworld, where all those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness.In the Aeneid, Virgil writes that it is only when the dead have had their memories erased by the Lethe that they may be reincarnated.Lethe was also the name of the personification of forgetfulness and oblivion, with whom the river was often associated.

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